More than just a simple speed test for you to argue about: ArchiCAD vs Revit

As a hobby I should give up, I enjoy reading and watching comparisons of ArchiCAD vs Revit. Even when they are horribly biased and wrong, I find I learn a fair amount about both programs. Often I discover the most about the program not being directly talked about (ei, by someone praising or trashing Program A I learn something about Program B). I like seeing how these comparisons actually teach us about our preferred tools; how often what is highlighted when one of these programs is shit upon is not a feature that works poorly, but a feature that is poorly understood. Or perhaps just poorly used by inexperienced users. This all provides good ammo for teaching the programs. Here’s an example:

When I first watched this video and saw how slow the section cut generation in ArchiCAD was going, I kept thinking “WTF? That should be WAY faster.” Then I saw how crazy that little building was. Yeah it makes sense it was slow. What’s missing is cutting a second section. ArchiCAD 17 should be super fast, right? But that’s not what I am interested in. I assume that what we’re seeing isn’t the optimal Revit solution (this is a video made by an ArchiCAD user after all). Maybe some of those steps in Revit could be saved as part of the default section tool and be made faster. The screen is also a little too small for me to understand exactly what is going on. So is the comparison perfect? No. Is it biased? Probably. Is it still super interesting? Yup. Does it make me wish for more? Maybe some biased against ArchiCAD? Hellyeah. But most importantly, does it give me more reference points to have meaningful conversations with others? Does it provide me with other questions to ask when I’m having serious discussions about BIM programs? Yes.

Look it’s not the results of this video I want to use in my next argument, it’s the questions raised that I want to be able to talk with people about. Like the value of view regeneration and graphic display of common and not-so-common elements. I don’t care which program comes out on top in the above video. But I do care about being able to have good conversations with users, prospective users, and the developers of these programs.

More Alien vs Predator, I mean ArchiCAD vs Revit

Here’s some other comparisons I’ve collected over the past few months. I just find these interesting. I’m not trying to judge or make a point. More just passing along examples of comparisons that will hopefully make you think about your own preferred solution and make you better able to ask the important questions to the people who need to be asked. Because again that’s what I’m really interested in. How does comparing ArchiCAD to Revit teach me about ArchiCAD. How can I use these comparisons to better engage with Revit users? How can I use the comparisons to more deeply understand what I do on a daily basis. How can I use these comparisons to improve my teaching. How can I use this knowledge to demand more from ArchiCAD, and also better problem solve the daily annoyances?

Revit 2011 vs ArchiCAD 14

This is old, but done by a pro. It sets up some good questions to be re-examined with each release. It reminds me of the discussion started in my Ideal BIM post. It’s not so much about is A better than B, but how is each progressing? Are the weaknesses of 2011 still here in 2013. Or will some vanish with ArchiCAD 17 and Revit 2014? Or ArchiCAD 18 and Revit 2015?

Revit 2014 vs ArchiCAD 17

I really appreciate everything Stefan Boeykens has to say. As an educator and research rather than a practitioner, Stefan has a different perspective on BIM software than many users.

Garquitectos – Estudio de Arquitectura – Málaga

These are translated, so some of the language is a bit off (Google Translate is amazing, not perfect). José compares both ArchiCAD and Revit, as well as ArchiCAD and Allplan. It seems like he has plans to do more. And don’t worry everyone wins, or loses, depending on your perspective.

BIM Wars: Conceptual Modeling BIM tools and the winner is…Revit
BIM Wars: Revit vs Archicad, and the winner is…Archicad
BIM WARS: Archicad vs Allplan

ArchiCAD over Revit: Where’s the opposing view?

I’ll end with this one from BIM Engine, the Graphisoft North America Blog: Some interesting thoughts: On the Record, ArchiCAD Over Revit — Says Zawrotny. It raises two other issues I want an excuse to talk about.

So right, I can hear the detractors saying “of course on an ArchiCAD blog you’re going to have a user say ArchiCAD is better than Revit.” But here’s the thing…every time I’ve talked to or read about some firm that uses both regularly, the answer is always the same. ArchiCAD over Revit. Where are the opposing views? Where are the users who work at firms that use both programs that choose Revit over ArchiCAD? Not people who have used an old version of one program years ago and a new version of the other. But people who have to use both regularly. Power users, BIM managers, etc. I’d love to meet those people. And read their articles and posts. If you are out there, I’ve got a blog that wants you to guest post. E-mail me. I don’t think these people’s views will answer the question of which program is better, but I do feel that they give us perspective on usability. And that perspective should be valuable to all users, to everyone who wants to maximize the program(s) they prefer.

Can you stomach someone pointing out the weaknesses of things you hold dear? I hope I can.

One more thing regarding the endless debate of comparing tools that are hard, or at least awkward to compare. Good for Graphisoft North America for going straight into this topic, not stepping around it or being coy….but blatantly defending their turf. Good for them.

Remember, we’re Yo Gabba Gabba, not Dora the Explorer.

Love reading about ArchiCAD and Revit? Follow Shoegnome on Facebook and Twitter for more of that AND thoughts on being an Architect in the 21st Century. Trying to make a decision about which BIM software to use. I have the ultimate answer for you. Seriously, here’s BIM software you should use.


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