on 2021-10-25 09:35 PM - edited on 2022-04-13 09:22 PM by Minh Nguyen
Apple introduced the update to their first SoC for the Mac, the M1 Pro and M1 Max, that focused on professional users in October 2021. The M1 Max is the most powerful version of the M1 generation, followed by the M1 Pro. Both processors have the same number of CPU cores, while the M1 Max has more graphics performance with double the GPU cores and memory bandwidth.
The article will focus on the performance of Archicad in different M1 chips. Please keep in mind Archicad is still running on Apple ARM platform through Rosetta 2. More information about Graphisoft’s support with Apple ARM processors can be found here.
The underlying architecture of the processors does not differ from last year’s Apple M1 System-on-a-Chip (SoC), but their performance is greatly improved. As these chips target professional users, the CPU performance has been boosted with double the high-performance core (in the high-tier models for both M1 Pro and M1 Max).
Powering the graphics side, we have up to 16-core GPU in the M1 Pro and up to 32-core GPU in the M1 Max.
With M1 Pro, we can configure it with up to 32GB of memory, whereas this number goes up to 64GB in case of M1 Max.
These help to bring the performance of the M1 Pro and M1 Max closer to the level of high-end prosumer laptops and desktops. While the performance of these new chips is increased greatly compared with the first M1, they still have a very good level of power efficiency.
Since there were not a lot of changes in the architecture of the M1 Pro/Max vs the original M1, there won’t be any difference in terms of compatibility with our products. Please note that they are still using Rosetta 2 to run on these processors.
Archicad uses the CPU for most operations (like Processing Elements, Generating 2D Views, Rendering). We performed the same sets of tests to compare the performance of different M1 and M1 Pro/Max variants, as well as an Intel-based iMac 5K as a reference. Their specifications can be found below:
|iMac 5K 2017||7th Gen Intel Core i7 4.2 GHz (4-core)||32GB||512GB SSD||AMD Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB of GDDR5 memory|
|MacBook Pro M1 13" 8GB||M1 with 8 CPU core||8GB||512GB SSD||M1 with 8 GPU core|
|MacBook Pro M1 13" 16GB||M1 with 8 CPU core||16GB||512GB SSD||M1 with 8 GPU core|
|MacBook Pro M1 Pro 16" 16GB||M1 Pro with 10 CPU core||16GB||512GB SSD||M1 Pro with 16 GPU core|
|MacBook Pro M1 Pro 16" 32GB||M1 Pro with 10 CPU core||32GB||1TB SSD||M1 Pro with 16 GPU core|
|MacBook Pro M1 Max 16" 64GB||M1 Max with 10 CPU core||64GB||1TB SSD||M1 Max with 32 GPU core|
The M1 Pro and M1 Max (with 10-core configuration) share exactly the same architecture and clock speed, thus if we consider raw CPU performance, there should be no difference between them. For long and intensive tasks where multithreading is utilized, the M1 Pro/Max’s finishing time is up to 45% faster than the original M1, and it even surpasses the Intel-based Macs in some tasks.
With a maximum configuration of 64GB of memory from the M1 Max, working with large projects is a lot more feasible now thanks to the larger memory. We saw a noticeable improvement in handling large projects when enough physical memory is provided and less swap memory is used.
Redshift rendering and 3D navigation are greatly benefited from the extra GPU power.
From the test, we can see a much shorter rendering time with Redshift.
When it comes to 3D navigation, due to the system limitations, we consider 60 Frame-per-second as the highly recommended level, whereas 30 Frame-per-second is acceptable for smooth navigation.
With small to medium models, the M1 Pro can easily handle 3D navigation.
When it comes to large projects, we might see some stuttering behavior since the GPU struggles to render the frames smoothly. However, 24FPS is still an acceptable result. Meanwhile, the M1 Max with 64GB of memory can handle large projects with ease.
The M1 Pro/Max has overcome most of the original M1 processor's limitations. However, there are a few things that may pay attention to when choosing:
You may consider buying a Mac with an M1 Pro chip if:
The M1 Max can be beneficial if:
Hi! Thank you for testing these.
When do you plan to finish your tests?
It looks like the Mac lineup will be steadily dropping Intel Processors to using their own. Does Graphisoft have any timeline of adapting Archicad to these new processors? Rosetta is not a solution in the long run.
Its a pity that Vectorworks has stolen the march over Archicad (just watched a VW YouTube video showing up tp 5 times the speed over Intel). When will an M1 version of Archicad be available for beta testing?
Remember users will be buying new computers (both existing and new users) and they will expect a lifespan of around 4 to 5 years. It would not be appropriate for them to purchase Intel based machines.
Sad to say that I have to agree with the above comments. We've had Monterey BETA for many months now and Apple Silicon for even longer. I don't think AC 23, 24 and 25 fully supported on Monterey and Apple Silicon (even via Rosetta 2) was a big ask in these time frames?
When can we expect to see a universal binary version of AC? There will be a long period of crossover between Intel and Apple Silicon, and managing 2 versions of the same app (and the potential conflicts therein) is a headache nobody needs!
