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Don Seidel

Mac Silicon OS and VW

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No offend, it coul'd have been just a bit misleading to users who are less familiar with hardware.

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Posted (edited)

Looking at this, I may stay on Mojave (or Catalina) until I move to Windows:

 

A visual comparison of macOS Catalina and Big Sur

 

Cartoonish transparency, less contrast, more iOS... Federighi claims that making all of the app icons the same size ands shape "reduces fatigue" but the more everything looks the same, the more energy it requires to tell it apart. The Mac has always been about the OS (certainly not the hardware performance) but that advantage is diminishing.

 

So another option in this transition to ARM is to transition out of Mac as they continually dumb in down for consumers (over serving their professionals).

 

Edited by Mark Aceto

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Posted (edited)

I like the new GUI better.

I was bored by so many ears of same look and found even Windows 10 more appealing.

On Linux, Gnome looks good but I don't like how it works, KDE is functional but not pretty.

 

 

But my favorite GUI is still ElementaryOS with its Pantheon Desktop on Linux.

Edited by zoomer

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Posted (edited)

I may download a beta on an aux machine to see if these 2 settings fix the iOS "chrome" in Big Sur:

Screen Shot 2020-07-07 at 9.35.29 AM.png

Edited by Mark Aceto
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Information on the transition, particularly information that helps with navigating near term hardware purchases is what I'm hoping for here. Apple always makes timing a bit tricky, plus it appears the whole GPU rendering thing is finally coming to fruition on both the hardware and software sides of the equation. There are some interesting general discussions around ( GPU Rendering Thread), but they tend to go off on tangents. So I'm keen, which I think was the OP's intent, for any info / discussion, particularly from NV, that helps inform our mac orientated decisions. 

 

 

       

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Posted (edited)

TB4 is just there to bring some order in USB nomenclature.

 

Basically TB4 is USB 4 with all possible features.

While USB 4 can be anything, you have to check each device for which features are supported or not.

 

So if you pay a bit more for TB4 you may be on the safe site.

Intel will still license it to AMD like TB3 if interested.

Edited by zoomer

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That's a really interesting Question.

 

Apple could go TB3 or 4 if they want.

Or USB4, full featured.

 

But being Apple, they could also deprecate TB like many other things they marketed before

and bring something completely else to seal their walled garden ....

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Posted (edited)

Taking this with a grain of salt but he did his research, and cites his sources (all Apple Developer materials). Will be interesting to see how this develops (sounds like there could be some real gains 2-3 years from now).

 

In the meantime, a 2019/2020 Mac seems like the best option to ride out the next 2-3 years until all of this is sorted (and supported by third parties). And of course a Windows workstation is always an option for heavy lifting if the MBP's continue prioritizing thin/light/battery over delivering on performance. 

 

 

Edited by Mark Aceto

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@Mark Aceto I just had a similar video pop up yesterday.  Admittedly, I’m out of the loop when it comes to all this new technology but have been paying a bit of attention since I’m still kind of in the market to replace my 2015 MBP.  I’m hoping I can keep it in service until the dust settles with this transition rather than buy a new workstation as I had planned this year.  My current system handles 1 GB VWX files featuring dense point clouds and OBJ models with ease, so I’m thinking I might be able to wait it out.  This notion of the integrated graphics being fast makes sense as presented and is definitely the case with the iPad Pro and complicated models.

 

I’m pretty stoked by the idea of running my ipad apps on the Mac and wonder if this will usher in the possibility of running some type of Vectorworks on the ipad 🙂. I will love to have the ability to edit my existing tree information in the field on an ipad.  How cool would it be to have the iPad’s LIDAR and camera sensors picking up information to feed right into vectorworks?  What if Vectorworks running on an ipad could use the camera as input to populate a plant style with images.  This would streamline some of my workflows.  Seems like some great things may be in our future.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/11/2020 at 6:15 PM, jeff prince said:

2015 MBP.  I’m hoping I can keep it in service until the dust settles with this transition rather than buy a new workstation as I had planned this year.  My current system handles 1 GB VWX files featuring dense point clouds and OBJ models with ease, so I’m thinking I might be able to wait it out.

 

As I type this on my 2014 MBP 15", I can attest to how much my 2019 MBP 15" with 32GB RAM and 4GB VRAM absolutely destroys this machine with similar files that you describe. As much as a I love the convenience of ports, keys, magsafe... there's no contest when it comes to performance. The 2020 MBP 16" with 8GB VRAM (HBM2) would run circles around my 2019 MBP, and it has better thermals, a good keyboard, Esc key, T-arrow keys, slightly larger screen... 

