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Mac Silicon OS and VW


Don Seidel

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@JuanP is there a reason the M1 thread was locked and limited when it was setup? Unlike the OS threads, we have information, questions and randomly addressed answers that have been smattered, scattered and somewhat inconsistent on the transition:

 

For example, in the Roadmap and the roadmap thread you indicate (as a fair assumption) that Nemetschek Vectorworks is "aiming" for the next release (Vectorworks 2022) to provide Apple Silicon / Universal Binary support (Quote - "Supporting Universal Binary for Apple's new M1 processors is a top priority."), but then, in the Planet Vectorworks article, @SteveJ is quoted with references to a much looser projection around Apple having a 5 year timetable for selling Intel Macs; "Johnson sums it up by forecasting that continued development of a Universal Binary solution, which should be available long before Apple’s five-year projection for continuing to sell Intel machines, will ensure even greater performance for users because it will support both Apple and Intel architectures."

 

If Apple does indeed have a 5 year timetable for selling Intel based Macs, that would provide confidence in Intel based purchases, because Universal Binaries would need to run for at least the next 5-7 years. But it is not clear where Steve Johnson or Chris Conard sourced the information on Apple's 5 year plan for Intel based machines. Can we get a reference?

 

Alternatively, in direct contrast, @Ian Lane's earlier input was very non-committal on Universal Binaries and oblivious to any 5 year plan from Apple:

 

On 10/16/2020 at 1:29 AM, Ian Lane said:

As for the universal binary, I would expect that universal binary support will be baked into all releases for a while.  It is hard for us to have an official policy on this because we don't know how long Apple will continue to release Intel based machines and how long they will continue to support those machines.

 

 

Three representatives providing three very different responses on what to expect from NV on Mac compatibility.

 

Maybe the M1, or another official Apple Silicon, thread could be opened up to all matters surrounding the transition, current compatibility and user questions? So that we have an ongoing, official single source for NV's transition policy to plan around and get reliable answers from. At the moment, it is not possible to decipher any firm policy, or even who is speaking authoritatively, given the way the current information has varied from one company representative to another and how it has been distributed.   

 

Edited by M5d
Roadmap Quote Added
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I don't know how Graphisoft utilises their forums, but for reference, they did provide a couple timely, official, centrally placed, well rounded and linked statements covering the M1, Apple Silicon and how they're handling the transition:

 

https://helpcenter.graphisoft.com/knowledgebase/130674/

 

https://helpcenter.graphisoft.com/knowledgebase/130695/

 

This may, in fact, be no different to what Nemetschek Vectorworks is doing, but from Graphisoft's communications in two posts, I came away with a clear, comprehensive, overview of their official position, their releases ahead and how Archicad currently performs on the M1's; something sifting the runes and contradictions here has yet to provide.

  

Edited by M5d
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On 12/9/2020 at 9:26 PM, mike m oz said:

Just had an email saying that the ETA is 2-3 weeks.  Christmas and New Year shutdowns are likely to blow that timeframe out so I am guessing sometime in January.  Early January if I am lucky.

Any news on how the MacMini M1 and how Vectorworks is performing??

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For me it's good on M1 Mini 16 GB.

 

I was a bit afraid first when I thought Rosetta would need 3 times as much RAM

as native Intel. But I just mixed up "Memory" on Intel vs "Physical Memory" display

on M1 activity monitor.

It needs just 0-20% Rosetta RAM penalty.

 

But there is a difference between both in Memory vs Physical Memory usage.

Looks like M1 is using more RAM compression, not so much Swap but loads

of "Cache", wherever that might happen ...

 

So I can open even my most demanding Revit import Projects fine

(although 25+ GB "physical" Memory instead of 9 GB "Memory")

and "Memory Pressure" is still only about 50%.

As the single core performance is nearly double as much as my Trash Can,

everything standard App and everything CAD/3D, like file loading, loading

3D Views feels a bit faster and discreet.

 

SSD speeds are on M.2 levels 3000 MB/s vs my worn 800 MB/s Trash Can SSD.

 

Graphic looks very snappy too.

 

There came a VW 2021 SP2.1 Update lately, which said to solve the (only?

 M1 crash issue with OpenGL Viewports and Ambient Occlusion.

Did not test so far.

 

So overall I am pretty happy with that lowest level Apple Silicon device.

(Bricscad and Blender does currently not work under Rosetta for me)

 

 

But my downsides are heavy problems with monitors.

I currently use a 24" 4k Dell via HDMI and I have heavy flickering and blackouts.

I was not able to run neither the Dell nor my Wacom Cintiq 27" by Display Port

via Apple's TB3 to TB2 Adapter.

I was not able to run my Wacom via HDMI either ("wrong timing")

 

I ordered again a few other adapters (USB-C to DP, USB-C to HDMI, shorter HDMI

cable, ... and will try again. But I also hear from others that accessing Monitors

and Bluetooth devices is still a real problem.

 

Edited by zoomer
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I try with a single Monitor only.

 

I don't know what it is.

That flickering every 10 or 30 seconds and black screen for

every about 30 seconds is so annoying.

Have to wait 2 days for the cables to arrive.

Tried again, no chance for the Wacom, not sure why the TB3 to TB2

adapter does not work.

A friend has the same M1 Mini and also had so much problems with

running his 2 Monitors. Old Apple TB Display was ok, HDMI did not

work for his 32" 4k - until he tried a new cable.

It works for him.

He bought the Mini mostly because he wanted to run his two Monitors.

 

Went back registering Mini for public Betas, got two new 11.2 versions

installed but no change. No DP over TB adapter, Wacom refuses HDMI.

Dell 4k only via HDMI and flickering.

(I think that is a sync issue)

 

Maybe my Mini is just defective,

although I never have seen that before in 14 years.

