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Repeatable crash with Archicad 23 Surfaces, 3D window and Mac Big Sur

Chris Hough
Booster
I upgraded my MacBook Pro (16" 2019- MacBookPro16,1) from Catalina to Big Sur recently. Everything has been going OK but I have recently noticed a repeatable crash now with Archicad 23 (we have not switched the office over to 24 as of yet- holding out for 25 I think).

I have been running the machine with an eGPU so initially I thought it was due to that, but I can now confirm it also happens even when the MacBook is not connected to the eGPU.

If the 3D window is active when a surface is being modified (typically an alternate texture map is being applied to the surface) the machine briefly hangs after closing the Surface dialog box and returning to the 3D window, then the beach ball, then a crash.

If the change to the surface is made while the 2D window is active, everything works as expected without crashing. So that is a sort of workaround (though not ideal obviously).

I realize that support for 23 may not longer be happening, so this is less about getting a fix and more about just reporting an issue. Might have already been mentioned or documented, but I have not searched to see if that is the case.

I can post the machine specifications if anyone wants that information.
Owner, Heritage Design Studio
AC 4.5-25
Maco OS Big Sur | 2.4 Ghz i9 | 32Gb | AMD RX 5700 XT
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Solution
Chris Hough
Booster
OK, good news! It has been resolved, thanks to the efforts of Minh Nguyen over at Graphisoft.

It was not the drivers, Big Sur or the eGPU. I couple of weeks ago I was doing some research on alternate software solutions for photorealistic renderings and trying out a few. One of those was Maxwell, which I honestly did not even play around with much, but I did install the Archicad Add-On for that (an in-program rendering engine.)

Turns out that was the problem- Maxwell has known and recorded issues with Archicad which I was not aware of. Easy enough to uninstall and I can confirm everything is now working as it should now- no more crashes with the surface dialog box regardless of what window is active.

So don't install the Maxwell rendering engine. Easy fix, I like it!

(Thank god I didn't do something silly like install windows on a Bootcamp partition!)

(Sorry, had to take a jab there! Long live Macintosh!)
Owner, Heritage Design Studio
AC 4.5-25
Maco OS Big Sur | 2.4 Ghz i9 | 32Gb | AMD RX 5700 XT

View solution in original post

8 REPLIES 8

Podolsky
Mentor
There was posts about problems with Big Sur and ArchiCAD from another users. The problem is that ArchiCAD is always crashing - multiply time per day. It been described as total nightmare. Seems that Apple misbehave again, changing they OS that developers should desperately search for bugs and work to improve stability. Maybe Apple do not care about ArchiCAD users and more into their new chip, iPhones and iPads.
It's really silly, because they took UNIX free BSD as a core of MacOSX to be solid stable initially. Well, idea brought Steve Jobs - he brought to Apple his NEXT OS development. Today different people are working there and what ideas has Tim Cook - we never know. But I do not trust him.
These days Apple is making users suffer - first changing Motorola CPU to Intel - all developers needed to rebuild their software. Now again new processor and new technologies - that means all previous stuff will work on emulators and needs to be re-build again for new requirements.
I personally gave up on Apple product. Windows maybe is not giving same efficiency of CPU use as MacOS, but it gives you to run 20 years old programs in Windows 10 or 11 without any troubles. Plus the last Microsoft product getting really much better. Like MS Surface - yes, you can have 28 inch touchscreen drafting board with ArchiCAD on it and digital pen - and this is something that Apple with their perfectionism cannot currently achieve.

So why I'm writing all that. Get Bootcamp (if your Mac is on Intel) install Windows 10 or 11 by insider program - and you can have your ArchiCAD there as additional option - until Graphisoft searching incompatibilities with new OS.
Maybe Apple will understand soon that they again started to do sucks - as it was before in history. But until that you can have backup as Windows on your machine.

mikas
Advocate
It could be a driver problem with AMD RDNA GPU. Maybe try disabling your dGPU (whatever you've got, 5300M, 5600M..) and try again to crash, to troubleshoot that one out. There has been some talk about not so complete drivers with RDNA architecture for intel Macs earlier. I do not own any of those so I haven't tried it myself.

