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Mac Mini for Vectorworks or upgrade Mac Pro?


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I'm back in the self-employed world after 15 years and I need to find a Vectorworks 2019 solution...on a budget. I have a MacPro early 2008 (see attached image). It runs El Capitan and VW2017, but with a 256MB video card and only 2GB ram it is not real quick. My Macbook Pro blows it away. My question is this: I can purchase a 4GB video card for around $500 and 16GB ram for $160, for a total of around $700 after shipping. The drive is fine for now, though a little small at 384GB, it is 7200rpm.


My other option is a Mac Mini. I have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, so all I need is the CPU. Is the Mac Mini a reasonable VW machine? What configuration is the best? Can I upgrade it as I make a little money? I need to figure this out fairly quickly or I'll be doing all the work on my MacBook. I also need to run Adobe Cloud, but that's another forum. Any thoughts are very much appreciated.




Mac Pro version 3,1 early 2008 .png

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1. If you do any rendering of 3d objects what so ever you will need the machine that has an independent GPU with some dedicated video memory. Even wireframe only files (no walls, slabs, roofs or other 3d objects) benefit from an independent GPU because the responsiveness of the mouse, zooming and snap point selection can be sluggish without one. (Will the installer even proceed to install VW2019 without one?)

2. Launch, load and save times improve noticeably with SSDs and faster processors.

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Thanks, Larry, but I think that the Renderworks renderings are done by the main memory. It is true, however, that a GPU with at least 2GB of RAM is required for OpenGL and all the other model navigation requirements you mentioned. Since the Mac Mini does not have a separate GPU it sounds like you are implying that it would not be a good VW computer. Is that right? What do you (and others) think about upgrading the old Mac Pro? Is that worth it? Will it run VW 2017, 2018 or 2019? Anyone else have an opinion?


Thank you,


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