I just received my new machine late last week, and I have to say I am pretty impressed with AC speed gains that came with it. Granted I was on an older spec'd out iMac before this, but it seems like a substantial jump. That said I am pretty excited to see what it will look like when GS has a fully ported over version for the M1 chips.
Over the weekend I have been doing testing on projects as far back as 22 and have found a reasonable amount of success. Yes, there are some graphical glitches in the UI but nothing radically different from the issues that we saw in Big Sur with the older versions. There is also a crashing bug when you quit, but there are workarounds.
The new Redshift rendering engine seems to be working well although I feel like I am starting from scratch when it comes to the settings as the resulting images look quite different from the Cinerender image. I was very worried that Twinmotion was not going to be supported due to the Epic/Apple spat over Fortnight, but am delighted to find that 2021 screams along! I did finally get the fan to kick on as I added a bunch of trees, but that seems to be expected.
While all of this does not amount to any formal testing and is purely anecdotal, I think that most people can safely move forward on purchasing a new machine. While GS may not take full advantage of the chipset with a rosetta build, you should still see a jump in performance. Knowing that an M1 build is probably not far off is encouraging. I have no idea what the implications of having two different builds working on the same model will be as @maberit mentioned. So this should be taken into account as offices begin to upgrade workstations. I will say the Rosetta build and a regular old intel version have no problems working on the same teamwork file together.
Hope this helps!
I can't see that there would be a problem with a build for M1 and Mac Intel when we already have a build for Windows machines too. It is good to know that it does run well enough without any official endorsement form Graphisoft. Although, it would be nice to hear that GS has been running it with or without problems. Status update GS?
I returned my 2021 MacBook M1 Pro 16" after seeing noticeable performance drop in most operations in Archicad 23 and increased artefacts in 3D navigation. I'm back to my 2019/20 MacBook Pro 16" for now (and upgraded AC25) - money way better spent. All operations on my current setup are smooth. Don't think CAD/BIM will benefit hugely from increased performance - we just need better UX which is on the Graphisoft's side. Faster processors and RAM will probably only positively influence speed of renders - if you do those. I don't.
@JiriAus That's a shame that the M1 Pro didn't perform for you. You realize that AC 23 is not supposed to work with Monterey anyway, right? We have a loaded 2019 MBP 16" and I think it's a fine machine for quite a few more years anyway, other than the fan noise when multiple monitors are connected. So, I think you'll be happy with your decision to stick with it.
In contrast with your M1 impression, read this evaluation of the M1 Max from @Ebatte who sounds totally pleased:
Thank you very much for your interest in this topic. Personally, I can't wait to learn more about these new chips 🙂
We had the based M1 Pro for a very short period of time, and the initial impression was quite positive. With Archicad 25, there was some noticeable performance gain even with 16GB of memory. We plan to conduct more thorough testing soon (with the M1 Max as well) and will share with you the result in this article.
Nguyen thanks for the comment but the question no-one seems to be addressing directly is whether Graphisoft is going to optimize AC for Apple silicon as some other programs have done. This would make it clear to users that Graphisoft is committed to supporting the platform. From reports I have seen on other software that is optimized for Apple SoC there is a significant performance boost which is always helpful when working with big files.
According to our plans, a full commercial release of Archicad natively running on the ARM architecture is to be expected in 2022, as we have announced in this article.
Thanks for the speedy response. Sorry I missed that article. I'm happy now. 😁
Does this mean we can use Archicad 26-27 on iPad pro? 😉 Maybe with a touch-friendly user interface?
Hi! Can you estimate when the testresults will be done and published? December? January?
I run tests on Macbook M1 Max 14inch (10 CPU cores / 24 GPU cores, 32GB RAM) and Archicad 25. I have to say, Macbook is performing really well with:
BUT, there is unfortunately huge BUT, which are really slowing performance and are a no-go's during daily professional work:
All "tests" (more practical checks) were done on AC power, not battery, so it should be the best possible I guess. Hope it can be fixed soon.
Thanks Karol, very interesting.
The Point Cloud issue has been documented previously so no surprise there.
The Redshift doesn't surprise me as it appears to be very video card specific (won't run on my 2014 MBP)
Those of you who attended one of the Graphisoft Roadmap webinars learned, if listening closely, that AC26, which will finally offer native support for Apple silicon, will not be released until Q3 of 2022. October was mentioned. So it will have been 18 months since the first M1 was introduced, and a year since M1 Pro/Max was introduced. Truly inexcusable.
In my case I have an old but well running iMac that cannot be upgraded past Hight Sierra, which will not run AC25. So Graphisoft left me in the no-win situation of a) not upgrading to the latest version, which I have already paid for, b) running Archicad on an M1 and suffering the consequences, c) buying “new” but outdated hardware, or d) switching to Windows, which would also involve new hardware. I chose b, but I’m not happy about it, any of it.
And of course the MacOS support has been a day late and a dollar short too.
Abysmally poor planning by Graphisoft.
Just a quick question, are you using the macOS Monterey that came preloaded on your new MacBook?
