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Mac Silicon OS and VW


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5 hours ago, digitalcarbon said:

there is no "upgrade anxiety" with Onshape. No hardware upgrade issues...any computer that can run a browser is ok.

Still have not upgraded to vw 2022 yet. I just don't want to deal with it.

@zoomer: your statement above, followed by @digitalcarbon's statement, enunciate perfectly the current Mac OS hardware/software dilemmas and one viable solution—one which I think fits few of us.

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  • 4 months later...

I'd sure like to get an update on new Mac silicon and VW 2022. I still use a late 2013 souped up 27" iMac and VW 2021. My VW files are topping out at about 100MB. Projects are BIM 3D with a controlled level of lights and textures. Speed is good but increasingly could be better. I now mostly have only one project open at a time. It seems prudent to now be careful before installing VW2022. Apple is now not supporting my late 2013 iMac. The Studio Mac looks like it should be good now or soon but I'd sure like more feedback from Vectorworks on tested hardware options. And, from more people on these boards. 

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1 hour ago, Henry Finch said:

I'd sure like to get an update on new Mac silicon and VW 2022. I still use a late 2013 souped up 27" iMac and VW 2021. My VW files are topping out at about 100MB. Projects are BIM 3D with a controlled level of lights and textures. Speed is good but increasingly could be better. I now mostly have only one project open at a time. It seems prudent to now be careful before installing VW2022. Apple is now not supporting my late 2013 iMac. The Studio Mac looks like it should be good now or soon but I'd sure like more feedback from Vectorworks on tested hardware options. And, from more people on these boards. 

You might find this thread useful

 

 

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  • 4 months later...
On 7/2/2020 at 8:33 PM, Mark Aceto said:

Final final thought: I may be f*cking 50 before I finally have a Mac that runs like I've needed it to since 2004 (and I'm not even counting the ones I used in the 90's), so I'm asking myself some real career-changing questions during the pandemic... Therefore, what I want to know is will VW still be stuck on 3 cores because of some old library before I turn 50? Because that will be the tipping point for me in this waiting game.

 

image.thumb.gif.33b25105becfae0617bbfbbe0314974b.gif

 

 

Following up on this... Turned 50 a few weeks ago. Still no ARM Mac Pro. Still no hardware optimized ray tracing. Unreal Engine and Twinmotion are still not ARM-native (running on Rosetta 2)... And Apple Silicon is now handily beaten by both Intel and AMD performance again, so... not much has changed.

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8 hours ago, Mark Aceto said:

Unreal Engine and Twinmotion are still not ARM-native (running on Rosetta 2)

 

There is already an Apple ARM Beta for UE.

But you need to compile it yourself from Github, like you need

for a Linux installation .....

 

 

But yes, not much has changed.

 

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4 hours ago, zoomer said:

 

There is already an Apple ARM Beta for UE.

But you need to compile it yourself from Github, like you need

for a Linux installation .....

 

 

But yes, not much has changed.

 


I’m not sure how to read the tea leaves of TM 2023.1 being Intel native. Obviously, UE is the rendering engine, so that makes sense. But it seems like TM won’t be ARM native until 2024?

 

Also, there’s this weird thing with the Mac Pro and M2 MacBook Pro’s being delayed until March 2023 and tied to a macOS 13.3 update that makes me foolishly hope for a M2 chip with hardware optimized Ray tracing… 

 

When that doesn’t happen, there’ll be WWDC... And when that disappoints, there’ll be the Fall releases… And when that… 

 

Forever chasing that carrot stick like Sisyphus with Stockholm Syndrome. Meanwhile, NVIDIA, AMD and Intel continue developing at their own pace… 

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1 hour ago, Mark Aceto said:

Forever chasing that carrot stick like Sisyphus with Stockholm Syndrome.

 

 

I basically do this since 2012 ....

(after 8 years of pure Apple happiness before ....)

 

 

And yes,

I don't know how long it will take for a final ARM/Metal native UE

but I expect it to need even a bit longer for TM.

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7 hours ago, zoomer said:

I don't know how long it will take for a final ARM/Metal native UE

but I expect it to need even a bit longer for TM.

 

Let's say, best case scenario, UE is ARM-native by the end of 2023, and optimizations continue indefinitely... TM is ARM-native by 2024. I'm not sure what to expect with Apple shipping hardware optimized ray tracing but I'm guessing they'll need it for their silly AR glasses, so let's say it works its way to the Mac by 2024.

