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Thread: Revit on the Mac (OS X)

  1. #11
    Member tidalwave1's Avatar
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    thanks iru69 and Gordon. right now I'm saving up the money (isn't that always the case...) but my poor DELL inspiron laptop (four years old come August) is near death. I've given up doing anything Revit related in it. And, I miss being able to figure out work problems and do stuff on the side at home. hopefully in the next month or two I'll be able to pull the trigger...

  2. #12
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    tidalwave1 - Did you get the BTO iMac you initially spec'd? If so, how has it handled Revit? As a Mac-user in a Mac-based office ('10 MBP), I've been looking to update my '08 iMac and have been considering the iMac specs you listed. After talking to our Apple business rep, they've recommended the Mac Pro NVIDIA has made the FX4800 and 4000 available in a Mac version as well. However, the MP is $$$. They didn't discourage the iMac, but in the past the only real issue we've had with using Autodesk software on the Macs is with their graphics cards and the iMac only comes with the two Radeon models.

  3. #13
    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    Floridag, welcome to the forum!

    When it comes to graphics cards and Revit, it's a real mess even on Windows - things get even more complicated with a Mac.

    When it comes to running Autodesk software natively in OS X, what the Apple rep has to say about the Nvidia FX cards is possibly true.

    However, I'm not as convinced about that in running Revit in a VM or Boot Camp. In a VM, you're relying on Parallels or Fusion's generic video driver to have the utmost DX "compatibility" with the Macs native video card... and I would guess just based on the shear volume of iMacs/MacBooks that the focus and testing is far greater on those than the tiny niche of FX cards out there in Mac Pros. Similarly with drivers provided for Boot Camp.

    Also, while a long shot, you might look to Parallels/Fusion technical support to see what Autodesk products (if any) they've tested and on what hardware.

    It would be great to hear user experiences with the new iMacs.

  4. #14
    Member tidalwave1's Avatar
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    not yet! I still have to save up a little bit more money.

  5. #15
    Member DesignApparatus's Avatar
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    Running RAC2012 on my MacBookPro 17

    Just a note...
    I've been running Revit 2011 and 12 on my MacBook Pro 17 using Bootcamp for 2 years now. Runs great! I am disappointed in Autodesk's RAC2012 as now it says I have to run in emulation mode. A bit irritating, but things get outdated. I do not notice any slowdown in the program since I switched to 2012 (I run 64-bit Win7).
    I do not run a VM system since I am pretty discrete in my workflow (my personal stuff gets done on the Mac side and my work on the Win/Bootcamp side). So, booting out of Windows to get into the MacOS is not that bothersome to me. I have been considering a Mac desktop system for a little while now. My only concern is that both video cards offered by Apple are ATI Radeon cards, with no FirePro offering. That would force RAC2012 to run in emulation mode again, and not taking full advantage of the softwares speed/capabilities (I am only speculating here). So, I am holding off, unless I find that I can run a FirePro card after purchase of the system.
    I let the board know what happens if I make this leap.
    I must say I have been extremely happy with my Mac laptop and how well ist has performed in the last 2 years.
    My 2-1/2 cents worth;>

  6. #16
    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    Hi DesignApparatus, welcome to the forums!

    Thanks for sharing your experience with your MacBook Pro - good to hear it had been working well for you.

    I'm not sure I'm following what you mean when you say "I am disappointed in Autodesk's RAC2012 as now it says I have to run in emulation mode". Is this some sort of error message, or dialog box? If so, can you provide the exact text?

    What graphics card is in your MacBook? GeForce 9400? 9600GT?

    I'm thinking about getting a Mac Pro myself when the new models come out (the rumor is next month). Again, I'm not sure why you think the Radeon cards would have to run in "emulation mode"? That's not to say I know in fact that they do work - only someone who can actually test it out would know for sure. Also, not sure where you got the idea that if there was a FirePro offering, it would work better.

    Keep us updated!

  7. #17
    Member DesignApparatus's Avatar
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    The MBPro17 (2009) runs a NVIDIA 9600M GT video card (not upgradeable).
    When I installed RAC 2012 for the first time, it detected that my video card was not "supported" (exact text is "Graphic Options - Cannot Use Hardware Acceleration: Revit detects an unsupported video card and driver. You may continue to use Revit in Software Emulation mode.....blah, blah, blah"
    So, alas no HA. Still runs quite fine, but on my larger models (50 MB) it definitely maxes out the video card when using things like shadows, realistic, etc.
    I went to the Autodesk site and my card is no longer listed as a supported card for RAC2012.
    I am considering a MacPro desktop in the near future (6 mo.) and the video card listed for it are ATI Radeon HD 5770 (and 5870). Neither of these are supported by Autodesk for RAC2012 either (too bad Apple is using these cards instead of the FirePro cards....my understanding is the HD 5770 and 5870 cards are more of a high-end gaming card instead of a workstation graphics card). Most people I know using MacPros are video editing and graphic designers...you would think the workstation oriented video cards would be spec'ed instead.
    Also, the new MacPros will not have the Thunderbolt port. It will only have USB 2.0 ports as well as FireWire 800 ports, and the MiniDisplay port (this is the port being replaced on the MacBook Pro (not Mac Pros) this Fall. Odd that they would provide the new high-speed port for the laptop and not their high-end desktop.
    Alas, I will just probably wait awhile...but wanted to dig in more to learning 3DSMax and the FirePro cards are also the only ones supported from ATI (not the other 2).

  8. #18
    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    If you go into the Graphic Options, can you select the little box "Use Hardware Acceleration (Direct 3D)" or is it greyed out?

    Autodesk's website is nearly useless when choosing a new graphics card. They don't "support" current video cards, but users have been having good luck with them anyway. The best bet is to get user feedback on what works and what doesn't. IMHO, you're putting too much stock in the whole "workstation cards" thing - what's unfortunate is that Autodesk does such a lousy job of officially supporting current video cards.

    Since the new MacPros haven't been released yet, you do not know that they won't have a Thunderbolt port. I don't know for sure either, but if I were a betting man, I'd bet that they will have a Thunderbolt port.

  9. #19
    Member DesignApparatus's Avatar
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    When I click Hardware Acceleration, the error message then pops up. It won't let me select it as it detects the specific video card when you select it and I get that error (boo-hoo).
    And you may be right, I may be putting too much stock into what Autodesk says is a "supported" card, but my card went from supported in RAC2011 to unsupported in 2012, so I figured that their "supported cards" must be the only ones that will run with hardware accel.
    You are probably right on that port showing up on the new ones.....and maybe the graphic card options will change. We'll see!
    Do you have any experience with running 3DSMax as well? Just curious if/who has had good experience running it through Bootcamp.

  10. #20
    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    Weird - I've seen it grayed out, but I've never come across it not being greyed out but at the same time not being able to select it either. Error messages about "unsupported" cards are a dime a dozen... I guarantee that more people are running Revit with "unsupported" cards than with "supported" cards... the only question that matters is whether you can select the check box and whether Revit runs well with it selected. Bummer it won't let you select the box any more.

    Have you tried installing Nvidia's latest reference driver (the driver for your card available directly from Nvidia's website)?

    I have not run Max in Boot Camp, but it's only a question of the graphics card (again)... there's no other reason why it wouldn't work fine.

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