Goodbye iMac, Hello Alienware.........? Advice Requested



If there ever will be a SketchUp Pro 2019 (I’m not allowed to tell anything) we will create a Skalp version for that SketchUp version.



I use a MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017) with macOS Mojave (SketchUp 2018 works fine)
2.9 Ghz Intel Core i7
16 GB
Radeon Pro 560 4096MB
Intel HD Graphics 630 1536 MB

eGPU: OWC Mercury Helios FX with Thunderbolt 3
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB


That’s such good news about Skalp!!! Thank you @Guy

And in reply to your other message about Sketchup and Mojave, all my Sketchup Pro 18 and Layout actually work fine. The only problem I’m getting on Layout, and as far as I’m concerned it’s a major one, is the zooming in and out. It is painfully, excruciatingly slow.



The people that first started the Alienware brand (and machines), before Dell bought it, are still at it. They are now Origin PC, still doing high end and custom machines. I purchased a custom build of their EON17-X a year ago, it hasn’t skipped a beat! You can get desktop grade CPU’s and GPU’s in some of their laptops, yes currently up to Intel i9 9900K CPU’s and nVidia GTX 1080 (also dual GPU option available), 4K screens, etc.


Use what you feel most comfortable with but more importantly can be fine tuned to suit your requirements. It appears that in your case you require functionality and adaptability with access to potentially the widest range of software. So PC is the way to go. It may not be the prettiest option but the dosh you will save by not buying that beautiful Mac can be spent on a really competent beast of a workhorse.



I too am running OSX Mojave on a 2014 MacMini and Sketchup Pro 2018.

The only issue I have had after a month of use is the if Export… dialog comes up maximized the output format selection drop-down button is sometimes not visible. The solution is to minimize the dialog to make the drop-down visible, then you can maximize again to select a folder to save to.



I only buy notebooks for myself and my staff… all PCs… with GTX 1060s and me
i have a Gigabyte P35x model… GTX 1070, 16gb ram, 2 x 256 SSDs + 1TB hd


1] I travel
2] tired of massive desktops making awful dust collecting mess spagetti cable mess either on or below the desk.
3] built in battery carries me thru power surges [vietnam]
4] their price/performance not far below desktops [certainly enough for SU and Twinmotion

they are coupled with Samsung 42 inch TVs as external monitors for A1 sized displays, dont use the notebook display… in this mode.

PS… if a manufacturer came up with a mini pc of equivalent power and compact form factor so I could place it behind the TV I would be really interested

New Laptop

Have you looked at mini ITX boards? Here is a good example:


I will be heading that way when its time to upgrade my PC


Huge amount of helpful information received from everyone on the post.

I’ve saved the website for PC Specialist that @liamk887 highlighted. Very useful and local to me.

At the moment, after a conversation with Apple, they have extended my Return window to allow me to try the new Sketchup Pro 2019, when it comes out, (please please please very soon).

I’ve also been playing with Indigo Render which can and does use my GPU. It flies too when rendering. And then, assuming I do keep the iMac and assuming the new Sketchup solves the Layout zooming problem, I also have the option of adding an external GPU should I get more heavily involved in rendering.

The good news is that, thanks to all your help, there are options out there.

I’m just really hoping that the new Sketchup solves the Layout Issue.

To digress slightly, I’d be happy if Sketchup stayed the same, bar some minor tweaks, and Layout was improved, with the zooming issue solved. It literally is just the Layout zooming that I have a problem with.


Hi LIam, yes agree with you and I did look at that route and agree it is a worthly of solid consideration , just in VN we don’t have the range of suppliers you might have and hard to obtain high end or fringe products


I don’t think he really cares about overpriced things, otherwise anything from Apple falls under that category.


My Opinion: if someone says “I love my Mac”, then an entire switch to Windows is not advisable :wink:. I for myself use both Systems, Windows7/10 and MacOS and I love my Mac too. Most time I use my Mac, because I like the OS much more.
In my daily job as a architectural draftsman/3d-modeler I use other Cad software (on Windows7). But at home, as an ambitious Hobbyist/Semipro with SketchUp/Lumion/Cinema4d/FinalCut I have - similar to Guy - a Macbook Quadcore 2,9Ghz/16GB Ram/Radeon560, connected to two 4k-Screens. And for Gaming and Rendering I use a Win10-PC Quadcore 4,2Ghz/16GB Ram/NvidiaGTX1080.

I don’t want to kick off the discussion “Windows vs. Mac”. But IN MY OPINION MacOS is much better than Win10. Although my Win-PC has more power, I use my Mac most of the time. I’m modeling with my Mac and render with my PC (Lumion, but also with Cinema4d). Its not a bad thing, having two computers: Lumion is fast, but rendering an animation needs time. While the pc is rendering, I can do other work on my Mac.

But of course - Its a real shame, that Apple can’t give us a powerful Desktop-Machine with Nvida GPUs (for cuda).
And i admit: I love my PC too, but only because for the Gaming :smile:

Greetings, Peter

Btw: A GPU-Renderingtool similar to Lumion is available for Mac: TwinMotion. But I did not test it yet.


Hi @Peter_B

Yes, I’ve decided to stick with my iMac. It’s so ■■■■ quick and nice to use! I just hope the zoom in Layout is sorted when Sketchup Pro 2019 is released. That’s my ONLY issue. As far as I’m concerned, if nothing else changed in Sketchup or Layout I’d be happy. It’s just the pesky zoom.

Had a look at that Twin Motion. Looks very good. I’ll have to do some more research on that and maybe download a trial too. I’ll message them as I’d want to confirm all the features listed and shown are also on the Mac version. Maybe a purchase for next year :grinning:

Kind regards



Hi Michael,
I’ve tested the Alienware machine for several weeks now, and I must admit that there isn’t an overwhelming speed difference with my macBook pro. It works fine, is a bit faster, but I can’t advise you to buy it for this purpose.
However, my 14 year old son is VERY happy with it…
And I still like the mac system much much more than any other system.


So, after a long wait, Sketchup 2019 has NOT solved the zooming issue in Layout. No difference at all! Still VERY bad.

Looks like I’m sticking with 2018, and using my 2015 MacBook Pro for Layout 2018.


Interesting - zooming has been greatly improved for the type of work I do. I use Windows 10


Mmmmm, hate to add, but this strikes me that Macs have not been fully tested with 2019, and seem to be an afterthought.


Its working fine for me on both of my Mac Book Pro’s 2015+2018.


From this, I’m guessing it doesn’t like/work properly with, new iMacs then.


What GPUs do you have in your MacBook Pros @liamk887?