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So... Apple has been spreading a rumor that an all-new iMac Pro will be available on 12.14

 

In the meantime, I have a Late 2013 Mac Pro ("Trash Can"), with the AMD D700 graphics cards, on which both Vectorworks 2017 and 2018 seem to have a lot of issues, primarily graphics issues, I believe.  Working in 3D, geometry is often invisible.  Working in 2D, including Top/Plan view and on sheet layers, just moving around can be very tedious, especially when it comes to scroll zooming.  Among other things.  I tested my computer with the Cinebench software (as suggested here: https://forum.vectorworks.net/index.php?/articles.html/articles/tech-bulletins/user-success-hardware-benchmark-results-r699/ ) and (assuming I used it correctly...) came up with a CPU score of about 1190, and a GPU score of about 82.  So, plenty of power, right?  I'm wondering if others using Late 2013 Mac Pros also have similar issues?  But, mostly, I'm wondering about the upcoming iMac Pro...

 

Can the iMac Pro be expected to be a good fit for Vectorworks?  Regardless of its issues, my current computer does crank out Renderworks renderings very speedily, which I do a fair amount of, so, I don't want to give up that capability.  But I'd love to be able to do the day-to-day modeling and construction drawings without having to run through the mud.  

 

So, any thoughts on the anticipated viability of the iMac Pro when it comes to Vectorworks would be greatly appreciated!  Some specific questions are:

 

Is Vectorworks 2018 not yet officially supported on 10.13 High Sierra?  (It doesn't seem to show up here: http://www.vectorworks.net/sysreq ).

 

What's the most amount of RAM that Vectorworks can use (especially in the context of renderings) and, if it makes a difference, in the context of the iMac Pro?

 

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14 and 18 cores will only be available "later".

 

I have the similar nMP 6 core only.

I don't think there are problems with AMD D700, and if then it will be a problem

with AMD on Mac and that will not be different on an iMac Pro.

I think 2D on DL was accelerated with VW 2017, SL is still not as far as I understand.

3D acceleration works very well in my eyes.

2D for you may not get better for you with a better GPU in the worst case.

 

Generally the D700 is 4-5 years and outdated. If I'm correct the Vega will be at least 2.5

times as fast, or at least 175 cinepoints.

Standard 8 core CPU will be a bit faster than your 8 core. 18 core should at least have

3000 multicore CPU cinepoints. Which would be more than 3 times fastre than my

6 core, for Modo, VRAY, C4D and RW rendering. Single core score is also faster than

ours, for VW standard usage.

And you can have 128 GB of reliable ECC Ram, opposed to 64 GB, if you need.

TB 3 and 10 Gb Network is nice too.

 

So yes, iMac Pro will be a nice "Workstation" for the coming VW generations.

If you don't render much, the current standard iMac w/o Pro may be suited as well.

 

 

BTW,

Normally I could live with 16 GB for Rendering. I had 32, so the next machine should have

64 GB for itself. Currently I have 24 GB and in the worst case I have to close my project

in all other 3-4 Apps that may run beside, if I render or one App freaks out when ex- or importing.

 

And as pork cycles RAM prices are currently at a peak I would go with 32 GB for now but

you can't extend RAM by yourself later without an iFixIt Kit on a iMac Pro.

 

Edited by zoomer

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Not better in €

Maxed out bottom right model 15,500 €

(That minus 4 TB SSD would have been my choice > 11,000+)

 

Hard to configure anything usable under 9,000+

 

Have to see Cinebenches if anything below 18 cores could make any sense.

Starting with 32 GB RAM to need to go to a repair shop when RAM prices

get down again ???

How many years will 8 GB VRAM last in such an expensive AiO ???

 

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@WillofMaine I have the same year but different specs on my Mac Pro and I haven't experienced anything unusual like you describe. I also us a Macbook Pro 13" with i5 processor and minimal video and haven't really noticed that much of a difference. I too am considering replacing the trash can with the iMac Pro but my CFO/wife wouldn't be too happy! ;-)

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20 hours ago, willofmaine said:

Is Vectorworks 2018 not yet officially supported on 10.13 High Sierra?  (It doesn't seem to show up here: http://www.vectorworks.net/sysreq ).

 


Vectorworks 2018 Sp2 and now Vectorworks 2017 Sp5 officially support macOS 10.13 High Sierra. I have put in a request that the sysreq pages be updated. (Apologies, its not one under my direct control or i'd update it right away.)
 

