New Mac Pro configuration for Architecture/Design

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dleklas, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. dleklas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    #1
    At present I'm using an outdated iMac for my architecture studies. I use programs like Rhino, AutoCAD, ArchiCAD as well as all the Adobe CS4 programs. I plan on getting a Mac Pro that will last me a long time, hopefully well into actual work after graduation. So I'm guessing it should be good for programs like Maya as well.

    I was just wondering how I should go about configuring the Mac Pro for such purposes and superior performance. I read that the new Mac Pro was slower for photoshop work, but I don't want this to occur.

    Any help would be appreciated, because at the moment I am at a loss as to what to choose.
     
  2. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #2
    i was in your exact position a week ago

    i would recommend the 2.93GHz quad unless you're doing heavy duty rendering in Rhino (plug-ins etc), in which case i'd get the 2.26GHz octo

    then i would get the ram to 6/12GB


    and in case your wondering, i got a refurb 2.8GHz octo cos it was significantly the cheapest for my major use (V-Ray and Rhino)
     
  3. Bubba Satori Suspended

    Bubba Satori

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Location:
    B'ham
    #3
    Unfortunately for the applications you will be using, Apple has seen fit to not offer any professional video cards on the Mac Pro. No Quadros or Fire Pros are available. Just a cra# Nivida rebranded 8600 and a midrange ATI 4870. Unbelievable. :rolleyes:
     
  4. dleklas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
  5. Salavat23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    #5
    Don't go Mac Pro if you'll be using AutoCad. You'll need to constantly switch into Windows, and running a virtual machine for AutoCad will make the power of the Mac Pro pointless.

    Build your own, or go for something like a Dell Precision (Nehalems), which costs about the same or cheaper.
     
  6. Boneoh macrumors 6502

    Boneoh

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    #6
    Not sure, what is the problem with running a virtual machine? Does AutoCad not work well in a vm?
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #7
    Perhaps it was in reference to the overhead usage of VM in this case. OS X + VM of Windows + AutoCAD. Slower than Windows + AutoCAD (native).
     
  8. Boneoh macrumors 6502

    Boneoh

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    #8
    I guess if the OP is running AutoCad on an iMac in a vm, he will see an awesome jump when he goes to a MP.

    I was running windows in a vm on my macbook pro. Now on the new mp, its about 5 times as fast for the same code builds. Of course, I don't have AutoCad, haven't run it in a few years. I was wondering if there was some serious drawback to running it in a vm.
     
  9. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #9
    Yes, AutoCAD doesn't exist for Mac AFAIK. And yeah there's drawbacks to using a VM with AC and apps like it, for sure!!! Basically if you need graphically intensive GUI interaction you should run BootCamp. The OpenGL in the VMs are very poor for such apps. Lots and lots of little gotchas, lots and lots of slow-downs. It works in a pinch but I would hate to have to work in that env. :p

    Of course I'm assuming VMWare is about the same as Parallels. All I have experience with is Parallels. And Wine on Linux...
     
  10. Salavat23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    #10
    You can't use all 4/8 cores nor all of the available ram or gpu speed though a VM. That's why he either needs Windows or a PC which will run AutoCad much faster.
     
  11. galstaph macrumors 6502a

    galstaph

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    The Great White North Eh
    #11
    or use vectorworks, archicad or rhino (soon to be released) for mac....
    autocad isn't really THAT demanding.... honestly, besides it is going the way of the dinosaur with teh push for architects to use more efficient and beneficial (read time and cost saving) BIM software (revit, archicad, microstation and vectorworks [unfortunately revit and microstation are windows only, archicad and vectorworks are available for mac])

    I'm an architecture masters student and my mp is more than good for what I do (rhino, maya, maxwell render, CS3/4, autocad, revit, etc). Heck, I was/am still running these on my mbp. Autocad runs proficiently in a vm, IF you offer it enough processors and ram, the only issue is if you try to use your bootcamp partition in your vm as autodesk licencing is a bit skitish in this regard. You can always reboot to bootcamp for intense cad.

    I just wouldn't want to be tied down to a windows system... soo many of my classmates have issues with their programs and installations on windows (autocad is notorious for vista problems). I use as much mac software as possible.... more stable (although maya for mac is not 64 bit...yet)

    But hey it is personal preference after all. I would choose the 2.26 octad again and again (well to tell the truth I'd love to upgrade it to a 3.2 octad:D:D but I don't have an extra 4 grand and a desire to void my warranty)

    A mac pro, with bootcamp or parallels 4 /vm fusion will work fine for all you are doing. Rendering is especially fast on these beasts:D:D
     

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