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Mac vs PC for formZ


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#1 Anwar

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 01:12 PM

I never thought I'd hear myself say this having been a PC person all my life, but I am now open to the possibility that my next computer might be a Mac.  What are the advantages of running formZ on a Mac as opposed to a PC?

 

Does Vray run on a Mac?  Can it use a Mac GPU (they do not use NVIDIA like I have on my PC)?

 

For high end workstations (like an 18 core Xeon vs i9) PC's seem to be a lot cheaper.  However for the primary computer I interact with I am thinking about switching to a MacBook Pro.

 

What are the pros and cons?



#2 Andrew West

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 03:11 PM

This topic has been regularly coming up for about three decades now.  It should be interesting to see what people say.  Personally I think the difference between Mac and PC is more of cost consideration rather than a performance issue.  The new imac pro that they just announced looked interesting but when I configured it similar to my current PC the price came in at over $9500!  Now that is expensive.  Can't bring myself to drink that Kool Aid.


Edited by Andrew West, 17 December 2017 - 03:23 PM.

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#3 Anwar

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 03:44 PM

Hi Andrew,

 

Yes the iMac Pro is very expensive, if I need a 10+ core monster for renderings, a 16 core AMD Threadripper is much cheaper.  Even an 18 core i9 is cheaper.  But I am thinking about the machine I use to do the modeling and interact with on a regular basis, the MacBook Pro looks intriguing.

 

Thanks,

Anwar

 



#4 Andrew West

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 04:05 PM

I forgot to mention that Vray does run on a Mac OSX.  However, for rendering it is much faster to use the GPU engine.  I have tested it on a PC and GPU is great.  So the real issue if speed is your main concern is whether or not you want to optimize the computer to use more cores or a better GPU.  It is worth mentioning again that Form.z itself only uses one core for modeling.  What other heavy programs are you using?



#5 Des

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 07:51 PM

I think it has a lot to do with personal preference as well as speed.

Having been a FormZ user for a couple of decades (on both platforms) I have always drifted to the mac.

Yes, the PCs do run faster with the likes of 3d rendering, but it's not like they're double the speed or anything.

I use my 27" iMac for graphics, music and video as well as other stuff and it's no slouch.

Above all, it's so reliable after working on it 10 hours a day for 4 years. I also still use my 11 year old MacBook Pro and a 10 year old MacPro.

 

The screen is outstanding to work on with FormZ and.......... it looks nice too!!   B)

 

Des  :D


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#6 FZnoob

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 12:54 PM

I think it has a lot to do with personal preference as well as speed.

Having been a FormZ user for a couple of decades (on both platforms) I have always drifted to the mac.

Yes, the PCs do run faster with the likes of 3d rendering, but it's not like they're double the speed or anything.

I use my 27" iMac for graphics, music and video as well as other stuff and it's no slouch.

Above all, it's so reliable after working on it 10 hours a day for 4 years. I also still use my 11 year old MacBook Pro and a 10 year old MacPro.

 

The screen is outstanding to work on with FormZ and.......... it looks nice too!!   B)

 

Des  :D

I also have a 27" iMac, and for the most part I don't have any issues with FZ (at least none I can blame on the computer) :rolleyes:

Maybe I have been lucky, but every Mac I have ever owned has given me on the average of 8-10 years of service.



#7 etroxel

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 06:40 PM

I've been thrilled with the performance of fZ on a 2016 MacBook Pro 15" loaded laptop and a 5k display. Would I like a new iMac Pro? Yes, but it's not in the budget this year. I'd love to do some of my work 2-300% faster on an operating system I love.


Edited by etroxel, 18 December 2017 - 06:41 PM.

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#8 ASONE

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 06:52 PM

I'm running FormZ and V-Ray on an iMac 2015.  Working great.  Renders quickly.  I'm sure it would render faster on a PC with fast GPU's working also.  I think of my Apple products with product resale and deprecation considered.  Macs hold their value quite well typically.  I'm going to buy the new iMac Pro next spring.  It isn't going to be that much more than a normal iMac when broken down in terms of cost per year.  

 

I can post some render times when I get a chance later this week...


Edited by ASONE, 18 December 2017 - 06:53 PM.

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FormZ PRO v8.5.  2017 iMac 4.0 GHz quad core i7 24MB RAM and a 2015 Macbook Pro quad core i7 16MB RAM, Modern Architecture in Boulder and Denver Colorado www.ASONEarchitecture.com 


#9 Smarttec

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 07:24 PM

It is worth remembering that nVidia cards like the Titan X (Pascal) with 12 GB onboard RAM and 3,584 CUDA cores or GTX1080 ( awesome too! ) and you can add this on most new Macs via the thunderbolt port to an external card cage ( like Akitio ) and nvidia has Mac drivers that can be easily taken advantage for Maxwell Render or VRay GPU rendering on these Macs.

Maxwell 4 will be adding a Cloud rendering capability soon...


