Advice on Affordable computer for Newbie

Budget: around $1,500
Looking to get a desktop iMac

I know nothing about sketchup nor about computers. I just started learning this week. Part owner of a small residential construction business looking to model simple floor plans, kitchens and bathrooms and render to show to clients.

Any other advice would be appreciated :pray:

Your profile says you are using the Free Plan" which is a web based version for hobby users. Using it for your business would not be allowed. You should be using and learning SketchUp Pro. As for your computer shopping, start with the system requirements for SketchUp Pro and use that as a minimum. Also consider the needs of other applications you migt need to use. For example how do you plan to use your SketchUp models once you have them? Are you intending to make photo-realistic renders?

SketchUp will only use one core in the CPU so faster will be more useful than a large number of cores. Look through the other threads here for more details. Don’t cheap out on the computer. Probably better to go with a better one up front than to go cheap and then find you need to upgrade in six months or a year.

Also, as you are learning to use SketchUp, pay close attention to learning how to make clean, lightweight models so you aren’t creating ones that are difficult for the computer to manage.

Hey Dave thanks for the comment and advice!
At the moment since I know nothing about sketchup I am just using the free Version to learn the basic before purchasing the pro. A lot of things to learn but YouTube is making it a little less stressful.

Down the road I do want to be able to do photo realist renders but at the moment I just want to be able to do presentable models so the clients can get a better view of their ideas.

You have a point on going about getting a better computer from the start. I’ll see if that can be possible.

Thanks again for the advice!

Since you can’t use SketchUp Free for commercial use and the user interfaces are so different, I think learning with the version you’ll be using going forward makes more sense. Use the tutorials at as well.

Hi @Reypeak, thanks for the post. The official system requirements can be found at this link:

While these requirements will let you do quite a bit with SketchUp, my unofficial recommendation is to try and exceed the requirements when possible. As DaveR mentioned, CPU speed is more important than core count so keep that in mind as you decide on a computer. At the end of the day, you almost want to build something like a gaming computer with a decent CPU and GPU.

I’ll recommend an imac then :slight_smile: . basic one, M3 chip, with 16gb ram (+8) would get you to 1500$

not the cheapest solution out there, a mac mini might get you more (more ram) for cheaper, or you can check a refurbished imac. it’s mostly M1 machines, but they are quite fast already. there are a few M3 as well

personally, I would grab a mac mini, mid range, with 24Gb ram, 1200$
that leaves you 300$ to grab a mouse / keyboard and a decent screen.

or, a similar, refurbished, 16gb only, 1000$

personally, since 2021, I’ve been using a mac mini M1 with 16gb ram and 512 Gb storage. 24 or 32 Gb ram would be more confortable, but till now it hasn’t really been a big handicap.

mac with M3 chis, solvable by switching to the classic engine. I know, I answered in many of them.

If Reypeak is looking for an advice in buying an imac, recommending a laptop razer blade or acer predator is not helping. they want a desktop mac. not laptop pc.

it is.

not a sketchup employee.