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Mark Aceto

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Posts posted by Mark Aceto

  1. 4 hours ago, zoomer said:

    With old cooling ?

    RAM now soldered ?


    I wouldn't be happy if it gets as loud as the previous iMac and throttles (?)


    Anti Glare Display price 600+ € ?

    I think by wearing only black turtlenecks and a darth vader mask you can save quite a bit.


    I am very excited about the first hand ons and benchmarks.


    Considering that the 2017/2019 iMac has been the fastest single core Mac for at least the past 3 years, I wouldn't worry about iMac's thermal limitations relative to any other Mac in their lineup because:

    • 10th gen chips run cooler than 9th gen
    • i7 runs cooler than i9
    • 8 cores run cooler than 10 cores
    • iMac Pro has better thermals but that 3-year old machine has never beat the fastest iMac at single core performance (which is where it counts with VW)
      • Same with Mac Pro

    With Apple, the price you pay for "Xeon" and "ECC memory" is clock speed. 


    The thermal wild card (pardon the pun) is the GPU but I would be (very pleasantly) shocked if VW maxes out that GPU. No matter how hard I pushed it, VW rarely used more than 1/4 of the 16GB VRAM in my iMac Pro (running VW 2019).


    I'm not sure where you read that the RAM is now soldered. It used to be super easy to access and service.


    All Mac screens after 2011 (except maybe the old MBA) are crazy reflective, so if they're offering the same antiglare screen option as the $1,000 XDR upgrade for half that cost ($500 USD), I wouldn't baulk at that option for the sake of my eyes and avoiding migraines. Especially if it's going to live next to an antiglare BenQ 32" display (for example). If this option is offered in a 16" MBP running Catalina, shut up and take my unemployment insurance!


    The point I'm making in response to the OP is: here's a machine operating the current system (Catalina) with no hardware limitations running VW. All of the internals are current which is more than I can say for the iMac Pro with 3-year old guts. For a Mac user looking for the last best fastest Intel Mac to run VW, this is the holy grail. Then we can all drool over the 32" chinless ARM iMac that they release sometime in the next 2-3 years... 


  2. New iMac announced today with significant updates:




    $4,600 config (dream machine):

    • Nano-texture glass (same antiglare as XDR monitor)
    • 3.8GHz 8-core 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz
    • 32GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
    • Radeon Pro 5700 XT with 16GB of GDDR6 memory
    • 2TB SSD storage
    • 10 Gigabit Ethernet
    • 1080p FaceTime HD camera
    • Higher Fidelity Speakers

    • Studio-Quality Mics

    This sleeper will smoke the last gen, so if you're not looking for a headless Mac, there's a very good chance this will be the best last Intel Mac... aaaaannnnnddddd you can run Catalina on it if you so desire (keep in mind that Big Sur will be buggy as hell for the next 6 months to a year... like every Mac OS release).


    They also spec-bumped the base model killed the lowest 8-core option on the iMac Pro but as a former iMac Pro owner, it's an overpriced joke. The regular iMac will destroy it when it comes to VW performance.


    Now, if they release a new 16" MBP before Big Sur, I may have to beg, borrow or steal... 


  3. 14 minutes ago, designedAF said:



    Isn't SteveJ confirming in that post that they are indeed working on having VW running on Apple silicon by the end of the year? First they confirm it will run on Big Sur, and then go on to say AND, they are working on an apple silicon version as well.  It seems pretty clear to me that is what is being indicated there? 


    As other's have said though, I think I'm going intel with my next machine regardless.  


    Looking back at it, the discrepancy seems to be between Fall vs Winter 2020:

    • VW 2021 SP 0 will be compatible with Big Sur in Sep/Oct 2020
    • VW 2021 SP (2.1?) is expected to be compatible with ARM in Dec 2020

    Either way, as I haven't worked since Feb 2020, and probably won't until the year 2525... the concept of a new computer is purely academic at this point.


    • Like 1

  4. The problem is that vendors like 3Dc and, if we’re being honest, most CAD software / hardware are Windows-first. I love 3Dc and have found them to be responsive. They worked with me for a over year reverse-engineering what Apple broke (with the T2 chip) causing the infamous unplug your mouse after rebooting, and then plug it back in every... single... time until they finally fixed the issue. But they’re basically throwing their few Mac users a bone.


