When faced with the "Restart your computer to finish installing important updates" Windows pop-up, I think it's universal to click on the Postpone button. "I'll get to it later," you think to yourself, but sooner or later it's been days and that pesky reminder is still haunting you. Most of us do it; I'll personally admit to having gone weeks before finally taking 5 minutes to reboot. 5 minutes that would have saved me quite a bit of frustration and let Mike, our IT guy, sleep easier at night.
In an effort to change my habits (and possibly yours too), I'm going to tell you two Revit stories that show why regular software updates are so important and the good stuff you get when you take the time to update your software.
Story #1 - A Case of Better Performance
The Revit team runs thousands of nightly performance checks. Every day we have an accurate measure of how Revit is performing compared to the day before and compared to previous releases. Our goal - make Revit faster every day.
So imagine our extreme disappointment when one morning Revit view update is suddenly a whole bunch slower. The usual suspect: a component integration. Or is it? We can't reproduce the degradation on some computers. I'm thinking: now it's going to be difficult... Then someone suggests something - have we tried updating the graphics card driver? Somewhat to our surprise, it works! The updated component interacted badly with the outdated driver on the machines. By updating the driver, not only did we gain back all of the performance degradation from the component integration, but we crushed the Revit 2015 numbers. Here are the improvements we saw (thanks to Scott Blouin for the numbers):
Food for thought: Revit doesn't work in isolation - other software has bugs too. 30%+ faster performance may be just a driver upgrade away.
Story #2 - A Case for Greater Stability
Anthony explained MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) in a previous post. I'd like to use some MTBF numbers as a data point to show why updating to the latest update release of Revit might keep you happier.
Update Releases (URs) contain critical bug fixes to the Revit software. This includes things like security patches, functionality fixes, and especially crash fixes. Each UR makes the software safer and more stable and the Revit team highly recommends installing the latest update. Each UR includes a list of fixed issues. If you're curious, here's the list for 2015 UR7. Code word for crash fix is "Improves stability."
When broken down for each update release, the Revit 2015 MBTF numbers below show a clear trend. Note: a couple of URs are not in this chart due to low adoption.
Revit 2015 UR3+ is approximately two times as stable as the originally released version of 2015. That means that users on UR3+ crash approximately half as often. That's a lot of work saved.
It's still early for UR5+, but we expect to see numbers that are consistently higher than UR3 as adoption grows.
Food for thought: Revit URs are designed to fix critical bugs and improve stability. MTBF is just one measure of how much impact they can have.
We'll keep making Revit faster and more stable, but in the meantime, happy updating!