BIM Coordinator Program (INT) April 22, 2024
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Installation & update
About program installation and update, hardware, operating systems, setup, etc.

mac pro vs imac

peter spellman
Does anyone have advice on purchasing a new iMac 27" vs. the pricier mac pro. As I see it, I can max. out the iMac for about the same price as the mac pro without a monitor. Am I sacrificing Archicad performance with the iMac?

I am essentially a one man shop currently running AC18 on a 2007 mac pro.
Processor 2 x 3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
Memory 20 GB 667 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Karl Ottenstein
Top of the line iMac is an excellent choice. Unless you do heavy video editing, or use software that can take advantage of the MP's dual graphics cards, the iMac is a super value IMHO.

You'll see a huge performance boost from your 2007 machine and its 667 MHz memory, etc.
One of the forum moderators
AC 27 USA and earlier   •   macOS Ventura 13.6.6, MacBook Pro M2 Max 12CPU/30GPU cores, 32GB
peter spellman
Thanks for the input Karl.

There are also rumours of an update to the iMac line - possibly as I type !

Expectation is of a retina display 27' model which should therefore have a potent GPU under the bonnet....and perhaps a more powerful CPU(s)
AC27 Apple Silicon. Twinmotion.
16" M1 Max MacBook Pro 32GB, Apple Studio Display, MacOS14
Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
They just announced it.
Loving Archicad since 1995 - Find Archicad Tips at
AMD Ryzen9 5900X CPU, 64 GB RAM 3600 MHz, Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB, 500 GB NVMe SSD
2x28" (2560x1440), Windows 10 PRO ENG, Ac20-Ac27
peter spellman
Looks like I timed it perfectly. Usually does not work out that way.
the new retina iMac looks like a fantastic archicad device. a 5k display with a free computer built in!
but will we need new reading glasses to see the text and dialog boxes since resolution is double the current iMac spec?
not sure there is a reason to go with the mac pro now.
maybe apple will update cinema display to retina spec soon.
tim hanagan
aaha! design studio durango, co
27" retina 5k iMac 4ghz i7 os 10.13.6 m395x 4 mb, 32gb ram, 512 gb ssd ac 22 current
15" retina mbp 2.6ghz 1mb 16gb ac 22 current[/size]
the new iMac announced this week certainly deserves a look.

this topic is an important one if ArchiCAD is - as I understand it - a "multi-threaded" app. putting the 5X monitor issue aside for a moment and looking at the guts of the new iMac, is this a machine for intensive ArchiCAD use or is the Mac Pro a better bet?

ArchiCAD - under the hood - is pretty sophisticated. moreso than, say, Revit. the tech writers have been examining this new Mac from the perspective of single-threaded apps and so what they have to say may not be quite what we need to know.

this article doesn't reference ArchiCAD specifically, but makes me wants to ask the question:

still trying to wait for "Broadwell" processors before making the jump to a new platform. as long as i don't have to render anything, my little Mac Mini is doing pretty well - even with two sessions of ArchiCAD running concurrently.
Think Like a Spec Writer
AC4.55 through 27 / USA AC27-4060 USA
Rhino 8 Mac
MacOS 14.2.1
Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
Consider this information on Retina Display devices:

One important paragraph of the Tech Note, which was updated today:
iMac with Retina 5K display, 4K displays connected to Macs
The new iMac with Retina 5K display features a screen that has resolution of 5120 by 2880 pixels. This is four times more pixels to calculate than with a regular 27″ iMac.

Based on GRAPHISOFT’s latest tests the performance of ArchiCAD significantly drops on such displays, including 4K displays as well. As a result, at this point it is not recommended to invest in iMacs with Retina 5K displays or 4K displays.

GRAPHISOFT is actively researching the available technologies to improve the performance on such high-res displays.
Loving Archicad since 1995 - Find Archicad Tips at
AMD Ryzen9 5900X CPU, 64 GB RAM 3600 MHz, Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB, 500 GB NVMe SSD
2x28" (2560x1440), Windows 10 PRO ENG, Ac20-Ac27
Not applicable
I was about to purchase the 27" iMac when the 5k iMac was announced. As I work primarily in auto cad these days it would work well for that.

However I prefer ArchiCAD and try to use it whenever possible on a project. If I knew that AC 19 (or better an update to 18) would make 2d more functional in AC I would pull the trigger now and use an external monitor for 2d in AC for now.

Could the new video card makes up for what ever deficiency AC is having at those resolutions?

Is it the resolution that is the issue? You can elect to run software at a "low resolution" or even change the display to run at a lower resolution and still have a higher quality than the non 5k display.

If I knew a solution was eminent I would be willing to be a Guinea pig and try it out.

I am trying to eliminate printing as much as possible (ink is costly) the IPS display in the non 5k line is the first that I can comfortably do redlines on. The 5k display would make that experience even better.
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