    Meanwhile, Apple really only care about supporting their own walled garden of iApps. They have a very content-skewed perspective of who their “pro” users are. If I edited unboxing videos with Final Cut for my YouTube channel because I was a “creator”, I wouldn’t really be affected by Apple’s cancel culture. But I suspect most of the folks here have to wait a year or more for at least one of their third party software / drivers to catch up to Apple moving the goalpost on them every 12 months.


    That said, the long game looks good: excited about where all of this lands in 2-3 years but looks like I’ll ride it out on Mojave Intel until then.


  5. A colleague just sent me this screenshot (running Catalina). For context, 3Dconnexion released their latest driver less than 2 weeks before this error message regarding "Legacy" software.


    Here's more info / discussion about what that means: Apple Begins Warning Users That 'Legacy System Extensions' Won't Work With a Future Version of macOS


    From the official support document: "In 2019, Apple informed developers that macOS Catalina will be the last macOS to fully support legacy system extensions", so until 3Dconnexion update their software (again for the millionth time), it absolutely should not operate on Big Sur. And I'm sure this issue won't be limited to 3Dc... 


    I implore every VW user to wait until 11.0.6 (supplemental update 3) before updating their primary / work machines. Bringing it back to the OP, I would not hold out for a brand new ARM machine running Big Sur released later this year (or next year).





  6. @zoomer I suspect hope that Apple is only sharing the tip of the iceberg. Right now, YouTubers are winding themselves up with speculation that A + B must = C... 


    My optimistic take on this transition is that it removes the supply chain bottlenecks in their development cycle. Instead of having a scorched earth policy with NVIDIA, waiting for Intel to nano-incrementally update repackage their chips, not be able to depend on AMD to ship biblical quantities of chips... we should see every Mac get regular measurable updates with real world performance gains (vs mythical turbo boost speeds on thermally throttled hardware).


    In the few interviews I watched with Federighi, he reiterated that the big reveal at WWDC was a software announcement. The big hardware announcements are still to come... 



    • Like 1

  7. 8 hours ago, jeff prince said:


    Too bad we can't directly import Cinema4D into Vectorworks 😞

    There is so much entourage content available in C4D and FBX formats these days that I wish I could import.  I end up begging artists to export OBJ or do the Sketchup workaround to get most things of value into VWX.  That's gotta change.

    I prefer to keep entourage out of VW. Gotta keep those files lean and mean for project sharing with the rest of the team (they’d kill me if I didn’t). Render / previz apps have earned their place at the end of the pipeline in my workflow. In fact, if I can hand off my VW model to someone in the bullpen to go down the render hole, even better.

    Wait—how did we get here from ARM and Big Sur?


  8. 10 hours ago, jeff prince said:

    I just hope this ARM switch doesn’t result in some of my software being dropped from the Mac


    That's always a realistic concern with Apple who love to "kill their darlings." My expectation is that it'll be a triage scenario:

    1. Live: Apple and Mac-only apps will probably be compatible on day 1
    2. Save: Mac-friendly third party multi-platform apps that will invest in making the transition
    3. Let die: legacy apps (no longer in development) although Rosetta 2 may extend life for at least a few years

    I have a few legacy apps that I'm figuring out what to do with before I "upgrade" to Catalina:

    • Neat
    • Bento (32-bit)
    • VW_Keyboard-Mac v2 (32-bit)
      • Which I've never actually used... Has anyone here used this?
      • Might be able to update to 64-bit with current Filemaker release
    • Like 1

  9. On 7/11/2020 at 6:15 PM, jeff prince said:

    2015 MBP.  I’m hoping I can keep it in service until the dust settles with this transition rather than buy a new workstation as I had planned this year.  My current system handles 1 GB VWX files featuring dense point clouds and OBJ models with ease, so I’m thinking I might be able to wait it out.


    As I type this on my 2014 MBP 15", I can attest to how much my 2019 MBP 15" with 32GB RAM and 4GB VRAM absolutely destroys this machine with similar files that you describe. As much as a I love the convenience of ports, keys, magsafe... there's no contest when it comes to performance. The 2020 MBP 16" with 8GB VRAM (HBM2) would run circles around my 2019 MBP, and it has better thermals, a good keyboard, Esc key, T-arrow keys, slightly larger screen... 


