Dell precision 7560BTX or Mac Pro 16 inches

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to ask some advice whether I should buy a MacPro 16" or Dell Precision work station laptop.
so the spec for MacPro 16 would be 3899 euro
16‑inch MacBook Pro - Silver

  • 2.3GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz
  • 32GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB of GDDR6 memory
  • 1TB SSD storage
  • 16-inch Retina display with True Tone
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Backlit Magic Keyboard - British

For Dell (including Microsoft Office and 3 years support) - € 3470
Dell Mobile Precision Workstation 7560 BTX
11th Gen Intel Core i7-11850H (8 Core, 24MB Cache,
2.50GHz to 4.80GHz, 45W, vPro)
15.6" FHD, 1920x1080, 60Hz, Anti-Glare, Non-Touch, 100%
DCIP3, 500 Nits, Cam/Mic, WWAN/ WLAN capable
11th Gen Intel Core i7 vPro label 1 SR
RAM - 16 GB, 2x8 GB, DDR4, 3200MHz, Non-ECC, SODIMM 1 SR
GPU - NVIDIA RTX A3000 w/6 GB GDDR6
M.2 2280 512 GB, Gen 3 PCIe x4 NVMe, Solid State Drive 1 SR

So Mac Pro will come with 32gb ram and Dell so far with this price( special offer) I could only do 16GB but I could upgrade seperately to 32GB later on. but I won’t have Microsoft Office on Mac as I use them for my business… I don’t use MacPro that muc, I borrowed a MacBook Pro with 13inches screen 16gm ram, the sketchUp is surprisingly smooth… so I am bit torn which one to go to. you see I never used it on Dell… I have read some other discussion that Dell could be slow with sketchUp… Or should I just go for XPS… ahhh please help.

Gosh Laptops are getting expensive these days - global parts shortages I guess.
Both are reasonably high spec so will run sketchup well.

The Dell has a lower resolution screen (1080p). You have to upgrade to the Elite Precision to get the option for the high res UHD screen.

The Dell also has a higher performance graphics card (25% faster) so if you do any rendering, gaming, etc, it might be a better option for you.
The Dell CPU is also a bit faster (and newer).

16gb vs 32gb RAM isnt going to make a difference to SketchUp but it will make a difference to Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, etc - so it depends what you use and how you might use it.

The Macbook may not run LayOut very well - lots of people have issues with layout speed and macOS (for larger layout files, at least).

A big factor in laptops is comfort - the keyboard layout and other buttons/functions eg how many USB slots or whatever you need. Not having certain things can be pretty annoying.

By far the biggest thing that sticks out to me is that only one of those laptops has a numeric keypad…the Dell 7560 BTX.
Since that keypad (numpad) is an integral part of my sketchup workflow, I couldn’t live without it - and the idea of carrying around my keyboard is insane.

If you don’t need a Numpad then the XPS range will do you just fine.
Workstations are a bit nicer for productivty and the support is handy if you dont have an IT department. But you pay a large premium for that.
Usually I recommend people just buy a basic/mainstream gaming laptop and then repalce it more often - but covid and bitcoin miner have screwed up that strategy - for now at least.

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This is generally good advice. The “workstation” laptops come with “workstation” graphics cards that often have a poorer performance than cheaper “gaming” alternatives. Otherwise I have nothing against the workstations except the price.

If you are going to use often a modern rendering application like V-Ray I would recommend the PC. On Macs it is slower because there it only uses your CPU whereas with Nvidia graphics it and many other renderers can use the processing power of the GPU to speed up.

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This was enlightening!
I am also looking for a Laptop and was looking at XPS but only now realized how important the numpad is. Thanks for pointing that out.

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Apple’s in kind of a weird spot right now. They’re transitioning more and more of their lineup to their M1 Silicon CPU’s, which SketchUp currently isn’t optimized for. Sure, there’s Rosetta, but I’ve heard some mixed reactions about the usability. For every slip-n-slide, there’s at least as many washboards.
The MacBook Pro you’re looking at is still using the x86, so obviously no worries there, and Apple is surprisingly good about supporting their older systems (you can still get an x86-based Mac Mini), but no one knows for sure how long they’ll keep that up outside of the Mac Pro (the tower). Also, I’m a touch biased towards AMD Radeon GPU’s since the Gamecube had one, so make of that what you will.
I’ve used a few Dells here and there, and they’re often very reliably good, well-rounded machines. As a scoundrel once said, “She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts.” Speaking of special modifications, SketchUp is pretty lightweight when it comes to RAM, so between 16 and 32 gigs, you’re probably not going to notice a big difference unless you’re looking at something like VRay or Lumion or anything like that, even if we’re comparing a Mac and a PC. If you’re heart is set on 32GB, my advice is that it’s better to have and not need than deal with an upgrade down the road.
Another point in the Dell’s favor is it has a dock available. delldock
Macbooks have docks too, but they’re third-party, and that can be a crapshoot on the quality and compatibility front. In fact, the Dell’s dock isn’t even all that special, not like those ones that you can slide your laptop into and tuck neatly behind a monitor or something.

