Mac Book Pro


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I am sure that someone is running Chief on Apple.

If someone is running this on the Mac Book Pro can you send me your system configuration.

I am thinking about buying a Mac but need some feed back on what others may have experienced.

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I think this question could best be directed to Chief’s technical support as I believe they have done some testing here.


Also this may be very difficult since your always comparing apples to oranges and I believe the hardware may be the key issue which is never the same between PC and MAC.


For Example, I have a i7 3.6Ghz sandy bridge PC with a GTX 680 VC compared to a OOB early 2013 MacBook Pro Retina @ 2.4 Ghz w /3.4 Turbo Boast, Haswell chip, and standard on board intel (cpu embedded) video.


Both use the same 27” Asus monitors although the mac outputs to the Thunderbolt ports and the PC to the DVI + one more monitor as thunderbolt.

Performance is about the same but I give the output quality to the Mac, which may be due to the different ports and the fact that I don’t have the skills to tweak the GTX card.


The MacBook is slightly faster on Ray Trace with better output. Chief’s software automatically uses the higher quality GPU. The Mac fan will go to maximum and it will get warm which may affect life????


A disadvantage on the MacBook is that it’s limited to only two video ports (thunderbolt). I regard the built-in 15” display as worthless for CAD. I also regard three monitors as necessary for CAD.


I see the same performance diff in 3D Vector mode, and about the same in perspective.


It’s interesting that the on-board video of the Haswell chip has taken such a review hit when compared to Nivida's GTX. However I don’t see much difference and therefore some savings in the graphics card. I could be totally wrong so do your homework. I do not understand graphics on the MAC yet. The major difference in reverse is in Network performance with the Mac much slower on downloads.


HOWEVER I’ve seen the reverse in performance when using Archicad software between the two machines with the MacBook slightly slower. So the difference may be somewhat in the software and how it optimizes Open GL. This is puzzling as Archicad was born on the Mac. But, may be due to my not understanding how to tweak the video.


IAE – I have stated before that the two machines are comparable enough that the difference is purely a matter of preference. Those comfortable with the Mac, will stay with a Mac. Note the MacBook limitation on the number of video ports and the lack of an external GPU.


 EDIT: I believe, at present that only Apple Thunderbolt monitors can be daisy chained. Those monitors are twice the price with the same performance, so – fore-warned. Also according to reviews, if you put a hard drive in the chain with two monitors, the drive performance WILL suffer. In that case you may want to look at usb drives which have close, but not as good performance, as thunderbolt drives. Unfortunately the MacBook has only two USB ports. Though, you can use a usb extension which works well – which is more than I can say for Windows.

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My wife uses a Macbook Pro with an Haswell i-7 and Nvidia graphics card.  I use a Lenovo with a slower i-7 and only native graphics (no card).  When ray tracing the same drawing side by side, the Macbook Pro was 7 times faster.  I haven't met a computer yet that is too fast.....


My understanding with the Mac is that you can't import .skp file.

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Pretty much the entire line of Macs is sufficient to run Chief. Whether a particular machine is fast enough for your needs depends somewhat on the complexity of your models and your expectations. If this is to be your primary design machine I would definitely go for the higher end MacBook Pro. I run Chief on a 2 year old MacBook Air. To me the performance on that machine is surprisingly good. But then I don't do production work on it. Mostly I use it to see how things are running on the Intel graphics.


The new Mac Pros are disappointing in performance given the price, but do seem to run Chief well.


The lack of .skp import is an unfortunate limitation imposed on us by Trimble. They don't supply a 64 bit library for Mac, which seems completely counter intuitive since all Macs currently shipping run only 64 bit operating systems. If they ever do supply a library we will look into integrating that support. We do, however, support COLLODA. Plus if you import an .skp file on Windows you can easily copy the library or plan it is in over to the Mac. We made the ability to share files between Windows and Mac as seamless as possible.

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Ironic, I just ran into the skp file limitation this AM.  I don't often need things from Google's 3D warehouse, but this morning I needed a grill and Chief seems to not really have any in all of their offered libraries.  I thought I was missing something and moved on, but now I know what was going on...


Oh well, if I REALLY need the skp files, I will bring it into the model on the PC thanks to the new ease of transferring the license.

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  • 2 months later...

I have experienced inconsistencies in how chief handles imported pdf's in layout.

When imported into layout on my wife's air they show fine. When I import pdf's into layout on pro the layout box is the proper size but the pdf only displays the upper left quadrant of the page in the full layout box area.

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