 

By 2024, NVIDIA will be onto the 5090, Intel will have the 15900, AMD will be on the (9000?) series... and Epic will have released new technologies that are not compatible with Apple yet.

 

At this point, I'm looking to the mythical ARM Mac Pro to predict the future when it's eventually released in this timeline. Whatever it's packing (or not) should shed some light on the path forward... 

 

Edited by Mark Aceto
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54 minutes ago, Ramon PG said:

I just got a MacBook Pro 32mb RAM with the M1 Pro

 

Great !

 

 

54 minutes ago, Ramon PG said:

it seems like VWs 2022 runs a bit slower that on my MacBook Pro M1 16mb RAM

 

That sounds really strange.

10 core CPU vs 8 core, 12-18 GPU cores vs 8, enough memory ....

VW 2022 runs native on ARM but VW 2023 AFAIK has further optimizations.

 

But the M1 Pro should never be slower than the M1 pure !?

 

I am also confused ....

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On 12/16/2022 at 11:40 AM, Ramon PG said:

I just got a MacBook Pro 32mb RAM with the M1 Pro chip a couple of weeks and so far it seems like VWs 2022 runs a bit slower that on my MacBook Pro M1 16mb RAM. Pretty confused. 

 

VW 2021 Rosetta-compatible

VW 2022 ARM-native

VW 2023 ARM-optimized

 

The speed improvements are noticeable.

 

BTW is 64gb unified memory not an option for the current MBP's?

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"Based on Apple’s current pricing structure, an M2 Extreme version of a Mac Pro would probably cost at least $10,000 — without any other upgrades — making it an extraordinarily niche product that likely isn’t worth the development costs, engineering resources and production bandwidth it would require."

 

 

Solution :

Make SoC prices reasonable ?

 

I wouldn't mind using such a M2 Extreme.

 

Edited by zoomer
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6 hours ago, zoomer said:

"Based on Apple’s current pricing structure, an M2 Extreme version of a Mac Pro would probably cost at least $10,000 — without any other upgrades — making it an extraordinarily niche product that likely isn’t worth the development costs, engineering resources and production bandwidth it would require."

 

 

Solution :

Make SoC prices reasonable ?

 

I wouldn't mind using such a M2 Extreme.

 

That's exactly why I decided buy a Studio. However, he completely overlooks the fact that a maxed out Intel Mac Pro is 50k, so this is one of his weaker points.

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On 12/16/2022 at 4:38 PM, zoomer said:

 

Great !

 

 

 

That sounds really strange.

10 core CPU vs 8 core, 12-18 GPU cores vs 8, enough memory ....

VW 2022 runs native on ARM but VW 2023 AFAIK has further optimizations.

 

But the M1 Pro should never be slower than the M1 pure !?

 

I am also confused ....

 

Also, after a while kernel_task starts this infighting with VWs and slows it (VWs) down tremendously. Sometimes even changing from one Sheet Layer to another takes 30 seconds!!!!! OR MORE. Restarting VWs fixes it for a while, but then it comes back. 

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  • 1 month later...

Like the cell phone companies, Apple has long ago "done the math" on machines, performance and cost. You can't beat the system on the cheap. There will always be compromises.

 

For 30 years my reply is the same: Buy the most machine you can reasonably afford.

 

In 6-8 months a faster one will be out at the same price. But did you get your money's worth? yes if you used it as you THOUGHT you would.

 

The M2 Pro Mini is a very suitable VW station for most users. 32GB ram is fine for most users. OF course a Studio Mac w/ 64GB ram or more is great (better) if you have the money. I'm currently waiting to sell a top -end M1 Max MBPro and get an M2 Studio when they come out.

 

Worst case: you sell your nearly new Mac for a better more expensive machine. Macs hold their value very well, so you're not going to lose more than 20-25% selling a barely used Mac.

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15 minutes ago, Don Seidel said:

Like the cell phone companies, Apple has long ago "done the math" on machines, performance and cost. You can't beat the system on the cheap. There will always be compromises.

 

Sure. But they don't necessarily "do the math" for what's best for VW-focussed use. For example VW seems quite memory hungry but often wastes processing power. One of the issues with the first M1 mac minis was the maximum of 16gb RAM.

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Studio has more memory and far more cooling. So something like renders that run for and extended period of time (more than say 10 minutes) may cause a Mini to throttle due to the thermal envelope where the Studio can probably run flat out continuously.

