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Performance review with M1 Pro and M1 Max

Norbert Kucsma
Graphisoft
Graphisoft

m1.jpeg

Apple released the new macOS 12 Monterey and announced major updates for its devices. Besides the exciting improvements new ‌M1‌ Pro and ‌M1‌ Max chips were also introduced.

 

Important Note

Preliminary tests conducted by Graphisoft show promising results. We plan to continue the compatibility and performance tests and provide our full in depth review soon. If the purchase is not urgent, we recommend waiting for our test results to be able to make the best decision for your use case.

 

As these new computers are shipped with macOS 12 Monterey, please check our related article for compatibility information.

The ‌M1‌ Pro and ‌M1‌ Max feature the same basic architecture based on the ‌M1‌ chip, resulting in the same core functionality. Apple lists these identical features of the two system on chips:

Similarities

  • Up to 10-core CPU with eight performance cores and two efficiency cores
  • 16-core Neural Engine
  • Media engine for hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW
  • Video decode engine

Apple's breakdown shows that the two chips share most of their basic features, but they have several differing capabilities.

Differences

M1 Pro

  • Up to 16-core GPU
  • 200GB/s memory bandwidth
  • Support for up to 32GB of unified memory
  • ProRes encode and decode engine
  • Video encode engine


M1 Max

  • Up to 32-core GPU
  • 400GB/s memory bandwidth
  • Support for up to 64GB of unified memory
  • Two ProRes encode and decode engines
  • Two video encode engines

 

With the help of Rosetta 2, x86 applications will run on ARM. Find more information in the Performance review for M1 chips article.

Comments
hpenbeoglu
Contributor

Hi! Thank you for testing these.

 

When do you plan to finish your tests?

Gerald Hoffman
Contributor

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.

David Shorter
Contributor

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.

maberit
Participant

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! 

Chris Grantham
Enthusiast

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! 

4hotshoes
Expert

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?

JiriAus
Participant

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.

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator

@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:

https://community.graphisoft.com/t5/Setup-License-forum/ArchiCAD25-bug-on-Monterey/m-p/320458#M31410

 

 

Minh Nguyen
Graphisoft Moderator
Graphisoft Moderator

Dear All,

 

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.

 

Best regards,

Minh

Gerald Hoffman
Contributor

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.

 

Best regards,

Gerald

Minh Nguyen
Graphisoft Moderator
Graphisoft Moderator

Hi Gerald,

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.

Best regards,

Minh

Gerald Hoffman
Contributor

Hi Minh,

 

Thanks for the speedy response. Sorry I missed that article. I'm happy now. 😁

Cheers,

Gerald

hpenbeoglu
Contributor

Does this mean we can use Archicad 26-27 on iPad pro? 😉 Maybe with a touch-friendly user interface?

Blue
Participant

Hi! Can you estimate when the testresults will be done and published? December? January?

Karol Argasinski
Participant

Hi,

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:

  • specific tasks around receiving/sending data;
  • documentation synchronization and creation of layouts/sheets is significantly faster than my workstation PC which on paper is way better;
  • Publishing drawings/files is fast (like, really).

BUT, there is unfortunately huge BUT, which are really slowing performance and are a no-go's during daily professional work:

  • I work a lot (in practice on every project) with pointclouds. The performance of a clean file with loaded 1GB pointcloud (E57 type), is slower than my 2014 MBP 15 (i7/16gb/750M). Super bad and super sad about that (That was main reason why I wanted an upgrade). @GRAPHISOFT  please, take that into an account :);
  • Rendering on Cineware or Redshift gives the same results (in time), but still, Redshift looks worse at the same vizualization profile (i.e. using indoor or outdoor medium physical setting gives worse results in quality and time on Redshift).

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.


Best regards,
Karol

David Shorter
Contributor

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)

Geoff Briggs
Booster

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. 

joelsdg
Booster

Karol, 

Just a quick question, are you using the macOS Monterey that came preloaded on your new MacBook?

 

Joel

 

 

Karol Argasinski
Participant

Hi Joel,

Yes, it is. Also if there are updates, I always run them.

kjk
Beginner

Hi,
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?

4hotshoes
Expert

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.

 

https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/11/01/compared-m1-max-16-inch-macbook-pro-versus-mac-pro

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