On the whole, my only real beef with Dell is I don’t like Windows. It’s a bloated, clunky mess with an identity crisis. OSX is much more streamlined and doesn’t hog the RAM running all kinds of background junk you need to go in and micromanage yourself. Nonetheless, that you can micromanage it at all is a leg up on Apple. That has its own share of bloat. It just sweeps most of it under the rug and hopes you don’t notice the speed bumps in the living room. Most people in the creative community will tell you, go Mac and don’t look back. As an iPad user, I can agree with that, but the fact is I absolutely cannot stand MacBooks. Their keyboards are awful, their thermals are worse, their port options are a joke, and they don’t even have the decency to give you a touch screen despite the price. Silicon is definitely going to fix the thermal issue, but everything else is likely going to stick around for some time.
I would only ever recommend Apple if you’re interested in their tablets or the mac mini (I’ve never used their Mac Pro tower, so I can’t comment on that). However, since you seem focused on portability: Dude, you’re getting a Dell. Also, don’t go with XPS, that’s just Dell trying to look cool to the other cool kids who aren’t buying it. You’d be better off with something from Razer.

@AK_SAM thank you so much for providing such detailed comments. I deeply appreciated it. Also from all the other wise advices, I think I will definitely go for PC with a numeric pad. I have a Toshiba at the moment with numeric pad so I think I am so used to have it.
I am based in Ireland but originally from Australia. I found that even for the gaming laptop over here can be quite expensive (23%tax) and I don’t think I can stand the ‘look’.:sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile: I also saw people recommended Asus zen book? And Rog? Or maybe a aced… I feel like every time I do more research, I am back to square 1. Going around the loops can be quite stressful :crazy_face::crazy_face::crazy_face:

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Wow! That’s brilliant advice @Anssi!. Thank you so much for your comprehensive analysis on both machines, Okay I am mentally prepared to ditch the MacBook Pro ans XPS! The razer one is a good advice, actually never knew them ( I am a mum to two young kids :sweat_smile:) but hey dude! I am open to all advice. The only thing about Razor is that it doesn’t have numeric pad built in with the keyboard. Or there is a model has it but I just haven’t found it yet?

Wow! That’s brilliant advice @wataru.kannuzuki thank you so much for your comprehensive analysis on both machines, Okay I am mentally prepared to ditch the MacBook Pro ans XPS! The razer one is a good advice, actually never knew them ( I am a mum to two young kids :sweat_smile:) but hey dude! I am open to all advice. The only thing about Razor is that it doesn’t have numeric pad built in with the keyboard. Or there is a model has it but I just haven’t found it yet?

@Anssi sorry I accidentally sent this to you. Swimming class with my kids… totally lost track :pray:t2:

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You are correct the Razer laptops do not have a number pad. That’s mainly because they want to push their Tartarus accessory, kind of a cross between a numeric keypad and a Playstation controller. Could have some potential, but you can do better. If anything, you could always get a USB number pad, though that cuts into the portability. That 10-key on the Dell does look a little cramped, but you’re also getting a 16" screen whereas something like the Razer Book only has a 13".

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Thank you so much again :pray:t2::pray:t2::pray:t2: Okay. I will let everyone know what I bought and write a review in a couple of weeks time. I think at this stage I am sticking to the Dell 7560 option. Thanks for everyone ‘s advice and time. Giving me a lot more confidence. I guess there is no best one, I just have to get used to the keyboard and numeric keypad. maybe I can even buy a seperate monitor providing UHD screen resolution later on. Hi
Wish me luck :four_leaf_clover: that I don’t regret spending so much on a laptop :computer: :sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile:

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I am writing this on a Zenbook, but the reason I bought it was its small size (it’s a 13" model), battery life, “rugged” construction and looks. It runs my small SketchUp models quite well but the overall performance is definitely not in the ultracool whizbang league. At home I have a more powerful desktop.

