Help required - new computer solely for SketchUp use

Hello all,

I’m new here, and in fact new to posting on forums generally, so my apologies in advance for any mistakes of etiquette!

My question is whether the new computer I’m thinking of buying will be able to run SketchUp sufficiently well for my needs. I’m aware that there are a number of subjective variables when it comes to this this, so I’ll try to provide relevant context.

The machine in question is
https://www.amazon.co.uk/HP-Stream-14-ax000na-14-Inch-Laptop/dp/B01LZE0B5Z, and a review is here: https://www.cnet.com/uk/products/hp-stream-14-ax010nr/review/

My situation is as follows: I’m a carpenter doing quite a lot of custom built-in cabinetry. I’ve been using SketchUp since 2012, and have found it very useful for making designs to both present to clients and to generate cutting lists. However, as of 2014 I use Linux (Ubuntu 16.04) as my operating system and although I can force SketchUp to work, it is buggy and crashes periodically. I want to keep my Linux machine and buy a Windows machine solely for generating SketchUp designs. I came to the conclusion that a laptop might be useful since then I would also be able to take it on-site during installs.

I have done some research and I think that the laptop linked to above might be suitable. However, I don’t know if it will be able to run SketchUp smoothly. I am aware that there are many different levels of SketchUp complexity, and so I have included a picture of a typical design.

I am happy to run SketchUp on a fairly minimal basis, i.e. I don’t need any colours or shading etc… The main requirement is that it run smoothly and responsively, and also that I can present a fairly ‘clean’ picture to my clients.

In terms of what I actually make, it is mostly simple rectangular boxes along with a few detailed extrusions such as the coving and baseboard on the picture.

The machine details are below:

Windows 10 Home 64
1.6 Ghz Intel® Celeron® N3060 processor
4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz
32GB SSD storage (expandable via SD card)
Intel HD Graphics 400 (128MB) 

I plan to use it only for SketchUp, and as such I don’t think the limited storage space will be an issue.

It would be really helpful if you could let me know your thoughts on whether this machine is suitable or whether I ought to be looking at something more powerful. I find the technical aspect of this sort of thing quite confusing!

Many thanks,

Lockwood

Hi,

I will start by providing you with a link to the official SketchUp Hardware and Software Requirements.

https://help.sketchup.com/pl/article/36208

If being mobility for you is optional it’s always easier to get better specs on a desktop PC compared to a laptop. And it’s going to cheaper.

Also take a look at the SketchUp Viewer. https://www.sketchup.com/products/sketchup-viewer Might be enough in terms of mobility for you since your clients can install it on their own PC/mobile and view models you provide.

In addition to the above, I would add, Intel graphics cards are notorious for lackluster OpenGL support. If you can find a computer with anVidia GPU, you would be much better off.

By the way, you need to be using SketchUp Pro, not Make.

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don’t buy the cheapest device on the market for doing 3D modeling but quite the contrary… if money is an issue check for an intel Core i3 (non-U/UM version of 4th gen. or higher), 4-8 GB RAM and a dedicated, even small nVidia GeForce GT(X).

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Thank you so much for all the prompt replies, and my apologies for not having responded earlier.

From what has been said it looks like I really ought to be buying a fairly powerful machine, so having looked around I’ve come to the conclusion that I shall have to save up a few more pennies before taking the plunge!

Thanks again for the input, the technical pointers have been really useful!

Have you considered having a computer built or building one yourself? I’ve built two of my last three and had the latest one built because I didn’t have the time. If you can work with a desktop computer, you’ll be able to get a whole lot more machine for the money by having it built or building it yourself. You will also be able to determine what software gets installed and what doesn’t. No need for a bunch of trial software you won’t use anyway.

I actually built my current machine, so now that you mention it doing another build might well be the sensible thing to do. I guess if I go down that route I’ll have to let go of the idea of taking my computer with me on-site, but that should be fine.

In terms of hardware, what sort of thing should I be looking for? From an earlier response I guess I’m looking at:

Intel Core i3 (I’m afraid I don’t understand the “non-U/UM version of 4th gen. or higher” part!)
8GB RAM
nVidia GeForce GT(X) - Any particular suggestions on this one?

With regards to motherboard and case is there anything I should be aware of? I’d be planning on getting an SSD hard drive to keep things fast since I don’t need much storage. Also, would having a dedicated graphics card mean I need an uprated power supply?

My apologies for requesting a shopping list, any help is very much appreciated!

Intel core i7, not i3
8-16GB Ram
nVidia GeForce 1050-1060-1080

And don’t go too small on the SSD. I’d suggest a minimum of 250GB if you have a hard drive as well, and more if you don’t.

As I understand you are on a tight budget.
If Sketchup is the only thing you do on that pc than I think an i3 would be good enough.
If you are planning to render with the pc for example, things get different.
SU is a single-threaded application, so you won’t benefit from a CPU with a lot of cores.
The core i3-7350K only has 2 cores but works on 4,2 GHz and has the IPC from the Kaby-lake generation.
Article on the i3-7350K.

You can try if 8GB of RAM suffices, and add 8GB when needed.
GPU: at least a GTX 1050 (4GB not the 2GB)
SSD: at least 256 GB (can’t go wrong with Samsung or Crucial)

Hello all, and thank you for the input! It’s helpful having specific hardware mentioned.

The i3-7350K sounds right for me, as does getting at least GTX 1050 (4GB). However, is it necessary to have at least 256GB of SSD when my typical SketchUp design is less than 1MB? My current machine has 128GB SSD and is quick. I was also wondering what ‘rendering’ is.

Also, do you guys have any pointers as to things to look out for regarding motherboard, box size, power supply etc.?

Many thanks all!

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