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So is the 2018 Mac Mini a viable VW machine?

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13 hours ago, zoomer said:

For me that sounds a bit too long.

Are you sure that you render the same as we do ?


I would be more expecting something like 10-20 minutes, if at all that long.

Your right! I let it go several hours then checked activity monitor and Vectorworks 2019 was frozen (NOT RESPONDING) when the progress bar was almost done. I tried it again after restarting my Mac and VW. VW then finished the preview in about 10 minutes then crashed when I tried to export the image as a PSD 300 dpi 15" wide by ?" tall.


I just updated to 10.13.6 and Security Update 2018-003 which wiped out my NVIDIA Drivers which now have been restored. VW may require a reinstall or the 18069-3D_Concept file is damaged.


Edited by rjtiedeman
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Yeah Bob, that kind of power looks amazing, GPUs and eGPUs look to be the way we will finally see the rendering bottleneck disappear. I had hoped there was some kind of new OS magic in Rob's results making the eGPU available.


I don't see why this couldn't start happening though; Nemetschek recently took it's holdings in Maxon to 100% and Cinema 4D has already started making use of the GPU for rendering. Why not unleash C4D's rendering / visualisation capacity fully "within" Vectorworks as either an upgrade or as a more thoroughly integrated plugin? This has been a longtime request of users, then what's happening on the GPU front can become part of the Vectorworks workflow in a timely manner. It seems like low hanging fruit to me? Especially when you consider CineRender is the engine underneath Renderworks and that we can already import C4d textures into Vectorworks . . .

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah, we knew about this coming.  So, we bought a Sonnet Breakaway box and the same Vega 56 eGPU card for a total of $743 (for both).  Apples version cost $1,200! for the same thing.  The only thing it has is the extra usb's.  For the extra $500, we can buy a USB hub for $50.


So far, with the full installation of 9 of these stations, everyone is very pleased with the performance.


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We bought 2018 Mac mini:

Processor: (065-C70X) - 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz) 
Memory: (065-C75K) - 32GB 2666MHz DDR4 SDRAM 
Flash Storage: (065-C714) - 512GB SSD 
Graphics: (065-C717) - Intel UHD Graphics 630 
Ethernet: (065-C74C) - 10 Gigabit Ethernet (Nbase-T Ethernet with support for 1Gb, 2.5Gb, 5Gb and 10Gb Ethernet using RJ‑45 connector) 

Space Grey Keyboard and Mouse




RX Vega 56 Card



Sonnet Breakaway Box



2 Monitor Arm for attachment to table:



2 monitors each station (27" 4K LG Monitors):

$399 ea, $600/station


Around $3,773/station


We leased the Mac minis for 3 years.  The hope is we will be able to keep using the eGPU's, the monitors, etc.  The only thing that will be needed is new Mac minis.


We will see!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/6/2018 at 4:42 PM, Rob Glisson said:


Ran rendering on iMac - 9:35 minutes

Ran rendering on Mac mini w/o eGPU - 9:23 minutes

Ran rendering on Mac mini w/eGPU - 8:32 minutes

I just ran this test to justify upgrading to the 2018 Mac Mini from an old Quad Core Mac Mini (Late 2012)

2.6 GHz i7

16GB Ram

Intel HD Graphics 4000

Single 1080p screen


This old friend rendered it out in the Design Layer (after a reboot) in 5:33. The best little beast ever!

(6:31 with dual screens 1080p & WQHD)

Edited by bcd
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