Dell XPS 15 9550 v. Dell Precision 15 5510

Hi, I use SketchUp for landscape design and I’d like to buy a new notebook. I can choose beetween two brand new Dell products that differs chiefly for their graphic card: Dell XPS 15 9550 (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M) and Dell Precision 15 5510 (NVIDIA Quadro M1000M).

Here are my questions:

  1. What computer should I buy? And why?

  2. Both are available with an InfinityEdge FHD display (1920x1080) or with a touch-screen InfinityEdge UltraHD 4K display (3840x2160). What is better for SketchUp?

Thank you.

you have forgotten to mention the most important spec: the CPU

the GTX 960m is roughly 50% faster than the M1000M, no advantage using CAD graphic cards with SU.

touch-screen = mirror = not good in bright surroundings as e.g. with a window behind you or for outside use… a 4K resolution also leads to tiny user controls as e.g. the tools/toolbars, at least until SU is adapted to ultra highres displays.

8GB RAM and a SSD (or at least SHDD) should be obvious.

The CPU would be in both cases a brand new i7 Skylake; RAM 8 o 16 Gb.

I know some ppl cannot stand glossy screens, but I personally don’t mind it as much. (partially because I am always in dark places :smile: )

I agree on this part.

I always favored XPS over precision models I know the design is similar for current model, but XPS always had better designs. I have previously owned two different XPS models and had good experience with them.

I see that the market it moving toward high resolution displays. I would go for high resolution at any given chance because I love crisp images on my screen. But, for the purpose of SketchUp, at the moment, high resolution isn’t ideal because of the reasons @sketch3d_de said.

Do you think that a Dell XPS 15 9550 with an InfinityEdge FHD display (1920x1080) is the right choice for SketchUp or should I look for a notebook with a even lower dpi?

1080p should be fine, as it won’t have small icon issue and etc for SketchUp
I wouldn’t get anything lower than that.

But, high resolution screens are nice and if you are investing money in a laptop as much as XPS 15 which will last next few years.
At least, in my opinion…

So you suggest to wait for SketchUp 2016 and buy a Dell XPS 15 with a 4k display?

I do not know what SketchUp 2016 will hold, but my suggestion would be higher resolution. - Yes.

I can hardly see anyone using their laptop JUST for SketchUp.
Plus, photoshop and other applications have been implementing higher resolution well nowadays.

1 Like

I’m also considering new Precision 5510. It’s benefit is that it is more configurable. And you can get it with new Xeon.

would check HP’s brand-new lineup of mobile ZBook workstations too, especially the ZBook Studio looks pretty nifty.

I have an XPS 15, maxed out on memory and 500GB solid state drive with 3840 x 2160 display. the SSD is not big enough so I almost always have an external USB drive attached (they are small and cheap for 1.5 TB)
I found the 4K display useless because text is too small to read. I have it permanently set to run at 1920x1080 (what a waste). Someday maybe software will accommodate this so you can have big enough text with 4K graphics.
However, I love a 4K display. I have an external monitor attached (38") which is great. If I had it to do over I’d by the laptop with the 1920x1080 and when I’m home use the external display with 4K.
The shiny screen is a pain but I get along with it OK.
I don’t find the touch screen terribly useful because it is always upright in front of me (not flat like paper on a table) and it’s just as easy to use the mouse pad.

Very sound solution.

Any comments on performance with big models? I was thinking about Precision mainly because of Quadro M1000M - it’s drivers might have been tuned for much better OpenGL performance.

Cinebench R15 - OpenGL 64Bit

  • XPS - 46.3
  • Precision - 98.09
    Cinebench R11.5 - OpenGL 64Bit
  • XPS - 25.66
  • Precision - 85.95

I understand that these are just tests (and not SketchUp performance). But this made me think that M1000M will be much better in OpenGL that SketchUp is using (despite it’s being much slower in DirectX, which is not important for me).

I can offer this tidbit. I’ve been using a Precision 6800 for a while now and so far had no success persuading Sketchup to utilize the Quadro® K2200M card. I don’t know if the problem is with Windows 8, Sketchup or Dell.


What do you mean by “utilize”? Do you know any “standard” test which will report SketchUp’s performance on certain hardware?

As I can see from Graphics card monitor - it uses it. And SketchUp works much better on my machine with K2000M compared to colleagues with K1000M. (but I’ve never used it on GeForce and have no experience with new Maxwell cards)

I’m using Precision 4700 for last 3 years. Good and reliable fast machine, but big and heavy.

In Sketchup Preferences>OpenGL, Details. I only see Intel Graphics.

No, I’m afraid not.

I like the PC however and yes this one is a bit heavy.


Do you have external monitor connected and proper drivers installed?
My machine is older than yours. And I don’t have such problem.

I just bought an HP Pavilion (refurbished) 17". The start button stopped working completely after six weeks of fiddling with sleep/hibernate/shutdown issues. Pretty good support, they sent a prepaid box, fixed it and sent it back. But it still doesn’t work. The button works again, as does the same software configuration problem. How could they ‘fix’ a computer and not test it to see if you can turn it off and on? In the process, they back up my files and reload the OS (clean again) which is always good.
It’s going back, I’m pretty sure it’s a bios upgrade required, that’s why the new OS install didn’t change anything. But I’m not going to attempt that. Not a lot of work being done on that machine. So I’d summarize by saying the computer shipped with an old BIOS, (not Win10 ready) and a 19 cent on/off switch. What an incredible waste of everyone’s time.

I use a EXTERNAL USB hard drive to drag and drop ALL THE FILES to … Then I can do a total ERASE, FORMAT, and re install . . Usually fixes 99 % of problems . . JUST AN IDEAL TO TOSS YOUR WAY . . Time Consuming but works
OH YEAH And have all the drivers handy to re install so all of the things work . .
Question there have you totally Max’d out the on board RAM ? . . Makes big difference in what the computer will do and how fast it does it . . Like a GIANT CHALK BOARD for the computer to write on . .

My first computer had RAM problems too. Timex/Sinclair Personal Computer 16k. It was sold as “the first” personal computer for $175 (I think I paid), from an advert in PC Magazine in 1981, or so. The drive was a cassette deck, the monitor a 14" B&W TV. Forget programs. There was a booklet on DOS.