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Altium Designer

Cloud-based printed circuit board (PCB) design software

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(6)

Altium Designer Reviews

Overall rating

4.5

/5

85

Rating criteria

  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8.57/10

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Pros and cons

One of the best tool which is available for the easy of use and good customer support.
I work as a librarian and this program is one of my favorite. It's easy to use and the 3d feature is very nice.
I really like the ability to make files of the PCB to send online PCB manufacturing service. Altium supports 3D view and we can clearly see how to fit PCB on my CAD design.
Nothing is as unstable and poorly implemented in my opinion as Altium. The fact that they charge so much for it just adds to the insult.
The worst thing about Altium Designer software is its high cost compared to some other similar products in the market.
They're not the first company to have this problem.
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85 reviews

Recommended

DK
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Dev K.

Design Engineer

Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing, 1-10 employees

Review source

Overall Rating

Altium Designer Review: Full featured EDA standard

Reviewed 6 days ago

Transcript

Dev: Hi, my name is Dev. I'm a Design Engineer with Studiokumar, and I give Altium Designer a five out...

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Aruna J.

Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing, 201-500 employees

Used weekly for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Professional PCB designing tool

Reviewed 5 years ago

Have lot of features. Since most of the companies use Altium as their main PCB development tool finding footprints for more recent components is very easy. Support industrial standards. Supports cad files and generated cad files are compatible with Solidworks Cad tool.

Pros

Great PCB designing tool with lot of features. Supports custom cad files and foot prints. Online and offline tools available for library conversions for PCB component. Support simulations and complex designs. The best thing is it can generate 3D cad file of the final PCB where it can be used to make the enclosures. More professional and customisable.

Cons

It takes longer time for first start of the application, and consumes lot of processing power. Therefore it discourages simple edits in PCB.

SS
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Stuart S.

Automotive, 51-200 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Great all-round circuit and PCB design package

Reviewed 5 years ago

As part of an electronic design team, Altium is an invaluable tool for cooperatively developing our designs. The robust library and project management features mean it is easy to have multiple engineers working on a design, and have everyone contributing to the company's library of components and templates. We can easily export 3D models of the PCBs for the mechanical team to check against physical constraints and the wide range of design file export formats keeps board houses happy. The ability to import designs and libraries from almost any other PCB package has been very useful and is worth mentioning.

Pros

Creating and editing library components is straightforward and mostly works without error. The library and project management features are very powerful and suited to working in a corporate environment with large libraries. PCB layout editor is excellent with intelligent and relatively intuitive controls and behaviour. The view of the PCB layers can easily be customised to provide the clearest image...

Cons

As a relatively heavyweight piece of software, startup times are slow and file access can be sluggish, especially if working on a network. Many of the default settings are not helpful, for example the connection matrix which determines which combinations of IC pin types on a net will cause an error. The default settings generate dozens of spurious warnings for a moderate-size schematic. The Bill of Materials feature, while useful, can be painful to use as it takes several minutes to generate the component table for a moderately complex design. This must be repeated if a mistake is found and a change must be made to the schematic.

AR
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Verified reviewer

Construction, 201-500 employees

Used monthly for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Altium PCB design

Reviewed 5 years ago

Overall I have been satisfied but I think Altium's old model Protel was much better. I used to use that in 2003 and that was better than today's version.

Pros

Altium has got a huge collection of libraries for PCBs. Almost all the parts which you can buy from Digikey or Mouser, their footprints are present in Altium. I have also been able to customize the footprints to my own needs. Infact, I have made some footprints all from scratch. That is a very powerful feature. Similarly when making the schematic, the 3D model of all the parts is also visible which helps alot in visualizing the part I am gonna use.

Cons

The autorouting in Altium is completely broken. It takes multiple sessions to get completed and most of the time it stop at 90% with tens of vias. Sometimes even with a wire width of 200um and isolation distance of 150um, the autorouter finds it difficult to make a track for SMDs. Therefore, for a PCB with parts more than 200, it becomes almost impossible to make single sided PCB. Though it works OK for double sided PCB.

LG
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Lou G.

Industrial Automation, 51-200 employees

Used weekly for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Altium Designer-It is the best I've used so far.

Reviewed 4 months ago

We recently solved high voltage clearance issues, differential signal routing issues, and 22 layers. Wow!

Pros

Everything works. Most of it is self explanatory, and easy to find. Since I have only been using it for a few years, I've recently had to learn it. Given that I have used three of its competitors, I know a little about these platforms. Altium is far and away the best and most comprehensive.

Cons

I would have to say that the complexity of the software, and its integration with schematics, BOMs, CAD, etc, make it more difficult to learn initially.

gt
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giuseppe t.

Industrial Automation, 501-1,000 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Altium Designer ''Friend''

Reviewed 8 months ago

I started with Protel 99, after I switched to DXP and finally to Altium Designer. The most important value of Altium is the continuous improvement of the feature, tooling menu, visualiazation 3D, multiboard experience.

