Revit Architecture

Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-12-2008
Message 1 of 8 (573 Views)

Revit on Mac

573 Views, 7 Replies
11-12-2008 02:18 PM
Hello Everyone,

I am in the process of setting up a new Mac computer and plan on running Parallels Desktop 4 to enable it to run 64-bitXP at the same time as OSX. I was wondering what kind of system requirements I would be looking at if I planned on having Revit Architecture, MEP, and Structure along with Autodesk 3ds Max Design, Ecotect, and Green Building Studio on it.

Right now I'm contemplating the iMac 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo 4GB (2GBx2) or upgrading to the Mac Pro Quad-Core. More importantly, what kind of memory and/or hard drive upgrades would it need? (check 1 for spec options)

Thanks for your insight.
Valued Contributor
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎12-05-2005
Message 2 of 8 (573 Views)

Re: Revit on Mac

11-12-2008 02:31 PM in reply to: cheinecke

No experience with Parallels but I've done it with VMWare. Revit runs great on Mac as is.

I had 2 issues with this a year ago (in revit 2008) with Parallels 3 and Vmware 2 (tried both)

1st off you lose 1 Gb or so of RAM which stays allocated to the Mac in the background, so you're running off 3Gb dedicated to Windoze. No real biggie but still annoying. You're running 64 bit OS just to get 32 bit worth of RAM... Once your file goes up to 80 MB or so you'll start to see it when you spin the model : )

2nd and foremost, the virtual graphics drivers sucked and graphics acceleration was nonexistant. This it seems has been fixed in Parallels 4. I don't know, I'm back on Windows machine. You tell me.

Best of luck going down the Mac road, I've been there a but too soon it seems. You might have a better time of it. Now I'm being seduced by the 17" Lenovo w/ the Wacom tablet built in... mmmm where do I spend the 4000 $ that I don't have ?

Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-12-2008
Message 3 of 8 (573 Views)

Re: Revit on Mac

11-12-2008 07:03 PM in reply to: cheinecke
Thanks for the reply JF,

You kind of touched on what I was pondering. I'm not worried about how Windows will run on the Mac or vice versa. I'm more concerned about the amount of space the 5 or 6 programs will take up and how it will effect not only the speed of the Revit model but also the overall speed and storage space of the computer itself.

Right now I'm looking at the upgraded 4GB iMac. My question is, after I install all of the programs that I want to run on it; is 4GB going to be enough? If not I'll have to more seriously consider the Mac Pro with 8GB. So, do I need 8GB or is 4GB enough to operate smoothly under any circumstance (more specifically this circumstance)?

Also I'm not too sure about the need for a larger hard drive. I'm looking at 500GB. Is that more than enough or not quite?

Current status: iMac 3.06GHz, Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB (2GBx2) memory, 500GB hard drive
OSX: iWork, Aperture 2, iTunes, Shareaza (OSX will be mainly used for music and photos, that takes up a lot of disk space)
Windows 64-bit XP (running under Parallels Desktop 4): Revit Architecture, MEP, Stucture (2009), 3ds Max Design (2009), Autodesk Ecotect, and Green Building Studio
Printers: Canon Pixma MP 950 and Epson Stylus Photo R2400
Valued Contributor
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎12-05-2005
Message 4 of 8 (573 Views)

Re: Revit on Mac

11-13-2008 02:48 PM in reply to: cheinecke
That sounds familiar. Here's what I work with at my office (Dell machine) :

8 core @ 3.0 Ghz, 8 GB RAM, Quadro FX 1700. I run Revit 2009, Max Design 2009 and AutoCAD MEP 2008. Worst case scenario if everything's open including Photoshop and I'm rendering (I have a bad habit of not closing stuff) at worst I max out around 7 GB of RAM. I have blown up Mental Ray by rendering an aerial site view @ 1600 x 1200 with 4 multistory buildings, a water feature, 100 + Onyx trees and displacement mapped grass while having the site plan dwg still open in CAD and the previous render open in Photoshop. Then I had to close down my other stuff and just run Max. : ) But with just Max running I have never topped 7 GB even with bucket rendering out to 32 cores.

If this sort of workflow is familiar to you then I'd spring for the 8 GB. 4 would be a bit tight. And with the other 1 GB left over you can stream the latest epsiode of "Heroes" on while waiting for the render to come out.

