Macbook Air 2012 Autocad and 3dsMax

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jmfel1926, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. jmfel1926 macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2012
    Can the Macbook Air 2012 11.6'' , i5 1,7 , 4gb Ram , 128Gb ssd run 3ds Max and Autocad ? if yes will it run smooth or quite chunky ? and what about the heat ? thanks!
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    It might, but CAD is probably better with a quad-core. Consider getting the i7 with 8GB RAM.

    Here are the minimum requirements. The Air certainly meets the minimums, but again, more horsepower probably wouldn't hurt.

    Also, as 3DS Max requires a Windows partition, the 8GB system would be better if you plan to run Windows in a virtual machine.
  3. dona83 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2004
    Kelowna, BC
    2D would run perfect, even 3D is fine as long as you're not actually rendering. I have powerful workstations at the office I can use for rendering.
  4. angpsi macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2012
    MacBook Air 2012, 11'' vs 13'', i7 vs i5, cad usage

    Hi all,

    I'm in need for an immediately working solution, yet from a two-fold usage standpoint. For one, my immediate need is to work on my PhD, which basically means working with texts and QDA software (albeit I've found a web-based solution called Dedoose that should eliminate even that prerequisite). I also work as a lecturer at the University so a thin and light all-rounder to carry with me to conferences and libraries etc is primarily expected. I guess that's standard use alltogether and definitely into MBA's ballpark. On the other hand though, I'm also a freelance architect, and although commissions have been scarce for the last few years (did I mention I'm Greek?) a small project might be expected to come up from time to time, meaning some moderate AutoCad / SketchUp usage should also be expected. Finally, I teach Interior Design where a lot of the work is also done in Acad, Sketchup, but also Photoshop and perhaps a little InDesign (and... Rhino?).

    I'm obviously looking into the 2012 MBAs for the reason of being light and well executed (IvyBridge, HD4000) which should cover my primary (and immediate) needs, but also in hope of their ability to expand via Thunderbolt for when the actual need for more power comes (e.g. an external graphics card, see here - not fully available at the moment but seems to be the case for the immediate future).

    So basically the idea is to have a portable system, i.e. an 11'' 2012 MBA, for lectures etc, which can be attached to a screen at the office for more real estate (wish I had the budget for a Thunderbolt display), and if and when the need for extra gpu power comes, I just hope there will be external solutions such as the one I mentioned.

    On that framework, I'd like to ask your opinion on:
    1) MBA11'' vs 13''
    2) i5 1.7 vs i7 2.0, given the difference in cost is close to $400 in Greece...
    3) ...and / or (?) 8 gb ram upgrade

    And, of course, if you feel I'm wrong altogether for looking into the Airs!

    Please consider that opting for a MacBook altogether is literally going over my budget. However I'd like to spend money on something that will have a good 3-5 years on it, and most of the thin-and-light PCs out there are simply either equally expensive sans TB (e.g. Zenbook Primes), or not quite good enough (e.g. spending $900 on a Lenovo U300s for a previous generation bundle vs spending $1600 (base) - $2000 (i7) for a 2012 MBA/8gb RAM/128 SSD). On that note, I'd also like to know whether you feel that the upgrade to i7/8gb is absolutely necessary.

    I should also mention that if things go the Mac way, this will be my first MacOS experience since I've been using Windows all my life!

  5. KimHansenDK macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2011
    I just changed my old setup which was a 15" MacBook Pro (with Quad Core, 1GB graphic card and 16GB ram) and an external display (non Apple) and replaced it with a 2012 MacBook Air 13" (i5 and 8GB), a Thunderbolt Display and an external Thunderbolt disk - and it just flies.

    I work as a graphic designer and use the machine for Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and several sketching apps. I have tested the machine with large files in both Photoshop and Illustrator and everything is smooth and runs perfect. I even tried a bit of 3D in Photoshop and that worked out great too. It took a little time rendering though, but nothing serious.

    And as you have already mentioned - you can always add an external graphic card when it is fully supported which it will some time in the near future I guess.

    I'm happy that I replaced my MacBook Pro with an Air. It is so portable and yet powerful enough to use for graphic design. And I just love the design of the Air.
  6. PortableLover macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2012
    Rendering and heavy 3d design within 3dsmax and AutoCAD will take a toll on the graphics card. Depending on what level of design you're doing I would go for a full sized 15" MBP, because of the dedicated GPU as well as the quad core.

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