 

TL;DR;

Mac Mini M1 itself is great for VW and a bargain,

adding peripherals is a pain.

 

 

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@zoomer what brand of cables/adaptors are you using? I don't have any TB3 devices yet apart from an iPad, but I have read a bit about it and my understanding (please correct me if I am wrong) is that TB3 runs over USB-C and that USB-C TB3 cables and adaptors are 'intelligent' i.e. they have processors in them that negotiate between the devices that are connected which standards are supported by the cable and how fast they can transfer data. Not all USB-C cables will support TB3 for example and there's no way you can tell from the cable. Some cheap cables claim they support all the different modes of operation but sometimes they are buggy or the supplier is lying. As a result of this, you will find that cheap cables and adaptors quite often don't work properly as they don't support all the data transfer modes that can work over USB-C. If you are not using all Apple branded cables and adaptors, or carefully selected cables from another big reputable brand name, this might be worth a try. Painfully expensive I know, but probably worth it in time saved troubleshooting.

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All USB-C / TB3 cable shares the same connector. The only visual difference between them are the symbol and the number 3 (for thunderbolt)

 

Having said that, there is nothing stopping the cheap knock off putting the labels on pretending to be a TB3 / 4 cable ....

 

I have been looking for a longer TB3 cable for my eGPU and a cheap-ish one I got has caused a lot of flicker and sadly I am falling back to the tiny short one blackmagic supplied.

maxresdefault.jpg

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@PeterYip Yes thats how it should be. The only thing to watch out for is that I think the standard for putting the thunderbolt(3/4) / USB symbol on the cable might be newer than the standard for the physical shape of the cable though? So some older cables might not have these markings?

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Yes, USB-C/TB3 to TB2 Dongle from Apple should have chips in it as it is

expensive. (PC variants are even more expensive)

 

It was just meant to add my TB2 2,5" 2x disk enclosure to Mac Mini.

Have not yet tested. As the original TB cable is max 0,5 m, alternatively

I bought an additional 1,5 m USB-3 cable.

 

I never had tried HDMI on my Wacom before, as it was said to bring lower

screen resolution than via DP. But I think Wacom cables are about 2 m in length.

My new cheap HDMI cable was also 2,0 m.

Soon I will try again with USB-C to DP and HDMI cables from my Mini's TB ports

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On 1/16/2021 at 9:38 PM, M5d said:

is there a reason the M1 thread was locked and limited when it was setup?

Yes, we usually lock the thread for visibility and updating purposes and provide a different discussion place. Same way as we have done in the past for new Mac OS releases.
We have been answering questions related to M1's and Big Sur in this thread, and I will add a link to this thread in the M1.
I'm currently working with our R&D team to gather the latest info about the transition to support the new Apple Silicon M1 natively and keep you updated. I will create a new thread to open up for discussion soon after.

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Thanks @JuanP, I look forward to your update and the new company thread.

 

If it helps, the context for the concern above is that, collectively, the information and answers given to date have effectively covered all eventualities while specifying none. That is, we have the prospect of Vectorworks' Apple Silicon support being scheduled anywhere from the next version, up to five years out from now. Whatever the case may be, long or short, knowing where NV expects to land on A/S support will inform purchases in the leading period.

 

If Vectorworks is going A/S native with the 2022 version, then holding out for the A/S machines Apple will deliver later this year makes sense. If however, as Steve Johnson has speculated, an A/S native version of Vectorworks may take much longer, then the current Intel machines, along with a potential update to the Intel Mac Pro, are the better option. Either way, these are the safe upgrade avenues depending on which way NV needs to go.

 

While Rosetta 2 offers early adopters a transitional space to experiment in, it’s not without its expected issues, so I don’t believe that’s a particularly good, or viable, longterm option where stability / dependability is required. And so, just for completeness, the flip side of the safe options above are; purchasing an A/S Mac and not getting Vectorworks in an A/S native version for many years out; or, alternatively, purchasing a big ole Intel Mac and seeing Universal Binaries disappear all too quickly, because of any additional overhead that may represent to developers. 

 

Lastly, the reason I emphasised and requested a reference from @SteveJ on the quoted five year Apple/Intel plan; is that, that outcome would result in solid, industry wide, support for Universal Binaries over at least that period, plus some. This, ideally, looks to be a best case scenario from Apple, because it takes away any uncertainty associated with purchases on their Intel-side, particularly the Mac Pro, for some years to come. So if possible, confirmation the Planet Vectorworks article was referenced, or based on developer discussions with Apple, would be very helpful!   

 

 

Edited by M5d
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My 16GB + 1 TB M1 Mac mini finally turned up and I've been using it for two days now:

- Vw 2021 won't install (Australian version) and it crashes the computer during the install.  I have bug reported that.

- Vw 2020 installs and works fine.

 

I'm not doing very complex work at the moment - mostly drafting and some simple modelling.  So not particularly taxing for the computer.

 

I did have an issues with some 3D polygons for a DTM repeatedly bringing up the spinning beach ball of death.  After I simplified the 3D polygons I didn't have that problem.  I checked the more complex 3D polygons on my iMac and had the same spinning beach ball of death behaviour.

 

Some positives are how quickly Vw starts up and quits on the M1.  On my iMac with Catalina both are slow.  Start up can be excruciatingly slow.

 

The M1 also starts up in a fraction of the time it takes my iMac to start up.

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5 minutes ago, Phil Schawe said:

Maybe a dumb question, but I am thinking of getting a new M1 MacBook Air and wondering if VW2018 will run on it. Not my main machine, but just for doodling when I am not in the office. If no, should I get an older PowerBook?

 

Officially you need at least VW 2020 to run on macOS 11: 

 

Edited by Nicolas Goutte
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