Altium Designer® vs. EAGLE®
The Ultimate Comparison Guide

Compare Altium Designer® vs. Autodesk EAGLE®

Close All Details Expand All Details
alt-logo-10.svg

Provides the most advanced PCB tools required by large teams and experienced professionals, yet still intuitive to new designers and students.

eagle-logo-1.svg

Simpler toolset makes EAGLE a good starter program for new engineers. Useful in small design firms and startups.  Learn more

Key Features

Hierarchical schematic capture with integrated SPICE simulation

Supported in Altium Designer
Supported in

PCB editor with basic CAD tools and routing utilities

Supported in Altium Designer
Supported in

Built-in 3D design features with STEP model support

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Intuitive interface for manufacturing output creation

Supported in Altium Designer
Supported in

Built-in libraries with basic components and distributor links

Supported in Altium Designer
Supported in

Support for multi-board systems and assemblies

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Realistic layer stacks employ 3D field solver for accurate impedances

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Advanced interactive routing features with built-in signal integrity tools

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Fabrication and assembly drawing generation tools

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Component management and BOM creation features with real-time supply chain data

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Ability to collaborate with other users in a secure cloud platform

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

100% backwards compatible with files from all previous releases

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

100% forwards compatible with future product releases

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Software updates

Monthly 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

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Collaborate with mechanical teams with the MCAD CoDesigner extension

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Multiple exporter utilities that support other CAD file formats

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Convert old projects from other applications with multiple importers

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Board Size & Layer Limits

Board Size

100 in. by 100 in.

Up to 4 m2

Schematic Sheets

Unlimited

999

Signal and Plane Layers

32 signal + 16 plane + unlimited mechanical

16 signal layers, no dedicated planes layers, 52 total layers

Business Opportunities

Unified design environment with all features in a single program

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Ideal for new designers

Supported in Altium Designer
Supported in

Ideal for experienced designers

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Job Offerings

per Glassdoor Nov. 2021

395 Jobs

14 Jobs

Average Base Pay of Users

per Glassdoor Nov. 2021

$64,307 per year
($40k - $104k)

Not enough data

Ideal for service bureaus

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Ideal for start-ups

Supported in Altium Designer
Supported in

Ideal for enterprises that need collaboration and integration

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Supported Platforms

Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition (64-bit)

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Windows Server 2012 R2 (64-bit)

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Windows 10 (64-bit)

Supported in Altium Designer
Supported in

Windows 8 (64-bit)

Supported in Altium Designer
Supported in

Windows 7 or newer

Supported in Altium Designer
Supported in

OS X Yosemite (10.10.x)

Not Available in Altium Designer
Supported in

El Capitan (10.11.x)

Not Available in Altium Designer
Supported in

MacOS Sierra (10.12)

Not Available in Altium Designer
Supported in

Linux

Not Available in Altium Designer
Supported in

System Requirements

CPU

Intel® Core i5 processor or equivalent

64-bit processor

RAM

4 GB RAM

3 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)

Video Memory

3 GB DDR4/DDR5 Video Memory

Not Available in

Disk Memory

12 GB disk space recommended

At least 650MB disk space

Screen Resolution

Minimum 1600x1200

Minimum 1024x768

Other

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

Pricing

Price

Starting at $325 /month

Starting at $347 /year

Time-based subscription

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Perpetual license option

Supported in Altium Designer
Not Available in

Multiple subscription options

Supported in Altium Designer
Supported in

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

About Altium

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.

Leader badge high-performer-bw Momentum Leader best-pcb-software

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.

Unleash Your Design Potential

Level up with Altium Designer®

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.

Try Altium Designer Today!

#1 in Electronics Design