Need suggestions on running auto-cad on latest mac mini.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by apesta, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. apesta macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2010
    My girlfriend is looking for a new comp and i asked her to try out Macs. But her budget would only allow her to buy Mac mini. Her purpose for this new comp would only be web browsing, word process and most importantly Auto-Cad. Now I'm wondering if the entry level Mac mini will be good enough to run Auto-Cad without any lagging? Or she should avoid Mac mini entirely if she is gonna be using it for Auto-Cad? Thanks.
  2. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    For basic drafting it is fine. If you use a lot of 3D modeling with 3d display, the HD4000 may be too slow, but I guess she won't do hefty 100 story BIM building.
    Also consider an older Autocad, 2005 is still king IMO, on XP in Virtual Box. That version screams on a mini. It forces you to learn keyboard shortcuts, but if you want to become a pro, you need the typing skills anyway.
  3. apesta thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2010
    Thanks for the advise. She mostly uses it for just drafting and elevations. She doesn't do any 3d rendering at all. However she will at times open a few drawings at the same time. But that shouldn't be too demanding for the higher end Mac mini?
  4. Smeaton1724 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 14, 2011
    Leeds, UK
    I use CAD (Latest OSX version), Sketchup (It's easy to get fast results and show an idea off), some Revit (via Parallels) on 2012 Mac Mini and performance is fine. I took no chances and Maxed out the RAM and threw in a 128GB SSD, it backs up to central storage. I use this at work on major plant equipment drawings to integrate into building plans.

    I also second the opinion of trying a virtual machine running windows and an older copy of Autocad, I find it easier coming from old software to the new than those that have just learned the new interface - they panic when working on older machines as they don't know any shortcuts and are too used to the pretty interface. In a practical sense if I'm at a site I use an older Toshiba machine running an older autocad or even use the customers machine, so the knowledge of all versions is worth it.

    Additionally what I found when learning on my degree and I think will hold true today. Computing power makes up for lack of ability when rendering! If you do get into rendering get yourself the best gaming PC desktop (at the time I had an XPS desktop), tweak the drivers (if you can) of the graphics card and throw as many textures at that simple drawing as possible. Saves hours of perfectionism squeezing performance out of any mac.

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