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Setup & License forum

Archicad 15 performance: iMac vs Mac Pro

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I'm working with a small architecture firm to help them upgrade their computer systems. Currently they are using ancient Power Macs that are almost a decade old, and I believe they are on Archicad 9. They are still productive with such old systems, but obviously it is time for them to upgrade. I'm trying to figure out which macs they should get.

Are iMacs enough to run the latest Archicad, or should they get Mac Pros. If they go with Mac Pros, should they wait for the new models to come out or order now? I was originally recommending Mac Pros, but now that I think about it they may not need the extra power considering how long they've been using such old machines. The thing is, I personally know nothing about Archicad and it's performance on macs.

Not applicable
I would say my imac is about the perfect archicad machine. Powerful yet relatively easy to tote to presentations. Not a hint of problems. I would like to try out my next one with a solid state hard drive.

Stress Co_
Melty wrote:
If they go with Mac Pros, should they wait for the new models to come out or order now?
MacRumors says to WAIT.
I'm running AC13 on an old (3 yrs.) iMac. The AC15 demo runs fine.
I wish I could add more RAM (maxed @ 4 GB), but I know the new machines can take 8 GB (or 16 GB on some models).
Marc Corney, Architect
Red Canoe Architecture, P. A.

Mac OS 10.15.7 (Catalina)
Processor: 3.6 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9
Memory: 48 GB 2667 MHz DDR4
Graphics: Radeon Pro 580X 8GB
ArchiCAD 25 (5010 USA Full)

Also keep in mind that Apple just release their Lion OS and it is preinstalled on the machines now.

Graphisoft does not recommend using Lion at this time. See here Lion

AC 19 6006 & AC 20
Mac OS 10.11.5
15" Retina MacBook Pro 2.6
27" iMac Retina 5K

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Has Graphisoft mentioned any kind of timeline for Archicad to be updated for Mac OS X Lion? I guess right now is not the best time to upgrade. Also, how well does the file converter work? All of my firm's files are in very old formats.

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Melty wrote:
, how well does the file converter work? All of my firm's files are in very old formats.
I just used it to access some files going back to 4.5. Seems to work good. Replacing old library parts is a chore though.

I personally prefer MacPro's
iMacs can handle most of the day by day work. But eventually you will need more power (rendering, exporting to VBE / BIM Explorer, and others).

If you have a short budget, get a couple of Pros and then the rest can be iMacs.

Nando Mogollon
Director @ BuilDigital
Using, Archicad Latest AU and INT. Revit Latest (have to keep comparing notes)
More and more... IFC.js, IFCOpenShell
All things Solibri and BIMCollab

Not applicable
I'm trying to decide the same thing. I've converted all my projects over to AC15. For my machine I'm running Lion on a spiffy new 17" MacBook Pro i7 with 8Gb of RAM. It is great - very responsive for a 44-unit 5-story building. It outpaces all out quad-core MacPro's, the newest of which is a little over 2 years old.

I've come up against this dilemma before, and tried G5 iMacs when their specs were awfully close to the G5 towers, plus you got a newfangled LCD display to boot! Ah the good old days when we were switching from CRT's! They were good for a little while, but with their limitations in upgrading memory, we phased those out sooner than I would have liked.

Now things are different. The iMac is based on the Intel i7 processor (at least in the 27-incher), like my MBP, but running at 3.1 GHz (vs. 2.3), and can support additional displays. And it can take a whopping 16 Gb of RAM.

A maxed-out 27-inch iMac with 16 Gb of RAM, with upgraded graphics card, is $2,900 vs. $4,450 for the Mac Pro with dual Xeon "Westmere" chips at 2.3 GHz and 16 Gb of RAM. That's $1,550 in the bank, going with the iMac.

The hitch is, as usual, that the rumors have the next MacPro Xeon processor (Sandy Bridge architecture) coming out in Q4 sometime, along with Thunderbolt ports, the latest graphics cards, etc.

So I'm undecided! I'm looking for comparisons between the i7 iMac and the dual-processor Westmere MacPro in terms of 3D graphics, but what little I see talks more about games and Photoshop, and it's not clear that these have that much relevance to ArchiCAD.

Sometimes I hanker for the days when offices just had to buy a $70 parallel bar and a few more triangles and scales when a new employ started. And the only drafting learning was maybe switching from a drafting machine to a Mayline. Otherwise people didn't have to get trained in office CAD standards and layers and file translations (much less come over to ArchiCAD from Revit or VectorWorks), and could just sit down and start producing! Too bad I love my ArchiCAD so much!

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