Mac Mini for sketchup

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by chedda, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. chedda macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I need a low cost machine just for modeling in sketchup, apart from the lion issues with sketchup is it worth going for the discrete graphics ? Does anyone here use a mini with sketchup ? Previously i heard the integrated graphics solution was a problem but i recently heard that the lion update fixed this. Part of me wants the server version just in case in the future i can add it to my mac pro as a render node for maxwell.

    So does anyone here use sketchup 8 pro on a mac mini what are your findings ?
     
  2. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #2
    don't bother trying to do 3D on integrated graphics.
     
  3. chedda thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    cheers

    As i suspected thanks mate i'll get either the 2.5 i5 or the i7 with the amd graphics card.
     
  4. pstoehr macrumors member

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    #4
    Hi,
    that totally depends on your needs.
    I'm currently working with a MBA 2009 (1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GByte RAM, NVidia GeForece 9400M). Using SketchUp Version 8.0.4810 I have no problem to load, display and interact in the SaintPeter's scene.
    From my point of view, the Mac Mini Server will be fast enough for most 3D models in Sketchup.

    Just my 2 EuroCents
    Peter
     
  5. chedda thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Interesting

    I don't really understand the benefits of built in graphics if there are any, only that they can access the main memory.I had heard the 9400m was particulary bad with sketchup and that the the intel hd3000 under lion was slightly better.If only the server version had a graphics card the choice would be so much easier.What is the st peter's scene ? Is it on the warehouse ? I am an architect who produces visualizations so scenes can get heavy although sketchup is limiting on high poly anyway.I have a mac pro for rendering the mini was going to be dedicated to modelling.
     
  6. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #6
    I'd love the server Mini to get an AMD graphic card, it'd be a power house at that point.

    I don't have an experience with the requirements of sketchup, but the Mini with a RAM and SSD/HDD bump becomes quite the beast of a Mac.

    After a quick google search I found this as the low end specs.

    2.1+ GHz Intel™ processor. Power PC is no longer supported
    1 GB RAM.
    300 MB of available hard-disk space.
    3D class Video Card with 128 MB of memory or higher. Please ensure that the video card driver supports OpenGL version 1.5 or higher and up to date.

    You'll have to do more research about OpenGL 1.5 and how well the Mini will handle it, but from the VRAM requirement, you should be fine. The processor is is fine, unless you get the server model, but even then I'm imagining a quad i7 chip will make up for the 100Mhz it's missing(hopefully Sketchup is coded to take advantage of at least 2 cores and ideally 4)
     
  7. pstoehr macrumors member

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    #7
    Hi,
    you can download the model from

    http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=e30055f7ea83768ef3ba518a60d22d94

    Best regards
    Peter
     
  8. chedda thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Thanks for feeback guys

    Thanks for the link Peter, the model is pretty low poly IMHO so it's not really pushing the limit of sketchup perhaps only in displaying the textures, thanks anyway bud.
    Zap i also found that system requirements link i think both the integrated and discrete options both support open gl 4 something now so both are meeting requirements.
    My main question is what is a 3d class graphics card ? I believe the drivers for the discrete card will be better enhanced the work that went into the integrated card drivers i believe is more game orientated so not too specific for 3d work.
    What i can't understand is what are the advantages if any of any integrated card i guess none when compared to a discrete option.
    Sketchup is 32 bit and uses one core so really my decision is made already i'll take the i7 with the amd the turbo boost will reach 3.4 something i hope so it should fly.I also heard lion is a little ram hungry so i'll most probably upgrade the ram to 8 or 16GB (owc). Now all i'm thinking is i may as well upgrade to the 7,200 drive as well. Later if need be i'll get an owc ssd and the extra cable to max it out. By the way i have an owc ssd in my mac pro i highly recommend them.I have attached a sample of the models i produce in sketchup & render in maxwell.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. pstoehr macrumors member

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    #9
    Hi,
    in the good old days, we had graphics card with 2D enhancement and, the very expensive ones, had 3D enhancement.

    an integrated card can be produced cheaper and it uses the normal (cheap but relatively sold) main memory of the computer.
    The GPUs of a dedicated graphics card are more powerful and have a separate memory.

    Sketchup is a multithreaded application (see attachment) so it might benefit from a multicore CPU.

    Best regards
    Peter
     

    Attached Files:

  10. chedda, Oct 18, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011

    chedda thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    interesting

    Thanks again Peter that's very insightfull. I always understood sketchup used one core so clock speed was ultimately the most important thing. Is it not the case that all those threads are using the same core ? What does the cpu history show when you are using sketchup mine only shows one core active ?

    Ps just found this

    http://www.vtc.com/products/GoogleSketchUpPro8/Introduction/99227
     
  11. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

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    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #11
    I have a mac mini server I don't use, bought almost a year ago. I had hopes for using it for stuff, but I end up using my old laptop and my windows server.

    They have a great form factor, and seem to work good (as far as I can tell, booting up only a few times).
     
  12. pstoehr macrumors member

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    #12
    Hi
    I've just loaded the Saint-Peters scene, moved the cathedral around and both cores where used.

    it's a Windows computer ;-)

    Peter
     
  13. chedda thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Ordered

    Yeehah arrives tomorrow afternoon boom.


    i7 @ 2.7 & amd 6630m & 7,200 rpm


    I will report back my findings if anyone is interested. Almost by destiny the phone rang after i ordered, someone wants me in a different office the weekend so it can travel with me rather than the G5 leviathan.

    the 12 core beast can remain in the man cave obediently rendering.......

    The wife as usual didn't take it so well lol, and so the mac dynasty continues to expand muahaha.
     
  14. chedda thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    All Good

    First day of use the mini acquitted itself admirably. I know it's no workstation but it did a lot better than expected plus it's portability really helped. I was modelling all day with sketchup and it never felt lacking. Orbiting lage models didn't wire frame in the viewport only the shadows were a little sluggish to update which is to be expected, i rarely use shadows when modelling anyway. i was surprise the fans didn't kick in or the machine get hot. I think because sketchup uses one core the turbo boost trick did it's thing.
     

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