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Setup & License forum

New Rig - Workstation vs iMac pro vs waiting for Mac Pro 2019

Anonymous
Not applicable
Hi all,

I'm currently working on a Mac Pro (Mid 2010) 3,33Ghz -6 cores - GTX 680 2048MB - 8GB RAM
It served me 8 years very well, but I'm currently working on a bigger project (different PLN's open at same time) and I'm having issues with performance. Bottleneck will be the 8GB RAM I guess, but I'm looking to invest in a new rig because I already had to replace the GPU with a chipped card and after 8 years you maybe just want something new .

I'm working with Archicad 22. I've a iMac 27 (late 2015) at home for the evenings/weekends.

I'm deciding between a iMac Pro (8 core version) or a Windows Workstation (HP Z4 f.e.) and external monitor.

I'm considering windows because you get more power for dollars (euro's), but on the other hand I'm very used to osX and have a iMac at home. Switching between PC and Mac is possible, but other shortcuts (CTRL-CMD) is also something to keep in mind.

What do you guys think?
14 REPLIES 14

There are some (minor) issues with text size going from windows to mac and back with projects.

I'd say you are correct in assuming the RAM is the problem. I've been working on a HP workstation that I would guess is about the same age, but with 16 GB RAM it's still doing well enough.

The new iMACs are running 5K screens on an underpowered GPU. Not sure how that holds up for ArchiCAD. I have an older (late 2013) model at home that is still doing ok, but that was the 'maxed out' setup at the time.

iMACs are pricey, but so are decent screens, so keep that in mind for a little fairer comparison.

Personally not overly thrilled over the direction apple have been going in with their computers for the last few years.

HP have solid workstations, for what it's worth.
Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten
www.leloup.nl

ArchiCAD 9-24 NED FULL
Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

Nader Belal
Mentor
Continuing to what @Erwin Edel have said.

Buying a rig from one of the manufactures such as HP, Dell, etc have the advantage that if anything happen to your PC, you can call their customer service and demand a solution as long as it's in its guarantee period, but the down side is, price, and custom builds that not always suitable from of the shelf components.

Another solution is to seek companies that build their rigs from of the self components, and usually they tend to be a little bit cheaper from the big boys, you still can call them if you suffered a problem, and they don't install bloatware, but most of them don't know enough about different rendering engines and programs that we use in our fields so you have to pay attention to these details, or you can seek Puget Systems and copy their specs.

Another solution are custom builds, if you know what you'll do ... and for guidance I advice Youtube channel of TechDeals https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCss3QxegBkF8BAetIo0qXA although the guy is game oriented, but his reviews have the best insight on how you can get the best bang on your money.

Or if you still want to stick to Apple OS, you may build a Hackintosh ... but don't take my word for it.
A good friend of mine have once told me that I´m so brute that I´m capable of creating a GDL script capable of creating GDLs.

Fritz T
Participant
To follow from the above query ..
We are working on a few imac workstations that we are considering updating with the current 27' imacs, after almost 9 years of solid performance. We don't want to leave the mac ecosystem, its really working well for us. Does anyone have experience with these? Not the imac pro, though I would love to be able to afford them..

Thanks
AC 6, 6.5, 7, 8, 8.1, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16
MBP 17" 2.66 GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo 4GB ddr3
500GB OS X10.6.8

Steve Jepson
Advisor
another good reason why a Benchmark file would be helpful.
I can highly recommend the Dell Precision Mobile Workstation 7730 with all the bells and whistles -- but it will cost you $10,000 +. 128GB DDR4-2666MHz SDRAM , Intel Core Xeon E-2186M (Six Core) 4.80GHz Turbo, 12MB 45W), 17.3" UltraSharp UHD IGZO 3840x2160 , NVIDIA Quadro P6000 24GB for your GPU work.
Buy it certified refurbished from Dell ??

I wouldn't know, but my guess that a Mac Pro is rather sluggish compared to a Dell Workstation configured to the max ? And the performance of a program like Lumion 9 Pro with LiveSync for ArchiCAD on a machine like this is off the charts.

ArchiCAD 25 5010 USA - Windows 10 Pro 64x - Dell 7720 64 GB 2400MHz ECC - Xeon E3 1535M v6 4.20GHz - (2) 1TB M.2 PCIe Class 50 SSD's - 17.3" UHD IPS (3840x2160) - Nvidia Quadro P5000 16GB GDDR5 - Maxwell Studio/Render 5.2.1.49- Multilight 2 - Adobe Acrobat Pro

Stress Co_
Advisor
Fritz wrote:
Not the imac pro, though I would love to be able to afford them..
In case you missed it. New iMacs are out.
https://www.apple.com/imac/
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)

Anonymous
Not applicable
Our office has switched from Mac to the HP Z4 line.
Benefit is that we can pick-and-choose CPU's and GPU's to fit our need.

At current i7-7800x with P2000 is a great Z4 configuration for AC22. 6/12 cores.

Our machines run 24/7, never had a hickup with any of them.

Rex Maximilian
Advisor
Stress wrote:
In case you missed it. New iMacs are out.
.
I recently acquired a new 2019 iMac (see specs in signature below). I did a lot of research on whether to get an iMac vs. iMac Pro and since the iMac Pros are 2017 models and specs, I compared costs of a fully loaded 27" iMac vs. something similarly spec'ed on the iMac Pro and the "power per dollar" favored the newer 2019 iMacs. While you can't configure it as highly as an iMac Pro, you can come very close for much less. I'm completely happy with how mine has been performing with ArchiCAD, Twinmotion, Adobe LR and PS, Adobe Premiere and After Effects, etc.