I'm considering eGPU too right now to help me jump to Big Sur, but if it's not perfect, or if it's unreliable that much, I might have to reconsider and stay at Mojave for now.

OT: I agree with Podolsky, Apple is not the best/easiest/greatest workstation to buy and use right now. And that is a shame. I really hope they will bring something suitable for our professions to use too. Otherwise my next workhorse purchase would be an AMD beast with Win10 Pro inside it.

OT2. Win11 support will start from gen 8 intels, maybe from gen 7 if they review that again. And with AMD support would start from Zen2 from 2019 and onwards. Win11 will change the fact that you could run latest windows on your very much ancient hardware without a problem. TPM 2.0 (or equivalent) would be a requirement for Win11. At the moment at least it is, I have learned.

OT3. First there was a Motorola to PPC transition and only after that to intel. Now we bet on Apple Silicon. I have survived all of them, let us see what happens with this latest one. Huh.
AC25, Rhino6/7+Grasshopper, TwinMotionMac Pro 6,1 E5-1650v2-3,5GHz/128GB/eGPU:6800XT/11.5.1 • HP Z440 E5-1650v3/256GB/RVII/W10Pro

Podolsky
Mentor
I was Apple fanatic for years. Also accepted the fact that because ArchiCAD was initially developed on Mac - it's running on Mac better. And now I started doubting how true it is. We equipped offices with the latest Macs and iPads - one Mac even was iMac Pro for £5000. And I can say absolutely honestly - this never system never was stable. All the time troubles - or problems after OS update, or problems with big files, or crashes with BIMx publishing. Working on projects probably 10% of time solving problems with crashes, when files are big - up to 4 GB on BIM server. So you working working, then go have a coffee, return after break, computer waking up and - crash. Or leaving computer at night for BIMx GI calculation (and this is on iMac Pro with 16 cores!) - coming back morning expecting to see beautiful BIMx model - and see crash report. And so on and so on. Graphisoft started to advise strange things - like don't keep files in Embedded library, because that leads to crash with BIMx (that I'm not sure was the truth), we created check lists what to do if system crashes, was sending bug reports all the time...
And if that would be only one specific error or bug. But no, different troubles in different time and never stable.
Plus to that I have discovered that listing settings dialogues are not working on Mac. Just you cannot press OK button or something like that. So, if you want to set up listing - the only right way is to do it on Windows.

After all that I just bought MS Surface Pro, my MacBook Pro is broken and I don't really rush to repair it or get new one with fancy buttons. Now I have high resolution touchscreen tablet with ArchiCAD running on it - that for me looks more promising then iPad with new CPU or Mac on new silicone, because I need tool for my work, not to be amazed of new technologies, that are of course amazing but not working properly with software I use, remembering Tim Cook face from the last Apple event.

Something in all that seriously not right. Or Graphisoft cannot catch new Apple technologies anymore or Apple went somewhere too far.

Chris Hough
Booster
Podolsky wrote:
So why I'm writing all that. Get Bootcamp (if your Mac is on Intel) install Windows 10 or 11 by insider program - and you can have your ArchiCAD there as additional option - until Graphisoft searching incompatibilities with new OS.
Maybe Apple will understand soon that they again started to do sucks - as it was before in history. But until that you can have backup as Windows on your machine.
Yeah.. no. I get that Macs are not always super stable, particularly when the new OS comes out. And I knew what I was getting into installing it in the first couple of months Big Sur's release, so all in all I'm not terribly surprised or disappointed.

But our entire office is Mac. I recall the days of the cross platform Archicad office. No thank ye. And I know so little of the current Windows OS (XP was really the last one I messed with) it seems like WAYYY more headache than solution. If it's working for you, more power to you. But it's not something I'm remotely interested in trying. Thanks though.
Owner, Heritage Design Studio
AC 4.5-25
Maco OS Big Sur | 2.4 Ghz i9 | 32Gb | AMD RX 5700 XT

Chris Hough
Booster
mikas wrote:
It could be a driver problem with AMD RDNA GPU. Maybe try disabling your dGPU (whatever you've got, 5300M, 5600M..) and try again to crash, to troubleshoot that one out. There has been some talk about not so complete drivers with RDNA architecture for intel Macs earlier. I do not own any of those so I haven't tried it myself.

