New iMac with Sierra OS and SU

advice
mac
hardware
sierra
imac

#1

I am seriously considering upgrading my 9-year old iMac to a new top-of-the-line 27" Intel i7 CPU, 32GB RAM, AMD Radeon R9 M395X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, one. However, I heard there were some problems with the new Sierra OS. Does anyone know about these and if they have been resolved?

Also, there seems to be an option to go with expanded flash drive OR a larger HD. I’m using half a TB now on my third drive in my current iMac and since I keep computers a long time, I’d like to plan for future expansion. Would I be giving up performance for capacity if I went for the 3TB HD?

Anything else?


#2

I am running Sierra 10.12.4 on my mid-2012 MBP Retina without problems. I don’t know if there is anything specific to the iMac you are pondering, other than the fact that SketchUp’s support for very-high dpi still needs some work (much better than it used to be, but not quite fully “ripe”).

If you are viewing the 3TB HD as a tradeoff vs the larger SSD, yes you would be giving up some performance; SSD’s are much faster than HD’s. However, depending on how you organize your data you might never notice. Keeping Apps on the SSD will make them open noticeably faster. Likewise, if you have large data files (e.g. huge SketchUp models) that you access frequently, keeping them on the SSD will let SketchUp open them faster. But for normal size files (say 10MB or less), archival files, and for files in which load time isn’t crucial (e.g. music files, photos) the HD is a perfectly fine place to keep them.


#3

Thank you.
Specifically, my largest SU file is currently 240MB and I expect that to at least double. If the computer can handle it, there are design and presentation reasons to go as high as a 1TB file to show the whole building with sections. I can work around this, of course, if I have to, but would rather not.
In this scenario, what is the best configuration HD vs. SSD?

The computer I have is good enough for everything else. The upgrade is solely for SU purposes.


#4

Did you really mean 1TB?? Or 1GB? You won’t even be able to load a 1TB file into 32GB of memory!


#5

Sorry, 1GB…


#6

The smallest SSD option for the 27" iMac is 256GB. Unless you plan to have a lot of such 1GB models, I don’t think that would be a problem. But upping to 512GB would give you more headroom. I can’t predict the future, but my present experience is that very few people have hundreds of GB of data and apps that they use so frequently SSD performance is crucial. The tradeoff between SSD and HD has more to do with laziness about migrating seldom-used things off the SSD. I don’t mean that as preaching: if you are one who just accumulates stuff on the default drive, then maxing it will help you.


#7

I swapped my mac HD for a Samsung 1t ssd, the performance increase for Skup and in general was very noticable. I’ve avoided sierra so far because I don’t quite trust it yet.


#8

Thanks again.

I am wondering now: if I develop everything on a super-duper iMac, will that make it impossible to present a static and slightly animated presentation in SU Layout? Am I painting myself into a high-tech corner? I don’t have to do everything I have to do to create the model during the presentation, of course, but section cuts of the whole building and in situ model(s) (using whatever SU comes up with to replace the Google Earth geolocation option this month, or maybe the extension Placemaker) will be necessary.


#9

Why distrust of Sierra? I may buy a new iMac as soon as this weekend, and from past experience, I know having two active computers at the same time is very confusing and counter-productive so I want to migrate everything to the new one and phase out the old one ASAP.


#10

Without lots of details I can’t really answer (and maybe not even then). But it will always be the case that a model that stresses a high-end computer will overwhelm a lesser one, whether Mac or PC. From your post, I infer that you will need to make your presentation on a more mundane computer? You will have to experiment and maybe tune the content carefully, but a gigantic model runs a risk of being sluggish.


#11

I’m also curious about your thinking. Are there specific issues that cause you not to trust it, or are you just generally cautious? Are the issues related to SketchUp or other aspects of macOS?


#12

On a somewhat related note, will my HP LaserJet Pro 200 reproduce reasonably good renderings to paper?


#13

Sorry, I have no experience with that printer so I don’t know. I suppose it also depends on your definition of “reasonably good renderings”.


#14

Sorry, I should have clarified that I’m just being cautious, nothing against sierra, I was trying to say ineffectively that I can’t speak to the sierra conflict issues 'cuz I don’t know. I’ve been watching closely for info on the interaction between SU17 and sierra to make sure it’s all good before I jump in, because we know what a pain ( or impossible) it can be to try to revert, and I can’t afford to have my workflow interrupted. I’ve been burned by updates before. Sounds like there are some line thickness / dpi / transparency issues and maybe a few cases of bugsplat that are getting sorted. Mostly sounding ok, you are running both happily I take it?


#16

I understand.
One last question, I think: Are there any issues with restoring SU with the Time Machine onto a new iMac? I’ve already bought the software, of course, but will it run automatically on a different machine or…?


#17

I’ve never tried restoring SketchUp from Time Machine, so I don’t know the answer, sorry.

I always keep a copy of the installer dmg (on an external drive) and use that if I need to reinstall SketchUp, or just download the installer again.


#18

You might wanna remove your licence before doing the last backup, licences are per computer. You would have to add a licence on the new one, and if you don’t remove it from the old one , you will loose one of the two activations!


#19

Oh, how does one do that? Is that on the startup page? I’d have to make sure Time Machine did an incremental backup of SU afterwards then.


#20

Menu Sketchup/Licence, Remove Licence on your Mac


#21

Trimble keeps track of the number of activations per licence on their servers. Each valid licence can be activated twice ( eg desktop and laptop ) That information on their servers is via MAC-addres of the computer. A migration via Time machine does not alter the MAC-adress of the new machine, so you would have to let Trimble know that you won’t be using the old computer anymore, which is done by the way @john_mcclenahan explains.
https://help.sketchup.com/en/article/38595