Macbook for an architect

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ahmetyilmaz, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. ahmetyilmaz macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2011
    I am an architecture student and i use programs like autocad, photoshop and 3d max.
    Which macbook would suit me best? which one runs these programs best also with a reasonable price:)
    Also I heard that the macbooks do not accept these programs without a original serial key. Is that true that I can only use original bought softwares on macbooks?
    Can you give me about these?
    Thank you for all!
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Autodesk software licensing is very expensive, hence I would expect it to be difficult to transfer. Adobe was pretty flexible about cross platform licensing when I brought over a dreamweaver mx from windows to OS X (by purchasing the OS X upgrade version then using the windows version serial number as the version I was upgrading from). As an architecture student, you probably have access to student versions of these programs at a fraction of the retail upgrade price.

    As for sharing work, the file formats for most programs are standard across all their supported platforms. I use OpenOffice.Org when I receive docx and other office 2007 files from fellow students. It doesn't import everything correctly but it does pretty well.

    I would think you can get away with any current Macbook, Macbook Air or Macbook Pro. In recent years, Apple has gotten away from those gimpy Intel video chipsets and the graphic performance of all their current systems is adequate for student work. Now if you were in an architecture firm and needed to churn out complex drawings and had a corporate budget, I might steer you toward top of the line Macs, but as a student you can get away with just about any current Mac just fine.
  3. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Autodesk has free 3-year licenses for students.

    3Ds Max is Windows-only, as is just about all other CAD/3D software. if you have to use it a lot, you should consider buying a Windows computer instead.

    how much power you need depends on how intensive your work is. if you're a first or second year undergraduate, I doubt you'll be doing much of anything.
  4. Nachos macrumors member


    Dec 1, 2010
    Lynge, Denmark
    For your needs i would go with a 15" MBP for the power. If it doesn't have to be a laptop consider a iMac or Mac Pro.
  5. zeemeerman2 macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2010
    But... Autocad does exist for mac. It's just named AutoCAD for Mac. More info here.

    3D software also exists on the Mac. Just not 3DS Max, but Autodesk Maya does and don't forget our lovely Google Sketchup/Sketchup Pro. (No joking, Sketchup IS really a good app, semi-professional)

    Also, you can run Windows on your Mac if desired, in three ways:
    - Dual Booting (Apple Boot Camp)
    - Virtualisation (VMWare Fusion, Parallels, Oracle VirtualBox)
    - Just opening .exe files within mac (unreliable) (Wine, Darwine, Crossover)

    Or yeah, buy a Windows computer.

    But that doesn't bring the topicstarter the answer to his question: Which MacBook?
    - Macbook?
    - Macbook Pro 13"?
    - Macbook Pro 15"?
    - Macbook Pro 17"?
    - Macbook Air 11"?
    - Macbook Air 13"?

    I can't help you with that one. Maybe the one posting just underneath my post can...?
  6. MacAndMic macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2009
    As others have stated, AutoCAD does have a free version for students on both Windows and Mac.

    My advice to you is to get the AutoCAD version that your University uses and base your hardware from there. AutoCAD for Mac and Windows is very different to a new user as well as the Mac version lacks some key features.

    You also need to find out what size drawings you will be creating. If there are just a few pages, you could get by with something mid-range but if you are going to get into many pages with many drawings and references, you will need something better and want to beef up the ram.

  7. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    I never said there were no software for Mac, I said just about all is for Windows. on Mac there's AutoCAD and Maya...and Sketchup apparently, plus open-source. there is no Inventor, SolidWorks, 3Ds Max, specific AutoCAD edition (e.g. AutoCAD Architecture), ProE, etc.

    VM is not an option for CAD. I've tried it, it doesn't work.

    what the OP needs computing-wise depends how much work he needs to do. if he doesn't do much, I'm sure a Macbook will do fine.

Share This Page