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

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

By gerardgoldsmith
#245772
Hi Everyone,

I'm about to purchase a new computer to run archicad 19 and photoshop.
Currently i am a final year student and working for a modular building company, so my files generally aren't massive unless its a university project. At the moment run everything off an outdated macbook pro with pretty base model specs and it's nearly had it.

I am definitely more interested in the mac however i wanted some advice and comparison to a PC i was quoted through work, any comments would be great.

I was quoted $3088 AUD for a PC with the following specs:
-EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Superclocked ACX 2.0 4gb
-Gigabyte H97-Gaming 3 Motherboard
-Microsoft 7 Pro 64but with SPM OEM
-Microsoft Office 2013 Home & Business
-Fractal Design Define R5 Mid Tower Black
-Corsair Vengeance Red CMZ16GX3M4X1866C9R 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3
-Antex Edge 650W 80 Plus Gold power Supply
-Intel Core 17 4790K

Also at the moment i have 27inch Thunderbolt display so with his computer i would need to purchase another to run 2 screens.

Thats why i thought the new 5k retina display would be good as it is essentially inclusive. So i got quoted an iMac 5k Retina with the following spec for $3829 AUD:
-3.5GHz Quad Core Intel Core i%. Turbo Boost to 3.9GHz
-16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x8GB
-1TB Fusion Drive
-AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4GB GDDR5

I'm just wondering if there is a massive difference between the 2 and if i would be stupid not to get the PC. Also if there are any recommended changes to any of the specs on either that would be really helpful too.

Thanks!
By Stephen Dolbee
#245814
I have used my late 09 iMac for Archicad for nearly 6 years now and it still has plenty of horsepower. I will need to upgrade soon because the video card is nominal for the current AC version. I see you would opt for the 4gb card-probably a good choice. I can't compare systems, but can only say how pleased I have been with my iMac.
User avatar
By LaszloNagy
#245829
The RAM, CPU, GPU look good on both.
I personally would buy only a computer that has a large SSD as the system drive, preferably at least 250-500 GB in size. It makes a huge difference in the general speed and (real or perceived) responsiveness of your whole system. The Fusion drive is not as fast, it is a hybrid between an HDD and an SSD.
By gerardgoldsmith
#245839
laszlonagy wrote:The RAM, CPU, GPU look good on both.
I personally would buy only a computer that has a large SSD as the system drive, preferably at least 250-500 GB in size. It makes a huge difference in the general speed and (real or perceived) responsiveness of your whole system. The Fusion drive is not as fast, it is a hybrid between an HDD and an SSD.


Thanks laszlonagy, would the 512 GB flash storage be okay with this mac setup? And do you think upgrading to the 4.0GHz i7 would make much of a difference? keeping in mind i work on relatively small residential projects?

Thanks
User avatar
By LaszloNagy
#245865
I think the 512 GB SSD is a good choice.
Recently I have been thinking that when I buy my next laptop, the SSD will have to be large enough to be able to store not only the system, but also all my working documents.
Previously I used an SSD only for system drive, but now I am reading it may be faster for your document files as well.
For that purpose 512 GB is what I am looking at, you will need to consider if you want to do the same, and in that case, if 512 GB is enough for both of these purposes.

About CPU speed: I would not spend extra money to buy the fastest CPU. In the last several years the performance increases of CPUs have been quite little. If I had to choose between:
1. 3.5 GHz CPU + 32 GB RAM
or
2. 4.0 GHz CPU + 16 GB RAM

I would always choose the one with more RAM and a bit slower CPU. That slower is maybe 5-10%, but the double RAM makes all the difference, because when you run out of RAM, all life on Earth stops, so to speak. :)

For a Revit guy, 4.0 GHZ would makes sense because most of its processes are single-core based, so single core speed matters. ARCHICAD is much more multi-core, meaning much less dependent on single-core speed, so it wouldn't matter for it as much.
User avatar
By Gerald Hoffman
#245885
I agree with Lazlo on the 512 GB SSD. I have the last year model of a 17" Macbook Pro which I am trying to make last as long as possible because the screen is large enough to work when I am on the road. I love this machine. I put in 16 GB of RAM when I bought it and for the most part with my project sizes it is OK. I wish I could put in more but I am maxed out.

As this laptop is approaching 4 years old I was starting to get a little nervous about the original 750 GB hard drive so I recently upgraded it to a 512 GB Samsung Pro SSD. It is large enough for all the Apps and for my current projects. I noticed the speed difference right away especially on opening and saving files.

I put the older hard drive in the DVD bay and I keep a backup of all my current projects on there as well as all my other data. I put my DVD drive in an external enclosure so I still can use it when I need it which is not often anymore. This seems to work very well. I will have to upgrade eventually as the graphics card is getting old but it will make a good travelling / holiday computer.

Cheers,
By Don Lee
#249522
Hi:

Ater a lot of discussions and good info on this forum, I bought a 27" iMac 5k
(latest) with the i7 processor, upgraded video card, 8g ram and the 512 SSD.

Apple SSD and memory is very expensive! Third party additional 16g ram was about $130 US and took about 3 minutes to install. I plans to have an external drive for more files, but the 512 SSD is more than enough for apps and current projects.

Haven't had a chance to do much with it yet, but the display is incredible and reading small text in ArchiCad is soooooo much easier and minimizes zooming in and out. And if you take it to client meetings (which I am doing a lot more of) it weighs a lot less than my old iMac.

FWIW, here in the US Apple has lessened its requirements for an educational discount. If you are a buying something for a student you can save about $200 US on an iMac. No documentation needed, just go to the education discount section of the site. This works well for us as we are a family of Mac users.


Don