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Thread: Current generation: iMac, Windows & Revit

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    Administrator Gordon Price's Avatar
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    Current generation: iMac, Windows & Revit

    I am getting close to pulling the trigger on a new machine, for Revit work in Windows as well as video production in macOS. The 3 year old MacBook Pro is great, but stumbles on big models. So, is anyone using a current generation iMac with Windows 10 & Revit 2017 or 2018, in Bootcamp? Any comments on that setup, especially as it relates to AMD graphics drivers?

    Thanks!
    Gordon

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    The firm I work for is bat-dunn bent on using "Macs" (iMac 27" in my case) & a hybrid Mac/Windows network environment, BIG MISTAKE. It'd be better being full Windows network with Apple Products; but I digress, but here's the rub. Imagine that every 10 seconds a day wasted twiddling thumbs in Parallels mode with a large model is roughly a week's worth of work per year, which in a Win OS environment is a 1-3 sec wait. Now imagine an average of 45sec/day wasted, because that is the average when comparing Parallels to Boot Camp/Windows OS. I'm constantly encouraging them to Boot Camp only, but Windows only is my goal.

    Just imagine a user on average wasting +3 weeks of work/year to daydream. Just pull the wool off the eyes of a happy medium mixing a Mac OS to operate Revit in a virtual state or Boot Camp (extra costs associated). Now there is word coming of renting Revit through a could portal from Autodesk that I've heard from resellers, but let's be real. A physical machine in a non-virtual state is the best situation, with one possible expensive exception using HVE Connexions & A2K is trailing not too far.

    If you want to be productive with Revit, then ditch the Macs, but anyway. I'm using an AMD Radeon R9 M395X without any issues in Boot Camp.
    Last edited by cftrevizo; November 17th, 2017 at 04:29 PM.

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    Administrator Gordon Price's Avatar
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    cftreviso,
    as I said, I do video production as well, so the Mac is mandatory. For my workflows BootCamp is ideal for "Revit production work", since you are in Windows running on metal. Parallels is best for recoding Revit, using a Mac screen recording app, because of the way Windows screen recording tools work, as well as for PowerShell development and testing, deployment testing, etc. And macOS is best for editing video and basically every other thing I do. So, zero chance I am dumping the Mac. The question for me is just iMac or iMac Pro.

    Curious, you mention an extra cost for BootCamp. What cost do you mean? Virtualizing with Parallels has an extra cost, but BootCamp is free, and the only extra cost I have seen is WinClone so I can backup the BootCamp partition. Some people consider that optional, I consider THAT daft.

    That said, you say you have had no issues in BootCamp, which is my main concern. I do wonder, what UI scaling are you using in Windows? And is it Windows 10, or 7? And, are you using hardware acceleration and views with full eye candy?

    Thanks!
    Gordon

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    Member remiscs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Price View Post
    cftreviso,
    as I said, I do video production as well, so the Mac is mandatory. For my workflows BootCamp is ideal for "Revit production work", since you are in Windows running on metal. Parallels is best for recoding Revit, using a Mac screen recording app, because of the way Windows screen recording tools work, as well as for PowerShell development and testing, deployment testing, etc. And macOS is best for editing video and basically every other thing I do. So, zero chance I am dumping the Mac. The question for me is just iMac or iMac Pro.

    Curious, you mention an extra cost for BootCamp. What cost do you mean? Virtualizing with Parallels has an extra cost, but BootCamp is free, and the only extra cost I have seen is WinClone so I can backup the BootCamp partition. Some people consider that optional, I consider THAT daft.

    That said, you say you have had no issues in BootCamp, which is my main concern. I do wonder, what UI scaling are you using in Windows? And is it Windows 10, or 7? And, are you using hardware acceleration and views with full eye candy?

    Thanks!
    Gordon
    [Edit: Sorry for not answering the original question as I do not have apple experience. Just figure I would raise the idea of two systems after the comments from the earlier post]

    I mean, any reason dual systems would be out of the question? A small ITX revit system and your Apple platform for video work?
    Last edited by remiscs; November 18th, 2017 at 04:51 AM.
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    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Price View Post
    I am getting close to pulling the trigger on a new machine, for Revit work in Windows as well as video production in macOS. The 3 year old MacBook Pro is great, but stumbles on big models. So, is anyone using a current generation iMac with Windows 10 & Revit 2017 or 2018, in Bootcamp? Any comments on that setup, especially as it relates to AMD graphics drivers?

    Thanks!
    Gordon
    The current Radeon Pro 580 should looks good spec-wise, but as you suggest, it ultimately comes down to the drivers, and since the Pro 580 is pretty much an Apple-exclusive, the AMD drivers specific for BC are rarely as refined as for more generally available GPUs. Unfortunately I don't know anyone who's running Revit on that the latest iMac.

    Since you're considering the iMac, just curious about your thoughts on the soon to be released iMac Pro with Vega GPU? (which will probably be even more iffy on the driver front, but that's going to be one hell of an iMac )

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    Administrator Gordon Price's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iru69 View Post
    The current Radeon Pro 580 should looks good spec-wise, but as you suggest, it ultimately comes down to the drivers, and since the Pro 580 is pretty much an Apple-exclusive, the AMD drivers specific for BC are rarely as refined as for more generally available GPUs. Unfortunately I don't know anyone who's running Revit on that the latest iMac.

    Since you're considering the iMac, just curious about your thoughts on the soon to be released iMac Pro with Vega GPU? (which will probably be even more iffy on the driver front, but that's going to be one hell of an iMac )


    I am torn on the iMac Pro. The last few years, more products have had delayed release than have made it on time, so I worry the Pro won't be available here in Holland until well into 2018, and for tax reasons I need to pull the trigger this year. But, from a video standpoint the iMac Pro is going to be a rock star, and as long as the driver is solid in Windows, it will make a great Revit machine too, just a bit of overkill. But the 8 core CPU will turbo up to 4.5 GHz, and the GPU will obviously handle the 5K screen with no problems.
    On my MBP I am actually running the nVidia driver, not the Apple supplied one, with no issues. If the standard Crimson driver works with the Vega in the iMac Pro (which is a standard Vega I think), I think it would be worth the risk. Time will tell, and there isn't much left.

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    Administrator Gordon Price's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by remiscs View Post
    [Edit: Sorry for not answering the original question as I do not have apple experience. Just figure I would raise the idea of two systems after the comments from the earlier post]

    I mean, any reason dual systems would be out of the question? A small ITX revit system and your Apple platform for video work?
    I think the postage stamp size of a Dutch flat is my biggest limitation. There really isn't room for two desktop machines here.

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    Member remiscs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Price View Post
    I think the postage stamp size of a Dutch flat is my biggest limitation. There really isn't room for two desktop machines here.
    sounds like an excellent reason to stick to just one platform

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    Administrator Gordon Price's Avatar
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    I guess another way to phrase the question is, has anyone managed to get ahold of an AMD Vega for Revit use? That's the only real "risk", and if it works fine on a Windows box it should work fine on Bootcamp.

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    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Price View Post
    On my MBP I am actually running the nVidia driver, not the Apple supplied one, with no issues. If the standard Crimson driver works with the Vega in the iMac Pro (which is a standard Vega I think), I think it would be worth the risk. Time will tell, and there isn't much left.

    That's just it, I don't think AMD allows their standard web driver to work. They only supply a Mac-specific BC package, and it only gets updated once in a blue moon.

    However, it is possible to hack, and BootCampDrivers.com has done just that.

    For my next system, I think I'm leaning more toward the MBP route + external display. With all the VM and consulting work you do, you probably need 32GB, which isn't available on the MBP yet.

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