Computer specs

What are your computer specs? Processor, memory, graphics, etc… relevant to running Sketchup and Layout.

I’m going to get a new computer to run Sketchup and Layout ideally without any lag and am wondering what you all have, and what you think of it.


What’s your budget?

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Hi nate2,

Overall Model Size factors in here… and there is always a model with a set of processing tasks that will slow down any and all computers.


I have a friend who used to simplify all of this down… He’d take the minimum recommendations listed by the software company… and just apply a multiplier to that. Generally speaking he’d always multiply by 2x for his minimum setup, and sometimes go a little more if extra money was laying around, and he wanted to go big as it were.

I think that 2x puts you in a good place for the most part… and I’d say based on long term (time wise) observations of looking at a lot of configurations… more often than not the average user build falls pretty close to 2x above the software requirements.

For computers where adding in a little bit of memory isn’t a problem… e.g. the memory is not soldered into the motherboard… you can adopt the strategy of getting 16GB — 32GB for now… and then upgrading that to 64GB in a year or so. That lets you weight finances just a little bit heavier towards the CPU, and Graphics Card.

BUT, In this same fashion, most computers will allow for a graphic card upgrade too…

So, the amount of leveraging and hedging you can do here depends on if your interested in doing it, and if it’s even possible. Laptops don’t have the same upgradability options (since so many of them are going to soldered in components).

If you are interested in a mid system upgrade… then you can concentrate your money along the following priorities.

  1. CPU
  2. Graphics
  3. Memory
  4. Drives

… and just get the best that you can afford.

Personally, I just look for mid level 2x above min. recommendations. And have always avoided any of the so-called Dream Machine configurations. Most of my friend who went all out to setup a dream machine ended up being less excited about it in the long run.

Everything looks great on paper when designing under idealistic conditions… But in the real world once the computer is put in use… you have software and driver compatibilities to factor in… and a Dream Machine doesn’t seem all that great if the software/driver issues start to haunt it for too long.

The end results here being that you FEEL like things should have been better because you spent so much stinking money on this thing.

Those realities don’t sting as much if you opt for a strong mid level configuration.

The other side of this is just look at the price tag… Most of my good builds have always hit close to $2,500 in the old days.

My current computer which is now a bit old was $3,700 for a Macbook Pro.

Mid: 2015 model

CPU: Intel Core i7 2.8 Ghz
RAM: 16 GB
Graphics: AMD Radeon R9 M370X (2048 MB)

My next computer will be in the neighborhood of:

CPU: ~ 4GHz (willing to settle for high 3GHz)
RAM: 32GB to start (upgrade into 64GB)
Graphics: not sure on a model here… but I’d spend about $500 (I’d be looking for an NVIDIA)

Motherboard: likely ASUS (based of long term use and satisfaction), but I’ll also check out what the competitors are up to before deciding on this one in particular.

I think you can get a good overview of what people are using by looking at the Gallery Sections… I’m sure you have your favorite modeling wizards you’ve seen around here.

Look at the work you like, and what represents the kind thing you want to do yourself… and then check the profiles and see what kind of configuration each person has setup for themselves.

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Last year I built a PC especially for Sketchup and rendering, designed to be something that would last a long time (and upgradeable) but not cost a fortune up front. And it’s designed to run quiet and cool and efficiently.
It runs my (very, very) large and complex SketchUp & Layout files easily. I also use Twinmotion and other rendering software, which is why I specified a powerful graphics card…

NB I have unlimited budget and have previously owned a wide array of hardware from 20-core “dream machines” with dual GPUs… but that’s not the point… As has been discussed in other threads, upgrading things like a high-core CPU or 64GB RAM or a RTX3080TI will make absolutely no difference to SketchUp or LayOut.

CPU: AMD 5600X (6 core, 4.6ghz)
Gigabyte Aorus AX motherboard
16GB 3600mhz DDR4 RAM (upgradable)
500GB PCIE-4 M.2 solid state drive
Geforce RTX2080 Super
Corsair Hydro H.60v2 watercooler (basic type)
All in a nice, larger and cool Coolermaster SL600M case, with a 850w PSU
And a 32" 4k monitor.