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I have been running chief on a PC for the last 8 years and I'm considering switching to a Mac. I love how apple products just work and have had great success with iPhone and iPad. Anyone currently use a MAC for Chief or have in the past that could give me some pros and cons?

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I've been using Chief on my Macs (Macbook Pro and iMac) since they released the Mac version (actually I ran it via Bootcamp before that). No real pros for me Chief-wise other than it runs well on my machines. I just prefer the Macs for other stuff, among other things: free app and OS upgrades, iCloud and Dropbox syncing work really well, good photo and pdf editing without extra software, cheaper than MS Office for their word processor, spreadsheets, etc.

 

A few cons: 

- Multiple monitors... if you want an Apple extra monitor, the only option is a Thunderbolt display. I don't think they've released a new model in a few years now... and it's fairly pricy.

- Limited customization options... when you order/build your machine, you're limited in the stuff you can upgrade (hard drive, graphics card, etc.). The options they have are decent. If you want to go completely custom, the Mac Pro is an option, but mega bucks compared to a PC.

 

The only other thing I'd mention is if you're gonna be sharing plan files between a Mac and a PC, there can be font and text wrapping differences, even if the fonts are available on both Mac and PC. 

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Thanks for your reply, especially regarding sharing files. That is one thing I'm looking at, having 2 machines, and my current one is a PC. Is the font issue the only thing you've found? And are there certain fonts that you have found to work correctly or is it just a plan by plan might work, might not? I'm just wondering if there is a easy way around it or would I be adding extra steps and headaches.

 

Also with the monitors, the Thunderbolt is for any extra monitors or just the Apple brand monitors?

 

Thanks again!

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I don't share files between Mac and PC, so I'm not sure if there are specific fonts that work better as far as that is concerned. I just remember when I switched to the Mac version, I had to fix a lot of text boxes in my active plans at the time. I use Arial Narrow as my main font, and even though it's available on both PC and Mac, they're a bit different. I had text boxes that were all on one line on the PC version that were on two lines when I opened the plan on the Mac (the ones that I had unchecked 'Auto width').

As for the Thunderbolt display, that would just be for secondary monitors, unless you go with a Mac Pro tower. The iMacs are all-in-ones. I'm pretty sure you can hook up other brands of extra monitors too... I was just pointing out that the options are limited and pricy if you want to stick to the APPLE brand.

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I've been CA since 1997.  I switched 100% to Mac in 2006 and ran CA using BootCamp.  As soon as the Mac version came out, I started using CA on the Mac side.

I use a Mac Pro which is a tower with dual 23" monitors.  It's very stable and you won't notice a difference in using it from the PC.

 

One of the huge advantages of Mac is Time Machine.  It's a BackUp to an HDD that runs constantly.  You'll be able to go back an hour, a day, a week or even a month and restore files even if they were overwritten or deleted.

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Time machine saved my but. Had my account hacked in to when my phone was stolen and they erased all my devices.

That is, phones, iPads, and Imac. (My phone wasn't password protected, stupid me).

There's a lesson for ya. Allways password protect your phone.

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I have both a Macbook Pro 15" and PC laptop.  Hands down the mac laptop is the best - mainly due to the track pad.  I doc with both thunderbolt displays ($$) and run of the mill displays (more affordable).  Both work great.  I swap files between the Mac/PC all the time.  If I used the laptop much w/o external displays I would go with the Mac (but they are about 2x more $).  However, since I run with external monitors most of the time I use the PC (comfort factor).

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Past forum posts have indicated that the Mac-in-Chief does not spell check words with all capital letters due to a quirk in the Apple OS.

If true that is a problem for working drawings...????

I see the icloud version of "Pages" will spell check all cap words.?

 

Eric

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I use a 27" iMac for my design. Love it. The trackpad is really useful too when designing. I also use a macbook Air for client presentations. No problems with file transfers ( everything is on the iCloud ). Wont be going back to a PC ever again :) 

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Thanks for all the really good imput! I'm also interested in the spell check quirk, Eric. I have a builder that likes all the notes in caps.

 

Warren and Scott, what do you think makes the trackpad great for designing? I'm assuming you use it in place of your mouse? Is there a learning curve for the "pressure" clicking?

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Spell Check works fine in my environment with CAPS.  I would not necessarily use the trackpad 100% in designing personally.  I have a magic mouse and usually have external monitors for projects I spend more than 30 minutes on.

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I used Mac exclusively from 1998-2011, but switched due to critical 3D apps not being supported yet. The Mac hardware is nice, but I really don't notice much difference in productivity. Apps I find critical to my business still aren't available on Mac....so my office is 90% PC now.

Lumion 3D is the most important tool I have currently - I hit "home runs" in my presentations each time.

