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Lightlyseared's avatar

No. Well unless you use boot camp or parallels.

grumpyfish's avatar

Flip the question the other way: Autodesk has no (current) interest in making AutoCAD run on a Mac.

You can run Autocad in Parallels or VMworks running a windows virtual machine, however you take a pretty heavy performance hit. You cannot run AutoCAD natively on Mac OS X.

There were rumors a month or so ago about a Mac version, but the official word from Autodesk is “we do not comment on silly internet rumors”—so no word if it’s actually happening, and likely was just a photoshop mockup.

jerv's avatar

@grumpyfish If it is a mockup then it’s a pretty elaborate prank. This site has video of the alleged early beta and there is another one on Youtube

However, there are no current Mac versions, and I am guessing that it has something to do with the fact that Macs (except for the Mac Pro) really lack the graphics capability to handle professional-grade 3D-rendering and the expansion capability to install a decent GPU.

In other words, Mac lost their edge in design work long ago when they decided to go after the consumer market. They may still do well on 2D stuff, but all of the people I know that work 3D run PCs or full-on workstations (including Mac Pro, but more often something from SGI).

One CAD program I think doesn’t get enough mention is BRL-CAD which is cross-platform, can read/write AutoCAD files, and is free and open-source.

TheDeadWake's avatar

My mom runs autocad through parallels on a 2 year old MacBook pro. I think macs can handle it just fine, not just the Mac pro. The MacBook pro line and iMacs all have great graphics cards along with the latest intel processors. Check out the Final Cut suite of programs and you’ll see that macs can do 3D just fine :)

jerv's avatar

@TheDeadWake Maybe the light-duty stuff, but I’ll take my cheap GT240 card against the GT320M mobile graphics chipset in the MB Pro any day, at least so long as 767 is greater than 364.
The iMacs clock in at 137, 774, and 1077; the low-end one is pretty crappy (worse than my netbook), the two middle models are on par with my box that cost one-third of what Apple wants, so the top-tier iMac (also the only one with a Core i5 instead of yesteryear’s Core2 Duo, though no match for an i7 or a Xeon) is the only one that can really compete. Even then, it can’t match a good dual-card setup like you need for the really heavy-duty stuff, though you are correct that it will suffice for home rendering.

Put another way, the Ford F150 isn’t a bad truck, and is quite sufficient for most people but sometimes you need a Kenworth T270 box truck to get the job done. People who do heavy-duty stuff for a living (like the people I know) need more than a single HD4850 can offer, and the only way to get that is multiple PCI Express slots; something only the Mac Pro has if you want to stick with Apple.

I guess it all boils down to how you define “just fine”.

grumpyfish's avatar

@jerv – Didn’t know there were videos! I had just seen screenshots.

@TheDeadWake The big problem (to me) is the performance hit you take running in a VM. My current workstation is a Cure 2 Duo at 1.86GHz with 8GB RAM and a pretty high end nvidia card. The RAM is the biggest bottleneck I run into these days, and I occasionally max that out working in large architectural models. (I don’t work in large arch models that much, so I haven’t upgraded).

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