Setup & License forum
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

New Mac Laptop $2k M1 or $3k i7?

Nathan Brauer
Newcomer
Given that I’m now working both at home and the office, it makes sense to have a mobile computer. (I have screens in both locations).

Here’s Macinteract’s recommendations for minimum spec:
https://macinteract.com/hardware-recommendations/
MacBook Pro 16 inch
Spec suitable for a mobile CAD workstation – we recommend to use an additional 27 inch Monitor for extended CAD usage (see below for specs).

2.6GHz 6-core ninth‑generation Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz
32GB of 2666MHz DDR4 memory
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB of GDDR6 memory
512GB of SSD storage
16-inch Retina display with True Tone
Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
Touch Bar and Touch ID


I’d like to purchase a similar computer quickly.

B&H has a machine in stock for ~$3k,

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/products/16-inch-macbook-pro/ci/45158?filters=fct_a_filter_by%3A03_IN...

But Graphisoft points out that even the slow M1 machines perform as well as the i7 machines.

https://helpcenter.graphisoft.com/knowledgebase/130695/


The new M1 is substantially less expensive, under $2k.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1604823-REG/apple_z11f_myda_07_bh_13_3_macbook_pro_with.html


Will the cheaper newer computer perform adequately?
Nathan Brauer
Gillis Architects
AC22, 23 & 24US Full

Mac Pro (late 2013 trashcan)
2.7 GHz 12-Core Intel Xeon E5
64 GB 1866 MHz DDR3
AMD FirePro D700 6 GB
Mac OS X Mohave 10.14.6

Retired:
Mac Pro (upgraded mid 2010 model)
5 REPLIES 5

Lingwisyer
Virtuoso
If you are working on large projects, I would consider waiting for models with a high RAM capacity... If you run into RAM bottlenecks with the M1, there is nothing you can do as the DIMMs are soldered in...



Ling.
AC18-23 AUS 7000
Self-taught, bend it till it breaks.
Win10 | E5620 x 2 | 24GB | K2200

Marc H
Beginner
I can’t speak to the M1, except I have read the generic CPU bench tests are very good for the cost. And, I have read they run cooler.

If helpful, I run my models, small to large, on a 2019 16” MBP. (Note: I’ve disabled the integrated GPU to force the work to the dedicated GPU and that greatly improves performance.) I’ve found the MBP performs very well on native Archicad small to mid-size building models. It slows on large Revit conversions/imports as they bring in high poly counts. I also notice slowness if there are quite a few morphs in a large project. (I should note, though, I run full schematic graphics when modeling.)

I have run AC solely on the 16” screen - it is very resolute and quite comfortable. But for the best working environment, I suggest at least one 30” 4K screen with the MBP if working on larger buildings or sites. It’s also nice to have the Favorites panel open large alongside. The MBP performance also holds up well with a second AC session running on a second 4K screen when needed.
“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” - Abraham Lincoln

AC24USA on 16” MBP (2.4GHz i9 8-Core, 32GB DDR4, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8G GDDR5, 500GB SSD, T3s, Trackpad use) + 2 Asus ProArt PAU32C (4K)

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
There are rumors that the next-generation of Apple Mac chips is coming soon, maybe during the summer:

https://www.macworld.com/article/344598/apple-silicon-m2-m1x-chip-speed-ram-memory-cpu-gpu-macbook-p...

If those rumors are true, that chip will probably be strong enough, with enough RAM and GPU memory to support working on large projects in Archicad.
....................................................................................................
Laszlo Nagy, Lead Moderator, Community Admin
Get Archicad Tips at https://twitter.com/laszlonagy
AMD Ryzen 1700X CPU, 48 GB RAM, NVidia GTX 1060 6GB, 500 GB NVMe SSD
2x28" (2560x1440), WIN10 PRO ENG, AC20-AC25
Loving Archicad since 1995

vistasp
Enthusiast
LaszloNagy wrote:
There are rumors that the next-generation of Apple Mac chips is coming soon, maybe during the summer

I don't envy users who urgently need a new Mac.
= v i s t a s p =
bT Square Peg
https://archicadstuff.blogspot.com
https://www.btsquarepeg.com
| AC 9-25 INT | Win10 | Ryzen 2600 | 16 GB | GTX 1150Ti |

furtonb
Enthusiast
I don't envy users who urgently need a new Mac.
My aging 15" model cries more and more every day if I work with models, even small ones. Using the default resolution helps somewhat, but not really convenient. Luckily I can wait, but I can imagine how frustrating that would be having to pull the trigger on a machine that will instantly worth a fraction of what an Apple device usually "should".
with enough RAM and GPU memory to support working on large projects in Archicad
Latest leaks suggest the unified memory to be configured up to 64GB. I don't know how that translates to traditional RAM + GPU memory, but sounds plenty. Hopefully working with large pointclouds won't hurt that much when working mobile.

My only concern is the lack of Windows support (no Bootcamp) - many engineering software are not available on macOS, running them doesn't sound possible right now...
actively using: AC22-25 INT | Rhino6-7 | macOS / win10

Still looking?

Browse more topics

Back to forum

See latest solutions

Accepted solutions

Start a new discussion!