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skybound13

Thoughts on 2008/2009 AD iMac for formZ 9

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Hello,

I’m interested in giving formZ a shot for architectural modeling as a replacement for SketchUp, I found a couple of used iMacs and wanted to see if someone could give their thoughts as to whether these might be decent for formZ.  I would expect fairly simple models at this time, basically for design investigations and conceptual models for review by clients, I’m not interested in adding lots of textures to my models right now.

Here are the two iMacs I’m looking at:

iMac 20" (early 2009,) 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 320G Hard Drive and 4GB RAM
iMac 20" (early 2008,) 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 250G Hard Drive and 4GB RAM

Both of these meet the minimum operating system, OpenGL, and RAM requirements.  The early 2009 AD model has a faster processor and larger hard drive and costs only $100 more so I’ll probably go with that one.

I’d like to ask the community if anyone sees any issues using the 2009 AD iMac for formZ.

By the way, I’m using a late 2013 AD MacBook Pro with a 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5 processor with 8 GB RAM, it only has OS 10.10.1 (Yosemite,) I don’t want to upgrade the operating system for fear that I won’t be able to run the older version of Pages which I use extensively (Apple unfortunately removed the hypertext link function from Pages in the newer versions, I use that all the time so I don’t want to upgrade.)  I played around with the free version of formZ free 8.6.5 and it worked fine on this computer.

Thanks for any thoughts on this matter.

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One of my machines is a 2008 Mac Pro and runs FormZ 8.5.6 just fine. The OS is El Capitan 10.11.6. and 4GB RAM. Pages is working fine and is version 3 as part of the iWork "08 suite.

You shouldn't have any problems with FormZ assuming the computers are in good working order.

My experience over the years is that FormZ modelling can be done on pretty much anything, the modelling functions only use one core anyway.

 

 

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14 hours ago, skybound13 said:

and costs only $100 more so I’ll probably go with that one.

This line made me cringe.  I personally wouldn't spend any more than $150 on either of those machines considering their obsolescence.  You won't have much luck finding modern software that will run "well" on an Intel Core 2 Duo.  However this is just my opinion and others may have a better experience running 3D apps on this old hardware. 

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Des,

Thank you for your comments, especially regarding iWork ’08 working on El Capitan, I would definitely like to find an alternative to Yosemite (10.10.1.)

snow,
Yeah, I struggled with similar thoughts, thinking maybe it’s better just to put the money towards something new.  Now that I know that El Capitan will run the older version of Pages I can ask myself if maybe I shouldn’t just upgrade the OS on my MacBook Pro and put the money towards a large monitor.  The iMacs are $200 and $300, even though that’s more than I want to pay, either one would have value for viewing 24x36 PDFs of permit drawing sets.  These PDFs are generally 150 MB and larger, Preview on my MacBook Pro really struggles with those for some reason.  Shoot, it struggles with a 5 MB PDF, I assume something buggy with the upgrade to Yosemite.  As for the different processors, unfortunately I don’t know the nuances each type of processor offers to know what’s good/better/best, only modeling software I’ve used is SketchUp which worked just fine on the two Macs I’ve used it on.

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I think you can buy an old iMac for even cheaper online.

Regarding the PDFs, in my experience it depends on what program they were created in determine the responsiveness. AutoCad creates terrible PDFs normally due to it triangulating all the fills and hatching so the file becoming way too large for what it's displaying although they can be compressed right down in Preview to display super fast.

Here's a snapshot of FormZ & Pages running on my old MacPro. I don't use it for my main modelling any more (one of the machines on my mini Maxwell farm) although this old mac has a pretty decent graphics card for it's age so working in FormZ is actually great using "shaded work" & "shaded full". That might be my only concern with those old iMacs.

419118898_ScreenShot2021-01-06at16_52_01.thumb.jpg.bc694bfc669627b9863813fb49a85bf4.jpg

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Des,

Thank you, seeing that About Pages ’08 window on a machine running El Capitan brings a tear of joy to my eye!  :-)  I really like the older version of Pages, I tried using Pages 5.2 which was part of the Yosemite upgrade, the deal-breaker for me was how they removed the hyperlink function from the application, I use that extensively to jump around parts of my project log documents and to open other Pages files that I reference when working in those files.

As for the PDFs, the 150+ MB files are scans of permit drawing sets from different copy shops, no idea what they are using to make those.  As for the 3.5 MB PDF I mentioned (actually only 3.1 MB now that I double check,) it’s 7 pages, 24x36, drawn with HighDesign, PDFs exported using Save as PDF… in the system Print window.  Then I put all the sheets in a single PDF using Preview 8.0 (which was installed with Yosemite.)  I open the multi-page PDF then try to use the touch pad to zoom in, it pauses, the colored spinning wheel appears, then a few seconds later it jumps in to the area.  The PDFs created this way retain the text such that I can still select the text, I’ve experimented saving sheets as JPGs then saving back to PDFs to “flatten” them but Preview still struggles which is no surprise because the file sizes go way up when I do that.

I noticed issues with PDFs in Mavericks (operating system that came on the computer,) in fact, pretty much everything was slower than my older MacBook running Snow Leopard, I think that was from maybe 2006 AD.  Sometimes I wonder if it has something to do with the newer MacBook Pro having a Retina display, I’d like to think that a fresh install of a final version of a newer operating system (such as El Capitan) would take care of the problems.  With that iMac I would have a backup computer while I do the upgrade on the MacBook Pro, that makes me feel a lot better about doing the upgrade.

As for better pricing online, you’re right.  Here’s my problem - I am notoriously bad when it comes to shopping for the best deals - sometimes I put so much time into the search that after I do find the best deal I realize it took so much time that I would have been better off paying a little more and saving a bunch of time.  You know that saying, “Step over a dollar to pick up a dime”?  That’s pretty much me in this case.  :-)

Thanks again for taking some time to launch those apps and send the screen snapshot.

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