Which Mac model is suitable for civil engineering ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Ahmed ELGohary, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. Ahmed ELGohary macrumors newbie

    Ahmed ELGohary

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2016
    #1
    i'm studding civil engineering and i want to know : which model of Mac can handle Rendering projects on Autodesk suite (3dsmax,Cad .....) i'm from Egypt so The High-end workstation Mac Pro late 2013 is very expensive in Egypt it starts from 480000 EGP so can Macbook Pro handle it ? and what about the 13inch with retina display as it's the most affordable mac in my country , i want you to help me through out all Macs
    Mac Pro,iMac refurbished or second hand . and the Macbook Pro family .
     
  2. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    Look at the system requirements for the software you need to run and buy the computer that meets those requirements.

    There's a good chance you'll need Windows to run some of your software. You can run boot camp, or virtualization, but it might be a better idea to look at a PC.
     
  3. Ahmed ELGohary thread starter macrumors newbie

    Ahmed ELGohary

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2016
    #3
    i don't find myself at Windows PCs ,OS X is powerful don't use all your Computer hardware and has no BSOD :D
    Rendering needs a dedicated graphic card
     
  4. VAGDesign macrumors 6502

    VAGDesign

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Location:
    Greece
    #4
    Buy a MBP with full of RAM, SSD (Retina for 4K) and use an external monitor above 27" (4K if you like). You will be fine.
    If you install Windows 10 Pro via Bootcamp, 99,9% you won't see a BSOD. Windows run better on Macs than on PCs.
     
  5. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #5
    For your needs you will be far better to look at a Windows based system with dGPU, it will be cheaper and perform far better. dGPU in portable Mac`s is not a strong point.

    If you want a Mac for more personal use you can always pick up a used 13" Retina or an Air. As others have stated you will likely need to run Windows anyway, so for your needs a Mac is just adding complication & cost. If money is not an obstacle go with a Mac, equally PC`s with newer dGPU`s will render faster.

    Q-6
     
  6. djnigelchung macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #6
    Engineer here. I had a 2011 27" imac for when I was in school (towards the later years got a 2011 macbook air 11" for typing notes, ipad just wasn't working for me). Both in bootcamp performed well enough for me. Now I have a 2015 13" macbook pro and find it works great compared to the windows laptops we use at work. Yes it lags a very little, but it's not an inconvenience, and I would prefer mobility. HOWEVER, screen size is a big thing too. So if you go with any macbook, I would suggest pairing it up with a 27" monitor at home for your homework projects.
     
  7. Ahmed ELGohary thread starter macrumors newbie

    Ahmed ELGohary

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2016
    #7
    Which MBP version can do it ? 13 or 15 and in both cases i'll connect it to an external display
     
  8. VAGDesign macrumors 6502

    VAGDesign

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Location:
    Greece
    #8
    Depends on your needs and mobility. If you want to have it on the go, get a 13", if you can handle a 15" then get it. The bigger the better. I can't work on a 13", that's why I use a 15".
     
  9. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #9
    What are the system requirements for the software you're using? At this point, that's probably the most important piece of information.
     
  10. Ahmed ELGohary thread starter macrumors newbie

    Ahmed ELGohary

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2016
    #10
    of course i would like to have it on the go . if i were able to afford Mac Pro ,i'd take it on the go so now the specs makes the difference as Engineering apps demands high-specs
    --- Post Merged, Aug 28, 2016 ---
    it demands high-specs but 8 gb of ram will be fair enough the point here is CPU and GPU
    --- Post Merged, Aug 28, 2016 ---
    so what do you recommend for me ?
     
  11. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #11
    3D studio max also requires Windows, it doesn't have a Mac version.

    You need to look at the system requirements of the software you'd like to run and then buy a computer that meets or exceeds those requirements.
     
  12. Ahmed ELGohary thread starter macrumors newbie

    Ahmed ELGohary

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2016
    #12
    by then i'll install windows via bootcamp to run 3dsmax but i'm not interested in buying a windows based pc
     
  13. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #13
    Which is fine, but you need to determine the requirements of the software you're going to be running. With the information you've given, we can really just make an educated guess.

    The 15" rMBP with a AMD GPU will probably run most things you throw at it.
     
  14. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #14
    I think you will be surprised what most engineering companies are using to run both analytical and CAD software on even on the most complex petro chemical plants or offshore engineering projects with 100's of designers feeding massive PDMS/PDS models or civil/structural engineers running complex SACS analysis with 1000's of elements

    If you want a MAC to play with for personal use and a bit of bootcamp software usage that's fine, for any real work your really better off with a cheep desktop that will run anything you will require

    You may as well get use to windows and file systems as all international companies are structured that way simply for document control more than anything else
     
  15. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #15
    Very much agree, I am in heavy engineering (energy) I only use Mac`s in a business management role, for heavy lifting Windows is mandatory. If I needed a high performance portable I wouldn't look to Apple as their offering`s are primarily consumer based and you are compelled to run Windows anyway, personally I would duel boot with Windows & Linux.

    I consult, and one of very few in my sector using a Mac, equally that too is changing mostly due to software requirements and Apple`s lack of direction/diligence with the Pro line.

    Q-6
     
  16. Ahmed ELGohary thread starter macrumors newbie

    Ahmed ELGohary

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2016
    #16
    there's a point you've to get it i'm still a student so i'm not doing professional Engineering work with it , i'm doing professional design using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator which run smoothly on mac
     
  17. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #17
    Our bad for staying on topic :)

    So what's the connection between these 2 packages and Civil Engineering, are you just doing a bit of Architectural rendering ?
     
