Designer1

Chief and Mac??

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My friend is like MR APPLE.  He loves everything apple and has been convincing me to switch from my alienware and I wont budge.  Chief works fine with my pc and have always been a pc vs mac person.  My family have bought me two apple iphones and now Im starting to grow on liking Apple.  Now my friend said that's it hes going to buy me a mac mini and that it will be worlds better then my alienware.  Im still hesitant but it appears he is buying it regardless so Im grateful yet unsure how chief will be on it.

 

I know with pcs you have to make sure the video cards etc are in alignment with chief.  Does anyone know how Mac minis work with Chief?  I went on the apple website and it doesn't appear to have a million choices of video cards to use. So do they just work out of the box with the default way they are built with Chief?

 

Im trying to get some input on things to look for or switch before he orders anything because if I do get the computer I want it to work well with Chief. 

 

Thanks for any input!

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9 minutes ago, Designer1 said:

My friend is like MR APPLE.  He loves everything apple and has been convincing me to switch from my alienware and I wont budge.  Chief works fine with my pc and have always been a pc vs mac person.  My family have bought me two apple iphones and now Im starting to grow on liking Apple.  Now my friend said that's it hes going to buy me a mac mini and that it will be worlds better then my alienware.  Im still hesitant but it appears he is buying it regardless so Im grateful yet unsure how chief will be on it.

 

I know with pcs you have to make sure the video cards etc are in alignment with chief.  Does anyone know how Mac minis work with Chief?  I went on the apple website and it doesn't appear to have a million choices of video cards to use. So do they just work out of the box with the default way they are built with Chief?

 

Im trying to get some input on things to look for or switch before he orders anything because if I do get the computer I want it to work well with Chief. 

 

Thanks for any input!

That is a very good friend.  All of the Minis I have used or seen come with a built in GPU not a dedicated and are not able to be changed.  A newer one may be different but either way Chief will work with enough power and ram behind it but will not be amazing for PBR or regular rendering.  There are external gpus that can be added and make it a very good system.  They are really more like a laptop for power in a small form factor but they are great little machines and if you give Mac a chance you will not go back!

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Ryan, thanks for the input.  Is there any advise on this buy?  Surely Im grateful for the gift, I just don't know much about adding GPUs etc.  You run on mac but its the pro model...which Im sure is a lot more costly... do the bigger macs allow for customization?  

 

Yes, that's what he told me... he said Macs are built 1000 times better on everything then a regular pc, even my alienware brand.  I cant argue given I don't know much about Apple and hes a senior director computer engineer. haha.  SO I just say ok whatever you say about computers I believe you.  I just wanted to ask the Chief community because I know our software isn't the regular stuff everyone uses and may require different system requirements.

 

Thanks for your help!

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5 minutes ago, Designer1 said:

Ryan, thanks for the input.  Is there any advise on this buy?  Surely Im grateful for the gift, I just don't know much about adding GPUs etc.  You run on mac but its the pro model...which Im sure is a lot more costly... do the bigger macs allow for customization?  

 

Yes, that's what he told me... he said Macs are built 1000 times better on everything then a regular pc, even my alienware brand.  I cant argue given I don't know much about Apple and hes a senior director computer engineer. haha.  SO I just say ok whatever you say about computers I believe you.  I just wanted to ask the Chief community because I know our software isn't the regular stuff everyone uses and may require different system requirements.

 

Thanks for your help!

The new Mac pros start at $6k and go up to north of 60 so yes they are extremely capable and able to be upgraded completely.  My Mac pro is 2 years old (previous version) and runs GREAT. It is difficult to upgrade the GPU on those models but it comes with dual capable units so I should be good for many years.  My laptop for travel is a pretty good unit and is probably similar to the new Mac mini but I always bring my Sonnet breakaway puck travel E-GPU (external video card) which gives me the higher capabilities.

 

If I was looking at upgrading to a new unit I would probably go with the new MacBook Pro 16” laptop hooked up at home to some much larger high resolution monitors, with maxing out the ram and GPU option.  Probably a good $3-3,500 computer though.

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I run CA on a Mac mini late 2014, 2.6 GHz i5, 8 GB RAM and on-board Iris CPU graphics which I have driving two 24" monitors with just the out-of-box onboard graphics. I have never had ANY issues running CA except PBR. It doesn't seem to have enough video muscle to produce decent PBRs but I use Ray Tracing for good renders anyway and have been able to get my RTing down to just a few minutes for most renders. Graphics on minis are not upgradable except the method Ryan described of adding an external GPU. For me this isn't necessary at this time.

 

Everything else about CA runs in near real-time, with zero issues except an occasional glitch on a new version release. It's fast, reliable, and stable and I do love the Apple platform, having used it since the late 80s, and the mini is an incredible value for what you get for the money. But I have no idea how a Mac mini would compare with your current system.

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Download and Install CA on his new Mini.  Sign into CA and Temporarily switch your license to it.  Open one of your drawings and test.

I've switched back and forth.  It's easy.

