Q1

What is the minimum PC specification for running the Proteus software?

Performance in the Proteus software is generally scaleable according to your machine specification. However, the following might be considered the minimum requirements (correct as of Autumn 2017).

3GHz or faster Intel processor (AMD processors fine but less optimised). Graphics card supporting OpenGL Version 2.0 or higher and/or Direct 3D and multi-sampling (MSAA). 8GB RAM (recommended 16GB or more). Microsoft Windows 7 or later (recommended Microsoft Windows 10 64 bit).

In particular; note that if your graphics card does not satisfy the above requirements the software will run in Windows GDI mode. This means that display of the screen is handled by Windows and not your graphics hardware and therefore that some features of the software will not be available and the performance could be adversely affected. As a general rule, discrete graphics cards such as those from AMD (ATI) and NVIDIA will satisfy these requirements whilst chipset graphics such as those supplied by Intel will not.

Q2

What post-sales technical support do I get?

Post-sales support is available free for the life of the product, initially through your sales partner/distributor but also direct from head office if required. No additional charge applies for telephone support at head office in the UK or our North American office, although with project difficulties we may well require the file(s) causing the problem. As we are the sole authors of the software we are confident that you will find us both helpful and knowledgeable about our subject.

Please be aware that while we will try to help with problems for older versions of the software there is an effective end of life and the level of support available will drop as the software becomes more dated.

Q3

Is a printed manual supplied with Proteus VSM Professional/Proteus PCB Design Professional?

A Getting Started Guide can be supplied (at extra cost outside of the UK). E-commerce orders are electronic delivery and the documentation is provided as help files within the downloaded application. Context sensitive help and detailed online help is also included with all the Professional products.

Q4

Is there a recognised upgrade path for the Professional versions of the software?

Yes, all upgrades are charged at the price difference between your existing package and that to which you want to upgrade. The sole proviso is that you must be current with the last major release of our software. If this is not the case you will have to pay an upgrade charge to the current version and then the price difference between levels as normal.

Q5

Will your software produce files that I can send to a PCB manufacturer?

Yes. All versions of Proteus PCB Design Professional can produce Gerber photoplot and Excellon drill files which are the industry standard way of doing this. Output is available in both the older Extended Gerber (274X) and in the newer Gerber X2 formats. The PCB design software also includes a Gerber Viewer which enables you to verify that the Gerber artwork is correct before sending it off for manufacture and ODB++ output is also an output option for users of PCB Level 2 and higher.

Q6

Will your software produce files that I can import into a MCAD package like Solidworks ?

Yes. Customers with Proteus PCB Design Level 2 or higher have access to the 3D Viewer. You can then both import STEP/IGES component models for viewing in Proteus and export the STEP assembly for import into your MCAD tool of choice.
The IDF wireframe export option and the older STL format are also available.

Q7

What is your policy on updates and upgrades?

The term update implies bug fixes and minor enhancements of the software and is usually signified by a change in the minor version number of the software (e.g. 8.3 to 8.3 SP1 etc.). The term upgrade implies new releases of the software that provide improved functionality, new features or support for new operating systems and is signified in by a change in the major version number of the software (for example 8.3 to 8.4).

Updates to the current release of the software are uploaded to the website and are freely available for download to all customers who have a valid Update Service Contract.

Upgrades to the software will be uploaded to the website at Beta launch. Users with a valid Update Service Contract (USC) are free to download it at this time. On official release of an upgrade all customers who have a valid USC can download the files via the integrated Update Manager. A physical system CD may be available on request from your local sales channel.

Customers who do not have a valid USC or whose contract has expired will have to reactivate their contract in order to install and use software that were released subsequent to the expiry of their USC. Such customers can use the software they currently have indefinitely but will not be entitled to avail themselves of features and maintenance issues resolved in new releases.

Please note; that, like most companies, our support for older versions of our software is limited.

Q8

Can I buy multiple licences and do I get a discount?

Yes. Having bought a licence for one copy of the Professional software, additional licences for software at the same or lower feature level attract a 30% (Thirty percent) discount. For example, having bought a Proteus PCB Design System at Level 2 you can then buy additional copies Proteus PCB Design System at Level 2, Level 1+ or Level 1 with a discount of 30% on their list prices. The additional copies are identical to the original and include CDs and manuals.
Multi-user educational pricing is separate; please contact us for a quotation.

Q9

How extensive are your libraries and can I create my own parts?

Proteus includes a comprehensive set (over 10000 parts) of schematic devices and PCB packages with the same libraries included at all levels of the software. The schematic libraries include TTL, CMOS, memory, analogue and microprocessor devices, whilst the PCB libraries include a footprints for a wide range of standard packages together with a full implementation of the IPC-7351 (and the older IPC-SM-782) footprint libraries.

All our software packages support creation of new schematic devices and symbols and new PCB packages and symbols. The Proteus capture module provides the means to create not only new schematic devices but also your own pin types, port types and terminals, allowing you complete flexibility in the appearance of new components. ARES supports an unlimited number of pad styles based on the built-in shapes. Both products support creation of new objects directly on the schematic or PCB with no need to exit the package or start a separate program. This allows you to create new devices, packages, etc. by decomposing and recomposing existing objects on the fly as you need them.

We also support semi-automatic import of schematic components via the BSDL file format and semi-automatic import of PCB footprints via the PADS ASCII format and the PCB Library Expert tool. Tutorial movies are available for both BSDL file import and PADS ASCII import.

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