Clemson_Causey

2020 Macs & graphics cards

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So this is more just an FYI, but my current IMac that I use does not support X12 due to older video card and older OS system.  So was looking to get a NEW computer and have loved the reliability of the IMac, but was frustrated the the latest IMacs that were just released still had subpar video cards.  So have been doing a lot of research with Chief Architect Help Desk, Apple, and other PC manufacturers like Dell/HP and just wanted to share in case any other Chief Users out there were looking to invest in a New Mac.

The end result is this: the current AMD Pro Vega video card in the 2019 IMacs will run Chief X12, but Chief is moving towards all their platforms using "ray-tracing" video cards that support Direct X, or the Metal platforms.  The Nvidia RTX 2080ti card is one of the best cards on the market to support the Direct X platform and ray tracing.  However, Apple only uses AMD chips at the time.  (and yes you can use add on hardware that reads the Nvidia card, but not looking to invest $3800 in a new IMac, and then have to use an EPU to get the graphics correct).  So Chief advised that IF I wanted to stay with Apple products, they advised waiting until later this year to see if AMD and Apple's new releases will have the "Metal" platform on their graphics cards, which will support future versions of where Chief is headed.

Therefore, although I hate not upgrading and using X12, and I considered switching to a PC, which are very good, I decided to wait it out and see what Apple does later this year with their upgrades and newer video cards with AMD.  Here is a link to explain more of the Metal platform that Apple is using. https://developer.apple.com/metal/

Since I had done so much research, just wanted to share with anyone who was looking to get a new Mac this year.  Again, current Macs will support and run Chief great, I just wanted to make sure that when I invest in a new computer, that it will still run Chief upgrades well 2-3 years from now.  Hope this helps!

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Thanks for letting us know.  I currently have a 2017 Mac Pro with dual 3GB video cards and I'm happy with the performance.  

I keep looking at the new MacBook Pro for portability  and have heard negative comments here.

I may buy a new Mac Book Air just a simply computer for internet and invoices and wait on the big purchase.

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I just checked, my Mac Pro supports Metal.  It's the 2013 Mac Pro (Trash Can) but I bought it in 2017 so it has video cards and processors that were upgraded from the original version made in 2013.  It has two video cards with 3GB each, they run in series so the total is 6GB of VRAM.  The dual cards use PCIe slots 1 & 2.

AMD FirePro D500:

 Chipset Model: AMD FirePro D500

  Type: GPU

  Bus: PCIe

  Slot: Slot-1

  PCIe Lane Width: x16

  VRAM (Total): 3 GB

  Vendor: AMD (0x1002)

  Device ID: 0x679e

  Revision ID: 0x0000

  ROM Revision: 113-C3861J-687

  VBIOS Version: 113-C3861LA-029

  EFI Driver Version: 01.0D.687

  Automatic Graphics Switching: Supported

  gMux Version: 4.0.11 [3.2.8]

  Metal: Supported, feature set macOS GPUFamily2 v1

 

 

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3 hours ago, Electromen said:

I just checked, my Mac Pro supports Metal.  It's the 2013 Mac Pro (Trash Can) but I bought it in 2017 so it has video cards and processors that were upgraded from the original version made in 2013.  It has two video cards with 3GB each, they run in series so the total is 6GB of VRAM.  The dual cards use PCIe slots 1 & 2.

AMD FirePro D500:

 Chipset Model: AMD FirePro D500

  Type: GPU

  Bus: PCIe

  Slot: Slot-1

  PCIe Lane Width: x16

  VRAM (Total): 3 GB

  Vendor: AMD (0x1002)

  Device ID: 0x679e

  Revision ID: 0x0000

  ROM Revision: 113-C3861J-687

  VBIOS Version: 113-C3861LA-029

  EFI Driver Version: 01.0D.687

  Automatic Graphics Switching: Supported

  gMux Version: 4.0.11 [3.2.8]

  Metal: Supported, feature set macOS GPUFamily2 v1

 

 

Awesome!  I have the same setup!

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So, have you found that using a Mac Book Pro, that is hooked up to a larger monitor, is just as easy to work on as an IMac with larger screen?  It seems you get the best of both worlds, b/c then you can take the MacBook out to meet with clients to show them their house plans/walk throughs, etc?  I have been just looking at the IMacs which do not have great graphics cards. 

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I hope Apple® wakes up. Not going back to PC and Windows for ANY reason. 

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42 minutes ago, Clemson_Causey said:

So, have you found that using a Mac Book Pro, that is hooked up to a larger monitor, is just as easy to work on as an IMac with larger screen?  It seems you get the best of both worlds, b/c then you can take the MacBook out to meet with clients to show them their house plans/walk throughs, etc?  I have been just looking at the IMacs which do not have great graphics cards. 

Before I got my pro I was using a 13" MBPro with an E-GPU hooked to a couple of monitors.  It worked pretty well actually but the processor power and ram were less than I wanted and when the new pro came out I jumped on a good deal of a 1 year old one from someone who was upgrading to the newest $50k machine.

 

I used the 13" and the e-gpu for travel for a while and on my last trip I had the screen die on me when I needed it the most.  It is under warranty so is getting fixed but I was on an extended trip with three large deadlines I had to meet, so I ended up going and buying the new 2019 16in MBpro as my new travel computer.  IT is very capable!  I like it alot but it comes with a hefty price tag (Best Buy had them on $300 off recently though...)

 

Hope that helps.

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