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How to Choose a Computer for Architecture

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A guide to choosing the best computers for architecture. Whether you're a student, pro, or in a related discipline, this video will walk you through my methodology and selection criteria. I discuss in detail: - Laptops vs. Desktop Systems - Mac vs. Windows - Software (commonly used and requirements) - Hardware: CPU, Graphics Cards, Monitors Along with this, you'll see why I chose the system I did and what it means to my architecture practice. A truly behind-the-scenes look at my architecture practice. // GEAR I USE // DESKTOP: *2017 Apple iMac: http://amzn.to/2fCZuGT DRONE: *Mavic Pro by DJI: http://amzn.to/2hW3dTA DSLR CAMERA: * Canon 80D: http://amzn.to/2fBWGMQ LENSES: * Canon 24mm f2.8 Lens: http://amzn.to/29l7ac5 * Canon 40mm f2.8 Lens: http://amzn.to/29x2QcI * Canon 10 - 18mm f4.5 - 5.6 IS Lens: http://amzn.to/2vyErvS AUDIO: * Rode VideoMic Pro (hotshoe mtd.): http://amzn.to/29qlNM3 * ATR-2100 USB (dynamic mic): http://amzn.to/2dFDaKp ARCHITECTURE GEAR: * Prismacolor Markers: http://thirtybyforty.com/markers * Timelapse Camera: http://thirtybyforty.com/brinno * AutoCAD LT: http://amzn.to/2dxjMDH * SketchUp PRO: http://amzn.to/2cRcojz * HP T120 Plotter: http://amzn.to/2dBGf1O * Adobe CC Photography (Photoshop/Lightroom) Plan: http://amzn.to/2dhq5ap STARTUP TOOLKIT: * Architect + Entrepreneur Startup Toolkit: http://thirtybyforty.com/SPL -~-~~-~~~-~~-~- Please watch: "Making a Site Model - The Outpost Project" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsJrDScS5ZI -~-~~-~~~-~~-~-
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Text Comments (793)
Gurung P (3 hours ago)
Helloww 🤗🤗🤗
Very nice 👍
If eating and pay your bills is a must stay away from Macs. If your Job provide a good computer and you need a just computer to stoore your pictures go ipad 👍🏻
cynthia brozicevic (12 days ago)
Thanks for the explanations! Do you have any experience with the Surface Studio? I'm in private practice and use AutoCAD lt, I'm not doing any 3D, although I'm interested in incorporating this into my practice. (I'm an old dog, excited to learn new tricks. lolol.)
Dhruv Bhatia (12 days ago)
Should I go for a 13 inch macbook pro 2019 with i5 and 256 gb space?
Jaybeegie (16 days ago)
This is by far the best summary video on pc specs in general Ive seen! Like button smashed!
Great videos, I'm an engineer but specialized in the restoration of cultural momuments so i enjoy watching content on architecture. I have the same setup as you, macbook for simple stuff but a PC because i mostly see revit and editing as well as rendering. The information you give out is simple enough to understand even if i knew nothing, Keep up the good work!
Andrey Kotov (19 days ago)
Thank you! Nice video!
PAPER CLASSES (19 days ago)
Sir,Is acer predator helios 300 i7 is good
Korede Adeyinka (20 days ago)
Please do a video for beginner on how to use AutoCAD very well.
BonJarno (23 days ago)
What is the best 27" iMac option right now for around 1800-2400 euro's for when I need to run programs like Vectorworks and the Adobe Suite?
laboratory 904282179 (29 days ago)
revit and 3dsmax comeonnnnnnnn needed and loved this vid btw!