Pros

Altium is very simple to learn, very performant tool, easy to use and very precise and fast routing. I like the 3D mode, new features added into 3D mode viasualization. Very easy to perform design rules check. Tool is quite stable and crash are very very few. It is good to work with git repository and A365.

Cons

It is appreciated to add a PANEL FOR TESTPOINT management. We use a loto of ICT test point and the information in one side panel in real time is a VERY VERY important and accelerate the design of the boards.

MB
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Maciej B.

Automotive, 51-200 employees

Used daily for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Altium Designer review - PWR Racing Team

Reviewed 10 months ago
Pros

Altium 365 is a very useful feature for development of a variety of projects as well as storage space. Version control is a great way to keep track of the product development.

Cons

Rendering of the PCBs in 3D View would be an awesome feature to make great visualizations of the finished products. PCBs exported to CAD formats lack traces thus resulting in lacking result.

SC
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Stephen C.

Medical Devices, 11-50 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Easy to get into for new users, but with many powerful features to get into as needed

Reviewed 10 months ago

It used to be that Protel/AD was not very well established, so recruitment of experienced people wasn't easy. Now it's pretty much the industry standard, which is great. I look forward to using AD, and actively enjoy using it.

Pros

Integration between schematic and PCB, MCAD integration and 3D, library management and online component data.

Cons

The price! Apart from that there is little that I don't like.

AR
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Verified reviewer

Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing, 201-500 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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PCB layout made less difficult

Reviewed 5 years ago

I use Altium to layout (not simulate) PCB for both prototyping and production. The software does a great job simplifying line and via placement, including it's push features. The rule system is robust if often frustrating and can be very useful helping to catch various board requirements (think differential pair lengths). Overall I find Altium to be very useful and infinitely better than old school layout methods, but it can also be very frustrating with various features broken in updates.

Pros

Altium simplifies PCB layout with a very useful set of features and easy customization of icons and hotkeys.

Cons

Every update (and they come regularly) breaks something new. And once something you used to like finally gets fixed, something new will break. Also, how to add/change polygon pour vertices changes all the time and it drives me nuts.

AB
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Albert B.

Semiconductors, 5,001-10,000 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Altium Designer

Reviewed 8 months ago

I have had a very favorable view of Altium, I would highly recommend it

Pros

It is a great Schematic PCB design tool that lets you generate complex designs with access to a pre-made library so one can start ECAD immediately and is inexpensive

Cons

More Mechanical CAD features, import/export designs from other vendors to translate everything over to Altium

Dp
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Divyani p.

Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing, 51-200 employees

Used daily for 6-12 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Harness Design

Reviewed 10 months ago

its amazing with new version. can open to files and properties and edit the rest accordingly. Also i liked the filter option. which makes it user friendly to select anything they want.

Pros

The new feature of harness design is excellent. exploring more on it right now.

Cons

so far the library is little bit not that friendly or may be I am not that accustom to it much.. well looking forward to attend seminar net month and see what can I explore more..

AB
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Andrea B.

Education Management, 501-1,000 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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The power of Altium

Reviewed a year ago

At our university we offer Altium as a didactic tool for learning PCB development. At a professional level, Altium gives us all the features necessary to create professional PCBs.

Pros

Altium is a professional and complete software. After over 20 years of use I find that compared to many other similar tools, it turns out to be one of the most intuitive and easy to use. All features are at hand.

Cons

One of the advantages of Altium is the well-structured guide that allows you to find what you are looking for quickly. If you have any difficulties, you can contact the support who will answer you in a very short time.

ds
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dave s.

Design, 1-10 employees

Used other for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend6/10

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Easy to Learn Electrical Design Application

Reviewed 4 years ago

Was able to become quickly proficient with the tool and produced complex designs within the first month of use.

Pros

I support electrical designs created on most of the major ECAD platforms and have found Altium among the easiest to become quickly proficient in. Specifically Altium's PCB Design tool is very intuitive and powerful.

Cons

Unlike other vendors Altium sells pre-defined "bundles" of tools rather than allowing users to configure their design environment through selecting individual licenses of available applications. Further, some of the bundled Altium applications are not on par with other vendor's offerings specifically in the areas of simulation, schematic capture, and cam. Product support is poor in comparison to major competitors.

JG
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Janith G.

Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing, self-employed

Used monthly for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Almost Perfect Tool for Industrial PCB Design

Reviewed 4 years ago

As an Electronics Engineering undergraduate, overall design experience with Altium Designer is great. I have used this software to develop many PCBs throughout my academic carrer. Also, it provides more flexible tools for PCB design which helps beginners to learn the software quickly. I recommend Altium designer for anyone who is interested in electronic circuit design.

Pros

Altium designer is the best PCB designer for beginners as the learning process of this software is pretty much straightforward. Both schematic and PCB design interfaces are easy to handle. Component selection and library management are very well organized. PCB routing is simplified with auto routing feature. Different colors are efficiently used to differentiate layers. Double sided designs can be easily developed very quickly. Overall this software is a great tool for PCB designs.

Cons

Altium designer is not at the best level for the designs of multi layer PCBs because multi-layer management is bit tricky in Altium. Also I prefer a better UI design with ribbon style menu than current list style menu UI. More support for 3d preview is also necessary. Other than these overall experience is good.