20 hours ago, willofmaine said:

Can the iMac Pro be expected to be a good fit for Vectorworks?

 

It SHOULD be complete and utter overkill from the specs I have seen so far. If/once we get a model in house I will test it heavily.

 

20 hours ago, willofmaine said:

Working in 3D, geometry is often invisible.  Working in 2D, including Top/Plan view and on sheet layers, just moving around can be very tedious, especially when it comes to scroll zooming.  Among other things.


These issues may very well not be directly related to your graphics hardware, even on machines with state of the art GPUs these issues can be present depending upon many other factors, and are being tracked as bugs. Now to clarify, the older/weaker your GPU is, the worse these issues can get, but they can still occur even when using a machine scoring well above the recommended levels.

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@zoomer

 

So if the D700 on a Late 2013 Mac Pro is problematic, the Radeon Pro Vega will be problematic on the iMac Pro, just because they're both AMD?

 

If given a choice between 64GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, or 32GB of RAM and 2TB of storage, which might be preferable?  The extra storage would be nice, but, not at the expense of RAM, but it seems RAM is always an issues, especially as computers age.  I guess the question is, really, will Vectorworks & Renderworks even use more than 32GB of RAM, now or in the foreseeable future?   (I don't run any other demanding software)

 

47 minutes ago, zoomer said:

Have to see Cinebenches if anything below 18 cores could make any sense.

 

Why wouldn't anything below 18 cores make any sense?...

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41 minutes ago, rowbear97 said:

@WillofMaine I have the same year but different specs on my Mac Pro and I haven't experienced anything unusual like you describe. I also us a Macbook Pro 13" with i5 processor and minimal video and haven't really noticed that much of a difference. I too am considering replacing the trash can with the iMac Pro but my CFO/wife wouldn't be too happy! ;-)

 

Okay, that's helpful.  Maybe my issues are more specific to my system, or settings, or software, or something....  Good luck with your CFO!!  CFO's often just don't get the financial benefits of bigger, faster, more powerful, sleeker, more aerodynamic, Space Gray computers!  

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The D700 is not problematic.

It has 6 GB of VRAM and is well within VW Specs. It will be fine for a few more years.

It was state of the art at their time but already a bit outdated when the Mac Pro was

finally released. It is no more fast in these days.

Although you would have 2 of them, no one beside Final Cut and Logic can (or does)

make use of them.

Vega64 may currently nearly overkill but it will be fine for nearly a decade of coming

VW versions.

 

If there is a AMD driver Problem with Apple, VW has to find workarounds or fixes as

it is as it is with Apple because Apple may not react. As Jim said, If there are a few

2D Problems on VW side, VW should find and fix the bugs.

 

So as said, if you experience little problems these will likely not go away when you

upgrade to a Vega on Mac. (Or even on Windows if there are VW graphic problems)

 

 

As for the SSD,

I have Apps and OS on my 1 TB internal SSD, all data on an external TB SATA SSD

enclosure. I would do the same for an iMac and invest the money in a CPU upgrade

because of rendering. And in GPU as this AiO is not upgradable and for the future

as for this price that AiO has to run for MANY years.

Edited by zoomer

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1 hour ago, JimW said:


Vectorworks 2018 Sp2 and now Vectorworks 2017 Sp5 officially support macOS 10.13 High Sierra. I have put in a request that the sysreq pages be updated. (Apologies, its not one under my direct control or i'd update it right away.)

 

Maybe you should have direct control of more things!

 

1 hour ago, JimW said:

It SHOULD be complete and utter overkill from the specs I have seen so far. If/once we get a model in house I will test it heavily.

 

Okay, so to back up for a moment: for one attempting to push Vectorworks to its limits, as I think I do (complex projects, large models, photorealistic renderings), what's the maximum currently available Mac that makes sense for Vectorworks, without being overkill?  (Forget the Late 2013 Mac Pro (there now, doing that); I know the regular iMacs were updated by Apple in June or July; and I know pretty much nothing about Apple's laptops).

 

1 hour ago, JimW said:

These issues may very well not be directly related to your graphics hardware, even on machines with state of the art GPUs these issues can be present depending upon many other factors, and are being tracked as bugs. Now to clarify, the older/weaker your GPU is, the worse these issues can get, but they can still occur even when using a machine scoring well above the recommended levels.

