There are two areas where upgrading would be a no-brainer for me.
-If you are doing any multi-channel design work.
-If you are doing any FPGA work.

I   have   mixed   feelings about the autorouter.
The ability to define rules to drive it has been
expanded  and improved.  But I don't think the route
engine itself is quite "there" yet.  (SP2 maybe?? :P)

How well the autorouter works seems to vary some from board to board.
On one board,  my results were better than the 99SE router.
With another board the results were not as good.

I crash less often than I used to in 99SE.  Noticeably fewer AV's.
I wouldn't go back to 99SE.  The   future  will be on  the  DXP  platform.
Is it perfect?  Probably not.  But we're only at SP1. Some growing pains are only
natural.  I expect DXP will just continue to improve over the next few
service packs.

I'd at least get the  demo,   have a look for yourself,  try it out,
see  how well it works (or not..) with a few of your own designs.


SS> Hi all,

SS> It's time for me to request equipment & software for next
SS> years budget and I still don't have a warm & fuzzy feeling about
SS> Protel 2004.  Has SP1 improved the Situs autorouter?  Are the
SS> other improvements worth the $3500 USD?  I have seen a few of you
SS> say that once you had upgraded you would never go back.  Is it
SS> really that much better or are the systems so incompatible that
SS> once 2004 is learned it would be tough to go back and do it the
SS> 99SE way, much less admit that the money was poorly spent?  We
SS> only design about 10 boards a year and I am having a real problem
SS> justifying the cost of upgrading from 99SE SP6 to myself much less
SS> my boss. 

SS> My regards,
SS> Steve Smith, C.I.D.
SS> Product Engineer

SS> Staco Energy Products Co.
SS> 301 Gaddis Boulevard.
SS> Dayton, OH 45403
SS> Telephone: (937) 253-1191 Ext. 158
SS> Fax: (937) 253-1723
SS> Web Site: 
SS> & 

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