What do you like best?
First, Archicad is fast. I currently use Revit in an large professional office and use AC for my side projects on a Mac. The standard navigation, especially in 3D, like other's have mentioned, is a major benefit when working out details in the BIM environment. There are definitely other software options to see the designed space on the fly, but to be able to affect the construction documents in the BIM model with a smooth 3D interface is really nice. Another clear benefit is the project management and view/sheet navigation. Revit is a complete disaster at this. AC, on the other hand, is intuitive, allows for drag and drop, makes publishing happen in seconds, and is just an all around smooth process. Also, changing markers and linked views could not be simpler in AC.
Another huge distinction from Archicad and Revit is AC's Trace function. The ability to show other views/drawings, sheets, etc. ghosted over your current view is a huge time saver compared to Revit. To my knowledge, there is nothing that does this in Revit.
Other notables are the stair and curtain wall tools. They're just better, and the graphical interface when editing each one is fantastic. Also, not least of all, it's cross platform. Macs and Window's PCs can use it without issue, so the overhead of changing your hardware to suit your software doesn't occur.
Remaining items in no particular order:
-pricing is still somewhat more manageable than Autodesk, which is sucking the world dry.
-It can do all types of projects (I added this because for some reason, some people think it's only good for small projects)
-Morph and Shell modeling are pretty good and feels a little like Sketchup and allows for quick schematic design or full fledged objects
-Graphic overrides, demo status, and the simple switches at the bottom of the window make view management easy
-Overall user interface is smooth and easy on the eyes. This might be a function of the Mac's more anti-aliased display, though...
-Favorites make adding notes, objects, or anything else that is regularly added much faster and easier
-Integration with Rhino and Grasshopper is great (Revit can do this too, but it's a little more involved)
-It can connect with Twinmotion (if you have the right graphics card setup)
What do you dislike?
Lack of basic things like keynotes, the ability to easily 3D model custom library objects that are parametric, and the minimal support by other AEC products in the US (i.e. Bluebeam, AR and VR programs besides Twinmotion, etc. It also lacks basic US detail libraries 2D and 3D. Product manufacturers are making their files for Revit only and this could save lots of time if elements were available in AC format as well. And as a result of them not being available for download, we are forced to learn GDL (the scripting language for Archicad) in order to parametrically model library objects. Yes, you can model something in space and save it as an library object. However, if you want to edit that object, you're stuck with a preview of the object and the only way to edit is through the code language. So you end up having to explode it and remake it and save over the object. Perhaps I am missing something here, but I don't see anything out there allowing for ease of modeling custom 3D parametric objects (i.e. cabinets, light fixtures, furniture, custom doors and windows, etc.).
Another major annoyance is it's lack of proper MEP and structural library elements including detailing elements. These come out of the box for Revit and are tailored for your region. That issue also overlaps into regular detail elements that are not included in AC as well. Things like wood and light gauge metal framing elements, connectors, fasteners, and all the stuff I loathe searching the internet for.
Probably the biggest dislike along side the GDL scripting requirement for objects, is the overall lack of industry support whether it be in product objects or other AEC software that is within most firms workflow. They have/had a Bluebeam link of some kind, but since Bluebeam discontinued it's Mac version (it's a NEMETSCHEK company!) Mac users have to find another way.
I would also rate this dislike highly up there: Archicad's overall guides and help, and especially their presence on YouTube, is downright abysmal. There is a new building in Austin, TX that just completed and was done by a local firm using Archicad with a minimal staff, and I have see nothing about it from Graphisoft despite the local Archicad rep staging an in-office meet with the firm to see how they are using it. Graphisoft, if you're listening, please up your game. It's embarrassing.
Other dislikes in no particular order:
-It's not really sold in the US as easily as Autodesk products or others and so you have to go through reps and it's a little cumbersome. Can we have a purchase and download please?
-Again, to harp on it, overall marketing and web presence leaves something to be desired
-Support for real world workflows! I get it, you don't want to show other competitors, but because this is how the world actually works, you get consultants and developers and others on lots of different software, so please show how AC can more easily integrate into ALL the various workflows easier than any other software can.
-Being able to associate objects to other objects in the view like Revit does would be really great.
-Text writing and formatting paragraphs and styles is basically non existent
-Specification integration is truly a complete whiff. Where do people integrate their specs? Word? Ugh. Fortunately it looks like MasterSpec has their cloud version going...
Recommendations to others considering the product:
Know that you can do anything in the program, but it really depends on your current integrated workflows. Check your current software and hardware and see how you would integrate them into AC. In my opinion, if you can make Archicad work, you will be very happy you did. It definitely lacks in some areas, but the overall day-to-day engagement with it is far better than Revit.
What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Quickly generating SD packages and being able to move rapidly into DD and CD phases has been very enjoyable as the elements we use for each phase can translate easily. We typically start with a Sketchup model but have a very rough schematic Archicad model from it to help with initial take-offs and quantities. It really makes the first phases easy.