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Moving from Mac to PC - Help Required


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Hi all.

 

Been thinking about moving the office from iMac's to PC's for a while now and we have a couple of workstations that are way overdue for replacement and the price of iMac's have been going through the roof - for basically an average computer paired with a fantastic monitor.

 

The spec I am currently looking at is as follows:

 

  • AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Eight Core CPU (3.8GHz-4.7GHz/36MB CACHE/AM4)
  • 64GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3000MHz (4 x 16GB)
  • PNY QUADRO RTX A4000 16GB GDDR6, 6144 CUDA CORES - 4 x DP
  • 512GB PCS PCIe M.2 SSD (2200 MB/R, 1500 MB/W)
  • 1TB SEAGATE BARRACUDA SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 64MB CACHE
  • Windows 11 Professional 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence
  • Samsung LU32J590UQRXXU 32" 4K UHD Monitor

 

The cost is coming in at under £2,800 (with 3 Year Collect & Return, 3 Year Parts, 3 Year labour - equivalent to AppleCare).

 

The similar spec mac comes in at £4,029 excluding AppleCare, but the Apple Store normally throws it in at nil cost due to my business account.

 

I am not confident that the new iMac due out later this year is going to be more affordable - and it will definitely be less upgradeable, so do I take the plunge now or wait??

 

 

Any thoughts??

 

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I am a Mac guy, but there are a number of things besides just the price to consider no matter which way you are planning to switch  operating systems.

 

1.  What software do you need to run?  Not just VW but all the other software anyone is using. If these are only CAD stations then you are great. But if you also need to run Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, accounting, etc. what is required?  First is it available on the other operating system? If not, is there an equivalent? If you have to switch to a different program, what is the training cost and lost productivity during the switch? And what is the cost of switching the other software?  VW will let you transfer a license between platforms. Will all of your other software suppliers? Or will they make you buy new licenses?

 

2. Do you have support to understand the new operating system?  You may be familiar with your operating system, but things on the other system will be different. If you don't have an in house expert (or at least someone who likes and is familiar) on the new OS, how will you get support? How much down time will the new OS cause you. I had a consultant bill one of my clients (years ago) for 6 hours of time while he tried to research how to eject a disk from a Mac [the slightly incomprehensible click and hold on the trash can].  Both systems do things differently. I have also brought people familiar with Windows into a Mac office and had them hate it. It took them almost a year to really become comfortable at using the Mac.  The inverse applies as well.

 

3. How long do you keep machines? How long with the machine stay current enough and up to date? Macs are expensive, but they also usually have long service lives. It is often reasonable to hand down Macs to people who need lower power. Even a 5 year old Mac will usually run the latest OS. On Windows many people never upgrade the OS and stick to the original for the life of the machine.  Different philosophies.

 

I hope the above helps in your consideration of the overall costs of switching which is can be way more than the hardware cost.

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Pat Thanks for your views.

 

As an office, we have been operating Macs as the primary hardware for at least 10 years. However within my standard setup, I have to run Parallels on the iMac due to the fact that Apple is not capable of running all the software that is used in normal day to day business - Energy design and thermal modelling software, something that Apple does not support. 

 

All of our business software is licence transferrable - so no cost or issue there.

 

There are very few differences between Windows and Mac OS nowadays - with the vast majority of software completely interchangeable - if anything it is easier to operate on Windows than Mac  - Networking / Microsoft Office all run 100% native on Windows and to be honest, a lot of Microsoft Office products have reduced functionality on a Mac, which has irked me for years.

 

As far as hardware replacement is concerned, a 4 to 5 year cycle is acceptable in today's world - Mac's provide support for 5 years with their operating systems - free upgrades etc., but I can see this changing dramatically with the new apple business model that enforces a hardware change in a defined number of years due to the extremely limited user interventions that can be made.  On the flip side, Windows has always been the hardware system that is fully user upgradeable and the downside of the OS used to be that Windows used to charge for OS upgrades, but Windows seems to be going the same way as Mac with free OS upgrades, as long as the hardware supports it.

 

I have simply come to the business decision that Macs are simply no longer suitable for purpose in terms of adaptability and flexibility. They are fantastic pieces of hardware, however, that on its own does not justify keeping them.  I also don't agree with your statement that Windows users don't upgrade - yes, that used to be the case, but that is no longer the norm.

 

The main software that we use is Vectorworks and Microsoft Office - I am the only one who is certified to use the energy software.  There are also very few differences nowadays between the two pieces of software a large proportion of work is done in the cloud. 

 

Thanks for your thoughts though on the Mac - that ship has sailed though, I am changing to Windows OS.

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One thing to keep in mind is that Vectorworks does not take advantage of the extra features of Quadro RTX cards because that requires specific drivers that are not available for Vectorworks.

Unless your other software (the energy design and thermal modeling and whatever else you may be using) can take advantage of the Quadro card you will probably be better off with a GeForce RTX card, for the same price you can get a high end GeForce RTX with more GPU memory etc. which will be more beneficial in the longer run.

 

Unless you are planning to get additional software in the near future that does take advantage of the Quadro card.

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On 3/2/2022 at 8:23 PM, Kevin C said:

Apple is not capable of running all the software that is used in normal day to day business - Energy design and thermal modelling software, something that Apple does not support.

 

Hijacking the subject of your thread somewhat - but what thermal modelling software do you use, and how do you find it to work with?

 

I actually started a thread on this a little while ago but didn't get much response

 

https://forum.vectorworks.net/index.php?/topic/86602-do-you-use-thermal-modelling-software/#comment-402034

 

 

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I am using Flixo energy for linear thermal modelling (I am on version 7 - think it is now on v8.1)- not cheap, but extremely reliable & robust and most importantly I can calculate in accordance with EN ISO 10211:2007 and BR497.  This is the website: https://www.flixo.com 

For my energy design I use Elmhurst DesignSAP (again a windows only product). I used to use NES Plan Assessor, but they were bought over by Elmhurst a few years ago and so I had to change.

 

 

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