    Going back to the 2014 machine, I've also noticed a significant degradation of connectivity with Bluetooth, Airplay, HDMI 4k at 30Hz... everything is just a little laggier and a little bit problematic 6 years later (compared to the 2019 machine). If I hadn't stepped backward, I wouldn't have noticed. It's like driving a Ferrari, and then going back to a Prius.


    And, with the 2014 MBP, I don't have the option of plugging in life-support because Thunderbolt 2 is practically useless with an eGPU... But I do have that option with the 2019 MBP.


    So, personally, I wouldn't try to stretch a 2015 Mac into 2022+ (even if I had a workstation parked next to it). Mac internals are already way behind the day we 'drive them off the lot', let alone 5-7 years later. The current 16" is as good as it gets, and for some reason costs $1,000 less than I paid for a comparable config of my 2019 15" Butterfly BS. Then, while Apple and the rest of the world point fingers at each other over the next 2-3 years, you're happily working on the best version of the current generation (very much like your 15" has been the past 5 years). In other words, always go for the 2015 MBP / Snow Leopard of its generation, and let the early adopters suffer the pain points of the first few lemons. 3 is the magic number (not rev 1, not rev 2).


    And just to reiterate: 32GB RAM + 8GB VRAM... VW will use every bit of it, especially with other apps running, and especially 2 years from now (Redshift).


    Anyway, that's just my 2 cents 😄


    "Comparison is the thief of joy."

    – Theodore Roosevelt


    • Like 3

  10. Taking this with a grain of salt but he did his research, and cites his sources (all Apple Developer materials). Will be interesting to see how this develops (sounds like there could be some real gains 2-3 years from now).


    In the meantime, a 2019/2020 Mac seems like the best option to ride out the next 2-3 years until all of this is sorted (and supported by third parties). And of course a Windows workstation is always an option for heavy lifting if the MBP's continue prioritizing thin/light/battery over delivering on performance. 



  11. Looking at this, I may stay on Mojave (or Catalina) until I move to Windows:


    A visual comparison of macOS Catalina and Big Sur


    Cartoonish transparency, less contrast, more iOS... Federighi claims that making all of the app icons the same size ands shape "reduces fatigue" but the more everything looks the same, the more energy it requires to tell it apart. The Mac has always been about the OS (certainly not the hardware performance) but that advantage is diminishing.


    So another option in this transition to ARM is to transition out of Mac as they continually dumb in down for consumers (over serving their professionals).


  12. 5 hours ago, herbieherb said:

    Not even on the paper, and it throttles because of the iMacs form-factor to about 80% of its potential performance. In single-core tasks this iMac is about as fast as a stock cooled Ryzen 7 3700x. And as always Apple wants me to pay the full price of the i9-9900 in addition to the price of the base configuration. But yes, in a Mac centred view you're absolutely right.


    For clarification, the fastest Mac right now (the OP is about "Mac Silicon OS", so I didn't think to clarify that).

    • Like 1

  13. On 7/3/2020 at 3:14 AM, SteveJ said:

    Mark, we look forward to our  Developer Kit arrival on July 7!


    @SteveJ that's great news! Please keep us informed how VW 2020 runs using Rosetta 2 on an ARM Mac.



  14. 2 hours ago, Don Seidel said:

    I'm 60. Been doing CAD on the Mac for some 35 years or more. VW since MiniCad 4 (I think).


    Speaking of Macs only, not PC's or Hackintoshes......Certainly some purchases are better timed (new machines always coming)  than others. Certainly some machines are better ROI than others. But it's an eternal moving target.


    Whenever it's time to upgrade, I buy the fastest machine I can reasonably afford. SO usually it's within 15-20% of the most extreme available. I've never bought the absolute top-of-the line because of this (except....) You pay a high premium. I sold my iMac Pro after 6  months because the performance was not near what I expected.


