PLEASE HELP!! Which one to buy (AutoCAD)

Tsquare

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 10, 2008
87
4
I own a drafting & design service. I use AutoCAD / Revit / Softplan every day. I have a stable windows desktop PC that is 100% my production machine. I want to get a mac laptop for "after hours" stuff. Web browsing, word, excel, etc... Will rarely be used for AutoCAD or Revit, but I need it to be capable IF the occasion comes up. So, what do I need? I know what AutoCAD for mac has for system requirements, but I want real world opionions (experience prefered).

SO, If I were getting a windows laptop I would get a dell xps 15 (2.2ghz 6 core, 16gb, 512gb). I do not know enough about apple to know how resources are used. Do I need comperable windows specs? Does mac os use resources better / worse? I know I will need minimum 512 gb ssd (I use dropbox as a file server and need that size), but what about processor and ram?

I have my eye on a 15.4" pro with the 560x ($2499 @ BH Photo - Best Buy price match). Am I throwing money away getting the 2.2/16 system? Will a new i5 8 512 air work for what I need?

REQUIREMENTS:
512 GB SSD
Fast, I do not want to wait on the computer to do something, I want it to be faster than me.

So, with all that said, someone teach / explain / lie about the spec similarities / differences between windows pc and mac. I will be purchasing something tomorrow most likely.

Thanks in advance.
 
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richinaus

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2014
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I own a drafting & design service. I use AutoCAD / Revit / Softplan every day. I have a stable windows desktop PC that is 100% my production machine. I want to get a mac laptop for "after hours" stuff. Web browsing, word, excel, etc... Will rarely be used for AutoCAD or Revit, but I need it to be capable IF the occasion comes up. So, what do I need? I know what AutoCAD for mac has for system requirements, but I want real world opionions (experience prefered).

SO, If I were getting a windows laptop I would get a dell xps 15 (2.2ghz 6 core, 16gb, 512gb). I do not know enough about apple to know how resources are used. Do I need comperable windows specs? Does mac os use resources better / worse? I know I will need minimum 512 gb ssd (I use dropbox as a file server and need that size), but what about processor and ram?

I have my eye on a 15.4" pro with the 560x ($2499 @ BH Photo - Best Buy price match). Am I throwing money away getting the 2.2/16 system? Will a new i5 8 512 air work for what I need?

REQUIREMENTS:
512 GB SSD
Fast, I do not want to wait on the computer to do something, I want it to be faster than me.

So, with all that said, someone teach / explain / lie about the spec similarities / differences between windows pc and mac. I will be purchasing something tomorrow most likely.

Thanks in advance.
Hi, Autocad on the mac runs very well and doesnt really challenge a modern computer really.
Revit is also good on bootcamp except I have had printing issues which is down to the GPU and drivers [this is not on a current MBP though so I cant comment on that].
An i5 is fine for revit too as it doesnt make that much use of the multi cores !
But to be honest I usually just buy the best I can, as I dont like to wait and like my computers to be as fast as they can be.
If it is any indication, I have run models in bootcamp on revit on a 13”MBP from 2014 and it was ok. You don’t need a power machine, but really if you were happy with the dell specs the same on a MBP will keep you happy.
 
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EdwardC

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2012
277
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Georgia
I run AutoCAD LT on a late dual core mini as well as a late 2013 iMac both are i5's. AutoCAD for mac is very responsive but different from the Windows version. With a subscription you can use the Mac OS version as well so your good to go.
 
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EdwardC

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2012
277
181
Georgia
Thank you so very much, Edward! I have not expected such a fast reply!
I've heard nice reviews on 2013 iMac, yes. Thanks! That's great news that with the subscription I can use the Mac OS version!

Best wishes!
Pretty much anything new will run your Auto Desk applications with no issue. Hope you enjoy! Ed
 
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richinaus

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2014
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Pretty much anything new will run your Auto Desk applications with no issue. Hope you enjoy! Ed
I wouldn’t say that.
Autocad is fine on almost anything these days. Has been for ages, but really who uses it in architecture these days and if you do, I have no idea why.
Revit can take a lot of power if large complicated models.

