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 //
*2017 Apple iMac: http://amzn.to/2fCZuGT
*Mavic Pro by DJI: http://amzn.to/2hW3dTA
* Canon 80D: http://amzn.to/2fBWGMQ
* 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
* Rode VideoMic Pro (hotshoe mtd.): http://amzn.to/29qlNM3
* ATR-2100 USB (dynamic mic): http://amzn.to/2dFDaKp
* 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
* Architect + Entrepreneur Startup Toolkit: http://thirtybyforty.com/SPL
Please watch: "Making a Site Model - The Outpost Project"
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.)
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!
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!!
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?
I love this edgy look! I was so excited that her hair, even as short as it is now, was still able to be put into the fun and trendy dutch pigtail braids! Instead of braiding to the ends, I ended them in close together pigtails at the nape of her neck. After I finished braiding, I tugged on the outsides of the braid gently to loosen them and make them a little messy and fun! Since she doesn’t have enough hair to tie around the elastics, I made sure to use elastics that matched her hair so they blend in as much as possible. You could also cover them with clips or bows! A view from the back of her Dutch pigtail braids! A great braid for short hair is a micro accent braid! My biggest tip for braiding short hair would be to add in small slices of hair rather than big ones. I did a small (micro) braid along a slightly curved deep part for anther cute and edgy look! You could also do another one next to it if you wanted a little more to the look, but I really liked how simple this one was. You can see how the part curves a little better from this view of the back. I ended the braid close to the head with an elastic that matched her hair. For our fourth style, we did a 3/4 french braid! Super simple but also super cute! You could do any type braid! It would also look cute using a Dutch braid or a fishtail braid! I loved the side view of this braid! I will for sure be doing this one next time she goes to gymnastics or swimming, whichever comes first! Our last braid is two four dutch lace braids into two loops in the back. Start off by parting the hair down the middle. On each side of the part, do a dutch lace braid, adding hair in from only the section closest to the part as you braid. Tie the braids together in the back with a small elastic and before you pull the hair all the way through to make a ponytail, leave it in a cute little loop! If the hair is a little bit longer, you could do a tiny bun. Repeat this directly under the braid you just did so you have two rows and two loops.
We will have to be coming up with lots more short hair braids in the future, so be sure to give us a follow over at our newly redesigned blog Abella’s Braids to see more as we do them!
Thanks for reading! See you again this time next month!
love these ideas! My daughter recently cut about 8 inches off her hair and is loving her shorter hair, but I’ve mostly been at a loss of what to do with it! Thanks!
Abella has been begging me for at least a year, probably closer to two years, to cut her hair. I posted a photo on Instagram with a question in the caption. “Abella has been begging me to cut her hair short, do you think I should let her do it?” Almost everyone said “YES!” So thanks to all of the good advice from my followers, we did it…and we haven’t regretted it for a second! I think she looks so cute and it really fits her personality! It’s for sure a lot harder to come up with braids but it’s pushed me to step out of my comfort zone! We wanted to show you that even if you have short hair, there are lots of cute braids you can still do!
This first braid (above) is three ladder braids. Start out with a part deep to one side. On the side with less hair, start out by doing a waterfall braid along the part. Under that one, do another waterfall braid, but incorporate the waterfall pieces from the one above it as you braid. Under that one, do a french braid. Incorporate the waterfall pieces from the second braid as you go. We braided each one to the ends and used elastics that matched her hair to tie them off.