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I dont know that much about Mac, but I know I can get a lot more PC for the money, and multiple screens is a MUST for me.   I have a  24"-27"-24" monitor config.  Yes 3 monitors make life a lot better drawing.  I built my own PC about a year ago which I think I spent less than 3k (not including monitors) for a i7 4790k overclocked to 4.2, 32gb ram, 4 hard drives which 2 are "hot swap" (2ssid, 2 data) and a gtx970  4gb ram OC edition video card.   

This setup smokes chief in 3d views even with 2-3 view open.

 

Basically any Nvida powered gaming PC will do.   Lots of places you can configure a box from.   I say for 2k you have have a very fast system. 

 

Biggest thing for me, is I could not give up the extra monitors.   Now that chief can be displayed on separate monitors it is a GREAT function. 

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Wow, that Lumion 3D is pretty amazing from the short video I saw. I'll have to look more into that. Not for Mac though?

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Hi,

We've found major text formating issues sharing layout/plans between Mac and PC.  Since there are many more users of Chief using PC, you might want to stick with PC until they get fixed.  But if you're using it yourself, then it should be fine.

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Spell Check works fine in my environment with CAPS. I would not necessarily use the trackpad 100% in designing personally. I have a magic mouse and usually have external monitors for projects I spend more than 30 minutes on.

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How did you ever get the Magic Mouse to have the middle scroll wheel functionality? I ditched mine for an MS mouse. I hated doing that because I replay liked the feel of the Magic Mouse but couldn't live without the scroll wheel.

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I bought a 27" iMac around the time the Mac version of CA came out. The first few months were rough but CA finally ironed out enough details for the system to be usable. My issues with the Mac experience are as follows:

1) I was not thrilled with the way the Mac OS was using color selections in 3D. Can't remember the specifics but I recall there was a big difference between the PC and Mac OS in this area. The color wheel thing kind of annoyed me. There were other slight differences between the two that kind of bugged me but nothing major.

2) Crashing - I'm sure this has been ironed out by now but I used the iMac for almost a year and still kept getting crashes. Tech support and I were on a first name basis.

3) I'm not sure if it was my system or the software, but for some reason I was not getting the responsiveness with the mouse that I got with my PC. I tried several mice, wired and wireless on different settings with the same result.

4) PDF file sizes. For whatever reason PDF file sizes were on average 4 or 5 times larger than the size of the same files I created on my PC machines. This was the biggest pain when trying to email files.

5) There was an annoying lag with some commands (mainly roof commands, even in 2D) that I could never seem to get rid of.

6) Monitor/price - unless I was willing to pay an insane amount for a Mac pro (plus a monitor), I was relegated to the 27" form factor. My current monitor is 32" which I love, so much so that I may up-size next year.

7) Graphics card upgrades. The iMac system I bought was as good as it got a couple of years ago. It even had an Nvidea card but it was a mobile version. It still ran pretty well considering this. However, I currently have an Nvidia GTX 980 Ti and it is insanely fast. Now it seems that Apple has adopted an all AMD graphics card line up. AMD is not my favorite although it's a lot better than it used to be.

 

With all that said, I love the Mac OS and would still be using it exclusively if I had better results. After using the iMac for nearly a year I actually switched back to my 4 year old (at the time) Puget PC and it still out-performed the iMac. I did however recently purchase the Puget PC in my sig and it is so screaming fast I doubt I will ever go back to a Mac.

 

Take it all for what it's worth but that's my 2 cents. Your mileage may vary.

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I can't answer that one peteandra, I sold my Mac to my sister-in-law.

Another thing I remembered about the Mac, it was a bit of a RAM hog. I upgraded to 32gb shortly after I bought it but it still managed to use in excess of 16gb on a regular basis. I thought that was kind of strange but after doing a little research I found that it was not that uncommon.

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Works great on both PC and Mac, really!

Your choice had more to do with which OS you prefer rather than any pros and cons with each system.

I won't go back to a PC even though I bitched the first month after switching. (Ok, the first 3 months)....

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Works great on both PC and Mac, really!

Your choice had more to do with which OS you prefer rather than any pros and cons with each system.

I won't go back to a PC even though I bitched the first month after switching. (Ok, the first 3 months)....

ditto,  both systems work well,  switching from pc to mac was a little rough in the beginning,  but I would not go back.  However,  the pc worked very well.

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The only problem i have with the mac I cannot  send files very big with the mac, don't know how other send files with the mac

It might be the service your sending through, is limiting you, try a cloud based program like Dropbox.

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It might be the service your sending through, is limiting you, try a cloud based program like Dropbox.

 

That's what I started doing when the pdf's became too large to email. That is still a problem with the Mac version. I just email my clients Dropbox links now. They don't need Dropbox on their end to download and view the files. 

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