Compare Altium Designer® vs. Autodesk EAGLE®
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Provides the most advanced PCB tools required by large teams and experienced professionals, yet still intuitive to new designers and students.
Hierarchical schematic capture with integrated SPICE simulation
PCB editor with basic CAD tools and routing utilities
Built-in 3D design features with STEP model support
Intuitive interface for manufacturing output creation
Built-in libraries with basic components and distributor links
Support for multi-board systems and assemblies
Realistic layer stacks employ 3D field solver for accurate impedances
Advanced interactive routing features with built-in signal integrity tools
Fabrication and assembly drawing generation tools
Component management and BOM creation features with real-time supply chain data
Ability to collaborate with other users in a secure cloud platform
100% backwards compatible with files from all previous releases
100% forwards compatible with future product releases
(active since 2000,
formerly Protel 1985-2000)
Last Release May 2020
(active since 1988)
Integration with Other Design Tools
Export design data for use in Ansys field solvers
Collaborate with mechanical teams with the MCAD CoDesigner extension
Multiple exporter utilities that support other CAD file formats
Convert old projects from other applications with multiple importers
Board Size & Layer Limits
100 in. by 100 in.
Up to 4 m2
Signal and Plane Layers
32 signal + 16 plane + unlimited mechanical
16 signal layers, no dedicated planes layers, 52 total layers
Unified design environment with all features in a single program
Ideal for new designers
Ideal for experienced designers
per Glassdoor Nov. 2021
Average Base Pay of Users
per Glassdoor Nov. 2021
$64,307 per year
($40k - $104k)
Not enough data
Ideal for service bureaus
Ideal for start-ups
Ideal for enterprises that need collaboration and integration
Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition (64-bit)
Windows Server 2012 R2 (64-bit)
Windows 10 (64-bit)
Windows 8 (64-bit)
Windows 7 or newer
OS X Yosemite (10.10.x)
El Capitan (10.11.x)
MacOS Sierra (10.12)
Intel® Core i5 processor or equivalent
4 GB RAM
3 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
3 GB DDR4/DDR5 Video Memory
12 GB disk space recommended
At least 650MB disk space
Microsoft Excel required for BOM,
Microsoft Access required for DbLibs
Linux users: 64 bit version requires libc.so.6 with subversion GLIBC_2.14 or higher
Starting at $325 /month
Starting at $347 /year
Perpetual license option
Multiple subscription options
Altium Has Been Enabling Engineers
To Unify Their Design Environment Since 1985
- Unify your entire PCB design environment via one platform
- Interact and collaborate with mechanical designers like never before
- Enjoy the #1 PCB design solution in the world
- Route it your way, faster than ever
- Altium Designer includes all the critical design features hobbyists and professional designers need.
- It’s easy to convert projects from other software into Altium’s file format.
- Altium Designer sees the highest demand by employers and industry leaders.
- A complete toolset helps users take products from concept to high-volume production.
- Altium’s design features are the most intuitive and easiest-to-use.
- Individual engineers and large enterprises look to Altium to help them stay at the cutting edge of technology.
Trusted by over 20,000 companies, including
Since 1985, we have been developing, creating and selling award-winning electronic design tools (software and hardware) that help electronics designers harness the latest devices and technologies, manage their projects across broad design ‘ecosystems’, and create connected, intelligent designs.
Which is better: Altium Designer or Eagle?
There are many reasons Altium Designer is a better choice than Autodesk Eagle. Altium Designer’s integrated set of PCB design and layout features is ideal for electronics engineers and PCB designers of any experience level. Some of the most important features that help Altium Designer rise above EAGLE in comparisons are found in the powerful routing, layout, and signal integrity tools:
- Altium Designer’s PCB layout features are easier to use than EAGLE’s layout and CAD utilities
- Auto-interactive routing features in Altium Designer keep users more productive than Eagle users
- Altium users can access real-time supply chain data for components, while EAGLE users must manually create and update component databases
- High-quality PCB fabrication and assembly drawings are easier to generate in Altium Designer vs. Autodesk Eagle thanks to Altium Designer’s built-in Draftsman utility
- Altium Designer users can more easily automate many design reuse tasks using templates, reusable circuit blocks, and project management features
- Altium’s Layer Stack Manager provides highly accurate real-time solver-based impedance calculations using a built-in Finite Element Analysis engine, while EAGLE users have to use an external program
Underneath the design features in Altium Designer is a design rules engine that unifies all of Altium’s PCB design, layout, and trace routing features into a single program. Unlike Autodesk’s Eagle users, Altium Designer users have everything needed to take an advanced design from concept to PCB fabrication for an assembled electronics product.
Switching from Eagle to Altium Designer?
Switching to Altium Designer from Eagle might seem like a huge leap. If you're an existing EAGLE user, it's easy to make the switch and start designing from Day 1. Altium Designer includes conversion tools for importing your old libraries and projects into Altium’s file format with minimal effort. All Altium Designer users can take advantage of free online resources to learn more about Altium's leading-edge design tools, basic principles, advanced techniques, new capabilities, and everything in-between. Don’t fear the unknown; Altium is the only solution built by PCB designers for PCB designers.
* Autodesk EAGLE® and EAGLE® are registered trademarks owned by Autodesk Inc.
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#1 in Electronics Design