As for HD I'd say 500 GB is good (unless you're reeeaaaallly into Shareaza), but just because I'm kind of a "belt and suspenders" kind of person I'd go for two 320 GB drives and be done with it. Put your OS & programs on one and data on the other. If this is your breadmaker and your data's really important, get 2x 500 GB in a RAID and mirror them. You don't want a head crash to wipe you out. It's happened to me with an old 250 GB Maxtor drive. HD is not going to be your biggest expense if it's running. But if it breaks then it's definitely your biggest hassle.

Budget is the key. This is what I work with because this is what my office gives me ; ) (and 2 x 30" screens). But I use every bit of it.
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-12-2008
Message 5 of 8 (573 Views)

Re: Revit on Mac

11-14-2008 07:27 AM in reply to: cheinecke
Thanks for that reply, you just answered pretty much all of my questions.

You might have just talked me into getting 2x 320GB HD instead of the single 500GB.
The only thing left that I am wondering about is if I'm running my Revit programs on Parallels and OSX is still running in the background (which will probably be playing some music while I'm working) will 8GB even be enough if XP may be running at 7GB max? Then I'll only have 1GB to play with on Mac OSX, and I'm thinking that might not be enough depending on how many programs are running off OSX. Should I be considering 16GB (4GBx4)? I know that would definitely solve my dilemma and it would help even if I only ever use maybe 10GB at max, but is it needed? Is it possible to have an odd number of RAM installed 12GB (4GBx3) or (4x2GB + 2GBx2)?

Thanks for all your help so far JF
Valued Contributor
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎12-05-2005
Message 6 of 8 (573 Views)

Re: Revit on Mac

11-14-2008 09:05 AM in reply to: cheinecke
: ) De nada.

Let's not go overboard tho. I mean 16 GB would just about make me wet myself, don't get me wrong. But what I'm saying about pushing 7 GB is really my worst case scenario thus far. Even if you're doing a lot of targa files into avi for animations isn't going to go that far cos you're not pushing out as high a resolution compared with stills.
Allowing 1 GB for your OSX in the background should be fine when u r on the WinBlows side. I'd go so far as to say that you should be able to have ITunes and stuff running over there while you render in Windows and it should be no problem. Really when I was going that high was before I got a handle on using Proxy objects and so on in Max. Also I was relying too much on a one stop render-to-print workflow without doing much compositing in Photoshop. Now I'm really getting into splitting up my renders and doing it like real people do. I'm using 'Render Elements" and so on a lot more simply because I want to get my building color out as an alpha channel. It takes way to long to tweak colors in Max and re-render all the time, even when u r using little iterative renders. Once you've got it all down and it comes out of the printer wrong and you've knocked your head on the desk a few times you start to question your workflow.

So long story long, if 8 GB isn't enough I'd revise my process before spending mo' money. Also odd number RAM usually = Bad. I'd say 16 GB would be what you want in a main server if it served as your office file storage and render farm. But unless you're planning on challenging Pixar in a one man config I'd save the money for all those backup hard drives : )

Have a good weekend.

Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-12-2008
Message 7 of 8 (573 Views)

Re: Revit on Mac

11-14-2008 11:55 AM in reply to: cheinecke
Thanks again for all the replies JF. Most forums I go to I can never get a straight answer from anybody.
Thanks for all the help!
New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-01-2012
Message 8 of 8 (218 Views)

Re: Revit on Mac

09-01-2012 07:13 PM in reply to: cheinecke

My name is Dr Thomas and I am stationed in Singapore, In past year our local government as mandate the use of BIM in all the projects starting with the Architects and followed by MEP in 2014.

I am the founder of DEG Builders Pte Ltd and we are in the midst of BIM implementation. The only trouble i am faced in Ia am a Mac User and recent i bough the Mac Pro 15" Retina and i have also installed the Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac. I download the trial version to test before i buy the real software. After downloading the trial version the system keep hanging and i have to force quite or restart. IS my configuration slowing the use of Revit. WHat is the best option for me i hate to see myself using PC



Processor 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4000 512 MB
Software OS X 10.8.1 (12B19)

Looking forward to your advise


Dr. Thomas

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