Do Macs support good architectural CAD programs?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Mostly for architectural design.

If they don't, does virtual PC support any good CAD programs (AutoCad, Microstation)?


  • Reply 1 of 5
    timotimo Posts: 353member

    Originally posted by SwitchingSoon

    Mostly for architectural design.

    If they don't, does virtual PC support any good CAD programs (AutoCad, Microstation)?

    There's a lot of information on this topic at

    On the Macintosh, I've used both Vectorworks and Sketch up. Many people I know draft w/o problems using Vectorworks. Sketch up is fantastic for visualizing massings. Both programs also have Windows versions.

    Virtual PC will run just about any CAD program, I think, just not well. You've got to keep your expectations in check. I personally run AutoCad r.14 on a dual 1-Ghz Power Mac G4 for my business, and excepting some slow-downs with opening files (when the xrefs aren't where AutoCad thinks they should be), I like it fine -- as much as anyone likes AutoCad.

    Let's be clear: the program runs fast enough, like being on an old PIII or so. I wouldn't want to model in 3D or render with VPC, though. But 2D drafting's OK. And another caveat: Virtual PC does not run with a G5, yet. Microsoft -- which now owns Virtual PC -- has said they will update VPC to run on a G5 in the next release, perhaps in July. When they do, I'll seriously think about jumping up to whatever Apple's latest big iron is.

    When I set up my office I had to chose between getting a windows box, running AutoCad, and getting a Mac and doing weird things like running AutoCad in emulation. The decision for me turned on the question of my confidence in troubleshooting OS 9 (and later OS X) versus troubleshooting Windows. In the end, Mac systems have always struck me as being easier to administer.

    No regrets.
  • Reply 2 of 5
  • Reply 3 of 5
    Pentium 3? What is that? 500mhz to 800 mhz?
  • Reply 4 of 5
    k squaredk squared Posts: 608member
    I actually use Acad R14 on a PIII @ 800 Mhz and it runs just fine. I also have experience with Acad 2000 running under VPC on a PB 17-inch, where it's not exactly a "joy" to use. It can work in a pinch, but not for production work.

    VectorWorks, ArchiCad, and High Design are all very nice applications for CAD work on the mac. It just depends on your focus and requirements. I actually like the interface of High Design the BEST of any CAD application I've seen. Very nice and elegant with a great implementation of sheets, but alas, it is also the simplest in terms of features and capabilities.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    There's plenty of stuff both 2D and 3D, just that AutoCAD and Microstation aren't among them. I could care less about ACAD, but I still hold out hope against hope that Bentley will one day return to the fold again, Triforma and all.

    I know plenty of peoplewho keep a license of ACAD ready for use on VPC. It's not great, but it gets them through when they're really forced to use it.
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