Daniel Armstrong (1 month ago)
I am not sure about arcutechture software particularly, but I know a lot of video rendering and animation software is* optimized to use the graphics card in the rendering number crunch. Rendering an image for a screen frame is no different than rendering a frame for a video clip, and that graphics card definately helps not only your viewing experience but can* (depending on software and settings) increase the speed at which the rendering and transcoding occurs. As for memory, I'd say you're right on the ball but kind of skipped over a theme you described with the processor selection which is also an important point: multitasking. If a software recommends a minimum of 8gb and another recommends the same, and you plan on running both at the same time, your minimum should be around 16GB (a little less since both minimums account for windows); anymore than 2 and you'll want 32GB which is what I would recommend anyways for architectural and engineering work, as this provides overhead for not only the programs but also the files you create with the programs. If it comes down to choosing a processor with 2 more cores (say 6 core instead of 4) with similar clock speeds, or more ram, I'd suggest more ram. So long as the processor will run each program with little latency between command and command completion, what will impact multitasking the most will be memory, not the processor. Once a command is completed, the software uses minimal CPU resources until its next computational task is given; therefore, having ram large enough to hold your work and applications will make a far more significant impact than the processor who may be able to edge out only a 5% advantage in single threaded applications or a 16% advantage in multi threaded applications where these time advantages are imperceptible. Oh, an aside regarding graphics engines, autocad uses directx, which means autocad (and any design software with solid graphics engine compatibility) will run far more efficiently on a system with a discrete graphics card, as graphics engines will default to the graphics processor rather than the CPU. This means manipulating your view of a 2d or 3d model will use minimal CPU resources, rendering what you see in the seperate graphics processor. As with the ram, graphics cards come with internal graphics memory and if one is planning on running multiple directx enabled programs, a more expensive graphics card with more graphics memory will help smooth out workflow. Graphics cards with more power and memory also allow for the use of multiple monitors as well as larger monitors, which will tack on minimal overhead and will run more or less the same assuming one manipulates views in two applications one at a time. One final point I'd add for monitors is color space and color accuracy. While not absolutely important for most of an architects work, and perhaps not important enough at all to justify a better and more expensive display, a monitor with more color accuracy will assist in creating beautifully blended mockups and videos of completed architectural models. It is nearly essential if you wish to make photo realistic mocheups and manipulate them in lightroom (as what you see on the screen will closely match what would be printed or displayed on a screen). Dont bother with super fast refresh rates as for resource heavy design and rendering tasks, even most of the amazing sub quattro card graphics cards will be unable to feed out 120 frames per second anyways. 60Hz is just fine. QLED is a great option, a bit pricey and not actually led, but it will not have the burn in issues of OLED (which isnt really offered for monitors anyways) and will boast far better colorspace coverage than similarly featured LCD variants. If you go nvidia for the graphics card (assuming it is not one of the newer models with freesync) a gsync monitor will be a good option to keep the screen and graphics card frames in sync during GPU intensive tasks; an AMD graphics card or a newer nvidia graphics card will likely have freesync, which does the same thing without expensive nvidia licensing (which makes two identicalmonitors, one with gsync and the other with freesync, different prices).
_she_is_krii_ (1 month ago)
Do you think the MacBook Air 7 2 is good to use AutoCad?
Joshua (16 days ago)
No, it isn't. The Air isn't designed to be used for programs like AutoCad. It's more for everyday Tasks, like Word or Safari. Buy an MacBook Pro from Last Year (2017 or 2018) instead. It is much faster, because of the faster CPU and better graphics. You should probably go for the Quad-core version. But even the version without Touchbar is better.
Sonia Sharma (1 month ago)
Can you please make a video on Ipad pro as well? Covering its efficiency and usability for architects?
Abdullah hfz_Karimi (1 month ago)
Hi bro, Thanks for the video
Yogen Harit (1 month ago)
Hi, I am an interior designer and I am still figuring out which apps are useful for me on my I pad to increase my productivity. Can you help me?
Amaury Reyes (1 month ago)
So inspired right now!
Best Lorder (1 month ago)
for the macbook you can use Windows too with BOOTHCAMP I 'm just sayin'
abhinav saxena (1 month ago)
Plz suggest any laptop having requirements for civil engineering
Kimball Roberts R.A. (1 month ago)
Great job. I use a ton of software too with AUTOCAD, Blender and ArcGIS Pro. I wish you all the success.
Great job sr!
Michael VanGundy (1 month ago)
When sitting at a meeting it feels good to have the latest, most powerful laptop. But the best tool for communication and identifying changes is a printout and a red pencil. Bring drawings in a carrying tube.
