Does AutoCAD for Mac work on Apple Silicon?

Issue:

In the summer of 2021, Apple announced the start of a two-year plan to move all Macs off the Intel processor platform and develop the CPU architecture in-house as 'Apple Silicon'.

Customers are wondering if the supported versions of AutoCAD for Mac and AutoCAD LT for Mac will run on Apple Silicon CPUs and if there are any problems with that.

Causes:

Fifteen years ago, Apple moved away from Motorola PowerPC processors in favor of Intel. There were concerns about programs designed for the Motorola processor if they would still run on the Intel processor. For the most part, they would run, due to an instructions translator called 'Rosetta', at least until developers rewrote their software for Intel instructions.

The same concerns are valid now that Apple is moving away from the Intel instructions set to Apple Silicon with the new M1 and later processors.

 

Solution:

Autodesk currently supports AutoCAD for Mac and AutoCAD LT for Mac for 2019 through 2022 editions and later, on Apple Silicon, as long as all available updates are applied and the system requirements are met for each edition.

For example, included among the system requirements for AutoCAD for Mac 2021 and 2022 are these notes:

For reference, from Apple:

If you need to install Rosetta on your Mac.

 

 

After installing Rosetta, it is available to any other apps that need it, so you will not be asked to install it again. If you choose not to install Rosetta now, you will be asked again the next time you open an app that requires Rosetta.

 

Note: With the much better performance of the M1 processor, AutoCAD for Mac and AutoCAD LT for Mac should perform as well or better than AutoCAD for Mac did under an Intel processor.

Also, for reference, Boot Camp is not available for Mac models with the M Series chip. But the virtual machine applications like Parallels and VMWare Fusion are available to run Windows versions of Autodesk products on Macs with Apple Silicon.

About the Author

Bob Felton

Sr. Technical Support Specialist, Manufacturing<br><br>Bob Felton has been supporting Autodesk products for over 23 years including core AutoCAD, P&ID, Plant 3D, AutoCAD for Mac, AutoCAD Mechanical, and Vault. His background is in graphics with an Applied Sciences degree and ten years manufacturing experience drafting, as well as technical illustration, image editing, and even patent drafting.

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