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Hardware specific issues - computers, graphics cards, mice/input devices, system benchmarks, protection key issues, etc.

Moderators: ejrolon, Barry Kelly, Karl Ottenstein, LaszloNagy, gkmethy

By Jed Miller
I will be upgrading to AC 20 and I need to also buy a new computer. As I have been using Macs I am thinking of getting an iMac 27" (5K) I would like to discuss with anyone who has recently done an upgrade with a new iMac computer. What video card to get? Amount of ram to have? Can I run multiple monitors? Can I set up two iMacs and have a separate server such as a mini mac to hold all the project files? What is the best way to do to back up the system, clone software?
By Stephen Dolbee
I have a late 2009 iMac and it has worked well with Archicad. The only thing that lacks at this point is the video. Since Macs are not upgradable (except for ram) I would recommend going with the max. video card available.
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By Karl Ottenstein
This is is more of a hardware question, so I'm moving it to that forum.

You're probably aware, Jed, that Apple has not updated any of their computers in far too long - so if you have to buy now, you'd be buying old tech. Wait if you can, but if you cannot wait, save some money on refurbished via Apple online (for example).

See the age of the current offerings here:

At least the iMac isn't quite a year old yet. Retina MacBook Pro, Mini, Mac Pro are all ancient with updates hoped for / expected this fall.

Always get the best video in a non-upgradeable Mac. With memory, the 27" iMacs have user-installable memory, so you can save $$ by getting a base model and updating with 3rd party memory. The more the better.

I recommend Time Machine for your general backups, and cloning prior to any operating system upgrade (e.g., from El Capitan to Sierra) in order to be able to reboot into your old OS in case you run into problems. Cloning is not a great method for general day to day backups as you typically only have one backup of every file .. while with Time Machine if you realize that you messed up and need the project as it was from x days ago, it is trivial to restore it.

If you are using BIM Server, then follow the separate backup strategies recommended for it as well. There is a separate forum for BIM Managers that addresses those issues.
By Don Lee

After a search and helpful replies in the forum this is what I would up buying:

Late 2015 5k 27" IMac
4ghz Intel Core i7
24 gig memory (I did aftermarket-much cheaper!)
AMD Radeon R9 M395X 4096 MB
500 gb SSD drive (1t SSD is really expensive)

I've have only used AC 20 a little bit, but didn't find any issues. As you can see, I went with the high end processor and video card. Adding memory is easy and inexpensive and most have said 24 gigs is enough and it seems to be.

The one thing I really like over my older 27" iMac is the SSD as it loads everything so much faster. Really worth the it! The older iMac is the server for most of the current files and both are backed up to WD 4t desktop drives (I used Seagate for a long time, but recently they have not been very compatible with Macs).

And yeah, the 5k is really nice for older eyes.

BTW, does anyone know how to make door and window schedules larger in their editing window? The text is so small.

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By Karl Ottenstein
Don Lee wrote:BTW, does anyone know how to make door and window schedules larger in their editing window? The text is so small.

Hi Don, You know better than to ask unrelated questions - particularly a Working in ArchiCAD one in a Hardware forum. :-) Too hard for me to move a piece of a post, so the answer is there is a drop-down zoom control at the bottom left of the schedule window. I haven't figured out a shortcut key for it.
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By Don Lee
Hi Karl:

My bad, but thanks for the answer! As always it was right there in front of me, then again when I had younger eyes it was never a problem.