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5 hours ago, zoomer said:

Looks like Mac Rumors readers aren't very enthusiastic about the Macbook Air

and iPad prices either.

 

Gouged is a term I’d use for NZ prices 😬... glad I was sitting down when I read them...

The 12.9 iPad Pro is ridiculous now.

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Yes,

and beside your special situation

(which I saw mentioned in a "Hardware Unboxed" Video lately)

it is still drifting away in comparison to other products somehow.

 

May get worse for US customers too, when the import taxes will

show their final effect. Or for UK customers after the Brexit.

Maybe for all ....

Edited by zoomer

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On 10/30/2018 at 8:08 AM, Jim Wilson said:

It isn't actually AutoCAD. It's a Nomad-like app that can annotate and draw simple text and shapes in DWGs but thats it. They worded that very poorly.

 

Are you sure? I noticed this article this morning where the new iPad Pro's are benchmarking around the same as the lower end 15" Macbook Pros -

 

https://www.macrumors.com/2018/11/01/2018-ipad-pro-benchmarks-geekbench/

 

The Apple custom chip development is advancing very quickly. It may mean that Mac AutoCAD and iPad AutoCAD could become the same thing in the not too distant future.

 

Kevin

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1 minute ago, Kevin McAllister said:

Are you sure? I noticed this article this morning where the new iPad Pro's are benchmarking around the same as the lower end 15" Macbook Pros -

 


OH the hardware is quite powerful, it's the "AutoCAD on iPad" that is the thing that isn't really a thing. For instance, we have Nomad that allows you to interact with Vectorworks files on iPads and other tablets, but I wouldn't call it Vectorworks for iPad.

The hardware on mobile devices is rapidly approaching the point where it could handle desktop software though, we will have to wait and see how Apple handles their two OSes and their plans for custom chips.

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17 minutes ago, Jim Wilson said:

OH the hardware is quite powerful, it's the "AutoCAD on iPad" that is the thing that isn't really a thing. For instance, we have Nomad that allows you to interact with Vectorworks files on iPads and other tablets, but I wouldn't call it Vectorworks for iPad.

 

Right, in its current form its more like Nomad. I guess the question is whether its changing into something else in the future and if that was what was referenced in the keynote.

 

18 minutes ago, Jim Wilson said:

The hardware on mobile devices is rapidly approaching the point where it could handle desktop software though, we will have to wait and see how Apple handles their two OSes and their plans for custom chips.

 

Yes, definitely. I think there are some hints with the push for developers to support Metal directly since Metal runs on both the MacOS and iOS.

 

Kevin

 

 

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Got one of the new Mac Minis (8,1 to be specific) in for testing, the GPU performs very minimally as expected compared to dedicated solutions. The CPU however is quite excellent, making the top 5 on my benchmark list easily.

 

image.png

Added to the benchmark database as well.

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Thats the plan! The main hiccup I had in my first tests was that since the core use case was upgrading the GPU performance of MaccBooks, MacBook Pros and Macbook Airs, getting the eGPU to feed back into the integrated monitor took some bending around and wasn't very slick. Since the Mac Mini has no integrated display, itll just be feeding Mac Mini > eGPU > Display which was the path that things seems to have been tested and worked out the most and likely is the most plug and play.

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5 minutes ago, zoomer said:

Will Cinebench drop much if you try it 5 times in a row ?


It should not for my results that I share here. I make sure the CPU is at temp before running the benchmarks with a terminal utility. I normally run the test 3 times and take the average of those three. Ran it 5 in a row just now to check and the results did not dip below 1200 in any of them.

(Also: This was done on the machines default fan curve with no mods. I didn't use my normal trick of overriding the fan profile for max cooling like I do on my production machines.)

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Honestly this machine does not seem to suffer from much if any thermal throttling. It of course cant maintain it's boost of 4.5 (thats very uncommon in normal air cooled hardware anyway) but it is rated at 3.2Ghz and easily holds 3.6Ghz+ for the majority of the benchmark. As soon as the CPU is no longer under load, it plummets from ~98C right down to 60C and then tapers back down to 40C as the machine returns to idle.

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Thanks a lot for your tests Jim.

And that is far better than I expected after their previous device results.

