2022/2023 New laptops and SketchUp compatibility

To give you a perspective of where I’m coming from, My current 7yr old computer old is suffering from a failing hard drive and motherboard (I’m on extremely borrowed time), has an Intel HD Graphics 5500 integrated card on an Intel(R) Core™ i7-5500U CPU @ 2.40GHz processor and 8GB ram. This has always run Sketchup Make, just not exceptionally well. It’s been very jumpy and bogs down, but it has run.

Unfortunately, I am having to purchase a new laptop after 3 years of zero income while taking care of my ailing father. I know zilch about modern computers. I have been shopping and researching specs and learning what the heck a cpu and ram and gpu do for three days. At this time I am down to two options in computers, as just going from an integrated to a discrete card and meeting my other system requirements has forced me to cut back greatly on my other wants and needs due to either cost, availablilty or both. My options are:

  1. pay more money for the NVIDIA GeForce® MX550, 2 GB GDDR6 with Intel Core i7-1260P and 16gb RAM
    I spoke with Sketchup’s IT about this and they said they cannot make a recommendation for or against it, although it may not be great performance, and ask the greater wisdom of the forum.

  2. pay SIGNIFICANTLY less money and hopefully not go broke with the Intel Iris Xe that comes with a LOT more options in computers.
    I am aware it is integrated, however so is my old system, and it worked, just not smoothly. IT again deferred to you, the SketchUp Community.

So, given alllll that, is there one that would work better or worse with SketchUp or are both going to bog down on me like my old system?
I’m not looking for perfect. Just would one be better than the other?
Maybe we put it this way… If you had the NVIDIA MX550 Intel Iris and Intel HD 5500 in front of your car… all 3 were evil and set on ruining a poor woman’s life. You could swerve to crush 2 of them, but 1 would escape… which 2 would you crush? Thanks for your help!

1st off, what’s your budget?

What’s your budget? The first one has a good cpu but the gpu is way too old, and the second one you didn’t specified the exact specs, but intel integrated graphics aren’t the best option for an APU, I would recommend you to check for an amd laptop with a ryzen 4000 or 5000 series with an integrated gpu, and igpu’s are much better than intels igpu, and if you decide to go for a laptop with discrete graphics make sure you get one with at least an Nvidia GTX 1000 series or amd 5000 series.


My budget is $1500. Also, the laptop has to be a 2-in-1 (for a whole lot of reasons) which is why finding an acceptable graphics card is so hard. Options are extremely limited.

What sort of stuff are you modeling? Since you are using SketchUp Make I guess this is hobbyist type stuff. Are you modeling for simple things for 3D printing or woodworking projects? Or more complex stuff.

Maybe a refurbished computer would fit the bill.

The second one (with Intel Iris) is an Intel core i7-1260P with 16GB Ram.
What is the difference between the intel vs the ryzen integrated gpu, if the software doesn’t tend to like integrated in general?
I haven’t seen any 2-in-1s with the GTX or amd options, unfortunately. Which is why I am wondering if either the MX550, or Iris would at least work as well as my current Intel 5500?
I’ve been warned away from going with a CPU less than an i7 or Ryzen 7, given what my old computer has… It’s… a big conundrum…
Thanks folks, I really appreciate the help!

Integrated graphics have never been recommended for SketchUp. Historically Nvidia graphics card have had the most robust support for OpenGL which is a requirement for SketchUp. Integrated GPUs can work with simple models that don’t place huge demands on the graphics, though.

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Dave, I am mostly modeling my camper renovation and various carpentry projects. so framing, cabinetry, etc… fairly basic, blueprinty (yes I made that a word) type stuff to help me make sure my measurements all fit and everything looks good. Unfortunately the computer is extremely multi-use and needs to be fast and efficient and last me a good several years so I don’t really want to go with a refurbished. It doesn’t need to be top of the line everything, but cpu, ram, gpu and storage need to be up there. I tend to milk my computers for a good long time. Like I said, my current one is 7 years old, my one before that was 9 before it became obsolete and died…

Dave, that’s why I was looking at the NVIDIA MX550, but then IT said he didn’t like it, but wouldn’t say why…

I should have written Nvidia GeForce/GTX series cards.

Look at the various benchmark sites for graphics cards to compare.


I have as a travel computer an Asus ultrabook with MX250 and it runs my small models quite well. In most cases, SketchUp benefits from the existence of a separate graphics card, but the difference between an entry-level, medium range and an expensive high-end card is very small, as the model still must squeeze through the single CPU thread that 3D modelling applications use.
The forum has many stories about disappointed people that had expected that changing from a cheap GPU to an expensive ultracool whizbang one would give a big performance boost. In most cases the boost is just noticeable, but never exponential.

At the top of the price range mentioned ($1500) I see “gaming” laptop options from Lenovo, Asus and Dell that would probably work quite well. From them I would probably choose a model with an AMD Ryzen 7 CPU and Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics. Looked at 15" models.

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I have now gone through every 2-in-1 available by HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, Samsung and MSI. The ONLY company that uses a discrete card in their 2-in-1s other than Intel Arc and the NVIDIA MX550 is MSI, and that computer breaks my budget again at $1850. But, it has the NVIDIA RTX3050 with a Intel Core i7-1260P and 16GB Ram. Thoughts?
Anssi, If your MX250 does okay on small models then the MX550 should as well. What is your processor?

Why does it have to be a 2-in-1?


I’d actually ask for a definition of a 2 in 1.
More to the point, a description of how you need and want to use this ‘computer’.
You may well be asking for something that isn’t actually what you need.
We all do it, we mash together ideas and think they are necessities. Often they are pipe dreams or just a little off axis. Sometimes the simple solution is hiding behind the ‘ideal’.


I don’t know either - my guess is that what is meant is a touchscreen laptop that can be folded for use as a tablet. Yes, very few of those have discrete graphics, and you can buy a decent standard laptop and a decent Android tablet or maybe even an iPad for the same price. SketchUp on Windows has no particular support for touchscreen gestures, it works best with a mouse.

Intel Core i7-10510U

Yes a 2-in-1 is a laptop that folds flat to a tablet. I use it for sketchup, (in its laptop form) I also use it in its folding format for work and a lot of other applications, so it is something I need.

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Thank you everyone for your guidance. I think I’ve figured out what I’m going to do. Have a good day!

I’ve personally tested a laptop with the Iris XE and found that it performed surprisingly well!
Medium and even large complexity models ran smoothly and outperformed my gaming laptop’s Geforce GTX1070.

It was in a Dell Inspiron 15" laptop (the higher end of the inspiron line).

I posted some info in the SketchUp benchtest thread - have a search of these forums.

There are different variants of the Iris chips so make sure you get the fast one, coupled with a fast CPU (the lower power ones are okay, just get the fast version of that).

I currently use an MSI Creator laptop which is a touchscreen 16" and the screen has an accurate digital stylus (pen)… but it’s a more premium option for sure.

SketchUp really relies heavily on the CPU, not the GPU. GPU has a low rate of return when it comes to investment Vs modelling speed. Youll only notice a powerful GPU increase on very large models with lots of textures, custom styles, etc.

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If you’re chatting to SketchUp’s I.T. then please ask them to post some proper hardware spec recommendations and a benchtest.
It’s getting complicated for people with such a wide array of available hardware and some quite antiquated official System Requirements.

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man, buy just macbook pro m1 pro 16/512 - 2021
its cover all your tasks
SU works fine with monterey, but not with venture
just imho
i use this laptop still with monitor and keyboard as work station