I have very little experience with PCB CAD programs. I once used KiCAD for a simple circuit. Couple of days ago I tried OrCAD's free lite version PCB editor, but it was crashing a lot. So to compare I decided to try Altium for trial period and try it. I like LTspice but I also want a professional PCB program which can also simulate well before PCB routing. So I wanted to check out OrCad and Altium.

After playing a bit with Altium I noticed that it has a built in library which is called "Miscellaneous Devices.IntLib". In this library, as BJT models only 2N3904, 2N3904 and a generic one exists. Similarly only one MOSFET model. And for example if I want to use LM324 it doesn't exist. If you choose opamp it will be AD645A.

There is a window when you double click for a component as below:

enter image description here It seems to me one has to find the SIM model for a component which is not in default library each time and modify it.

In OrCAD on the other hand I could see a huge built-in components library. If I look for lets say BC547B it is there or LM324 it is there or any voltage regulator...

Am I doing something wrong or is Altium's component library really very very limited and we have to do the work for each component? If so this is horrible for such an expensive software, I don't understand why it is too limited. Does anybody have experience with using Altium as simulation software and experience the same problem?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you check Altium's website? There are a bunch of library packs ready to download. Yet I'm not sure about if they contain sim models as well. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 9, 2017 at 15:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes they have libraries but those libraries includes parts' footprints and not SIM implementation. For example I downloaded this one: github.com/issus/altium-library I found LM321. But guess what? When I tried to simulate I found out they have LM321 in this library without SPICE model. Such a useless crap software. Burglary... \$\endgroup\$
    – user1999
    Oct 9, 2017 at 15:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ They advertise this crap as if it is the best but they didn't even put some basic opamps' SPICE models. Shame on them! \$\endgroup\$
    – user1999
    Oct 9, 2017 at 15:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Stupid software takes almost 3GB space and yet has only three opmap models bulit in. After paying a fortune they expect you to patch their stupid software spending three hours for each component. I will not fall in to this trap. I hope they go bankrupt soon \$\endgroup\$
    – user1999
    Oct 9, 2017 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


Altium's focus is not on simulation, but on PCB design, so the simulation library is quite limited out-of-the-box. I have never used Altium for simulation. I generally use a separate simulator (usually LTSpice) to simulate my designs before designing the PCB. It's not a one-stop shop but it gets me through. If you're really set on a combination simulation & PCB design program you might consider Proteus ISIS/ARES.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 9, 2017 at 20:52

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