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Vision - PC or Mac

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I've seen a lot of interesting posts on this forum regarding the hardware for vision. I'm Mac based for VW though I also use a PC for a rival, un named visualiser (ok then Wysiwyg). Obviously a PC will be a bit cheaper than a maxed out Mac Pro, does anyone know if the ESC export can be dropped straight into vision on a  PC? Or would I have to convert the original VW file to PC then export? 


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I can answer this, it's one of my favorite topics. Though my opinions on the matter are solely that, and aren't representative of Vectorworks in any way. I'm going to imagine the legal people are giving me a high-five for that.


First to answer your question simply, yes, and ESC file is transferable to a PC from a mac and vice-versa. Just make sure you keep the mac up to date by running the Vision updater with the dongle in every now and then, to keep your fixture modes current. Honestly though, unless for some reason you need to use a Mac for your drawing I'd just use a PC for the whole process. Your VW license allows for 2 installs anyway.


Ignore below if tech discussion bores you:

Finally, for the question you didn't ask. A maxed out Mac Pro is $7000, a maxed iMac Pro is $13,000. For the same performance in a pc you'd be looking at....2000? Maybe less. Here's where they get you - hardware exclusivity. The Mac Pro likes to tout the dual D700's as a big selling factor, because you can't find a PC with them. Why? Apple took W9000's from 2011, renamed them, and dropped them in. Vram, clock speeds, memory speed, all identical to a W9000. BUT, Apple says they cost like 2 grand each - so people think they are good.


Next, the processors. Not many things utilize multiple cores at all, let alone some of the high counts in server CPUs. Xeons are designed for a ton of people accessing a computer simultaneously and doing different things. I'd put money on the server for our website having a Xeon. Anything over 4, just won't really get used - unless you tinker with processor affinity to manually assign a process to certain cores every time you launch it. Which leaves us with performance on 4 cores or less. The iMac Pro has a Xeon W-2195 (I'm assuming, they never specify for some reason) which has a clock speed of 2.30 GHz, ouch. My personal machine has an i7 8700K, running comfortably at 5.0 GHz, and that processor is about $2000 less.


The comparisons I always see are between a mac and a PC with the SAME hardware, but this is silly. You wouldn't try to go out and buy a W9000 for a PC, it's 7 years old. If you do go PC, let me know. We've walked a bunch of people through part picking - to get the best bang for your buck, and I'd be happy to help out.



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