Yes, it is. Also if there are updates, I always run them.
I need to buy a new MacBoo Pro, so I'm interested in Archicad performance with M1 Pro and M1 Max, but there is little information about it.
Is it possible to know when approximately you will publish the test results, please?
I was just reading up on a comparison of the M1 Max chip in the MacBook Pro ($3,400) to the Intel Mac Pro ($5,600) and the M1 Max beats the more expensive Intel on many tests or at least matches closely in ability and speed. I have no idea how this effects Archicad yet. But the M1 Max is looking like a very strong improvement.
I need to change my 2013 MacBook Pro, would it be wise for me to buy a new M1 Pro or Max now using Archicad 25 and 26 when released (upgrade program), or does a Windows laptop suit Archicad best?
If it was Mac, would it be the M1 Pro or Max? The price difference is substantial.
any new tests with the m1 max processor? I would like to know how the number of graphics cores improves the render time.
Also excited to see M1 ULTRA in action into the MacStudio computer.
Hope to see soon Archicad running native in Apple chips.
I am interested in the performance with M1 Max too me.
@Norbert Kucsma and @Minh Nguyen did you make some test and you publish results in next days? Or if didin't, why did you test only M1 Pro?
Thanks for attention and have a nice day.
Hi, I can run some tests on my M1 MAX, Graphisoft would share some scene. Redshift runs great for my projects of family houses. Great benefit is, that does not run ventilators, even if a render and work same time.
Still very far behind the upgrade to M1.
Just watched the Apple Event 8th March. I note that Vectorworks got at least two mentions to the whole Apple community. How many did Graphisoft/Archicad get? a full ZERO.
2 years and counting. Very sad
It's quite a shame for such a huge (and expensive) platform like AC if you compare it to a seemingly smaller one as blender or basically any other software firm that's aiming at a somewhat creative field. Every year when we get this paper thingy into our office for a new version or when I see this somewhat outdated early 2000s way of presenting the new version I wonder why they don't put the money into some development or other user oriented stuff.
I feel like AC will, at some point, loose the younger-ish architecture community if they keep going that route. For my part: Every time I talk to students I advise them to learn alternatives instead but to keep in mind that most offices are not run by people like them 🙂
I really wish they would not just focus on hyper-large-building-making-offices but also stay in touch with smaller firms.
it's very telling that the 'Performance review with M1 Pro and M1 Max' doesn't have the m1 Max; speaks volumes about the care and dept of this review. The lack of mention of a native version and m1 ultra is a disgrace.
But don't worry, they will sell you 'huge improvement' if you buy Archicad 26, maybe not even updated natively.
The results for both the M1 Pro and M1 Max are updated in this article.
If you have any further questions please let me know!
I found this video from Archicad center in Denmark, very illustrative about performance of M1 max in Archicad workflow compared to intel i9 MacBook Pro.
Can you please include MBP 16" intel i9 and Mac Studio with M1 Ultra in the comparison? Also some windows-intel devices?
Thanks for the updated data, Minh, and thanks Koji for the Denmark video link to visualize the difference. Very nicely done video!
@Minh Nguyen Will GS update these results with the Pro and Max chips running the v26 apple silicon preview?
Thank you for the question!
Yes, the test is being done on the higher-tier models with Archicad 26 Technology Preview. The result will be updated in this article: https://community.Graphisoft.com/t5/Setup-License-articles/Performance-review-of-Archicad-26-Technol...
@Minh Nguyen it would be better to compare against 26 based INTEL machines rather than against 26 running under rosetta2. Thats not a real comparison its not related to the real world because its only temporary,
We really need to know if Archicad runs better on Apple Silicon compared to Intel and by how much.
David and Minh, I agree. I have a 2019 MBP, 64GB Ram Intel i9. I would really like to know what the difference is from the best spec'd and last Intel MBP and the new M1 Pro Max.
We are already very excited about the long-needed Apple Silicon version. Too bad there is almost 2 years delay for such an expensive software.
How does the performance look like with a Mac Studio Max and Ultra. Is it worth the almost double purchase price for an Ultra. Or is a Max enough? Can the new version even fully use so much RAM and CPU/GPU power?
We still don't have a BIMserver compatible version of Archicad for Apple silicon.
I have one question.
just wanted to stress out couple practical things with AC26 on ARM.
I have to say it runs stable and smooth. I had 3-4 crashes since first revision was uploaded - downloading 2nd right now.
Projets that I was working with were from 500mb's through 4-5GB with couple GBs pointcloud libraries on.
I normally work with couple projects open as well as two 4K screens.
There are moments that I am so happy with this version and don't want to come back to Windows, below are examples of situations:
Things that wants me deeply to go back to Windows:
I will check latest revision and will let you know - I have couple of projects to finish this November, hope it will not burn my Mac.
This version makes me believe there is a point in buying Mac Studio w/Ultra - @Minh Nguyen - any luck with testing those?
My config for referrence:
M1 Max 10CPU/24GPU w/32GB RAM/512SSD
Best to all Archicad Users