 

Going back to the 2014 machine, I've also noticed a significant degradation of connectivity with Bluetooth, Airplay, HDMI 4k at 30Hz... everything is just a little laggier and a little bit problematic 6 years later (compared to the 2019 machine). If I hadn't stepped backward, I wouldn't have noticed. It's like driving a Ferrari, and then going back to a Prius.

 

And, with the 2014 MBP, I don't have the option of plugging in life-support because Thunderbolt 2 is practically useless with an eGPU... But I do have that option with the 2019 MBP.

 

So, personally, I wouldn't try to stretch a 2015 Mac into 2022+ (even if I had a workstation parked next to it). Mac internals are already way behind the day we 'drive them off the lot', let alone 5-7 years later. The current 16" is as good as it gets, and for some reason costs $1,000 less than I paid for a comparable config of my 2019 15" Butterfly BS. Then, while Apple and the rest of the world point fingers at each other over the next 2-3 years, you're happily working on the best version of the current generation (very much like your 15" has been the past 5 years). In other words, always go for the 2015 MBP / Snow Leopard of its generation, and let the early adopters suffer the pain points of the first few lemons. 3 is the magic number (not rev 1, not rev 2).

 

And just to reiterate: 32GB RAM + 8GB VRAM... VW will use every bit of it, especially with other apps running, and especially 2 years from now (Redshift).

 

Anyway, that's just my 2 cents 😄

 

"Comparison is the thief of joy."

– Theodore Roosevelt

 

Edited by Mark Aceto
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I totally agree with all 2 posts above.

 

 

8 hours ago, Mark Aceto said:

I can attest to how much my 2019 MBP 15" with 32GB RAM and 4GB VRAM absolutely destroys this machine

 

The 16" MBP withe 5600M is a great machine.

 

 

3 hours ago, jeff prince said:

I just hope this ARM switch doesn’t result in some of my software being dropped from the Mac

 

That is the problem.

 

I think Apples ARM concept is very interesting and the better way. Even for 3D content creation.

But it may not be as fast in raw numbers as X86 CPUs and GPUs.

It will be fast and smooth because Apps and OS also need to be optimized.

And that means going Metal directly and using all those nice Apple APIs.

 

Which makes cross platform development not impossible but a bit harder.

But everything working around Apple with OpenGL/CL in Rosetta2 or MoltenVK

will be second choice App in the long run.

 

Cinema4D as an App with large Mac base and Apples help will run fine.

Maybe as the only 3D App.

Modo (?), 50 : 50 as they are already doing optimizations now, after

ignoring all Apple warnings, proposals and Metal over a decade.

Or they abandon Macs.

Maya (?), may runs somehow but I can't imagine it will be optimized.

 

Twinmotion, very likely runs very well.

Enscape ?, 50 : 50 may invest in Apple Support or never bring an Apple version

 

Archicad, I think likely will run very well.

Bricscad, I think 50 : 50, either optimized or giving up Apple support.

 

Vectorworks (?)

I am sure it will run on Apple Silicon.

If VW can be seen as a progressive, clean and optimized Software with love to detail

that will be optimized for Apples APIs from the beginning is up to you.

 

 

I do want to go Apple ARM as I think it is better and pity it may take another 2 years until

3D desktops being available. Although I expect many current 3DCC Apps to abandon Mac.

But there is also some hope that there is new Software, even Apple only, coming for 3DCC.

I am willing to switch Software if needed. If Apple will not work at all,

I am more likely switching to Linux than anywhere else though.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, jeff prince said:

I just hope this ARM switch doesn’t result in some of my software being dropped from the Mac

This is my main fear as well and frankly it's going to happen to some applications that just don't have a big enough user base to justify supporting it.  In particular I worry about the ability to virtualize Windows for those applications that have never been made for the Mac.  I already have one mission critical application that does not and will not support Catalina and never will so I'm scrambling to find a replacement while stuck on 10.14.  I also have another mission critical application we run via VM Ware and it would really suck to have to buy separate windows machines to run this one title.  I'll be upgrading my 2017 MBP to the new 16" to hedge my bets for a while.  I already have 2020 iMacs for others.

Edited by Doubledge
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10 hours ago, jeff prince said:

I just hope this ARM switch doesn’t result in some of my software being dropped from the Mac

 

That's always a realistic concern with Apple who love to "kill their darlings." My expectation is that it'll be a triage scenario:

  1. Live: Apple and Mac-only apps will probably be compatible on day 1
  2. Save: Mac-friendly third party multi-platform apps that will invest in making the transition
  3. Let die: legacy apps (no longer in development) although Rosetta 2 may extend life for at least a few years

I have a few legacy apps that I'm figuring out what to do with before I "upgrade" to Catalina:

  • Neat
  • Bento (32-bit)
  • VW_Keyboard-Mac v2 (32-bit)
    • Which I've never actually used... Has anyone here used this?
    • Might be able to update to 64-bit with current Filemaker release
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1 hour ago, Mark Aceto said:

I have a few legacy apps that I'm figuring out what to do with before I "upgrade" to Catalina:

 

 

Basically nothing really important.

