Which iMac for Cad?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by maclook, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. maclook macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    Right now I have a 2.0ghz macbook that is far too weak for me to run VMware and CAD. Whenever I want to do regular CAD work, I have to make sure that every other program, including iTunes or Safari, is closed otherwise my computer will lag and make doing work impossible. So I would like to get an iMac as my power machine.

    What I really need advice with is whether the 3.06ghz is powerful enough for running CAD in VMware (windows) alongside OSX programs such as Safari, iTunes, and Adobe programs. Seems like I'm asking for a lot, but 3.06 seems like a big jump from my 2.0 so if that's all I need, I would love to be able to just spend $1200 rather than $2000.

    To me, there are two options:
    iMac 21.5" 3.06 ghz
    +Really Cheap
    +21.5" is the perfect size for me
    -May be too slow for my needs

    i5 27"
    +Definitely fast enough for my needs and has a longer life in terms of power
    +Extra features (video input/wall-mountable/quad core)
    +/- ENORMOUS
    -Really Expensive
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Despite the fact that any serious CAD (read: Windows) will work much, much better in Bootcamp than via VMWare, the 3.06 should be fine. You'll probably still notice a little slowdown though.
  3. MacKiddyWiddy macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    base 21.5 imac will be more then amazing for you, however most cad stuff is for windows, so maybe utilise the bootcamp ? [​IMG]
  4. panthro macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2009
    CAD in Macintosh

    Hello there:

    IMHO, CAD in Macintosh using Windows by VMWare or the same is a resource hog. You will need all the quantities of hard drive/memory/graphics card/screen space you can afford. Screen es important to visualization and display of palettes, so big screen can be a must.:cool:
  5. maclook thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    thanks for your reply. i am a bit concerned about staring at the 27" iMac for prolonged periods of time.I like using VMware so I can easily put the VM on a hard drive and use it on another computer, but like you said it is a SERIOUS resource hog. I just can't bring myself to use boot camp because I have the Adobe Suite on my Mac and I HATE having to use windows (which is why I bought a Mac in the first place). I can't imagine using boot camp and being stuck in the awful Windows environment when doing work.

    While many have suggested the 3.06ghz is enough for me, after some independent research, I think the i5 may be the way to go to assure a quality experience while using VMware
  6. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    i5 + extra 4 gigs ram

    yeah, $2000.

    You could always get a cheap PC to run CAD on...

    Have you upgraded your Macbook? Max ram, fast drive?

    A few deals: http://dealmac.com/
  7. maclook thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    I have 4gbs of RAM on my macbook, which unofficially supports 8gb and a Scorpio Blue which is a fast 5400. I could get 2x4gb RAM but trying to max out my Macbook seems silly and I figure a true hardware upgrade is in order. The rumor of new Macbook Pros will probably hold me off from making a purchase until after jan 3 in case there is a powerful notebook in my price range

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