 

Okay, so aside from the possibilities of a newer graphics card, it sounds like there's not necessarily much reason to hope that a different computer will provide a significant improvement(?)...

Edited by willofmaine

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14 minutes ago, willofmaine said:

Maybe you should have direct control of more things!

 


Good news! I found out I DO have direct control over this now, it has been fixed. 

 

15 minutes ago, willofmaine said:

Okay, so to back up for a moment: for one attempting to push Vectorworks to its limits, as I think I do (complex projects, large models, photorealistic renderings), what's the maximum currently available Mac that makes sense for Vectorworks, without being overkill?


As of this post (If any are reading this in the future, please note the date of this post and that if it is more than 6 months old, this may change things entirely) the models I would say fit this description:

Both MacBook Pro 15inch models. 

The Radeon Pro 560 GPU 21.5inch iMac option.

Any of the 27inch iMac models.
 

The Mac Pro and iMac Pro honestly are a difficult part of the Apple lineup. Because they are SO far above the standard fare that they are overkill, mainly because so much of the lower end of Macs lineup is filled with very weak Intel GPU offerings. They do not have many/any good mid range choices, which is where Vectorworks would fall generally on the Windows side.

 

21 minutes ago, willofmaine said:

Okay, so aside from the possibilities of a newer graphics card, it sounds like there's not necessarily much reason to hope that a different computer will provide a significant improvement(?)...


This is entirely possible at this point where Vectorworks stands right now. There would be no way to know for sure until you saw your files being used on one of the later machines in the way you use them. All I can offer in this regard is the instant I get my hands on one, I can take one of your files, run through some tests and send you a recording of the performance so that you can be the judge. I understand this is less than ideal, but It's all I've got at the moment.

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6 hours ago, willofmaine said:

If given a choice between 64GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, or 32GB of RAM and 2TB of storage, which might be preferable?  The extra storage would be nice, but, not at the expense of RAM, but it seems RAM is always an issues, especially as computers age.  I guess the question is, really, will Vectorworks & Renderworks even use more than 32GB of RAM, now or in the foreseeable future?   (I don't run any other demanding software)

 

I'm curious about the value of exceeding 32GB of RAM also. And with very fast SSD's in the mix, are the potential benefits of additional RAM less significant?       

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I am really interested to hear @JimWadvise on the new ImacPro. 

We buy new Macs every 6th or 7th year, our current are MacPro mid 2100 3.3Ghz 6 core, 32 GB RAM,  Radeon HD5770 1024MB. 

I am looking at buying the basic iMac Pro, eventually with the 64 GB VRAM and / or adding RAM.

 

Out of the specs and the VW development, would you consider better graphics more important than cores or ram, 

How will my new computer perform with VW 2024?  (-;

 

 

 

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RAM and VRAM always needs to be "enough"

(depending on your Project sizes)

or it will get really slow.

CPU and GPU speeds are linear.

 

CPUs single core performance development gets very little faster over the years.

Adding more cores makes only things faster that can be parallelized to profit,

currently things like video conversion or CPU rendering.

Even if VW optimizes everything that could be parallelized in CAD, 4 core /8 threads

should be enough for non-RW-rendering tasks.

 

So if you are still happy with your 2010 single CPU cMac Pros,

the new iMac Pro base model will be much faster and more capable.

Check your activity monitor, while heavy working, for RAM usage.

If you often reach 24 GB usage, go for 64 GB to be on the better side for the future.

Otherwise stay with the base model. Adding RAM to iMac Pro later isn't impossible,

just a bit more complicated and tedious.

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2 hours ago, Hans-Olav said:

Out of the specs and the VW development, would you consider better graphics more important than cores or ram, 

 


Graphics for sure, more and more of Vectorworks will lean on GPU as versions pass. CPU is of course important, but increasingly so solely for Renderworks renderings.

 

12 hours ago, M5d said:

I'm curious about the value of exceeding 32GB of RAM also. And with very fast SSD's in the mix, are the potential benefits of additional RAM less significant?       


I have never come across a common scenario (where there wasn't a bug in play at least) where Vectorworks needed more than 16GB to itself. Having MORE than that would allow you to do more things that also required RAM without slowing other processes down, but for instance a machine with 256GB of RAM wouldn't run Vectorworks on its own any faster than an otherwise identical machine with 32GB of RAM.