Some tips if you get a 2019 iMac:

1) do NOT buy extra RAM from Apple. You can buy quality third party RAM and install it yourself very easily for 1/3 of the cost. If you buy 32GB online for $200 at most, you can install it and wind up with 40GB RAM.
2) Get an SSD inside, and NOT a Fusion drive.
3) As for the CPU and GPU, that's up to you, but I went for it. When you're spending $3K plus for a machine, what's a few hundred dollars more for the fastest CPU and GPU?
Rex Maximilian, Honolulu, USA - www.rexmaximilian.com
ArchiCAD 25 (user since 3.4, 1991)
16" MacBook Pro; M1 Max (2021), 32GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, 32-Core GPU
Creator of the Maximilian ArchiCAD Template System

Lingwisyer
Champion
When mixing RAM, you may lose performance as the speed and latency drops to the lowest common denominator. So if you are going to do it, you should probably see if you can find similar speed and latency RAM to what is already installed.



Ling.
AC22-23 AUS 7000
Self-taught, bend it till it breaks.
Win10 | E5620 x 2 | 24GB | K2200 RIP PSU
Win10 | R5 2600 | 16GB | GTX1660

Rex Maximilian
Advisor
Lingwisyer wrote:
When mixing RAM, you may lose performance as the speed and latency drops to the lowest common denominator. So if you are going to do it, you should probably see if you can find similar speed and latency RAM to what is already installed.
.
Very good advice, and I did just that in my case. I matched the specs and went with the consensus "best" RAM for upgrading iMacs. I went with OWC. It was the most expensive of the 32GB kits, but like you said, get the best!

It was $200 for OWC (net 40GB RAM) vs. $600 for Apple to install (net 32GB RAM)
Rex Maximilian, Honolulu, USA - www.rexmaximilian.com
ArchiCAD 25 (user since 3.4, 1991)
16" MacBook Pro; M1 Max (2021), 32GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, 32-Core GPU
Creator of the Maximilian ArchiCAD Template System

Do you still have easy access to RAM or do you need to lift off the glass cover etc to do this?
Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten
www.leloup.nl

ArchiCAD 9-24 NED FULL
Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

Rex Maximilian
Advisor
Erwin wrote:
Do you still have easy access to RAM or do you need to lift off the glass cover etc to do this?
.
The 27" 2017 & 2019 iMacs have an accessible door on the back of the machine just under the base connection. It is very easy to open and add RAM as it was designed for user customization. From what I understand you canNOT do this with the iMac Pro nor the 21" iMacs.

It really is this easy!
(P.S. This is not my video. I wouldn't do a "how to" video with my shirt off, LOL!)

Rex Maximilian, Honolulu, USA - www.rexmaximilian.com
ArchiCAD 25 (user since 3.4, 1991)
16" MacBook Pro; M1 Max (2021), 32GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, 32-Core GPU
Creator of the Maximilian ArchiCAD Template System

That's great that they went back to this setup.

Thanks for that information!
Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten
www.leloup.nl

ArchiCAD 9-24 NED FULL
Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

Stress Co_
Advisor
Rex wrote:
Stress wrote:
In case you missed it. New iMacs are out.
Some tips if you get a 2019 iMac:
1) do NOT buy extra RAM from Apple. You can buy quality third party RAM and install it yourself very easily for 1/3 of the cost. If you buy 32GB online for $200 at most, you can install it and wind up with 40GB RAM.
2) Get an SSD inside, and NOT a Fusion drive.
3) As for the CPU and GPU, that's up to you, but I went for it. When you're spending $3K plus for a machine, what's a few hundred dollars more for the fastest CPU and GPU?
I'd add to that with:
If going for a faster configuration, in some cases, it's better to "Upgrade" from a higher base configuration.
For example:

A 3.1GHz 6-core i5 upgraded to a 3.6GHz 8-core i9 (w/1 TB SSD) runs $2,999

A 3.7GHz 6-core i5 upgraded to a 3.6Ghz 8-core i9 (w/ 1TB SSD) runs the same $2,999

BUT you get a a Radeon Pro 580X w/ 8GB memory, instead of the Radeon Pro 575X w/ 4 GB memory

With what I saved buying the iMac over the iMac Pro, I was able to get a second 4K monitor (and then some).

Check the refurbished listings as well. Only caveat is the current models may not show up yet
and they don't ship with extended keyboards.
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)

Rex Maximilian
Advisor
Stress wrote:
Check the refurbished listings as well. Only caveat is the current models may not show up yet and they don't ship with extended keyboards.
.
I tend to use my machines well past their "expiration dates." I'll order a new Mac, so my previous machine becomes my backup or mobile machine, as is the case with a laptop. But what has been biting me lately is my older Mac not being supported in running the latest OS and therefore not running the latest ArchiCAD. So I like to wait until a refresh from Apple occurs, (as it did in March with their iMacs), and then purchase one so I have the maximum shelf life with its specs, as they relate to running the latest OS or softwares in the future.

Other than that I like the idea of refurbished machines from Apple and do recommend them to friends and family not needing the same requirements as me in the long run.
Rex Maximilian, Honolulu, USA - www.rexmaximilian.com
ArchiCAD 25 (user since 3.4, 1991)
16" MacBook Pro; M1 Max (2021), 32GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, 32-Core GPU
Creator of the Maximilian ArchiCAD Template System

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