 

(But too little, too late, my next Mac Mini will have a Ryzen,

be not that Mini and not even be a Mac)

Edited by zoomer
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29 minutes ago, Jim Wilson said:

Honestly this machine does not seem to suffer from much if any thermal throttling. It of course cant maintain it's boost of 4.5 (thats very uncommon in normal air cooled hardware anyway) but it is rated at 3.2Ghz and easily holds 3.6Ghz+ for the majority of the benchmark. As soon as the CPU is no longer under load, it plummets from ~98C right down to 60C and then tapers back down to 40C as the machine returns to idle.

 

Sounds like if we had an offline rendering option for sheet layer viewports (like Team Render) it would be a good fit.... 🙂

 

Kevin

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16 minutes ago, Kevin McAllister said:

(like Team Render)


My view on TeamRender:

lhjhbB9.gif

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Not seeing how this comes remotely close to the year old iMac with a base clock speed of 4.2 and a 580 built in (and costs less when configured the same).

 

This is still the hierarchy for 80% of what I'm doing* in VW until Apple releases something new:

  1. Hackintosh
  2. 2017 iMac
  3. 2017 iMac Pro
  4. 2018 MacBook Pro + eGPU
  5. 2018 Mac Mini + eGPU

* The speed boosts in 2019 were nice but I'm experiencing a 20% improvement at best. SLVP's are still excruciating on an iMac Pro, and I'm barely touching my GPU ever. The fastest base clock 4-core CPU + 8GB GPU + 32GB RAM + 4k display/s is still the sweet spot for using VW for the next year or so. And trying to configure that same machine to also render with Renderworks...  fuhgettaboutit.

Edited by Mark Aceto

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19 minutes ago, Mark Aceto said:

Not seeing how this comes remotely close to the year old iMac with a base clock speed of 4.2 and a 580 built in (and costs less when configured the same).

 


It does not, it's GPU holds it back significantly, but the cost is significantly less. The Mac Mini is $1,300 as I have it configured currently, that iMac config is $2,300. The Mini also has 12 logical cores instead of 8, so even with a lower clock speed it can trounce the iMac in CPU based renderings.

However, for anyone like yourself capable of building and maintaining a hackintosh, NONE of Apple's offerings are worth the money. Period. And of course if you compare it to Windows hardware, the prices are simply unacceptable for what you get out of it.

I mostly focus on users that just want to buy an Apple product and then not think about it again. Since the Mac Mini is now an "entry-level" darling of the range, I need to pay attention to not only what it can do, but also what users are going to want to do with it. I suspect that with a decent eGPU solution, this Mini can outperform it's iMac and Macbook Pro contemporaries dollar for dollar. 

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30 minutes ago, Mark Aceto said:

SLVP's are still excruciating on an iMac Pro, and I'm barely touching my GPU ever.

 

^ Are they section viewports? The single core geometry calculation for the section viewports seems to be the bottleneck. Its disappointing that it likely won't be solved until 2021 at the earliest.

 

I just went ahead and purchased a low end refurbished iMac Pro. I'd been waiting for a new iMac but my 2012 15" MacBook Pro was showing its age on my current projects so I had to find a new option. I'll be very disappointed if it doesn't trounce my current machine.

 

Kevin

 

Edited by Kevin McAllister

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17 minutes ago, Jim Wilson said:

It does not, it's GPU holds it back significantly, but the cost is significantly less. The Mac Mini is $1,300 as I have it configured currently, that iMac config is $2,300. The Mini also has 12 logical cores instead of 8, so even with a lower clock speed it can trounce the iMac in CPU based renderings.

 

How much does it cost with the eGPU?

 

If I spec'd my workstation based on CPU rendering (which I did with this iMac Pro), I would be cutting off my nose to spite my face. VW 2019 is only capable of using 4 cores for all the modeling that comes before the rendering, and much of the time, it's still using 1 core. So if this iMac Pro is slow for modeling, I can only imagine how slow that Mac Mini is.

 

It's easy to get caught up in the hype of numbers and specs and marketing... but the reality is that VW 2019 models fastest on a 2017 Mac with a built in 8GB GPU (that pales in comparison to a 1080 ti, sure, but VW 2019 isn't capable of maxing out the 580, so it won't feel any faster).

 

I cannot express the crushing buyer's remorse of spending $$$$$ on a computer that runs VW slower than a $$$ computer. And the whole rendering thing... the third party GPU based renderers won. Why would I spend $$$$$$$$$$ on an 18-core machine that takes hours to render a still, when Unreal/TwinMotion, and Lumion can take a screenshot. Not to mention the higher core count cripples the single core clock speed. That's a terrible ROI for a business that runs on modeling, plating and rendering.

