Mac Book Pro for Autocad


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 26, 2017

I currently have a:

MacBook Air (13 in, Early 2014),

1.4 GHz Intel Core i5

4G RAM 1600 MHz DDR3

Intel HD Graphics 5000 1536 MB

Few softwares are installed such as Autocad, Sketchup, Photoshop, Illustrator, and some minor applications. I'm having issues when using Autocad and sometimes Sketchup, even though the file I'm working on is not that big (I use Autocad for small event floorplans only. And Sketchup for modeling small interior). Obviously it's because of my system specs. Now I want to buy a new one but want to make sure that the problem won't occur again. I have to options that suite my budget. Can you please help me decide. And also is this a smart choice or should I buy Windows instead? I really prefer Apple.

I am planning to buy:


2.8GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz

16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory

256GB SSD storage

Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB memory



3.5GHz dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz

16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory

256GB SSD storage

Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650

Hope you can help!



Bending Pixels

macrumors 65816
Jul 22, 2010
Either should work - the advantage of the 15" is that it has a separate dedicated graphics processor, so PS, etc. should run a bit faster as many photo/illustrator apps offload work to a GPU.


macrumors 6502
May 31, 2009
I'm using the AMD460 15" 2016, also doing auto cad, sketch up and mostly drawing apps. All ok.

Would suggest you go for 15" which might last you few more years in the future than compare to the 13" because of the intel gpu and lower spec.


macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2016
AutoCAD sucks on Mac, always has. You should consider Windows or bootcamp for it, or look at alternatives such as Vectorworks. These work much better in MacOS.

I use AutoCAD/3DS Max in Windows. And Vectorworks/Cinema4D on MacOS. SketchUp seems better on Windows but it's a limited programme anyway so doesn't matter, KeyShot seems to work on either too just fine.

For your use the 13" is ample, the iGPU is sufficient for PS and you wouldn't see any noticeable difference by using a dGPU. Dual core is more than enough for AutoCAD as I don't think it's capable of using more than 1 core anyway, at least has no multi-threading, so a quad core is a complete waste for it.

Get the 15" only if you prefer the screen size. But do consider a decent Windows machine as an alternative if you must use AutoCAD.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 5, 2015
I work with SolidWorks professionally which should be fairly similar to AutoCAD. I have never used AutoCAD so this is only based on my understanding. However, a dual-core processor with integrated graphics is more than enough for even somewhat advanced CAD files. So I think you should ask yourself whether you prefer more power or better portability. Both machines will suit your needs just fine in my opinion :)
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