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Don Seidel

Mac Silicon OS and VW

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Posted (edited)

The problem is that vendors like 3Dc and, if we’re being honest, most CAD software / hardware are Windows-first. I love 3Dc and have found them to be responsive. They worked with me for a over year reverse-engineering what Apple broke (with the T2 chip) causing the infamous unplug your mouse after rebooting, and then plug it back in every... single... time until they finally fixed the issue. But they’re basically throwing their few Mac users a bone.

 

Meanwhile, Apple really only care about supporting their own walled garden of iApps. They have a very content-skewed perspective of who their “pro” users are. If I edited unboxing videos with Final Cut for my YouTube channel because I was a “creator”, I wouldn’t really be affected by Apple’s cancel culture. But I suspect most of the folks here have to wait a year or more for at least one of their third party software / drivers to catch up to Apple moving the goalpost on them every 12 months.

 

That said, the long game looks good: excited about where all of this lands in 2-3 years but looks like I’ll ride it out on Mojave Intel until then.

 

Edited by Mark Aceto

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On 7/3/2020 at 6:15 PM, Mark Aceto said:

 

Check the link in my post. The 2019 iMac is the fastest single core clock speed machine right now. VW maxes out at 3 cores for most non-rendering tasks, and many operations will always be single core by their very nature (not a limitation of old code). Before that the 2017 iMac was king.

 

 

I agree. Actually during a lot of heavy process in a VW workflow I can see the CPU load and it is often on 1 thread.

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On 6/23/2020 at 4:25 PM, SteveJ said:

Here at Vectorworks, we downloaded Big Sur beta as soon as it was available.  Vectorworks launches and Runs! We will be evaluating Vectorworks and the new macOS 11 this week.  We will be working hard to make sure Vectorworks runs well on Big Sur when it is released. And, we will also be preparing a Vectorworks that is ready to run natively on Apple's new "Silicon" when it hits the streets in late 2020. We will keep you posted about our progress.

 

Cheers!

 

On 7/2/2020 at 7:36 PM, Mark Aceto said:

 

No, they'll support Big Sur which will run on either Intel or ARM (so, in this context, Intel).

 

@SteveJ how many Mac Mini A12Z Developer Transition Kits have you guys rented so far?

 

 

Isn't SteveJ confirming in that post that they are indeed working on having VW running on Apple silicon by the end of the year? First they confirm it will run on Big Sur, and then go on to say AND, they are working on an apple silicon version as well.  It seems pretty clear to me that is what is being indicated there? 

 

As other's have said though, I think I'm going intel with my next machine regardless.  

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, designedAF said:

 

 

Isn't SteveJ confirming in that post that they are indeed working on having VW running on Apple silicon by the end of the year? First they confirm it will run on Big Sur, and then go on to say AND, they are working on an apple silicon version as well.  It seems pretty clear to me that is what is being indicated there? 

 

As other's have said though, I think I'm going intel with my next machine regardless.  

 

Looking back at it, the discrepancy seems to be between Fall vs Winter 2020:

  • VW 2021 SP 0 will be compatible with Big Sur in Sep/Oct 2020
  • VW 2021 SP (2.1?) is expected to be compatible with ARM in Dec 2020

Either way, as I haven't worked since Feb 2020, and probably won't until the year 2525... the concept of a new computer is purely academic at this point.

 

Edited by Mark Aceto
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45 minutes ago, designedAF said:

they are indeed working on having VW running on Apple silicon by the end of the year?

 

 

Hmmh,

if VW will not only support Apple Silicon but will really optimize VW for Apple Silicon

and Apples API, I see so many opportunities for the future.

 

Basically, VW ARM or parts of VW feature set would also run on iPad Pros,

even iPhones or Apple TVs.

With Lidar, Sensors, Apple AR and Raytracing, you could check or present your planned

design and 3D Model on building site. Or check construction and wall openings, access

your plans and do some changes, all on site, with very light and mobile devices.

Lidar sensor could automate 3D model creation of existing buildings, maybe even for

garden areas and terrains.

 

VW could extend OpenGL View with Apples Raytracing to realtime like Eevee.

