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MacBook Pro 16 config for AC with TwinMotion / Rhino?

Anonymous
Not applicable
We're moving back to AC after 4-5 years away from it, and at the same time our hardware is getting tired. So looking to upgrade software and hardware together *gulp*

We're a two person office and we travel a lot for work, so looking for a mobile solution. Could anyone help us out with a comment on the spec for a Macbook Pro 16 and where it's worth spending our money? We would be using Rhino and AC, either with VRay or Twinmotion, alongside Adobe suite. We would work on detailed small-medium projects (typically single houses to medium leisure/commercial buildings). From looking at the system requirements my feeling for the MP 16 was: CPU - worth the upgrade to 2.4GHz i9 / Memory - 16GB DDR4 is on the light side now, upgrade to 32GB, 64GB may be overkill / Graphics - 5500M with 4GB would be fine for AC, Twinmotion & VRay might benefit from 8GB / Storage - is going to be relative to need, probably 2TB for us.
13 REPLIES 13

Lingwisyer
Virtuoso
If you plan to use Twinmotion or similar a fair bit, I would suggest you upgrade the GPU. Other than VRay or similar, AC and Rhino would benefit more from a faster CPU over the increase in core count.
AC18-23 AUS 7000
Self-taught, bend it till it breaks.
Win10 | E5620 x 2 | 24GB | K2200

Anonymous
Not applicable
Thanks Lingwisyer. I meant to post this on the last macbook thread, but it took me through a sign-in page and made a new thread

So from what you're saying, although AC is multi-threaded, it's generally better to increase the core speed, rather than the number of cores?

Any ideas on whether we'd see a benefit with memory, as it's expensive to upgrade: 32GB +£360.00, 64GB +£720.00. I was told upgrading from 16GB is a waste if you're looking for gaming, and wondered if the same was true of 3D modelling applications? Equally, we don't want to spend MB Pro money and find it struggles in a year...

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
SiRo_Arch wrote:
Thanks Lingwisyer. I meant to post this on the last macbook thread, but it took me through a sign-in page and made a new thread
Sorry. Actually, you did post to the old MacBook thread... and as a moderator, I moved your post into a new thread. The old thread was specifically for the 2018 i9 model. This is the first discussion of the new 16" MacBook Pro which has different graphics and memory options. In general, please do not add on to another thread unless your discussion is 100% tied to that existing topic. 🙂
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.1, iMac Pro

Lingwisyer
Virtuoso
https://helpcenter.graphisoft.com/knowledgebase/25850/
Graphisoft wrote:
ARCHICAD will not be a fully multi-threaded application at any time soon. This is partly because re-writing the ARCHICAD code to support multi-threading is a huge task

I would still say you gain more benefit for high clock speeds than higher core counts within AC. I have also hear around the place of the recent MacBooks thermal throttling which probably reduces the gains of the i9 over the i7.

16GB of RAM is enough for most things in general but it comes down to what you plan to do. More programs running equal high RAM usage. Some programs will also cache heavily into RAM while doing certain processes so having enough to accommodate for that is a consideration, though I would suggest using a desktop for such workloads.
AC18-23 AUS 7000
Self-taught, bend it till it breaks.
Win10 | E5620 x 2 | 24GB | K2200

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
Lingwisyer wrote:
I would still say you gain more benefit for high clock speeds than higher core counts within AC. I have also hear around the place of the recent MacBooks thermal throttling which probably reduces the gains of the i9 over the i7.

Benchmarks of the new 16" MacBook Pro, with improved thermal architecture, show higher performance than the previous generation - no doubt due to lower thermal throttling:

https://www.macrumors.com/2019/11/19/16-inch-macbook-pro-benchmarks/
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.1, iMac Pro

KyleMacht
Participant
I am in the same boat, getting back into Archicad with a tired late 2013 Macbook PRO. I am hoping a 16 Macbook PRO will last me the next 4-6 years. How much does the turbo boost matter, since it is higher at 5.0 GHz with the 2.4 GHz 8 core model over the 4.5 GHz with the 2.6 GHz 6 core? I am leaning toward maxing it out, excluding the storage. If it saves me a couple minutes a day, that adds up over the years, thoughts?

Lingwisyer
Virtuoso
Maybe wait for some people to do some benchmarks regarding that. Karl mention that they have improved the thermals, so it should be able to sustain the boost clock for longer than in the past.
AC18-23 AUS 7000
Self-taught, bend it till it breaks.
Win10 | E5620 x 2 | 24GB | K2200

KyleMacht
Participant
Makes sense, is 64 GB of RAM complete overkill for AC and for AC 5 years from now. I have 16 GB now and max it out sometimes.

Lingwisyer
Virtuoso
Are you rendering videos? I believe that that will cache into RAM. I have never run out of RAM, 24GB, while using AC even with multiple instances running or even with Photoshop reserving half... I have not rendered any videos. OR maybe your models are just significantly bigger and detailed than mine...
AC18-23 AUS 7000
Self-taught, bend it till it breaks.
Win10 | E5620 x 2 | 24GB | K2200

Anonymous
Not applicable
I was wondering the same on the 32 vs 64 gb RAM, especially since it adds another £360. We'll be running the MB Pros docked to 27 inch monitors though, so I guess we might be more prone to some heavy multitasking.

UK apple stores run a two week grace period on all purchases, if it's one of the 'off the shelf' configs.

So we're looking at trialing their top off the shelf model next week and seeing how we get on - which is 2.4Ghz 8 core i9, 32Gb DDR4, AMD 5500M w/ 8Gb, and 2TB SSD.

KyleMacht
Participant
I have maxed it out my 16 GB with SketchUp, I haven't used AC enough yet to know. I probably won't be doing too many video renderings, since I don't do too many renderings currently. Sounds like 64 GB will be overkill, just not sure if it will be in 4 years.

Thanks,

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
Some more benchmarks for those looking at the new 16" MacBook Pro, both articles from BareFeats (a user-supported site):

This one is particularly interesting for estimating what the GPU-only TwinMotion performance might be like, where the GPU-only Blender app is about 3x faster with 8GB of memory on the 5500M vs 4GB.

https://barefeats.com/16-inch-macbook-pro-shootout.html

This second one uses the same machines (medium and high-end) and shows only modest improvement - but the summary is interesting (pending more tests) suggesting that increased memory gave a bigger performance boost than the processor speed alone should have given (16 GB RAM vs 32 GB RAM; 4G video memory vs 8 GB; 1TB SSD vs 2 TB):

https://barefeats.com/16-inch-macbook-pro-adobe.html

BareFeats: "This follow-up article features four Adobe apps and one game. The 2.4GHz model exhibited an advantage ranging from 6% to 14%. With only a 4% CPU core frequency gain (and 4% Turbo Boost gain) over the 2.3GHz model, the faster times could be coming from the increase in main memory and GPU video memory."
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.1, iMac Pro

Lingwisyer
Virtuoso
ie. If you are doing lots of GPU work, get as much VRAM as possible.
AC18-23 AUS 7000
Self-taught, bend it till it breaks.
Win10 | E5620 x 2 | 24GB | K2200

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