PAPER CLASSES (1 month ago)
Sir, I can afford 1400 USD, please suggest me a good one in this range..
lm Malex (1 month ago)
GAMER BRO lenovo thinkpad t480s
MiguelPpM (1 month ago)
Base model Macs and Macbooks don’t have discrete graphics cards, and still expensive consider that. And have less ports.
Mi Na (2 months ago)
Just buy gaming laptop like ROG
Khaled Selwaiea (2 months ago)
What do you think of the new hp spectre x360 with 1050 ti?
Pasha Rahmadina (2 months ago)
Just buy ASUS ROG, problem solved 😂
Harold Crisanto (2 months ago)
Hello Eric. I like your blog. Every time I watch you I learn something from architecture. I am an architecture student but I stop it because I can’t afford my school tuition. But as I watch your blog. I’ve been to thinking to pursue it again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas. By the way my name is Harold
Elwin van Wees (2 months ago)
Exactly I don’t want to tweak things, I want it to work, be intuitive and I want it to do what it said it was going to do. I’ll adapt to the UI and run with it.
Thomas Stainsby (2 months ago)
Amazing how in a single video you have presented so clearly and succinctly concepts that before I found so vague and mysterious. Thank you so much for your work. +1 subscriber
Solanki Harsh (2 months ago)
Is macbook air 2017 ,i5,5th gen is good ? It can run all architecture Software and apps ?
MiguelPpM (1 month ago)
@Solanki Harsh it’s outdated and pricy, just consider that.
William Switzer (2 months ago)
As far as I can be an absolute fan of MacOS, for work you definitely want to invest in a good Windows workstation. The choices recommended by Eric are all good, and I would like to also add up a recommendation of my own in the form of a HP Z workstation. Do not miss the opportunity to try them. Those are extremely good + reliable workstations. I have been capitalizing well over 10 millions $ of contracts on HP workstations since I have started using them and that's my first choice now. In the end you really have to test out as much as you can before buying: workstations are very expensive tools and you have to connect with them, and have a good experience, because that is exactly the tool you're going to spend time with and it is going to help you develop your competitive edge for the next 5-10 years. So no matter what people think or tell you, test as much workstations as you can before shelling out the 10K$. Make this a life choice as important as designing your own house.
Mustafa Elamin (2 months ago)
Great video. Thanks
Dennis Aguilar (2 months ago)
This is great information even if you're not an architect.
Paul Lambert (2 months ago)
Great information with bare knuckle facts.
The Cordless Carpenter (2 months ago)
Y Pure (3 months ago)
Excellent help..thank YOU
guery frank (3 months ago)
Asus gaming?
Tiba Qq (3 months ago)
Thanks 💕
Andy Condoy (3 months ago)
I changed my Netflix shows for this, your videos are really informative and very entertaining, would you recommend learning the softwares on both operating systems? I currently have a Mac and my professors are working with Windows so I don’t know weather that matters or not
brother gamer (3 months ago)
Do you recommend any software to run on Linux machines?
mikeqdaniel (3 months ago)
Very well balanced and professionally presented review! I was also interested in knowing what calendar I saw you scrolling through on iOS? Always looking for a better calendar, but end up returning to Apple's iCal. Secondly, have you integrated an iPad Pro into your workflow? It seems you might find much of the zooming-to-write features and handheld work gratifying in that format. Lastly, other windows implementations work much better for side-by-side Mac-based windows usage (parallels among them). Truly makes the PC/Mac argument less an issue for most of us. Keep up the quality production!
Eric B (3 months ago)
I had to smile when you got to why you work exclusively on a Mac now. When it is based on your phone I did smirk a tiny bit. I understand your reasons and am very glad that you emphasized what a person is trying to do and not the hardware they are doing it on.
tito adityawarman (3 months ago)
yayaya...gigs don 't make you a great architect, but they did deliver your best presentation, my two cents
KEVIN NGUYEN (3 months ago)
Great info man. I run Revit on my iMac at home and Revit on a PC at work. In juxtaposition, I prefer Revit on the iMac much more.
