Mac Pro....Solidworks....and Video Card ???

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kurlee daddee, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. kurlee daddee macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2007
    San Carlos, CA
    I am about to pull the trigger and buy myself a Mac Pro with dual 2.66 Intel processors and 2 gigs of ram. I am going to run Solidworks 3D Drafting Software on this machine. What do you think the is the best choice for video cards from the choices I have posted:

    2 x NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256MB (running 2 of these cards)


    ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB (2 x dual-link DVI) (Running one single card)

    I want the fastest and most reliable video card I can get between the two. What do you guys think?

    I am not into gaming or anything of that nature. I will probably do some Photoshop stuff, as well as video editing and things of that nature.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    None of the above, and not a Mac Pro. Get a Dell Precision or an HP xw if stable Solidworks is a requirement. Standard HP / Dell configs are tested with Solidworks. A Mac Pro running beta software (or even Apple release software) is not.
  3. kurlee daddee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2007
    San Carlos, CA
    My friend is running Solidworks with no problems on his Mac Book Pro. He uses Boot Camp with it. So what is the problem you are referring to?

    I don't want to use Windows anymore. I am sick and tired of it. And I have been using Linux for a bit, but it just isn't very user friendly. I know Mac's are known for their graphics, so why wouldn't it be the best decision for Solidworks?
  4. amtctt macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2006
    If he's using bootcamp then he's simply rebooting into Windows. Doesn't sound like he's running it in OS X, not even sure if it's available for OS X.
  5. Grenadier macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2006
    The 1900.
    The 7300s are a little...crap. They dont even work together - they are only there for dual/triple/quad monitor support.
    So youll only have one 7300 working, unless you boot into Windows under Bootcamp and run SLi under Windows.

    The 1900 > Any number of 7300s
  6. Pittsax macrumors 6502


    Dec 8, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    Exactly right. If you use Boot Camp, you're simply running Windows on your Mac for when you're running Solidworks. So I really don't know what benefit you'd get by purchasing a Mac Pro (except of course having a Mac for everything else besides Solidworks).

    My wife actually manages the tech team at a SW reseller, and she told me that they don't support running SW on a Mac, and that it's not likely that they're going to in the future either.
  7. waremaster macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2006

    I agree there are ZERO problems with Solidworks on a Mac Pro in bootcamp. Sesshi seems to have a strong liking for spending money on multiple workstations. He pushes DELL and HP workstations because I think he needs to justify his purchases (sorry Sesshi. I know I have busted on you in the past on this one.. Just bustin on ya. not a personal attack) But in all seriousness the Mac Pro running Solidworks is absolutely great. I run many high end graphics and CAD apps on my Mac Pro in bootcamp all without issues.

    AutoCAD 2007 = No Problems
    Maya 8.0 Unlimited = No Problems
    3D Studio Max 8.0 = No Problems
    Alias Wavefront = No Problems
    Lightwave 3D 8.0 = No Problems
  8. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    if you're going mac pro, hang on a few weeks...vast rumours about new mac pros being released in mid-april and possibly with leopard.

    hang tight. it's hard, but i'm holding on far :)
  9. waremaster macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2006
    Your statement in some ways is correct Solidworks does not run on Macs it runs on PC's and when booting into Windows the Mac Pro is exactly that.. A workstation class PC. So when the Solidworks team says they don't support running on Macs they are 100% correct. Because otherwise you would have people trying to run Solidworks on Macs in things like VPC Vmware and such and absolutely that is not and never will be supported.
  10. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    Where it doesn't make sense is if it's his main app. In this case, the HP and Dell workstations are certified with Solidworks, and the standard configs are extensively tested with it - a minor but important point.

    Busted? I don't recall that. I merely don't do things half-arsed, or choose an inferior solution because of some odd fanboyish thing / lack of knowledge about what I'm actually doing.
  11. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    I think more important than being "certified" is that you can use any workstation grade GPU, rather than only have the option of an X1900XT or FX 4500.
  12. waremaster macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2006
    I don't think that any Intel based Macs have gone through any certifications with any windows apps. Just because they have NOT been certified does NOT mean the wouldn't pass this so called certification. As another poster has stated The GPU is the primary concern here and lets face it the CPU's in the Mac Pro would not obviously have a problem passing "Certification" and your supposedly superiour HP / Dell workstations use the same CPU's. So I do not see how you could even consider a Mac Pro as being a "half-arsed" choice. You do not need 3 - 4 workstations too accomplish a task unless you are running a render farm. I will be the first person to admit I do not just have one system I have multiple systems hell I could probably run NASA out of my house but that does not mean that the Mac Pro is not a worthy system it just means I am rendering enough that I need multiple systems.
  13. waremaster macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2006
    Keep in mind that on the Windows side of things we are not limited only by the x1900xt and FX4500 if the primary goal is to run solidworks on windows then pretty much any GPU can be substituted it's OSX that has the problem with other cards not the Mac Pro itself. All I was trying to convey in my previous post is the Mac Pro is a competent workstation at a very reasonable price and lets face it. It also runs OSX. The OP seems to me asked a very logical and practical question about a very capable machine. I think if the OP had no interest in an OSX capable machine he would have gone to a dedicated Graphics forum and posed the question should I buy a Dell or an HP graphics workstation. So it is very funny to me that people come here and suggest that he might be making a Half-Arsed choice in choosing a Mac Pro.
  14. kurlee daddee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2007
    San Carlos, CA
    Thank you very much. So the 1900 it will be.