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You’re going to pay a fair premium for a lightweight slim design compared to a slightly more “rugged” gaming style machine or “workstation”.

Feel free to post the spec of anything else you’re considering. Global markets are such that we cant easily recommend a particular model.

A 27" or 32" 4k monitor is a good investment, I think.

All brands make good (and some bad) laptops. With PCs i wouldnt worry about brand too much but its helpful to have local support (warranty) and also good to check review websties like Notebookcheck for opinions on the general quality etc.
Acer Nitro, Lenovo Legion and Asus TUF might work for you…they all have numpads. HP Omen are also good (recent but not all current ones have numpads).

Spec-wise A 6-core CPU is fine (AMD or intel, the more recent the better, and higher GHZ) and a reasonable spec video card: RTX2060 or 3060 (or better). Spec really depends what you need it for; large vs small models, complex LayOut docs, other software, rendering…??? And more performance = less battery life.

SketchUp doesnt appear to be making any technical changes to its modelling behaviour so a laptop that worked in 2015 will probably work much the same today. Future changes in the wider 3d modelling world are more around rendering and, particualrly, realtime visualistion (e.g. twinmotion, enscape and lumion); for those tools you need high-powered graphics and the slim laptops are definitely not recomended (they get too hot).

Thank you so much!!! I am looking at Lenovo Legion 7i 15 at the moment, with below Configuration also added 3 years onsite support, its about 2400, about almost 1000 Euro cheaper than Dell. I think this could be the one giving both of them has almost similar spec ( at least I think :thought_balloon: :thinking:)

  • Processor: 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-10875H Processor with vPro™ (8 Cores / 16 Threads, 2.30 GHz, up to 5.10 GHz with Turbo Boost, 16 MB Cache)
  • Display Type: 15.6" FHD (1920x1080) IPS 500nits Anti-glare, 144Hz, 100% Adobe RGB, HDR400, Dolby Vision, G-Sync, DC dimmer
  • Memory: 16 GB SO-DIMM DDR4 3200MHz
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2070 Super Max-Q 8GB GDDR6

I won’t use it for rendering at the moment as my skillset is not there yet, so far I am only using it for residential designs up around 100mb… I guess you might be laughing now that maybe I don’t need that top spec laptop at all…

In my books a 100 Mb file is enormous. How taxing it is depends on the actual contents (the number of faces and edges SketchUp has to process, components included).
The Lenovo specs you posted sound quite good.

Cool - that Legion is the previous model but it’s still powerful. It gives up a bit of CPU speed compared to the Dell, but the Lenovo graphics are faster.
The differences in spec are similar enough that I would probably pay more attention to the other features like comfort and style!

You should definitely give Twinmotion or other rendering programs a try (the trial is free - & you will be amazed how easy it is!)

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Ouch. At that price point and with that hardware you’d think the screen would at least try to compete with apples offering.

Lovely! Thank you so much for your tips. This has been great help. I just wished I got onto this forum a bit earlier. :relaxed:
I will definitely give the rendering a go in the near future. I have two young kids and also a start up. Looking forward to the school returns so I can get some freedom to really dig into it.

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hi,
dont think, buy macbook, trust me, if you buy now dell, after 2-3 month ago, you sell it &and then buy macbook
dont lose this 2 month, buy macbook
greetings from georgia

I have a new MacBook Pro with almost the same specs as you listed. It runs SU solidly and fast. I know that SU does not use multi-threading so all those cores doesn’t really help much, but that said, it’s much more solid than the 2014 MacBook Pro 15 it replaced. I bought the last version that’s still using the Intel chip because I’m running VM Fusion with Windows so I can still run CorelDraw, which incidentally, runs much, much better than in the old one. I run SU Make 2017 so can’t speak to how well it runs Layout. The new one with M1 chip gets rid of the interactive task bar and goes back to buttons. I’m ambivalent about the task bar and find myself inadvertently activating functions when typing in numbers. I’m also not particularly happy with the huge track pad since I kept hitting that when typing and strange things happen. I’m married to Mac now because of all the other Apple stuff in our family.

Hi i am on my 2nd xps over 6 years i am very happy , high res touch screen plenty of ports and very portable, i am about to go for another xps but the 17" one it comes with 32gb ram and higher specs than the workstation you mention and you wont need a buggy to carry it around.
It runs sketchup brilliantly and when at home drives a big hi res monitor but i do have a usb number pad as an extra. I recommend the xps