As suggested above, if you check Activity Monitor and you don't regularly see your RAM crossing 80% usage, you likely would not benefit much from more RAM.

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18 hours ago, JimW said:


Good news! I found out I DO have direct control over this now, it has been fixed.

 

Excellent!  And congratulations on your ever-increasing control!

 

 

18 hours ago, JimW said:

the models I would say fit this description:

Both MacBook Pro 15inch models. 

The Radeon Pro 560 GPU 21.5inch iMac option.

Any of the 27inch iMac models.

 

 

Okay, that is very helpful.  But, I assume a 3.2GHz 8-core computer isn't necessarily "overkill" in that it will out perform a 2.9GHz quad-core, especially (or maybe only?) when it comes to Renderworks renderings, right?  (Vectorworks itself, without Renderworks, just only uses one core, if I remember correctly?...)

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Just now, willofmaine said:

But, I assume a 3.2GHz 8-core computer isn't necessarily "overkill" in that it will out perform a 2.9GHz quad-core, especially (or maybe only?) when it comes to Renderworks renderings, right?


When it comes to Renderworks renderings that is a very reasonable and solid upgrade, not overkill at all.

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1 hour ago, JimW said:


Graphics for sure, more and more of Vectorworks will lean on GPU as versions pass. CPU is of course important, but increasingly so solely for Renderworks renderings.

 

I have never come across a common scenario (where there wasn't a bug in play at least) where Vectorworks needed more than 16GB to itself. 

 

Okay... So if given a choice between 64GB of RAM and an 8GB graphics card, or 32GB of RAM and a 16GB graphics card, sounds like the 16GB graphics card might be the way to go (especially if one is primarily running Vectorworks as the only demanding software).

 

In any case, if we're talking about spending enough to keep a computer viable "many, many" (say five) years down the road, isn't that, at a certain point, a waste of resources, especially with Apple, where it seems the duration of support for their operating systems keeps getting shorter and shorter?...

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Just now, willofmaine said:

So if given a choice between 64GB of RAM and an 8GB graphics card, or 32GB of RAM and a 16GB graphics card, sounds like the 16GB graphics card might be the way to go

That's the way I'd go!
 

1 minute ago, willofmaine said:

isn't that, at a certain point, a waste of resources, especially with Apple, where it seems the duration of support for their operating systems keeps getting shorter and shorter?

That's a great question. So far, one that Apple has yet to answer directly with a product. Honestly, I do love Macs, but I only work with them on a regular basis because they are paid for by Vectorworks Inc. I personally only own Windows PCs because upgradability gives them a long service life and lets me upgrade at-will when I see a GPU or other component with features I want.

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Apple does seem to enjoy keeping everyone in the dark...  We're lucky the rumor I referenced in starting this thread has since turned out to be true!

 

Thank you for all your answers!  EXTREMELY helpful!!!

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How about a different look at the problem.  Is the iMac Pro worth $4000 more than a standard iMac?

 

2000 work hours / year using VW and a 2 year useful life = $1/hour "added" cost for the Pro. So if you can add $1/hour to your billing rate, the Pro is paid for in 2 years.

 

$50/hour billing rate.  = 80 hours / 2 years that need to be saved to justify the extra cost. 500 work days/ 2 years = 10 minutes /day in time savings required to justify the cost.

 

And this is without considering any tax deductions or other benefits.

 

If you are making money at what you are doing, it does not take very much of an increase in productivity to justify a relatively high cost for better tools.

 

And especially for people who keep their machines for a longer time it makes even more sense to get a higher powered machine now. The cost of the hardware is nothing compared to the cost of the person operating it. You need to do anything possible to optimize the use of their time.

 

 

 

 

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Yes,

but when you are slower because of cheaper Hard and Software,

you will earn even more per project ;)

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1 hour ago, Pat Stanford said:

If you are making money at what you are doing, it does not take very much of an increase in productivity to justify a relatively high cost for better tools.

 


This is how I see it personally. My computers are basically my big chest of tools and I happily spend cash in that area.

(That and any furniture/shoes that come between my rear end and the ground ;)  )

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On 12/15/2017 at 11:48 AM, Pat Stanford said:

If you are making money at what you are doing, it does not take very much of an increase in productivity to justify a relatively high cost for better tools.

 

I completely agree.  I'd gladly pay more to see Vectorworks lose some of its bugginess and dysfunctionalism...

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