    My exception to max purchase is my 2018 MBPro, which replaced the iMac Pro. It was a much better setup for me to have a portable personal machine, a 34" monitor w/ eGPU. Sure it doesn't render as fast as the iMac Pro, but I spend perhaps less than 5% of my time rendering anything beyond OpenGL




    We're in the same boat. My eternal frustration with chasing the Mac dragon is that it's a neverending game of feature Whac-A-Mole. In fact, it's not "features", it's capabilities. It's like trying to buy a Toyota. If you want a sunroof, you have to buy package 5 but package 5 only comes in the color Baby Blue. So I bought a Jeep. The Jeep version of computers is a PC. I can throw an AMD Ryzen CPU and NVIDIA RTX GPU in a 2-year old machine today, and it will be supported (with a minimal amount of mods). Meanwhile, Apple won't license their OS but they also refuse to update their hardware or work with certain suppliers.


    Do I want a computer that's capable of 4k @ 60Hz? But do I want to have to unplug the USB-C cable/dongle throughout the day because my display is HDMI?


    Do I want an OS that supports NVIDIA cards? But that puts me in a Thunderbolt 2 machine unless... 


    the 2017 iMac will install High Sierra. But would I rather have a "headless" Mac?


    Well that's the Mac Mini. But it doesn't have a discreet GPU, so I have to use an eGPU... 


    And how about when Unreal releases UE 5, what will Twinmotion's GPU requirements be a year from now? They've already made it clear that the RTX 2080 is the card of choice today, so... 


    I could build a Hackintosh but how long will that work after the ARM transition?


    And that's not to mention 32-bit app support, will 3Dconnexion take a year (and multiple updates) to fix a driver that Apple broke with the T2 chip, the POS Touch Bar, the imminent end of OpenGL (and which 3D apps will choose to support Metal), and myriad other features capabilities that Apple has killed off (and is about to kill off in the continued iOSification of the Mac).


    In the past 3 years, I've tried a 2012 cheesegrater, a 2017 iMac Pro, and a 2019 MBP. Today, I'm typing this on my old 2014 MBP because it just works with everything (and I'm not drafting anything this summer). Which is why I keep going back to the idea of using a MBP for your daily driver (and to take onsite), and then just build a Windows workstation for 3D work.


    • Like 2

  15. 6 hours ago, herbieherb said:

    stop kidding 😄


    Check the link in my post. The 2019 iMac is the fastest single core clock speed machine right now. VW maxes out at 3 cores for most non-rendering tasks, and many operations will always be single core by their very nature (not a limitation of old code). Before that the 2017 iMac was king.


  16. On 6/23/2020 at 6:17 PM, M5d said:

    @SteveJ  That is promising.


    I know it's to early for definitive answers about this transition, but a slightly different question; how long did VW support universal binaries after the last transition, and would that period likely be longer this time? I ask because, from the general commentary so far, it's assumed the more powerful machines will likely be the very last to switch over to Apple's own Silicon. That's going to leave the intel macs as the primary / better option for those needing to upgrade over the next 18 months or so. The length of the "universal" period would make the difference between whether to grab a regular iMac as a stopgap, or whether to purchase as planned?      


    I'll let VW speak for VW but as someone who obsesses over this, and has learned from my Mac purchase mistakes in the past, these are the considerations I'm weighing right now:

    • The last Macs that will allow me to install Mojave on them are in the past (in my case, the ones that I already own).
    • The last Macs that will allow me to install Catalina will be released until September. There are some eGPU benefits to those machines over Mojave. However, eGPU's are a mixed bag, and will hopefully be rendered (pardon the pun) useless 2 years from now when the ARM transition is complete, so throwing down $2,000 for a Radeon Pro VII might not be the best ROI. Long story short, I'd be better of putting that $2,500 all-in eGPU investment into a 16" MBP for real world GPU gains with most 3D design apps (plus I wouldn't have to lug the eGPU onsite; assuming I'll be onsite before the ARM transition is complete).
    • VW's annual upgrade cycle is generally in sync with Apple, so they're both buggy / stable at the same time as they move from .0 to .3+ updates (a truly best case scenario that some users don't seem to understand for whatever reason). It's safe to assume that all developers and manufacturers (think drivers) will be playing catchup to varying degrees with Apple throughout the next 2+ years of transition.
    • Jony Ive is long gone, so it's a safe assumption that we won't have another 2016 MBP SNAFU on our hands but still... 
    • "Third time is a charm". Apple has moved iPhones to a 3-year product cycle. Year 3 is always the most refined / stable version. It's safe to assume that the first ARM Mac's will be less refined /stable than their successors.
      • Keep in mind that it looks like the iMac and some other Macs that haven't been updated in forever will also receive the "major" physical redesign which typically has a litany of kinks that needs to be ironed out ("You're holding it wrong!")