I'm considering eGPU too right now to help me jump to Big Sur, but if it's not perfect, or if it's unreliable that much, I might have to reconsider and stay at Mojave for now.

OT3. First there was a Motorola to PPC transition and only after that to intel. Now we bet on Apple Silicon. I have survived all of them, let us see what happens with this latest one. Huh.
It's possible the eGPU is causing some issues, but as I mentioned, I can get the same crash to occur without it plugged in. Could be some drivers maybe, though those are going to be the ones that come with the OS for Mac. When the eGPU is plugged in, I have told the OS to force Archicad to use it over the built in AMD 5500. But obviously can't do that if it's not plugged in.

Pretty sure it's a Big Sur thing, but as the OS has only been out for a short while, seems hard to blame anyone for the crash. I'm sure (if Graphisoft is still supporting v23, which I believe they are) they'll patch it at some point if it's a legit problem.

As far as the Apple silicon- yeah, not really looking forward to another hardware architecture change. It'll probably be a good thing in the end, but I also expect it will be a few years of headache in the transition stage. I'll hold onto my intel based machine as long as is reasonable.
Owner, Heritage Design Studio
AC 4.5-25
Maco OS Big Sur | 2.4 Ghz i9 | 32Gb | AMD RX 5700 XT

Chris Hough
Booster
Chris wrote:

If the 3D window is active when a surface is being modified (typically an alternate texture map is being applied to the surface) the machine briefly hangs after closing the Surface dialog box and returning to the 3D window, then the beach ball, then a crash.

If the change to the surface is made while the 2D window is active, everything works as expected without crashing. So that is a sort of workaround (though not ideal obviously).
I should update that to say if the FLOOR PLAN is active when you make changes to the surfaces dialog box, the program works fine without a crash. I was also able to get a repeatable crash in the Section Elevation window by opening the Surfaces Dialog box (while the SE window was active) and altering the vectorial hatching for one of the displayed surfaces. Crash occurred upon closing the Surfaces dialog box and returning to the SE window.

Tech support has reached out to me to get more info, so I'm guessing they will look into it.
Owner, Heritage Design Studio
AC 4.5-25
Maco OS Big Sur | 2.4 Ghz i9 | 32Gb | AMD RX 5700 XT

Solution
Chris Hough
Booster
OK, good news! It has been resolved, thanks to the efforts of Minh Nguyen over at Graphisoft.

It was not the drivers, Big Sur or the eGPU. I couple of weeks ago I was doing some research on alternate software solutions for photorealistic renderings and trying out a few. One of those was Maxwell, which I honestly did not even play around with much, but I did install the Archicad Add-On for that (an in-program rendering engine.)

Turns out that was the problem- Maxwell has known and recorded issues with Archicad which I was not aware of. Easy enough to uninstall and I can confirm everything is now working as it should now- no more crashes with the surface dialog box regardless of what window is active.

So don't install the Maxwell rendering engine. Easy fix, I like it!

(Thank god I didn't do something silly like install windows on a Bootcamp partition!)

(Sorry, had to take a jab there! Long live Macintosh!)
Owner, Heritage Design Studio
AC 4.5-25
Maco OS Big Sur | 2.4 Ghz i9 | 32Gb | AMD RX 5700 XT

View solution in original post

Podolsky
Mentor
Oh, such sad news. Maxwell is so good Render. My favourite one.

OK guys, who would like to follow the advice not to install Maxwell. At least there is perfect solution called Felix Render, that runs on Maxwell. It's really cool, because you don't need to buy it. It works as pay as you go on Oyester card in London. Paying only for render time, that happens on the cloud. So you don't even need powerful computer for stunning render quality.
But. Felix works on Windows only.

I hope Maxwell Add-on troubles will be resolved soon.

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