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11 hours ago, Designer1 said:

Yes, that's what he told me... he said Macs are built 1000 times better on everything then a regular pc, even my alienware brand.

 

I think this is a bit of an over statement. Macs use exactly the same hardware components as PC's. Any testing reviews I have read show that similar configurations perform about the same as similarly configured PC's. Macs may provide a bit more consistency as Apple controls/limits the hardware choices so those combinations might well be a bit more balanced. They do however make you pay the price for this.

 

With PC's you need to be more careful due to the wide range of configurations and differing brands. Some brand manufacturers are not as selective when configuring their hardware and as such their performance may not be as good. The Alienware brand is right up there in respect to quality and performance for any given configuration price point.

 

I've used both and I think most users of Mac's tend to associate what is actually operating system related differences as hardware differences. There's no doubt that OS is more fluid than Windows in respect to operating systems. It's a bit like having a car with a more refined suspension system, your ride is just a bit more controlled.

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Here's an example in respect to my comments above. A recent review of a new Alienware Laptop.

 

"...CPU performance is excellent despite our reserves about the performance of an unlocked Core i9 processor in a thin chassis. In fact, of the twelve Core i9-9980HK laptops we've tested thus far, our Alienware comes out to be 7 to 14 percent faster than the average according to CineBench Multi-Thread tests. The 2019 Apple MacBook Pro 15 is almost 25 percent slower in multi-threaded loads even though it uses the exact same octa-core Core i9-9980HK CPU..."

 

Full review here.

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Dell-Alienware-m17-R2-Laptop-Review-Making-Core-i9-Worthwhile.454427.0.html

 

 

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In my opinion Apple simply has a more refined final user experience due to integrating the hardware and software together as a unit, making the functionality seamless and easy for the user. I've always believed this and have had extremely pleasant experiences with their products. Very anecdotal, but my brother on the other hand went down the PC road and has told me many stories of endless headaches getting both software and hardware to work, patching things together, and so on. Sure some test is going to show one machine is faster than another at a given evaluation, but other factors come into play.

 

With regards to the question of the OP, all I can say is I'm tickled pink that a little unit I bought new for $669 works so well with zero issues, year after year. I'd like to PBR but it's just not worth the hassle and expense, when everything else just... works.

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38 minutes ago, Chrisb222 said:

In my opinion Apple simply has a more refined final user experience due to integrating the hardware and software together as a unit, making the functionality seamless and easy for the user. I've always believed this and have had extremely pleasant experiences with their products. Very anecdotal, but my brother on the other hand went down the PC road and has told me many stories of endless headaches getting both software and hardware to work, patching things together, and so on. Sure some test is going to show one machine is faster than another at a given evaluation, but other factors come into play.

 

With regards to the question of the OP, all I can say is I'm tickled pink that a little unit I bought new for $669 works so well with zero issues, year after year. I'd like to PBR but it's just not worth the hassle and expense, when everything else just... works.

I agree that with Apple products it just works.  The absolute only time I have an issue with my computer is when I try to run one specialized program that I use for BOQS that is absolutely only windows and I cannot find a suitable replacement for and have to run windows with parallels which in that case it will always have a stupid update that locks the computer up for sometimes hours while it downloads with my slow internet!  
 

But basically what was stated is the truth.  Apple just works because it is controlled with the hardware and software.  It is not quite fair to compare an Alienware laptop to a Mac mini.  And yes you would need to run apples to apples (forgive the pun,) to get a fair comparison in which case the Apple equivalent will most likely cost more because it is balanced properly.  In my life experience it generally costs more to have more convenience and quality.  That is what Apple does best.  
 

Just my two cents (free of charge) regarding Apple products.  Everyone needs to do what is best for their circumstances but please don’t ask me to go back to PC because I won’t ever.  I am happy with the cost and the quality and product I get.  For me the extra cost is worth it to not have downtime worrying about my drivers and ramping my fan because it needs to run faster when I do x,  it does it automatically.  It just works...

 

I hope this helps the OP in his decision making.

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3 minutes ago, rgardner said:

 It is not quite fair to compare an Alienware laptop to a Mac mini

 

The comparison I posted is not to a Mac Mini. It is to a MacBook Pro with the exact same processor. The point was not to undermine Macs, just to provide some clarification as to the general misconception that Macs perform better than PC's.

 

Mac's and Windows offer to users two differing experiences and feature sets . It's up to each individual to decide which works best for them.

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38 minutes ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

 

The comparison I posted is not to a Mac Mini. It is to a MacBook Pro with the exact same processor. The point was not to undermine Macs, just to provide some clarification as to the general misconception that Macs perform better than PC's.

 

Mac's and Windows offer to users two differing experiences and feature sets . It's up to each individual to decide which works best for them.

Yes I realize that.  My intent with that comment was to help the OP in his decision as he is going from an Alienware laptop to a Mac mini.  Two different style of machines.

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1 hour ago, rgardner said:

in that case it will always have a stupid update that locks the computer up for sometimes hours while it downloads with my slow internet!

