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Yes formZ v9 works fine in emulation mode and is fast- it not a native program yet. However the future will be when a native version is released with support for Metal, hyperthetically coming from Chaos and Vray - waiting for the new Apple M1+ with extra Neural engines. Apple has announcement later this month for new hardware.  These new Apple Silicon machines are fast ( even in emulation) and now mean any reliance ) on Nvidia (not available on MacOS for GPU is being mitigated.

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Some time ago, I postponed buying a Mac mini M1 while waiting for the second generation. In fact, I bought one and returned it without trying it, which I regret today!

However, I've been testing formZ 9.2 beta on my wife's MacBook Air M1 16Gb/1Tb, and it has been working very well, although I haven't pushed it too hard.

The new MacBook Pro+Max looks AMAZING in many senses, not just CPU and GPU incredibly powerful. I don't have any doubt that formZ 9.2 works great on them under Rosetta. Although, I don't have any idea about the reality of ACIS, Maxwell, and V-Ray.

As a tidbit of interest on the subject, I recommend reading and listening to the interviews with Steve Johnson, Chief Technology Officer, Vectorworks, on architosh.com, and the podcast from September 26 on Inside the Apple Studio with Neal Pann. There's a lot of marketing in these interviews, of course, but it's interesting nonetheless.



Also, these days there are several interesting online events that I'm sure will include the topic of the new Apple M1+Pro+Max processors, such as the BricsCAD Sumit, Vectorworks Design Sumit, and Unreal Buil: Architecture.

It's been a year of patient waiting, and for now, I decided to keep waiting a bit more for a fully charged next Mac Mini M1 Max. Only because I want a desktop computer, for a change. In the meantime, I decided to buy (again!) a Mac mini M1 to kill the anxiety, and I don't care if it doesn't make any sense!

Last, about the question, below I'm quoting a previous response on 4/30/21 to the same question from Innes Yates, an architect from Vancouver.

"Thanks Marcelo, I hope for an update for 9.1 as well, and eventually for a native version for apple silicon. Like you, we purchased the M1 Mac mini to replace on older Macbook and couldn't wait. The M1 mini is very snappy. It's completely silent and stays cool, I haven't even heard the fan come on yet. The performance is very good but with large models in FZ, complex drawings in Vectorworks, and rendering with Maxwell and Twinmotion, things start to lag a bit. With maximum RAM limited to 16 GB, it's not really a long-term solution for workstation-level performance. I'm looking forward to the newer higher performance silicon macs."

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Thanks for the info Marcelo.

I will wait a bit to buy, partially because the M1 Max version I want is not available until December anyways.

I have given up waiting for Apple to make a suitable Mac Mini.  They always leave it underpowered, especially in terms of graphics.  I used to have one, but moved to an iMac for better graphics.  Maybe the next mini will be different, but somehow I doubt it.

The laptops are crazy expensive, but they do hold their value well in the resale market.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I received my 16" M1 max MacBook Pro yesterday and have been testing out FormZ 9.1 and Maxwell... It all runs. FormZ isn't nearly as smooth as I would have expected from all that GPU power, but Maxwell does render a LOT faster than my old i7 MBP. That said, I expect much greater performance once these apps are optimized. I hope this will not require that we wait multiple years, but with FormZ and Maxwell... well, sometimes things take time.

I will be doing more testing with other 3D apps and renderers to validate what I'm seeing in FZ9 and Maxwell 5.2. I'm not dissatisfied at all... but I am anxious to see software running natively on these chips.

Oh, and for those who care... all-day Maxwell rendering and modeling at the same time, zero fans. Zero.

As for the cost of this machine (+$5k Can) it's a lot... but my last MBP was a 2013 i7, fully specced out and it has been running and rendering for 8 years without a peep (still running the very latest OS update). Only thing I swapped was the battery last year. In comparison, I've never had a PC laptop survive more than 3 years usably. You get what you pay for, and with Apple, it just works. And lasts.

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I have been testing formZ and Twinmotion on my new Mac mini M1 16GB/1TB with no major issues and good results in general for the kind of projects I'm working on, not very big.

I'm using fZ 9.2 A460 and TM 2022.1.0 Preview on macOS Big Sur. None of them optimized yet, of course.

The files I'm working on in formZ are ~45MB, and the test file in Twinmotion is ~408MB.

I have no problems if I work on both at the same time. As I write, both are running in the background, and TM is rendering seven panorama images at 6K to upload to Twinmotion Cloud (Early Access).

I share a screenshot where you can see that the Mac mini is not even using swap memory.


Edited by ZTEK
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