  18. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #18
    No one is suggesting that you should not purchase a Mac, rather that there is other hardware & software that will serve you better for the questions you asked.

    A PC wil serve you better, equally a Mac may make you happier, ultimately the choice is yours, for a portable Mac given your initial description the high tier 15" rMPB is the only option and very likely exceeding $4K USD in your country...

    Q-6
     
  19. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #19
    This thread is hilarious. I must know 50+ civil engineers and none of them are walking around with $4000 personal portable workstations.

    5th year Civil Engineering Major here, and pretty much any Retina MacBook Pro will be enough and more powerful than any of the computers in your school computer labs.

    I guess if you're doing consulting work, then a 15" rMBP should be fine. Although I'd figure you might as well buy a desktop.

    Of course, I'm in the US and not Egypt, so work may not provide computers like they do here.
     
  20. Ahmed ELGohary thread starter macrumors newbie

    Ahmed ELGohary

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2016
    #20
    there's no connection between them but i've to declare that i'm still a student so wha't i'm doing for the civil or architecture rendering is for educational purpose :D
    1 USD = 8.8 EGP add to it customs so we will get 36666 EGP = 4200 USD -_- my family won't spend al that amount for money while i'm still studying . can the rMBP 13 do the needed work for the educational purpose ?

    can the rMBP 13 handle it for educational purpose . by the time of the graduation i'll buy high-end workstation but now i'm only need portable can handle the work
     
  21. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #21
    Your missing the point, what some of us are advocating is to help the OP not spent $4000 on a MacBook Pro as for reasons unknown Mac`s tend to be extremely expensive in Middle Eastern/North African countries, while PC`s tend to be far more reasonably priced.

    Q-6
     
  22. Ahmed ELGohary thread starter macrumors newbie

    Ahmed ELGohary

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2016
    #22
    not as you think a budget pc used to surf the internet would cost you 6000 EGP if i want to get HP Zworkstaion it will cost above 20k EGP In Egypt it's the same and if i decided to build my own it'll be the same as even the hardware is overpriced
    so rMBP 13 will be a good option for me for it's price in my country
     
  23. Queen6, Aug 29, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #23
    If the software or coursework requires a dGPU the 13" is not a solution, although higher educational facilities can offer computer labs/workshops for this purpose. As long as the software will run on the 13" it will work, however processing will be much slower than the 15" as the 13" MackBook Pro only Intel integrated graphics and dual iCore CPU. I would suspect that the college/university will be able to advise a minimum specification for a laptop, as long as the 13" Mac exceeds this you will be ok, anything more is just nice to own & use.

    Even the 13" price will escalate if you require additional storage, my own 2014 rMBP is the 512 SSD option, which is around 26,000 EGP ($3K US) for you. Likely you will need the 256 SSD minimum if you plan to run Windows due to software requirement.

    A possible option that may work for you depending on the coursework is to purchase a base 13" MacBook Air for on the go, and put together a cheap desktop PC for the heavy weight work in the evenings. This would probably be as much as a mid to high 13" rMBP, however you would have a lot more processing power and still retain the Mac experience that you want. The only real downside is the Air`s TN display as the viewing angles are not as good as the Retina`s. Even a cheap desktop PC will offer far more performance than the average laptop, I doubt you will need a Workstation at your level, nor will you likely need the fastest components, think more what you need, not what you would like, as this will help to keep the budget down.

    I appreciate your situation as I lived and worked in the Middle East for close to 3 years and the price of Mac`s was always extremely high (State of Qatar) with very little support. Unfortunately there are no easy solutions, as your not able to source a powerful Mac with dGPU at a reasonable price locally.

    Q-6
     
  24. Ahmed ELGohary thread starter macrumors newbie

    Ahmed ELGohary

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2016
    #24
    what about refurbished or 2nd hand rMBP 15 ? the storage is not a problem for me i can use external HDD
    --- Post Merged, Aug 29, 2016 ---
    what make of the PC do you recommend ?
     
  25. killaz05 macrumors member

    killaz05

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Location:
    Brandon, FL
    #25
    Interesting thread with many comments already but as a Civil Engineer myself, I'll leave my thoughts.

    If you want a machine that you can take to university and render all of your projects using Autodesk products then even a retina macbook could suffice for you. Yes it would take longer to render your projects but it can do it. I utilize a base model macbook pro 15" (2015) and I can do all of my various surface modeling and volume calculations easily. Adobe runs smoothly as well since I see you mentioned the use of that.

    Most all of Autodesk's software is windows only. So bootcamp is going to be required with a copy of Windows. I use Parallels as a Virtual Machine and it works for me. Unless your models are super super complex, you don't necessarily need a dedicated GPU. the integrated GPU is capable enough to render models but again, the time is a little longer than compared to a dedicated GPU.

    Also, if using AutoCAD which most Civil Engineers that I know use most often, then remember AutoCAD utilizes only one CPU core. So the 13" MBP with its dual core CPU wouldn't be a bad choice. You can still multitask and run AutoCAD smoothly.

    So if I were you, I would focus on making sure you get a Mac that has enough storage space for windows and your Autodesk programs (which are large). From there, any Mac will work well for you. I wouldn't be scared into a big system if it is above your budget. No need for big debt as a student... trust me, I know!
     

Share This Page