New iMac for CAD + others

Discussion in 'iMac' started by trnce.lam, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. trnce.lam macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2008
    Ok, I think i'm gonna finally go and buy an iMac after about a year of waiting...(don't ask) but i'm just gonna go for it as the first batch of iMacs have surely had its problems, if any, sorted out? no?

    Anyways here is the spec i'm thinking of getting:

    iMac 24inch Specifications

    * 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    * 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    * 640GB Serial ATA Drive
    * ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB
    * Apple Mighty Mouse
    * Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (English) and User's Guide (English)
    * Apple Remote
    * HP Photosmart C4480 All-in-One Printer, Scanner, Copier

    Planning to upgrade the RAM with crucial's RAM.


    The Question is.. I am going to use it for architectural programs such as Microstation and AutoCAD etc. As well as photoshop and the whole adobe range.

    I was I go for ATI or NVIDIA GeForce GT 130 512MB? I just don't any suggestions or help on this and how to run the programs would be helpful :)

    Also because most of the CAD programs are on windows...which is better to run it off? Parallels or VMware or Bootcamp?

    I know it upto me but I want a second opinion :)

    Okies any ideas, I would be very grateful.
    Cheers T
  2. guydude193 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2009
    The ATI card is more powerful, albeit more expensive. If you have the money, go with the ATI.
    As you'd said, it is completely up to you.
  3. paulbeattie87 macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2008
    North East Scotland
    Very nice spec, I looked at Crucials DDR3 prices here in the UK and well, I'd maybe look at Apple for the upgrade it was rather expensive.

    Having a look around the net it seems CAD applications are quite graphics intensive, in which case you'd be better with the ATi card it's more powerful than the Nvidia's any day. Also the GT120 and the GT130 their's hardly anything in it performance wise. That said when I was at school they had AutoCAD running on machines with Intel Integrated graphics and a Celeron processor. AutoDesk don't recommend a minimum card, you might get away with the GT120, just check application specs. AutoDesk from memory are looking to release a OS X version of AutoCAD.

    As for Virtualisation software, I've tried both extensively and Parallels wins every time, it's so much faster, just works better in general. You may find however with the CAD programs they don't run well enough in a virtualised environment so you need bootcamp. For all I use Windows for I can clearly see that Parallels runs much better than VMWare.

    You're procrastination in buying an iMac may have been a blessing, my early 2008 2.8Ghz model keeps overheating and it causes screen-burn/image persistence as well as some other hardware anomalies. I'm getting it replaced on AppleCare but it's taking weeks to happen. Just so turns out the machine I will be getting is exactly the same as yours apart from the graphics. Apple said like for like so I got the GT120, not even a slight upgrade to apologise for the weeks I've been without a computer so far!
    Don't let that put you off though, I'm planning on buying a MacBook Pro in 2 months time so it's not put me off yet.
  4. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    It depends if you're going to use AutoCAD for 3d modeling or just drawing 2D. As you may already know, you need a good graphics card to work with 3D as you move and 3D orbit around.
  5. shujin macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2006
    I have a late 2007 Imac, it was the bottom line one with the 2400 graphics in it. While I don't use autocad I do use matlab and Pspice a good deal. Matlab ran fine on only 1.5 gig of ram, maybe a tad slow in some cases. Thats with Vista on Bootcamp. I recently upgraded to two gigs of ram, I have not tried any matlab out yet but I am sure it will run much quicker. If I were you I would go with those specs. Before upgrading the ram I would try it out for a little. You never know that 4 gigs of ram might be just fine. I would also use bootcamp to run the cad. With bootcamp you only have on OS taking up system resources not two.
  6. MattInOz macrumors 68030


    Jan 19, 2006
    Just because the two big names in CAD/BIM are windows doesn't mean you are out of Luck running native Mac OS. Check out ArchiCAD and Vectorworks. Both of which do 2D,3D although different takes on how you get there. Both read and write DWG and IFC if you need to work with others.

    More Modeling based programs from simple Sketchup to Rhino and beyond are making waves in the industry as well.

    We run a shop of pretty much those machine except for some really massive projects they run like a dream on both those packages.

    Lot of RAM is good.
    nVidia graphics tends to be more stable in our use.
    that processor will render good quality images in workable timeframes to. (4mb jpeg in under an hour)
  7. trnce.lam thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2008
    hey thanks everybody for your feedback.

    Well money isn't an issue atm (since i have an extra year saved up). I will prob use bootcamp just because it seems more sensible to run the CAD programs on. I only use the main ones because of work and such. However maybe getting a mac will broaden my horizons.

    It was my understanding that more RAM was good for photo editing and cad ? to make it fast no?

    And I tend to use autoCAD for just 2D stuff and going to learn revit for 3d.

    Another question i wanted to ask is...what is the difference? 3.06GHz and 2.93Ghz

    And i search crucials RAM at £626.74 is still cheaper than Apples £752.10
    so i think i might get crucials unless apples samsung ram is considerably better?

    Actually since you are all CAD users it seems what programs do you use?
    As well as Photoshop/illustrator/indesign etc.?
  8. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2009
    There is not much of difference between 2.93GHz and 3.06GHz. Just get the best you can afford. There is no difference in RAM manufacturers. Crucial is just cheaper and I always buy my RAM from them.
  9. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    I would focus on the RAM and graphics card. I remember using 3Ds in high school with integrated graphics and boy was it sluggish. I could only imagine how 3D modeling has advanced since then so I would definitely get the best GPU available - in this case, ATI 4850 and get the most RAM.
  10. trnce.lam thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2008
    hmm yea i think i'll just go with the spec that i've chosen...and maybe wait for the RAM of crucial to become cheaper.. i mean the last imac model the ram was like £300 or something and now its more than double!

    any news on the next imac possibly coming out at the end of the year? or is that just jibberish?

Share This Page