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#10 ASONE

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 12:48 PM

Smarttec:  Have you used an nVidia card in an external card cage successfully with FormZ to render V-Ray?  If so do you know where I find information about this setup?


FormZ PRO v8.5.  2017 iMac 4.0 GHz quad core i7 24MB RAM and a 2015 Macbook Pro quad core i7 16MB RAM, Modern Architecture in Boulder and Denver Colorado www.ASONEarchitecture.com 


#11 Justin Montoya

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 02:56 PM

I just went through this process... Been a heavy Apple user for 10+ years...  got tired of the terrible technology choices Apple is making in regards to the product line.  The lack of a new pro machine with NVIDIA GPUs is really the one that sent me over the edge.  We can't keep using 8 year old Mac Pro tower workstations, IT dept prefers to update our equipment every 3-4 years.  Most importantly for us, If you want faster rendering for most scenes, you'll want to use one of the GPU rendering options, and for an integration with FormZ, that means VRAY, or Maxwell, which both require NVIDIA GPUs for CUDA rendering.

 

I love my new workstation.  AMD 1950x 16cores 32threads @ 4.0GHZ! , 32gb RAM, 1TB NVME SSD, GTX1080 TI + (2) GTX 1070s for incredible OpenGL Shaded performance + Fast VRAY rendering!!  I already have (3) perfectly awesome 1200p monitors, so the price was much MUCH less than any Apple product, and the speeds for rendering are not comparable at all, even the stupid iMac pro would be much much slower.  I personally do not like the glossy screens, nor 4k, 5k, whateverk.  Multiple monitors is much more efficient workflow for me.

 

I really love OSX, and well, Unix/Linux in general.  But the lack of true Pro hardware choices from Apple was really starting to hold us back as 3D design professionals.  Honestly, I kind of like Windows 10, it's way more OSX like and very very customizable.  I'm fully accustomed back to Windows now and I don't feel like I miss OSX at all.

 

Whatever you choose, FormZ will work great on new hardware.  If you are a heavy user with complex modeling and rendering, you will appreciate Windows much much more for the faster hardware afforded over there.  If you are a lighter user, you will find Mac still works fine, but it is slower hardware, and it runs slower per dollar than that of a Windows machine.  It's up to you to decide how important that is to you.



#12 Anwar

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 08:48 PM

Hi Andrew, Hi Justin,

 

Thanks for the reply.  The most intensive program I will likely be using is formZ and VRay.  It is sounding like I might just need to stick with PC's with NVIDIA graphics.  I was expecting to hear most of the opinion on this forum be pro Mac and while the Mac has a strange appeal to me it never had before it seems hard to justify for price and performance based on what I am hearing.  Maybe I will just wait and see what the state of the industry is in 2020 before making the decision to use a new platform.

 

When it comes to price, I can find an ASUS Republic of Gamers Quad core laptop with a GTX 1070 and 32GB RAM for $2000 less than the top of the line Macbook Pro, which tops out at $4200.  For that price I can get the AMD1950X Justin mentioned if I really want fast renderings, rather than another quad core laptop.

 

The reason I became interested in the Mac is because I am no longer in architecture or graphics design - I am now a software developer by profession, and with the rise of iPhones and iPads in mobile I know of some developers who have left Windows for a Mac.  FormZ is, for now, just a serious hobby - maybe someday in the future I will find a way to profit from it again, but at the moment its not how I earn my living anymore.

 

Thanks for the input.

 

-Anwar



#13 stefan_laub

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 03:28 AM

i use win and osx, (osx since 1992)

V-Ray usually runs lot faster on a PC and has more features on it, (rendering overall) also on PCs you get faster cpus, the 18 core option is the speed from a 3 year old pc workstation.

so  if rendering is your main thing or important i woudl not get a mac.

 

if other options are also important the imac pro can be maybe an ok machine of course if you liek osx.

 

cheers

stefan



#14 Anwar

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 09:41 AM

Actually there is one major reason I can see for going Mac and that is if I ever got into video editing.  The software on Mac seems far superior for that.  Unless anyone can recommend a decent video editing software for the PC...



#15 Smarttec

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 05:39 PM

Smarttec:  Have you used an nVidia card in an external card cage successfully with FormZ to render V-Ray?  If so do you know where I find information about this setup?

The best way I can show this is with this video - 

https://www.youtube....h?v=MeOqTzGcgPI

 

This shows the new installing of the nVidia desktop video drivers and I know they work for Cinema4D and Octane a client runs this but have not personally tried.



#16 Smarttec

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 05:42 PM

Smarttec:  Have you used an nVidia card in an external card cage successfully with FormZ to render V-Ray?  If so do you know where I find information about this setup?

The best way I can show this is with this video - 

https://www.youtube....h?v=MeOqTzGcgPI

 

This also shows the installing of the nVidia desktop video drivers for Mac OSX -  I know they work for Cinema4D and Octane I have a client that runs this but have not personally tried.






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