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Terran G.

Research, 1,001-5,000 employees

Used daily for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Great High end software for PCB design

Reviewed 5 years ago

I think it is the best software package available for PCB design. Highly recommend if it's within budget.

Pros

The amount of features packed into Altium Designer is almost more than imaginable. The software is great for people who know what they are doing.

Cons

The learning curve that comes with Altium is a bit steep. Because of how many features and advanced options in Altium, it would take months, if not years to feel like a master at Altium.

JT
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Jaakko T.

Automotive, 11-50 employees

Used daily for less than 6 months

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Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Impressions after 4 months of using Altium after PADS

Reviewed 8 months ago

It does seem to give more than PADS even that I miss some functions in PADS.

Pros

Components can be imported directly from cloud and internet with loader. It has many configurations to adjust basically everything, but sometimes can be a bit confusing.

Cons

I have not been able to find how to highlight a net, so that it would be visible in both schematics and layout.Also when selecting a component in layout, it does not automatically go to correct schematic page, but I need to browse thru the pages to see, where the selected component is.

EH
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Erik H.

Industrial Automation, 51-200 employees

Used weekly for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Review of Altium Designer

Reviewed 10 months ago

Good, fast and easy to use ones you get the hang of it.

Pros

All the features i need is integrated in the same software which make my work easier.Easy to do nice looking designs.

Cons

A bit of a threshold to get over when first starting to use it.

BO
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Burger O.

Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing, 11-50 employees

Used daily for less than 6 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Strike, user

Reviewed a year ago

Great software!

Pros

The attention to detail and also the amount of help available.

Cons

The pricing, cheaper personal licenses would be great. Especially in countries such as South Africa, with currencies much weaker than the dollar.

JB
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Joseph B.

Design, 11-50 employees

Used daily for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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I like it

Reviewed 3 years ago
Pros

I work as a librarian and this program is one of my favorite. It's easy to use and the 3d feature is very nice.

Cons

For a big design with the 3d model it can take a lot of computer power.

ME
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Mike E.

Aviation & Aerospace, 11-50 employees

Used daily for less than 6 months

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  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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Powerful, but very buggy.

Reviewed 3 years ago

I loathe it. I have been working in PCB design for many tens of years. I have used everything from top end packages down to text based systems. Nothing is as unstable and poorly implemented in my opinion as Altium. The fact that they charge so much for it just adds to the insult.

Pros

The routing tools and placement during layout are very, very good.

Cons

It seems unfinished - it's buggy - mine crashes every single day. It's very slow. An example - with a single schematic and a single layout open, clicking the tab to switch between them can take up to 20 seconds to change over. Not opening a new page, switching between two already open pages.

bw
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barry w.

Design, 1,001-5,000 employees

Used weekly for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Altium Designer

Reviewed 5 years ago

Generally very positive, easy to use for mid level designs and good price.

Pros

Ease of use. Can get started with very little training. Good price for features available.

Cons

There are too many ways of completing the same task. Collaboration (multiple engineers on the same design) is poorly defined and prone to lost data.

AR
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Verified reviewer

Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing, 11-50 employees

Used daily for less than 6 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Very connected

Reviewed a year ago
Pros

When adding component, often, footprint and schematic can be downloaded automatically from the web. The version management is nice, and I appreciate warnings that prevents to do things that may cause trouble (for instance when renaming a component before having saved the modification).

Cons

I didn't found it easy to add component's footprint and schematic, from external lib file. (Import with snap Eda, and automatic download from the web are fine).

PP
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Pruthav P.

Automotive, 11-50 employees

Used weekly for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Altium Review

Reviewed a year ago
Pros

I like the easy accessibility with different parts to create circuits. It is easy to find the part you want.

Cons

It is difficult to navigate to the actual page the circuit I am working on is. Some UI changes could help with this.

KA
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Khairul A.

Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing, self-employed

Used daily for less than 6 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Easy to use and share

Reviewed a year ago

This software is very friendly and suitable for industrial level PCB design. All tools are available.

Pros

365 cloud platform. Hierarchical Schematics and Harness option.

Cons

There is no option available for Microcontroller simulation.

MF
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Mohammad F.

Information Technology and Services, 1-10 employees

Used monthly for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Altium Designer

Reviewed 2 years ago

Altium made my work easier and I have learnt a lot of ways and about features that can ease the work.

Pros

Huge range of features, manage multiple projects at once, supports various plugins.

Cons

Heavy usage of processor, require good graphics

AR
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Verified reviewer

Medical Devices, 11-50 employees

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend3/10

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Feature full PCB workhorse

Reviewed 4 years ago

I do not like using Altium, but I do believe it is a good program for profession schematic and PCB design. I would recommend it to somebody in a professional electronics environment at a large scale company.

Pros

Altium is a very powerful schematic and PCB layout software. It is full of features to help make your designs more professional and really, just better designs period.

Cons

I least like how non-intuitive it is to use. There are so many features that it is hard to do basic things. The parts library interface is difficult to understand.