Spyder Color Calibration (I could upgrade the hardware)

Aperture (But I would have to clean up and transfer things to Darktable and maybe Apple Photos first)

 

But I see no advantages in going Catalina anyway.

Big Sur at least looks better in my eyes.

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9 hours ago, zoomer said:

Cinema4D as an App with large Mac base and Apples help will run fine.

Maybe as the only 3D App.

 

Too bad we can't directly import Cinema4D into Vectorworks 😞

There is so much entourage content available in C4D and FBX formats these days that I wish I could import.  I end up begging artists to export OBJ or do the Sketchup workaround to get most things of value into VWX.  That's gotta change.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, jeff prince said:

 

Too bad we can't directly import Cinema4D into Vectorworks 😞

There is so much entourage content available in C4D and FBX formats these days that I wish I could import.  I end up begging artists to export OBJ or do the Sketchup workaround to get most things of value into VWX.  That's gotta change.


I prefer to keep entourage out of VW. Gotta keep those files lean and mean for project sharing with the rest of the team (they’d kill me if I didn’t). Render / previz apps have earned their place at the end of the pipeline in my workflow. In fact, if I can hand off my VW model to someone in the bullpen to go down the render hole, even better.


Wait—how did we get here from ARM and Big Sur?

 

Edited by Mark Aceto
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My other problem beside potentially missing Software support for Apple Silicon

is scalability.

 

The first devices at the end of the year may have some new iPad Pro SoCs

without thermal restrictions. This will be adequate power for MacBook Airs and

alike and super efficient.

And there may follow larger SoCs with more cores for the middle class demands

later.

 

But what about Workstations.

Such a SoC is something like the whole PC motherboard.

CPU, GPU, RAM, encoding accelerators, SSD controllers, .... on a single monolithic Chip.

You can't just increase its size unlimited. Yield will go down and get exponentially

expensive.

 

So far I haven't heard about any "infinity fabric" or such to combine separate "Chiplets"

like on AMD CPUs or any kind of dual or multi chip usage from Apple.

In their Diagram they positioned their Apple Silicon "nebula" about at mobile-like

power consumption at about Desktop performance.

(Not above desktop performance and maybe the center of the nebula is slightly

sub desktop performance ?)

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@zoomer I suspect hope that Apple is only sharing the tip of the iceberg. Right now, YouTubers are winding themselves up with speculation that A + B must = C... 

 

My optimistic take on this transition is that it removes the supply chain bottlenecks in their development cycle. Instead of having a scorched earth policy with NVIDIA, waiting for Intel to nano-incrementally update repackage their chips, not be able to depend on AMD to ship biblical quantities of chips... we should see every Mac get regular measurable updates with real world performance gains (vs mythical turbo boost speeds on thermally throttled hardware).

 

In the few interviews I watched with Federighi, he reiterated that the big reveal at WWDC was a software announcement. The big hardware announcements are still to come... 

 

🤞🏼

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Posted (edited)

A colleague just sent me this screenshot (running Catalina). For context, 3Dconnexion released their latest driver less than 2 weeks before this error message regarding "Legacy" software.

 

Here's more info / discussion about what that means: Apple Begins Warning Users That 'Legacy System Extensions' Won't Work With a Future Version of macOS

 

From the official support document: "In 2019, Apple informed developers that macOS Catalina will be the last macOS to fully support legacy system extensions", so until 3Dconnexion update their software (again for the millionth time), it absolutely should not operate on Big Sur. And I'm sure this issue won't be limited to 3Dc... 

 

I implore every VW user to wait until 11.0.6 (supplemental update 3) before updating their primary / work machines. Bringing it back to the OP, I would not hold out for a brand new ARM machine running Big Sur released later this year (or next year).

 

1336364595_ScreenShot2020-07-17at11_00_33AM.thumb.png.01c78afcae5326bd881e7f05bf5453d4.png

 

 

Edited by Mark Aceto

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Yes, not sure why Device Vendoer sare doing so hard with supporting Apple.

 

Not sure if Wacom is ready either.

But KEXTs are deprecated for a long time for security reasons and Apple offers

special standard APIs for drivers instead.

(You can still use KEXTs in Big Sur, in case Apples APIs miss some special feature,

but the user will have to install them in safe boot mode explicitly.

 

 

I think if you will work succesfully with Apple, users or vendors,

you better follow Apples recommendations and keep your stuff current, instead of

relying on legacy stuff.

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