    Thank you. .That is what I wanted to hear. I will be running Solidworks and Autocad as well as some other photo editing programs.
  15. RichP macrumors 68000


    Jun 30, 2003
    Motor City
    Ive been running solidworks for a few years, on a variety of PC equipment, and it runs fine. I have friends at school that run all sorts of versions of it all sorts of crap PCs, and it runs fine. Its a pretty robust program. ive seen people run it on macbooks with integrated intel.

    I run Alias, Maya, and SW on my MBP and everything runs like a champ. I even ran it BEFORE bootcamp, when windows-on-mac was around with no hardware graphics acceleration. MacPro is only going to be better. The x1900 is fine for your purposes, unless you are going to get a 30" screen. I found that with maya and alias, unless you have a great workstation card (I have a PC and needed a good quadro after I got my 30") the amount of pixels the 30 has is just too much some lesser cards.

    Solidworks however, is fine with all of it. Only thing you miss by not having a proper workstation graphics card in SW is "realview" material when buiding stuff, which is almost useless anyway. I have only used it once for about 2 minutes (lets face it, solidworks and "photoworks" are not the best rendering tools anyway, use Alias Imagestudio if you want a good quick-good looking render of something you make in solidworks)

    MacPro is going to be awesome, most cad stuff is all CPU number crunching, and you got 4 brains to do it in a MacPro.

    Also, a BIG tip for mac users running bootcamp for CAD. Run Windows in Classic Mode. (under settings for display) Helps free up alot of resources and if you go on Autodesk's website, their first solution to any problem is "run windows in classic mode"
  16. waremaster macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2006
    You are quite welcome. Enjoy your machine. PS I just did an install of Vista Ultimate this past weekend on the Mac Pro on it's own drive (triple booting now) lol. I also installed the Latest Autocad and so far all has been great.
  17. derboy macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2004
    I run SW under bootcamp. I dont think it requires an amazing graphics card, just a fast processor. I would go with the standard mac pro config but spend the money on the fastest chip and ram. This would help more when rendering and re-building CAD models
  18. waremaster macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2006
    2.66 -- > 3.0ghz = 5% real world performance gain you might be better off spending that difference on memory instead.
  19. Multimedia macrumors 603


    Jul 27, 2001
    Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
    If It's For 3D Why Wouldn't You Want An 8 Core Mac Pro Tomorrow?

    You know 3D is one of the primary applications that benefits from an 8 Core Mac Pro right? You can't wait for the 8 Core to ship? Latest rumor says it's tomorrow.
  20. SMM macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2006
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    I just did a comparative quote between the Dell 690 and MacPro. Dell does not offer the X1900, so I used the FX4500. Configured them as 64 Bit, w/2GB Ram and 250GB hard drive.

    Mac Pro $4526.00
    Dell 690 $7154.00 (ouch!)

    Inferior solution......I do not think so..."
  21. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    i say get the 1900...and wait until they release 8-core mac know they're coming
  22. mooncaine macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2004
    That's so adorable. Do you make little shooty fingers when you do that? Maybe blow the smoke off the tip?:D
  23. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    Do you actually own a 690 and a Pro? Do you have any basis for an actual comparison whatsoever? I think the funniest part of 'discussing' these differences on MacRumors is that I'm 'discussing' it with people who authoritatively spout off on stuff which they don't even have. Some even send me abusive PM's chastising me for my attitude when they post replies with no experience of either platform under 'discussion'. (You work on a G5 or iMac? Great. Will your experiences transfer directly to a Mac Pro? No).

    As for the cost comparison, comparing a PC with an FX4500 against a midrange consumer card, tricking out the Dell specs and being amazed at the cost difference... I'm not sure if you're taking the piss or whether you're hard of thinking. Include 3-year onsite next-day service on the Pro... if you can. And try it with 5160's - or the Quad-core.

    If the OP wants to go ahead with this, there's nothing stopping him - however, you still have to maintain a copy of Windows on your Mac Pro (thereby negating many of the advantages of moving to Mac, especially if this is your primary application), and the Windows side has plenty of compromises over a 'proper' workstation.

    If you use Solidworks, I say stick to Dell or HP - that is merely my advice. From actual experience (I am, among other things a design engineer).
  24. waremaster macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2006
    You are absolutely correct the poster should not have compared a system with an FX4500 vs. a system with an X1900XT that’s a $1000 cost difference right there. But I for one can with experience claim that the Precision 690 is not worth the cost. UM maybe because I have 3 of them at my company but who am I to say differently. It just seems weird that you come on a Mac forum and recommend Dell/Hp Workstations when there is no need. We bought the 3 690’s because we were blindly buying from Dell as that’s what all of our workstations have been. Sure a 3yr on site agreement has value but hell if that’s your primary concern then you must have been jilted by dell in the past with their bad quality control and needed to worry about the repairs so often. I am not claiming Apple has no issues with any machines but the ONSITE Service is not the end all be all of the deal. EVERY manufacturer has issues.

    Oh and an actual Real world comparison for you

    Dell = $5,598
    Apple = $4,447

    On the apple add $200 for the XP Pro 64bit

    Both configured as 64bit systems with 5150's 2gig of DDR2 667mhz ram and 250gig SATA drives as well as DVD Burner and both with the FX4500.

    And please lets not forget the FACT that the Dell does NOT legally run OS X whereas the Mac Pro does. You don't consider that worth anything? Remember you ARE on a Mac forum.

    As far as abusive PM's that crap should stop. This is a friendly discussion forum.
  25. dkoralek macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2006
    I would watch out getting on your own high horse here. If you look at the poster's comment, you would have been able to figure out that he had configured both the mac pro and the dell with the fx4500. The comment was that because you couldn't configure the Dell with the x1900, you had to move the mac pro up.


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