    Therefore, the sweet spot to me looks like a 2019/2020 Intel Mac until the transition is complete, and then buying a 2022/2023 ARM Mac. For me, that's tricky because my options are staying on this 2019 MBP Pro with a weak GPU (and possibly adding an eGPU), crap keyboard (and definitely adding a wireless keyboard)... Or ponying up for a 2020 MBP with a ridiculously overpriced GPU running Scatalina  (during a recession with no work in sight).


    Final thought: the 2015 MBP is a legend. The 2017 and 2019 iMac's are the fastest machines for running VW (including the new Mac Pro). So, while we may have ARM-envy during the transition, we also have perspective: buy the last version Apple release before they screw it up for the next 2-3 years.


    Final final thought: I may be f*cking 50 before I finally have a Mac that runs like I've needed it to since 2004 (and I'm not even counting the ones I used in the 90's), so I'm asking myself some real career-changing questions during the pandemic... Therefore, what I want to know is will VW still be stuck on 3 cores because of some old library before I turn 50? Because that will be the tipping point for me in this waiting game.




    • Like 2

  17. @SteveJ and @JuanP by the end of summer, I'd like to know which Mac operating system Vectorworks 2020 will perform best on:

    • 10.14.6
    • 10.15.6 (currently in beta; expecting multiple Supplemental Updates with loads more bug fixes)
    • 11.0+ (currently in beta; expecting the .0 release to be buggy, so realistically between 11.0.1 and 11.0.3)

    Reading between the lines, a lot of us are still on Mojave because it's stable (keep in mind that it wasn't until .5 or .6), so we're wondering if we should stay on the most stable release of Mojave, or upgrade to the forthcoming most stable release of Catalina (after they squash the remaining bugs in "The Third Act" of software maintenance on an annual release cycle 😉), or skip Catalina*, and jump to a predictably less stable version of Big Sur.


    Normally, I would never even entertain the thought of upgrading to a new Mac OS until the .6 release but it's hard to tell if the reason Catalina has been so problematic is because Apple hasn't gotten around to fixing the bugs until now, or if Apple was tired and bored of dealing with OS X, and put their energy and resources into OS XI. All things being relative, it's quite possible that the final version of Catalina will be just as stable as the final version of Mojave (I didn't mean for that to sound sarcastic but the irony is not lost on me).


    *by skipping Catalina, I don't mean literally. I learned from experience that even if I'm only on Catalina for 1 day, the best practice is not to skip a generation because Apple moves / adds / deletes... files and folders, so if you skip a generation, you might have a bunch of files orphaned where the OS doesn't talk to them anymore. Best to let the OS "touch" everything (same applies to a clean install).


    • Like 1

  18. On 6/23/2020 at 5:12 PM, designedAF said:

    Wait, you think you're going to be supporting ARM mac's this Fall?! That's incredibly awesome news.  


    No, they'll support Big Sur which will run on either Intel or ARM (so, in this context, Intel).


    @SteveJ how many Mac Mini A12Z Developer Transition Kits have you guys rented so far?


  19. 6 hours ago, Andy Broomell said:


    So I have a relatively important question regarding this, having played around quite a bit recently with current methods of getting a Vectorworks model into Unreal (via FBX).


    When this new integration debuts, how are we expected to work on UV maps? Unreal Engine, as fabulous as it is, doesn't let you edit UV maps, as it's expected that you finesse those beforehand in your DCC (digital content creation) software, which in our case is Vectorworks. There is currently no capability to edit UV maps in Vectorworks, so unless there's some additional UV functionality coming, I'm not sure how a link with Unreal will be usable?


    It's important to note that Unreal relies on well-constructed UV maps not only for texturing, but for lightmaps and shadowmaps as well. All UV-based.


    I want to make sure the folks working on this connection with Unreal are thinking through a complete workflow, not simply the file connectivity aspect which alone might not lead to usable results.


    That being said, I'm really looking forward to further progress in this direction. Thank you for opening up more avenues for us!








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