CTA SITREP (3 months ago)
Just to point out, the refresh rate of the screen and the method of transmitting the picture isn’t just affected by your graphics card. If you’re using an HDMI cable and a 144hz monitor you’ll be capped out at 60FPS. Using a DVI cable and changing the refresh rate will make things buttery smooth. Free sync and G sync are also relevant. RTX Series of cards are built for ray tracing and DLSS which can factor in.
Alan Fox (3 months ago)
Good summary about computers and drafting. Thank you.
Hnan Osman (3 months ago)
Hello 👋
Alan Fox (3 months ago)
Designers, we rely too much on the computer and not enough on pencil and pen drafting and sketching.
Rishi Rajan (2 months ago)
Smarter work is better.For initial ideas and concepts sketches and hand drafting is necessary...but as we start handling bigger projects,we need to save time.
Markiezy (3 months ago)
Alan Fox work smarter not harder :)
Aman Jain (3 months ago)
Hello man. You did a really great job by this video.
James Mills (3 months ago)
This video is so helpful cheers!
Mind Bender (3 months ago)
Although I agree with Clarisse Padilla.... it was great to get some new insights into the Workstation for through-putting projects!! Thank you!!
Gul-e-Zahra Haider (3 months ago)
hey hellloo !!! nice video :)
aditya arga (4 months ago)
Very niceeee
wolf pack (4 months ago)
Stephen Goonawardena (4 months ago)
Great bro. Thank you fro sharing your ideas...
Salman Bashoeb (4 months ago)
Good info
Vanya Simon (4 months ago)
Hello ! Nice Stuff dude!
Jacobus Uys (4 months ago)
great video. Thank you! Just keep it up! Loving it all!
Red Dot (4 months ago)
Wow! He was from future I hope! 5:38 rendering, RAY TRACING!!
Mohimarnob Paul (4 months ago)
Thanks a lot for this video.....
Siphiwe Ngubane (4 months ago)
New subscriber! We'll be studying Interior Architecture this coming fall semester. Thanks for this video because I'm looking for a new computer. Keep up the great work man.
Mark Yolman Macansantos (4 months ago)
Just saying Hello thanks for the information you've share to us, really appreciated. More power, God Bless.
Ann Chikhladze (4 months ago)
What do you think about Lenovo Legion Y530? I'm just getting into interior design and for my budget I though that was the best option so far but would like to get recommendation from a person that knows more about computers than I do... :D
ash arora (4 months ago)
I am an architect with hundreds and thousands of hours of computer work behind me and I can tell you - every word of advice in this video is solid. I wish youtube was around when I was in arch. school.
Aleksandar T (5 months ago)
Giniel Villacote (5 months ago)
Once Nvidia RTX Quadro Mobile launch rendering would be incredibly fast. Waiting for Dell 7730 update.
Duong Pham (5 months ago)
very informative!!
Vincent Valerio (5 months ago)
Great videos, explanations, and content.
C S (5 months ago)
Microsoft Surface pro 4 with i7, 1TB works just fine. Runs Auto CAD LT and Sketchup Pro. Work just fine. Portable and powerfull. Just need to get an external monitor for desktop use.
Tomas Machourek (5 months ago)
hi, what are the MAC alternatives to soft like lumion, pls? thx
Lanchenba Ningthoujam (5 months ago)
Which is the best laptop right now for architects? I want a high performance portable laptop and have heard a lot of good stuff about the surface book 2
Rishi Rajan (2 months ago)
Dell's new G series is very portable and powerful....But for high quality,fast renders i would suggest a Mac or Workstations/PCs.
Arch. Tuqa kamal (5 months ago)
Am confused between 2 Laptobs I want to buy laptob for Rendering and am confused Which is the most important The Size of the SSD or the Size of the Graphic Card Here is the choces I found 1- 128 GB SSD with Nvidia geoforce 1060 6 GB 2- 256 GB SSD with Nvidia geoforce 1050 Ti 4 GB Thank you
Ricardo medic (5 months ago)
Antes de pensar em trocar de computador, o arquiteto (a) precisa evoluir.
Aryan Mishra (5 months ago)
Man i hope someone can help me. I am a mechanical engineering student and wanna know should i go for a gaming laptop or not.I know that gaming laptops are definitely more powerful but, will i need that much power?Can i go with a basic graphic card like the mx150. My second sem starts next week so some advice from seniors would really help me. The video cleared up many doubts but still i am not sure.