VW could get some improvements for Touch or Pen Input.

 

 

Hope "VW running on Apple Silicon" will not only mean that VW will just run somehow

on Rosetta 2 without crashing.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, zoomer said:

 

 

Hmmh,

if VW will not only support Apple Silicon but will really optimize VW for Apple Silicon

and Apples API, I see so many opportunities for the future.

 

Basically, VW ARM or parts of VW feature set would also run on iPad Pros,

even iPhones or Apple TVs.

With Lidar, Sensors, Apple AR and Raytracing, you could check or present your planned

design and 3D Model on building site. Or check construction and wall openings, access

your plans and do some changes, all on site, with very light and mobile devices.

Lidar sensor could automate 3D model creation of existing buildings, maybe even for

garden areas and terrains.

 

VW could extend OpenGL View with Apples Raytracing to realtime like Eevee.

VW could get some improvements for Touch or Pen Input.

 

 

Hope "VW running on Apple Silicon" will not only mean that VW will just run somehow

on Rosetta 2 without crashing.

 

 

Sounds good - but who’s willing to wait the 10 years for this kind of progress...after all we’re still waiting for multi thread use...

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New iMac announced today with significant updates:

 

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/08/27-inch-imac-gets-a-major-update/

 

$4,600 config (dream machine):

  • Nano-texture glass (same antiglare as XDR monitor)
  • 3.8GHz 8-core 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz
  • 32GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
  • Radeon Pro 5700 XT with 16GB of GDDR6 memory
  • 2TB SSD storage
  • 10 Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1080p FaceTime HD camera
  • Higher Fidelity Speakers

  • Studio-Quality Mics

This sleeper will smoke the last gen, so if you're not looking for a headless Mac, there's a very good chance this will be the best last Intel Mac... aaaaannnnnddddd you can run Catalina on it if you so desire (keep in mind that Big Sur will be buggy as hell for the next 6 months to a year... like every Mac OS release).

 

They also spec-bumped the base model killed the lowest 8-core option on the iMac Pro but as a former iMac Pro owner, it's an overpriced joke. The regular iMac will destroy it when it comes to VW performance.

 

Now, if they release a new 16" MBP before Big Sur, I may have to beg, borrow or steal... 

 

Edited by Mark Aceto

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With old cooling ?

RAM now soldered ?

 

I wouldn't be happy if it gets as loud as the previous iMac and throttles (?)

 

Anti Glare Display price 600+ € ?

I think by wearing only black turtlenecks and a darth vader mask you can save quite a bit.

 

I am very excited about the first hand ons and benchmarks.

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4 hours ago, zoomer said:

With old cooling ?

RAM now soldered ?

 

I wouldn't be happy if it gets as loud as the previous iMac and throttles (?)

 

Anti Glare Display price 600+ € ?

I think by wearing only black turtlenecks and a darth vader mask you can save quite a bit.

 

I am very excited about the first hand ons and benchmarks.

 

Considering that the 2017/2019 iMac has been the fastest single core Mac for at least the past 3 years, I wouldn't worry about iMac's thermal limitations relative to any other Mac in their lineup because:

  • 10th gen chips run cooler than 9th gen
  • i7 runs cooler than i9
  • 8 cores run cooler than 10 cores
  • iMac Pro has better thermals but that 3-year old machine has never beat the fastest iMac at single core performance (which is where it counts with VW)
    • Same with Mac Pro

With Apple, the price you pay for "Xeon" and "ECC memory" is clock speed. 

 

The thermal wild card (pardon the pun) is the GPU but I would be (very pleasantly) shocked if VW maxes out that GPU. No matter how hard I pushed it, VW rarely used more than 1/4 of the 16GB VRAM in my iMac Pro (running VW 2019).

 

I'm not sure where you read that the RAM is now soldered. It used to be super easy to access and service.

 

All Mac screens after 2011 (except maybe the old MBA) are crazy reflective, so if they're offering the same antiglare screen option as the $1,000 XDR upgrade for half that cost ($500 USD), I wouldn't baulk at that option for the sake of my eyes and avoiding migraines. Especially if it's going to live next to an antiglare BenQ 32" display (for example). If this option is offered in a 16" MBP running Catalina, shut up and take my unemployment insurance!