 

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28 minutes ago, Kevin McAllister said:

I just went ahead and purchased a low end refurbished iMac Pro. I'd been waiting for a new iMac but my 2012 15" MacBook Pro was showing its age on my current projects so I had to find a new option. I'll be very disappointed if it doesn't trounce my current machine.

 

, I would have sold you mine.

 

The SLVP's are the typical ortho views: plan, front, side, iso. It seems like one way to speed it up is to quit and restart VW 2019 hourly.

 

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19 minutes ago, Mark Aceto said:

So if this iMac Pro is slow for modeling, I can only imagine how slow that Mac Mini is.


Vectorworks' geometry calculation is SO inefficient and slow, that it is almost unnoticeably different between 2ghz and 4ghz clock speeds. None of what is being covered in this thread will appreciably improve geometry/section speeds. Its in a place now where regular graphics and drawing were around 2013/2014, where is literally no hardware you can throw at it to help more than slightly.

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8 minutes ago, Jim Wilson said:

Vectorworks' geometry calculation is SO inefficient and slow, that it is almost unnoticeably different between 2ghz and 4ghz clock speeds.

 

How does this explain when Activity Monitor shows "Application Not Responding", a single core (or four) has maxed out one or both threads, and the GPU and RAM are barely being used. This seems like a clear cut example of (single core) CPU-constrained performance. And being that VW can't use more than four cores, that's also a constraint until SP?

 

Do you have a side by side test of a current 2ghz and 4ghz machine? I'd be especially interested to see how they perform on sheet layers, as that seems to be where VW really puts on the brakes.

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6 minutes ago, Mark Aceto said:

Do you have a side by side test of a current 2ghz and 4ghz machine? I'd be especially interested to see how they perform on sheet layers, as that seems to be where VW really puts on the brakes.


If you mean SECTION viewports on sheet layers, i suspect theyd be the same or in near-as-makes-no-difference territory, ill set up a clearer test later on but it can be hard to get 2 CPUs from the same generation where the only difference is the clock speed, ill see what i can get my hands on.

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8 minutes ago, Mark Aceto said:

How does this explain when Activity Monitor shows "Application Not Responding", a single core (or four) has maxed out one or both threads, and the GPU and RAM are barely being used. This seems like a clear cut example of (single core) CPU-constrained performance.


Yes, thats the geometry phase choking and not letting your computer flex it's full muscle, thats normally the fault of Vectorworks older code we havent yet replaced. 

The 4 core limit for more rapidly offloading things from older single threads to multiple threads is set for now and wont change until stability catches up to the new tech. However this just means a 4 core or higher CPU will be faster for Vectorworks general drafting than a 2 core or lower CPU, with clockspeed being much less of a factor than core count.

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If there was hardware you could lay hands on that would cut even 20% off the time of sectioning and other geometry-heavy things like site modeling, I would be text-shouting it from the virtual hilltops.

If I DO find that to ever be the case (before we get the geometry calc modernized,) you can be sure that I will make it very difficult to avoid hearing me talk about it 😉

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16 minutes ago, Jim Wilson said:

If you mean SECTION viewports on sheet layers, i suspect theyd be the same or in near-as-makes-no-difference territory, ill set up a clearer test later on but it can be hard to get 2 CPUs from the same generation where the only difference is the clock speed, ill see what i can get my hands on.

 

Thanks, Jim. No, not sections; just plan, elevation, iso.

 

I think for us Mac users, we’re looking at which one of the “greatest hits” will get us the most bang for our buck (and what features are a waste of money). In other words, how does a 2012 Mac Pro 12-core 1080 ti stack up against a 2017 iMac Pro 10-core Vega (exactly the same; I’ve own both) vs a maxed out iMac vs a MBP vs a maxed out Mini.

 

The 1080 ti is a particular pain point because, although it’s a killer GPU, my understanding is the VW isn’t CUDA, the Mac web drivers suck, and Macs are optimized for AMD’s. So Mac users have all this FOMO over NVIDIA but meanwhile an AMD 580 is probably just as fast as a 1080 ti for using VW on a mac vs gaming on windows. Unfortunately, it’s Apple’s #thin&light laptops that take the biggest GPU hit, especially for the price.

Edited by Mark Aceto

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