Subin Umar (5 months ago)
Keeshia Baldwin (5 months ago)
Thank you!! I am a student and have been looking for a video like this specifically for architecture/design programs! Choosing the perfect laptop is alot more intimidating than I originally thought it would be! Great video, you explained everything so that I finally understand what I need. Subscribed!
michaeldavidrubin (5 months ago)
Good presentation, candid about reasons for choices made. Dependence on "phone life" is a cultural given, but not at the core of architectural talent, or production. Tastes vary, functional quality for our clients, not so much. Welcome & important that at least token mention of old fashioned manual involvement for students still builds real design capability : something about the mystery of learning via the hand-eye-brain loop seems to deepen strong design choices. Temptation to go mediocre with stunning digital presentation of the average, or worse, always an occupational hazard for us design pro's, architect & other. Personal question: why on earth anyone still uses AutoCAD? No 2D advantages over Revit Architecture, the real industry standard. ArchiCAD for MAC's? 2nd best? Just askin'... When some legitimate way of exporting Revit 3D models to Blender is achieved, a real balance of cost value & functional power will be available for both professional-level BIM design & presentation rendering. Very good & useful video discussion - thanks!
Ian Buchan (6 months ago)
Got News for you all Apple laptops are known as notebooks
Leon James (6 months ago)
Hi, I am a construction engineering student. And so, by nature I'm very technically oriented... I however have trouble conceptualizing a design that appeals to the quintessential human needs for design and aesthetics. In other words, my designs turn out very functional, and then that's it. And not very appealing. Could you do a video, or series that speaks to this? About how to make materials, colours, building and component proportions and elements, a very native part of the design process.
Mo To (6 months ago)
Essentially, get a gaming PC.
Bernhard Kuhl (6 months ago)
Awesome video, thanks alot helped me so much!
Sarah Getz (6 months ago)
I am a landscape architecture student and have an older 15" MacBook Air (probably circa 2015 - 1.7GHz processor) and am looking to upgrade to a new 21" or 27" iMac since I am taking CAD & 3D modeling next semester. My question is, should I keep the MacBook Air for its portability even though it likely will struggle with CAD or any 3D modeling that I plan to do in the future. I am not sure how much I will need it in the future (travel etc.) and Apple will give me it's trade-in value if I decide to do so. I also have the smaller IPad Pro which I bought last year which I'm wondering can it replace the MacBook for travel purposes. I would love some advice!!
abdul hameed pakyara (6 months ago)
Hello sir thanks!
vvv (6 months ago)
Can we have an updated version of this
joanna mira (6 months ago)
im a civil engineering major and I'm currently trying to buy a new laptop. TBH ive always been a apple fan but I've worked with windows a lot as well. I do need to use Auto CAD and other programs similar to it so would just installing windows 10 onto a macbook pro (the latest version) still be efficient enough and work at a good speed? I want to be able to have a laptop that has essentially the best of both worlds (having a mac but still use windows when I need it like in my engineering classes to draft, etc.) would you say the macbook pro is a good purchase?
Cat Knight (7 months ago)
thanks, definitely helpful. still can't decide, but working on it. this gave me a little more data I needed.
khoujams (7 months ago)
thanks for the education...
you are v good at simpling information
Johnny Phan (7 months ago)
I am a first-year student (Autocad, solidworks & Catia). What is your best laptop recommendation for my next 2 years at school?
Harish Chauhan (7 months ago)
Is hp envy 13 good for 3ds max ? Please reply .
Rob (7 months ago)
"RAM is classed by its speed so higher numbers are better" For CAS latency lower numbers are better.
BBWK4 (7 months ago)
Do u use revit or autocad for architect drawings?
Thor Hamm (7 months ago)
This was a really good video, very informative. Thank you.
Bamoh (7 months ago)
Great video💓
M Nasim Panezai (7 months ago)
Do cinema 4d r18 which laptop rendering fast
nadhir sulaiman (7 months ago)
Raymund Talisic (7 months ago)

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