 

The point I'm making in response to the OP is: here's a machine operating the current system (Catalina) with no hardware limitations running VW. All of the internals are current which is more than I can say for the iMac Pro with 3-year old guts. For a Mac user looking for the last best fastest Intel Mac to run VW, this is the holy grail. Then we can all drool over the 32" chinless ARM iMac that they release sometime in the next 2-3 years... 

 

Edited by Mark Aceto

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heise.de says RAM still user upgradable.

Which makes sense as still old cooling solution in previous case.

Want to see 5 Cinebench results in a row and complaints about

noise and throttling first though.

 

Of course I am interested in the 10 core i9 and 5700XT only.

I don't want something much slower than my Ryzen 3950X RTX 2070

at double the price for keeping Mac experience for about 3 years.

 

Modeling and CAD is still ok but so far I wasn't able to activate any useful

network rendering cross platform between Mac and Windows or Linux.

And I doubt my Trashcan will be enough for another coming 2 years.

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9 hours ago, zoomer said:

heise.de says RAM still user upgradable.

Which makes sense as still old cooling solution in previous case.

Want to see 5 Cinebench results in a row and complaints about

noise and throttling first though.

 

Of course I am interested in the 10 core i9 and 5700XT only.

I don't want something much slower than my Ryzen 3950X RTX 2070

at double the price for keeping Mac experience for about 3 years.

 

Modeling and CAD is still ok but so far I wasn't able to activate any useful

network rendering cross platform between Mac and Windows or Linux.

And I doubt my Trashcan will be enough for another coming 2 years.

 

You bring up some common issues / misconceptions why a lot of users are unnecessarily frustrated with Mac and VW. If your concern is Cinerender and multicore, don't use a Mac (unless it's a 28-core Mac Pro) because 8, 10, 12 cores... won't move the needle for CPU rendering. You need 28+ cores to notice any real world improvement in render times. And increased core count has 2 terrible side effects: reduced clock speed and added heat (double whammy). All so it can cut the render time of a static image from 60 min to 10 min.

 

The secret to being a happy Mac VW user is fast single core base clock speed and a decent GPU. There's no reason to throw $$$$$ at 6-24 cores that will only get used by RW, and cripple the speed of where you spend most of your day modeling and drafting (not rendering). I've wasted thousands on a 12-core cheesegrater ($3,000 used) and 10-core iMac Pro ($9,000 new) that barely topped 3.0 GHz base clock speed. I would open Activity Monitor to see a single thread slammed against the ceiling while the other 23 threads are idle. Fans? Neither machine ever got remotely hot enough to hear the fans (unless I was using RW). Until VW can use more than 3 cores for non-rendering operations, and Redshift for rendering, there's no value in a CPU with more than 4 cores. Just get a separate Windows workstation for CPU rendering if that's what's needed (or export to Cinema/Redshift).

 

That's also a huge reason why Apple is leaving Intel: they continue to add cores in an attempt to compensate for clock speed, which started to plateau around 2012. Moore's Law is dead. And most 3D modeling/design apps can't just make their software multicore for all operations, so people yelling at VW to add multicore performance to keep up with Intel is just pounding sand.

 

Fastest single core base clock speed, fewest amount of cores = happy designing, modeling, drafting, plating, computing... 

 

NOTE: it's not single core operations that cause thermal issues, so anyone complaining about the fastest single core Mac that Apple has ever built (3 years in a row) should stop adding cores (that VW will never use outside of RW) to their build.

 

There's a lot of misinformation, mythology, and unnecessary bitching in these forums (especially on the Mac side). Always stay a year behind on macOS. Always give VW until SP2 or SP3 before fully committing to project sharing with other collaborators on a work project. Don't waste your money on a Mac Pro, iMac Pro, Xeon, ECC memory, or more than 8 cores. 32GB RAM is plenty for everything other than RW. Apple/AMD are finally putting decent GPU's in their machines again (more than VW needs but obviously not what UR/TM and other apps spec for real time ray tracing). Yes, there's still an Apple tax but their $5k middle of the road non-"Pro" model is the fastest VW Mac. Spending more than that is lighting money on fire (unless you're adding storage for some reason).