It all depends on use and the projects with Revit.
Also I would be buying for visualisation and for that you need a decent CPU and GPU [depending on the apps].

With basic modelling an I5 is more than fine. Pushing further with visuals then I would be either maxing out a 15” or just going with the base and using an Nvidia eGPU in bootcamp [depends on mobility requirements].

Really though if your focus is Autodesk software and that is what you will be using all the time, I would get a PC laptop like the Dell / Razor / Lenovo / HP.
 

BayouTiger

macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2008
454
220
New Orleans
I run AutoCAD LT on the Mac side and RevitLT in Fusion. Both run fine, but Revit can be a little sluggish on a huge model. As an example, I am working on a large Airport terminal and it can be used, but not great. If i had to be deep into that model, I would do it in Bootcamp, though be aware that Both AutoCAD and Revit are single threaded and faster processor trumps more cores. I keep hoping Autodesk will join the modern world, but they are absolutly terrible at implementing new technologies. Hell, they couldn’t scale text in Windows 10 for hi res displays until very late and they still struggle with properly supporting multiple displays - but I find the Mac versions have a better UI than th3 Windows version, though it is still not feature equal.
 

richinaus

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2014
1,069
861
I run AutoCAD LT on the Mac side and RevitLT in Fusion. Both run fine, but Revit can be a little sluggish on a huge model. As an example, I am working on a large Airport terminal and it can be used, but not great. If i had to be deep into that model, I would do it in Bootcamp, though be aware that Both AutoCAD and Revit are single threaded and faster processor trumps more cores. I keep hoping Autodesk will join the modern world, but they are absolutly terrible at implementing new technologies. Hell, they couldn’t scale text in Windows 10 for hi res displays until very late and they still struggle with properly supporting multiple displays - but I find the Mac versions have a better UI than th3 Windows version, though it is still not feature equal.
This is all true, which is why I said i5 processor is fine for both.
Fusion must be way better than parallels then as I can’t stand running Revit in it, and only go there for printing.
 

BayouTiger

macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2008
454
220
New Orleans
This is all true, which is why I said i5 processor is fine for both.
Fusion must be way better than parallels then as I can’t stand running Revit in it, and only go there for printing.
I used Parallels back when it came out, but over time it seemed that they focused on the gamers and VMWare made Fusion rock solid and sideways compatible with Workstation and ESXi. It’s a great asset in the workplace.
 

lobo1978

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2011
374
250
Background:
I use Macbook Pro 2017 (i7 3.1 GHz BTO + Radeon 560) for AutoCAD 2018. Previous Mac versions really, really sucked (there was no layer manager, print manager was very limited). With the latest version, it becomes much better - on par with Windows version.
No experiences with Revit or Softplan.

Experience:
My MacBook Pro has no problems handling dwg with 250 layers + multiple raster xrefs so do not worry about performance (even on Macbook 12"). Even 3D rendering should not be a problem for "normal/regular projects".

Opinion:
Honestly, for full-time use, you will be better off with a very well spec PC (and that's your main setup). If you decide for Mac notebook setup I will pick MacBook Pro 2018 i7 (6 core) with Vega 20 + 32 GB RAM (to run comfortably VM with RAM shared 50%/50%).
 

richinaus

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2014
1,069
861
Background:
I use Macbook Pro 2017 (i7 3.1 GHz BTO + Radeon 560) for AutoCAD 2018. Previous Mac versions really, really sucked (there was no layer manager, print manager was very limited). With the latest version, it becomes much better - on par with Windows version.
No experiences with Revit or Softplan.

Experience:
My MacBook Pro has no problems handling dwg with 250 layers + multiple raster xrefs so do not worry about performance (even on Macbook 12"). Even 3D rendering should not be a problem for "normal/regular projects".

Opinion:
Honestly, for full-time use, you will be better off with a very well spec PC (and that's your main setup). If you decide for Mac notebook setup I will pick MacBook Pro 2018 i7 (6 core) with Vega 20 + 32 GB RAM (to run comfortably VM with RAM shared 50%/50%).
Go full bootcamp for Revit etc. I find VM just too slow really but ymmv.
 
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