CAD Software Performance on MBP Late 2016

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by aryanghomashi, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. aryanghomashi macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2017
    Could someone who owns the new MacBook Pro 15" (with AMD Radeon Pro 450, 455 or 460) and who uses CAD software like Siemens NX, Solidworks or Solid Edge share his or her experience? I am curious about the performance especially the performance of those programs on Windows via Bootcamp.

    Thanks in advance
  2. jpma macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2009
    I've only used autocad on Mac, so far so good.

    Personally, I think it should be able to handle most software fairly well.

    I'm using the one with 460 btw.
  3. hajime macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    SolidWorks on MacBook Pro 2010 17" is pretty good. On rMBP 2014 15", it is even better. The new one should not have any problem. You do need to find a way to make RealView works.
  4. Fancuku macrumors 6502a


    Oct 8, 2015
    PA, USA
    I don't have a 2016 but had the mid 2014 with the GT 750M and it handled Solidworks 2016, Mastercam 9 and Aurtodesk Inventor 2016 with ease even when driving an external 4k monitor. The 2016 has an even better video card so CAD should be a piece of cake.
  5. ChrisKra macrumors newbie


    Mar 1, 2017
    here, using a 2010 15" i7 and Nemetschek Allplan 2013, Autocad 2012 and Cinema4d R11 without any problem on Bootcamp W7.

    With the new MBPs there shouldn't be any struggle
  6. aryanghomashi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2017
    Thanks for your help. I was wondering whether the Bootcamp partition is able to use i.e. the Radeon Pro 460 with its full potential. I work with big CAD assembly files in Solid Edge and Siemens NX, both are only for Windows and not macOS optimized (like AutoCad).
  7. bentom13 macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2014
    I have the base 15" 2016 MBP. I use AutoCAD on windows using bootcamp. The performance is brilliant but the battery is awful - 3 hours max running AutoCAD in Windows.
  8. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    I work with CAD on the daily, be it Solid Edge, SolidWorks, Inventor, AutoCAD. Honestly I'd personally steer you away from a Mac.

    You're likely to overpay for a machine that won't perform any better (and more likely worse) than a Windows Machine.

    Also, I find the bootcamp experience somewhat lacking. That feature almost seems added as an afterthought simply because Apple switched to Intel. Drivers are often old and buggy, and a lot of issues in CAD software can be traced back to poor hardware drivers.

    And honestly, I hate doing CAD on a small screen, 15" is barely cutting it, no matter the resolution.

    Unless portability is extremely important to you, I'd consider a 17" + machine from another vendor with a Quadro graphics card and upgrade-able RAM.
  9. ChinkyBob macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    Personally, i disagree.

    The Macbook Pros under bootcamp work exellent with Autodesk packages, and the advantage is that you have a very fast ssd which will really benefit these packages, and a perfect Autocad friendly qHD resolution. Almost every windows laptop will have either full hd which i find somewhat restricting, or 4k resolution which leaves icons just too small to work with, and scaling up to 150% or whatever is a joke and problematic.
    You can save money buying a windows computer if its a cheap laptop. You can spend a lot more if u buy a workstation laptop, but these arent as good in my opinion, and i have used a few.
    Whatever you buy, ensure it has a decent panel, my preference being strongly qhd. Ensure it has plenty of ram, i recommmend 16gb. Ensure it has a really fast ssd as this will really make a difference day to day. Ensure it has external AMD or Nvidia graphics with 2gb ddr5 vram, this makes a difference with larger software and file sizes. For regular autocad simple intel inbuilt graphics is more than fast enough.
    I strongly recommend quad core processor.
    Note that Autocad is a single threaded app so u could use dual core and not notice a difference in performance directly, but indirectly there are benfits to quad core over dual. But if u travel a lot or take laptop home with you every day on public transport, a smaller dual core may be better.
    Also note that Autocad and Revit have switched to direct x gaming cards now and the 500euro extra for quaddro or Amd versions which have NO benefit to these packages makes no sense, but if u use solidworks or software that does use the professional cards then windows laptop with these built in adaptors are the way to go. But will cost a lot though, about the same as an Apple MBP.
    It depends on your applications as much as anything.
    But if your heart is set on a macbook pro, just get it it. You wont regret it.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 13, 2017 ---
    Sorry for the long post. But last thing to add, on my laptop i have bootcamp set up with windows as my work laptop, and mac os as my personal laptop.
  10. ChinkyBob macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    Thats terrible. Autocad is only single threaded so should be quite light.
    I get 5 hours on my out of date Macbook Air 13 from 2011. Btw the battery is half dead and I still get that.
    If you are using it for just 2d cad and not heavy 3d applications, I would look at using the intel graphics instead, tht would double your battery life.
    You can do that in the bios.
  11. richinaus macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2014
    I personally sort of disagree and agree with you :)

    If I was primarily running windows based Autodesk apps I would 100% be buying a PC. They run quite badly on a Mac in comparison even in bootcamp. If say 20 - 30% of the time, then a Mac is a good buy. Really it depends on amount of use within bootcamp. I am not experienced with solid works but could imagine a similar experience to Revit.

    Revit is no way as smooth as it should be, which I put down to the video cards in Macs, not being Nvidia. I am not saying its not ok, but certainly not as fluid experience as it could be.

    I use Fusion 360 and Autocad within MacOS on a maxed out 2017 iMac and Revit in Bootcamp. It is a far better experience within MacOS. Have lived the MBP experience and not again thanks [fans, speed etc]
    I am expecting to be using Revit more shortly and if that is the case, will get a PC for that [probably Dell XPS 15" or similar]. No more fans blasting, and as noted above bad battery life [as the video card is on permanently].

    So as said above, yes depends on applications as much as anything. Autocad + fusion 360 are fine, Revit not so much, and can't comment on Solidworks.

    Just buy one [maxed out], stick bootcamp on it [download windows from MS site] and see how it goes. I did this, and it was pretty clear I needed something more than the current machines, but for you it may work fine.
  12. ChinkyBob, Sep 4, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017

    ChinkyBob macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    Hi. Thanks for the reply.
    If it is a Laptop purely for work purposes, then 100% I agree, a PC laptop Workstation would be a better choice, but I always prefer qHD to full HD and prefer 17 to 15 inch, but as there are no 17 qHD Laptops available i would pick the 15 inch qHD over 17 full HD. So for that reason, and the fast Ram and superfast SSD (which believe me really makes a difference) I would recommend a Macbook pro. The fact that it is half the wieght of a similar PC workstation is just a bonus.
    A Windows Workstation Laptop is likely to run much cooler over sustained periods which you mention which is a very valid point.
    But a windows laptop like this is likely to cost similar or more than a full specced 15inch Macbook pro.
    If its a personal laptop, for both personal and occasional working at home scenario (and im guessing that it is in this case from the original post), or if its only for Autocad 90% of the time, I think a Macbook Pro is fine and actually preferable due to superfast ssd and well intergrated system.
    But yes, if it is to run a solidwork and Revit and other 3d heavy software, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, then yes a profession windows workstation with better cooling abilities (despite the extra weight) is preferable. Note it may cost more that the MBP though.
    I recommend Macbook Pros mostly becuase they tend to be good value second hand and usually in pristine condition.
    Cheers :)

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