Now, let's see what they do with the 16" MBP between now and the Big Sur release... 

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17 hours ago, zoomer said:

Of course I am interested in the 10 core i9 and 5700XT only.

I don't want something much slower than my Ryzen 3950X RTX 2070

at double the price for keeping Mac experience for about 3 years.

 

It is this ^ why interested max CPU upgrade.

 

I am very happy with my consumer Ryzen, which is not far behind the 28c Mac Pro in Cinebench.

Also it has one of the best single core speeds, not far from fastest Intels.

For now it is still mostly C4D or Modo CPU rendering here.

Which gets more and more uninteresting in the future

 

But if I spend money on an iMac it should not be much slower than the existing PC.

Otherwise I could stay with my trashcan for a few years more.

 

 

But if I would buy another PC, I couldn't resist and would go Threadripper anyway 🙂

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With ever-increasing demands, the only rational rendering workflow is in-program or live-link. Exporting (and re-exporting) to any other software is a huge waste of time in the architectural design industry, where BIM changes are the norm. So Mac Users stick to RW for now.

 

On the Mac it's an eternal waiting-wishing game. The latest chapter is titled "Metal", which holds great promise. But will the Metal code be straightforward enough, modular enough that Mac programs like VW will be able to easily (cost-effectively) use it?  Perhaps this fall.... 😞

Edited by Don Seidel
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On 8/5/2020 at 8:52 AM, zoomer said:

 

It is this ^ why interested max CPU upgrade.

 

I am very happy with my consumer Ryzen, which is not far behind the 28c Mac Pro in Cinebench.

Also it has one of the best single core speeds, not far from fastest Intels.

For now it is still mostly C4D or Modo CPU rendering here.

Which gets more and more uninteresting in the future

 

But if I spend money on an iMac it should not be much slower than the existing PC.

Otherwise I could stay with my trashcan for a few years more.

 

 

But if I would buy another PC, I couldn't resist and would go Threadripper anyway 🙂

 

If I had your kickass Windows workstation, I would have no use for an iMac. But if all that I had was an older Mac, I would be very interested in the new iMac to get me through the next 2-3 years (or more).

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To keep the conversation on topic, my main point in this thread is that if you're speccing out your next Mac build for RW, you're wasting a ton of $ on slowing down your Mac for most of your day-to-day work. The wakeup call for me was buying 2 Mac's (Mac Pro CG and iMac Pro) that I thought would be a sweet spot of compromise in the middle: 10-12 cores. There was barely any noticeable gain in RW from a 4-core Mac at double the cost (and an iMac is faster for everything other than RW).

 

All that I really hope to accomplish in this discussion is to save another VW user that gut punch when you fire up the new Mac that costs twice as much as your last Mac, and there's no noticeable speed improvement. The sinking feeling of that buyer's remorse can be avoided in 2020. There's really no ROI after spending 5k on a Mac and it's not until you spend 12-15k that there's any noticeable ROI with RW (at the cost of everything else you do with VW).

 

I wish there was a headless Mac with a Threadripper 3970 and a RTX 2080 but there's not (and never will be). Hopefully, ARM will fill that gap 2-3 years from now...  In the meantime, this new iMac exists, and it's that rare unicorn where the usual compromises were not made, so it improves upon every feature in the reigning single core champ:

 

677447771_ScreenShot2020-08-05at12_13_27PM.thumb.png.3e31b18defb942e1cd77c6ef97e7558d.png

Edited by Mark Aceto
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Also, it seems like every Mac in the past 3-5 years has been a "stop gap", so it's like playing Mac Roulette with where we spend our money.

 

It'll be interesting to see what Teaser Tuesdays reveal. I know we're all praying for the 3-core limitation to be lifted but I'm not holding my breath. And moving more CPU processes to the GPU (VGM) seems to have plateaued, so I'm not counting on huge gains there. Hopefully, I'm wrong about both, and there'll be surprise announcements about Redshift and TM live-link... but I'm just dreaming now.

 

Edited by Mark Aceto

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