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PC or Mac?

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Just my 2p from someone who runs both Macbook and PC desktop - same monitor. Thankfully, with most VW licenses, you can run on either platform.

A modern Mac or PC will both serve you well of you go with recommended specs. Some features of VW are better on PC (size of pallets etc), some are better on Mac (cannot remember what) - at least this was my view when running VW2011 and may be different under 2014.

Apart from hardware preferences, don't under estimate any existing investment in software. I don't run Adobe on my Mac platform for this reason as the cost at the time of upgrading perpetual license CS3/PC to CS?/Mac was prohibitive and i don't use it enough to justify subscription model.

Something that many overlook is the longevity of each platform. If you want to buy a version and stick with it, then Windows meets that requirements due to long life of its OS's. Ive got a probably 8 year old Windows XP laptop that will still run a modest project on VW2011.

If you want to keep current and don't mind paying the premium for that, then the Mac yearly updates and VW VSS subscription will suit. OSX on Mac has about 2 year life span before you are pretty much forced to upgrade regularly. VW2011 that i was on is not compatible with laters version of OSX so before going with VW VSS, i was stuck on previous version of OSX with Apple rapidly removing support for apps and features on that version - they wont support TimeMachine backup issue that i have unless i move to latest version and im losing features from Xcode development environment by not staying current.

Look at the OS compatibility matrixes to see the differences in lifespan of Windows/OSX platforms. You may even be caught out with software compatibility if going up a version or two of Windows however, i see you are on Win7 and personally would stick with that if you stay with Windows.

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I agree with most of your observations however I think from a VW user it comes down to a PoV on the OS interface comfort level.

I have a client with VW on a PC and the SIZE of Pallets point you make drives me crazy- just me I know, but I really don't like it.

As for me, as you can see from my deets below, I've been using this Mac OS since 2010, with few interface issues. I have a Mac Mini that runs Classic OS and I do open VW 2009 from time to time.

I'm waiting until late 2014 or 2015 to upgrade systems, by purchasing a new computer. My IT consultant's advise is to NEVER upgrade an OS (Mac or PC) if you can avoid it, only go to the new OS with a brand new machine. So I'll upgrade Computron, OS, Software & Phone all at the same time.

Let's face it. It's an arms race.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

If you want a very specific recommendation, I use a Lenovo Y510P and it works wonderfully with Vectorworks.

A laptop that runs Vectorworks well is going to be a bit pricey however, since you do not want one with an Intel integrated card. I have seen users claim Intel Iris graphics run acceptably, but haven't had the chance to confirm it here.

For a little bit of future proofing, you will want a minimum of 8GB of RAM. A Video card capable of OpenGL 4.1 and its own dedicated 1GB of memory minimum. For the processor, I recommend an i5 or an i7, the equivalent in AMD processors should be fine. But if you do any kind of Renderworks renderings, you will want 4+ cores.

Switching to Mac is now more of a personal preference than anything else. I have users on both OSes. (I'd guess it was a 60/40 split Mac/Windows for users that call.) The MacBook Pros with dedicated graphics work well with Vectorworks, but can be quite pricey.

Effectively, if you can get near the specs of either of the machines in my signature, you should see good results.

Edited by JimW
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