You can prevent that easily by getting a copy of Winaero Tweaker (free or donate no nags). It will disable Win Update with a click. (no idea why it slows your internet or takes hours mine does neither when I allow it to update). In any case with the tweaker you to decide when it updates.

otherwise.....politics, religion and OS-not at the bar..

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6 minutes ago, MarkMc said:

You can prevent that easily by getting a copy of Winaero Tweaker (free or donate no nags). It will disable Win Update with a click. (no idea why it slows your internet or takes hours mine does neither when I allow it to update). In any case with the tweaker you to decide when it updates.

otherwise.....politics, religion and OS-not at the bar..

Haha

no I live in da campo of Panama so my internet is always slow 9/1 so when windows updates it takes a long time because of the speed.

 

yup I try not to get into the os debates other than maybe when sitting in the pool with my Dad in Mexico.  I was just trying to help the OP see the differences and still understand what makes Apple a great product.  
 

Speaking of,  I am in Mexico next to the pool... I think it’s pool time! 

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21 minutes ago, rgardner said:

 I was just trying to help the OP see the differences and still understand what makes Apple a great product.  

I could get into why buy a BTO pc but I don't have a pool :)

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Thanks everyone for all the input.  I hope this topic didn't get anyone fired up over apple vs pcs because Im sure they both have positive and negatives.  Just to clarify my alienware is a desktop not a laptop but is a few years old.  I use to spend a lot on a desktop then keep it for several years but now I realize I can be ok with one that is not the latest components and save thousands because in the end they all get outdated and old anyway.

 

I decided to call Chief tech support to ask them about this.  They said that the mac mini wouldn't get the jobs done as well as my older alienware and it would actually take the apple longer to get it done.  I asked about the external gpu that was suggested might work, but they said they advise against it as it hasn't been tested out by them to see how Chief would run.  I guess from what tech support told me is that the Mac mini only runs graphics on a chip versus a video card and my alienware has two dedicated graphics cards.  So even though its a few years old it still would be quicker then the Mac mini.

 

Im open to a new computer experience in trying Apple out in the future but think at this time upgrading the alienware might be the best and most cost efficient way to go.  I mentioned to my friend what tech support told me and he said he was cool with helping me upgrade my alienware if it will get the job done better with chief so that was really nice of him.

 

Eventually Id like to try a top shelf Apple during my next brand new big computer buy and see how I like it. I like my iphones so far, so its nice to try new things and see how they work.  My main goal was that chief would work just as good as my current computer if not better given I was looking to get something newer and at least a bit better.

 

Thanks everyone for giving me your opinions on your computer experiences it was great to hear.

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The on going computer saga...

 

So it looks like after talking with tech support and several computer builders they say the best thing to do is just get an awesome gaming computer instead of upgrading my current alienware.

 

My question is for all the PC owners out there who have custom built machines... is there any graphics cards or processors to avoid? 

 

Im trying to get what works best for chief because thats my computers main purpose.  Ive heard that Nvidia cards up to gtx 2060 are ok and Intel i7 chips.  Any experience or good/bad experience with any of these items working with chief?

 

Ask me architecture and interior design but not computers! :wacko:

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18 minutes ago, Designer1 said:

Ive heard that Nvidia cards up to gtx 2060 are ok and Intel i7 chips.  Any experience or good/bad experience with any of these items working with chief?

 

Depends on what the budget is ( as always) and how long you can wait ?  as Nvidia should release the 3000 Series cards in Aug. or Sept ( which maybe delayed now???) and you should likely be looking at i9 or i10 Chips for future proofing.

 

I know MarkMC is hoping to built soon so he'll no doubt have some good tips for you....

 

Mick.

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2 minutes ago, Kbird1 said:

as Nvidia should release the 3000 Series cards in Aug. or Sept

But they may be expensive (usually are) until the market catches up and they are putting them in more machines. Same thing with the newer chipsets.

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Thanks everybody!  In the past I always wanted the latest and would spend $3-5,000.  They would last a long time but now feel having brand new but perhaps older chips and spending less is a better value.  I dont need the latest but feel the 2060 chip seems better then what I have now.  Have any of you heard any issues with the intel 7 or Nvidia gtx 2060 cards having issues running chief?

 

Plus the other thing I dont like having the latest components as I did that several times and then when bugs arise given they are newest your stuck until updates or fixes. I prefer to get the old tried and true Toyota type chips that you know work well with reliability and no issues.

 

Thanks for all your input and help!

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56 minutes ago, Ridge_Runner said:

But they may be expensive (usually are) until the market catches up and they are putting them in more machines. Same thing with the newer chipsets.

 

All True and why I asked about the "budget" ...it is ALWAYS the determining factor 93.5% of the time :) 

 

I am still on i7 6 core 5820k and a 1070Ti ( no longer available) and am awaiting for a significant upgrade in Hardware Power to make the "spend" worth while. Or for Chief to start using Nvidia's RTX technology and the new DirectX Microsoft is supposedly working on with Nvidia's RTX , then I'll have to have one :) 

 

If buying now I would not go less than a RTX Super 2070. ( think future proofing)

 

M.

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Nice Mick thanks for the recommendations!

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