Mac Book Pro for Industrial Design needs?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by McNabbDesign, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. McNabbDesign macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2011
    I am planning to purchase a Mac book Pro. I will use this computer for CAD design primarily. I am looking for advice, pros and cons for this decision.

    Should I run AutoCAD 2012 for MAC? what are the alternative software options for mac?
    or should i use a windows based 3d modeling software through paralells/cootcamp?

    are there any hardware upgrades that can make this computer more suitable for my intended use?

    i don't know very much about partitioning, native vs. virtualization, etc.

    Can someone help me build a technical strategy for succesfully using a new macbook pro for running various CAD software?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Any MBP model with 4-8GB of RAM will easily handle AutoCAD for Mac, which is your best choice.
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    What software will you be using? Are you working for a company or are you studying?

    Give us a bit more info, there isn't much I can help you with with so little.
  4. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
    No CAD work on my end, but I agree with GGJstudios. I would suggest purchasing a model with 4GB and installing the 8GB yourself to save yourself some good change (does NOT void warranty, easy to do). Again I don't know how CPU/GPU intensive any of the current software offerings are, but the 2.3 that I have is the most significantly powered MBP or PowerBook I have had to date. The i7 processor along with the GPU runs warmer than my previous MBP, but it fits my need well for processing photographs which in the past could be rather cumbersome with the older machines.

    As far as running in Windows, I do that regularly through Boot Camp and find that to be better than Parallels, etc for my needs. Running Win7 is rather responsive and is certainly an alternative I suppose should you find the Mac CAD offerings not quite up to snuff.

    Good Luck.

    Pretty sure he's supplied the sufficient info.
  5. BigJohno macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2007
    San Francisco
    Hello, Im an in the industrial design field and might be able to help. I currently use an 2009 i7 27" iMac with 16 gigs of ram. I also do lots of CAD work and use Rhino 3d, auto cad, Illustrator, Photoshop, sketchbook pro and I can tell you I don't run into any performance issues. The current top of the line Macbook pro is faster than my iMac. The only program that requires windows is Rhino and Solidworks. Everything else I can run on the mac.

    Some would say that running bootcamp is better. I actually run most of the programs in Parallels. I find it a hassle to shut down and restart all the time. For rendering in rhino I use vray and parallels sees all 8 cores so it takes the same amount of time as bootcamp.

    Hope this helps..
  6. McNabbDesign thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2011
    Thanks for your advice...

    I will be primarily using AutoCAD 2012 and the Adobe Creaive Suite 5. But I would like to run 3dsMax, and some of the other windows based 3d modeling software.

    in terms of what I will be using my MBP for, what do I need to know about partitioning my hard drive for running bootcamp/parallels?

    My wife runs an 27" iMac i5, I have a 2008 MBP, iPad 2, and two iphone 4's. WE are definitely a Mac family. Regardless, my new MBP will be strictly for business.

    Also, I see that NOW is not exactly the best time to be buying a MBP. When should I expect to see the next generation?
  7. Spadoinkles macrumors regular

    May 5, 2011
    We're all expecting a minor update to the current Macbook pro line. Initially pinpointed for this or next week. If you're more or less decided to buy, but are slightly flexible, I'd wait out for this one, like I am.

    First half of next year, though no one's really sure yet, there'll be the release of Ivy Bridge - to my knowledge, the main gains from that would be battery life (Remember Apple's threat to Intel if they didn't lower consumption?) and the performance of the integrated graphics. The current Macbook Pros are truly stunning as is (My friend's brand new Asus G73 has less life than my Late06 whitebook when put under a normal web/mail/light photoshop task).

    Reason why I'm buying this refresh is mainly because my computing needs FAR exceed my dying whitebook, Haswell is looking to be much better than Ivy (Hence this would easily last me through) and I'm always skeptical of new breeds of technology; in this case the 3-D transistor.

    Join in the waiting game as you wish.
  8. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    If you know how to follow on screen instructions, then you know how to partition your drive to run bootcamp, it really isn't rocket science.

    For CAD work, the better the graphics card and the more RAM you have, the better.

    For rendering, finite element analysis and the likes, the fastest processor wins.

    So I recommend getting the very best you can afford.
  9. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
    fwiw, rhino runs on macs too.. it's still in beta and certain things are still missing from mac (mainly no plugins yet though grasshopper should be coming soon.. paneling tools has been ported over a while ago)

    probably another year or so before it's finished but until then, it's free to use on mac.

    that's not necessarily accurate.. for most cad apps, the processor is where you'll see the most significant changes in performance.. they generally only run on a single core so the faster clock speed per core, the better..

    rendering apps can divvy up the calculations across cores so basically, the more cores -- the better..
  10. Blondie :) macrumors 6502a

    Blondie :)

    May 12, 2010
    Prescott, AZ
    I am currently a student, and I use AutoCAD 2011 for Mac on my 2011 MBP 13". In the beginning, it honestly didn't work all that well. However, a few patches later and we're running quite smoothly. As far as what you're looking to run, the computer you're looking at will do exactly what you need.

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