 

A Mini with 32 (or even 16) GB is probably sufficient for 90% of the Vectorworks users. The people you see on this board (you @line-weight, @Christiaan, @Mark Aceto, @jeff prince, etc.) are high end power users and are going to want more power. But even for these users the Mini would probably be fine for 90% of their use. If you offload the renders to the VW Cloud instead of running them locally, then the Mini would probably be acceptable for 95%+ of even the power users needs.

 

$0.02.

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@Pat Stanfordi think you’re right.  My old MBP 2015 w/ 16GB Ram does most typical tasks fairly well.  The new fancy machine I use only proves its worth when rendering.  The attached example has a lot of highly detailed 3D plants, which gobbles RAM & VRAM.  The actual VWX model was pretty easy to make from an imported 2d  autocad file on a moderately powered machine.

 

E3D41BAB-CAD0-4BD7-9EA3-AC1A54B3EB05.thumb.png.76c48fb3e8e8e39473a8e876bb5cebe4.png

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1 hour ago, Pat Stanford said:

A Mini with 32 (or even 16) GB is probably sufficient for 90% of the Vectorworks users. The people you see on this board (you @line-weight, @Christiaan, @Mark Aceto, @jeff prince, etc.) are high end power users and are going to want more power. But even for these users the Mini would probably be fine for 90% of their use. If you offload the renders to the VW Cloud instead of running them locally, then the Mini would probably be acceptable for 95%+ of even the power users needs.

@Pat Stanford This is very helpful.  It makes me feel more confident that the Mini M2 base model with RAM maximized at 24GB (and SSD upgraded to 512GB or 1TB) is the best bang for the buck for my non power-user situation.  If I ever need more rendering power, I'll be able to rely on VW Cloud Services.  I already have a thunderbolt dock to get the missing ports.  

 

This might be a little off topic, but I've gotten spoiled with the iMac's 27" 5K retina display.  The one option I've found to use the iMac as a 5K display for the Mini is Astropad Luna (dongle + thunderbolt or ethernet cable).  Does anyone have any experience with this?  Other alternatives are used/refurbished Apple Cinema Display, LG 27" 5K, or recently announced Samsung 27" 5K.

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Replying specifically to the "Mac Mini M2 better?" question, based on the MM M2's specs, it's only an incremental performance bump, not a step change. So, only incrementally faster.  

 

Not sure whether someone's later reply concerning a Mac Mini M2 possibly throttling (due to heat) on a long render vs. a Studio is on point. Has anyone tested this head-to-head? Seems to me the M2 architecture in general is vastly more efficient than the prior bloated Intel junk, so that heat buildup on long renders may not be an issue? 

 

----

Overall I think that for the majority of VW of users, the current gen. of  M1/M2-based hardware is getting close to "good enough," and "fast enough," I.e. there comes a point in photorealistic rendering when the resolution, lighting, level of detail etc. is approaching the max reasonable limits of human perception, beyond which there is no need to go. Dep. of course on size & complexity of the models. 

 

Sort of the way smart phone camera tech has ramped exponentially over the past decade, and it's getting to a point at which there are only incremental gains left to be extracted, not massive step-changes in quality / usability.

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2 hours ago, Pat Stanford said:

A Mini with 32 (or even 16) GB is probably sufficient for 90% of the Vectorworks users. The people you see on this board (you @line-weight, @Christiaan, @Mark Aceto, @jeff prince, etc.) are high end power users and are going to want more power.

 

Sure but I would never recommend a low end Mac to a colleague for use in a production environment. There are lots of options in the midrange that are more suitable for delivering work to our clients.

 

EDIT: I can't strikethrough the comment above but $2,500 is not a low end machine. The maxed out M2 Mini appears to be the midrange model in the first half of 2023.

 

Also, for whoever is reading this, 16gb on M-series is absolutely not suitable. First of all, it's SHARED memory, so that's combined RAM and VRAM (GPU). In other words, more like 12gb RAM + 4gb VRAM. Second, it's apples and oranges. 16gb RAM + 4gb RAM on an Intel Mac a few years ago, was a minimum (and also 20gb total).

 

For anyone in this forum, 32 is the new 16gb in 2023.

 

Here's what I'm using right now without VW even open (Safari is 1 window with 13 tabs):

 

598829344_ScreenShot2023-01-26at11_44_37.png.b31ea27a5502aa82ef54305f894d6e9f.png

 

413237242_ScreenShot2023-01-26at11_48_00.png.3b60ea46c8bc8c810caafb8d3ac6ab9e.png

Edited by Mark Aceto
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