HELP with Choosing an Operating System

I need some advanced help with choosing an operating system. I’ve been using a Mac for Sketch for years! But my workload has increased 100X, and I’m struggling with lag. I’m on a MacBook Pro now with the new Apple M3 Max chip. I’m thinking of moving over to Microsoft, but I need help with what specs, brand etc to choose and what would be the optimal system requirement if I have to spec it out.
I do retail store design and bounce between skp, vray and illustrator / indesign constantly

I’ve been doing construction documents for small scale domestic residential for over 10 years and in that time I’ve had no problems with mid range Dell XPS desktops – I’ve just started on my 4th.

My models are lightweight.

Thank you, my models are between 500-600 MB each and I have multiple ones open at a time

!??? These are monster SketchUp files, much much bigger than any system is going to handle smoothly, no matter what the OS is. If you are already using an M3 max with a decent amount of RAM then no change of hardware is going to give you an appreciable increase in speed. You cannot solve your performance issues with a new computer, you need to change your modeling habits and methods to lower for your file sizes, and learn how to optimize the model for display on your screen.


Hi @Qsonik thanks for the post. Offically the system requirements for SketchUp are listed on the website here:
We can not offer any official recommendations beyond that, although I do recommend that users try and exceed the base requirements if possible as that provides some additional room for a user to make larger models with less slowdown.

I will however mention that endlessfix is correct that smart modeling and a bit of optimization will help you a lot. I consider personally 100MB to be a large SketchUp file so hearing that you are hitting 500-600 MB is concerning to me and would likely start to tax any system currently on the market. Can you tell us a little bit about what you are doing with SketchUp that bloats the file so much? Maybe we can find a way to get you some extra performance with your current hardware.

Alternatively, if you are set on going the Windows route, I am sure that the community has a few ideas on what is best and what is not. Just keep in mind that you likely won’t see a significant increase in performance if you have such a large model.

Additionally, if you are not familiar with the basics of building a PC, make sure to learn at least some of the basics before you choose your hardware. It is VERY easy to overdo it with some components and end up spending a lot of extra money on parts that don’t offer any extra performance benefits.


thank you so much for your reply, any help would be so much appreciated, I’m the design director for a large retail group and we design all sort of design requirements - this could include full built out stores to the smallest scale an dintricacies of how to merchandise fixtures - I’ve attached a screen shot for you.
I already go into Style and hide so much information - and I must admit my M4 chip Mac does pretty well but would LOVE fir it not to stall from time to time.

thank you very much

I understand your work might be proprietary, mine also often is. If you would feel comfortable sharing one of these monster files I could take a look and offer much more relevant advice abound how to make it more efficient. You could post a file to a sharing service and send me a link as a direct message (click on my icon to send a private message). There are lots of ways to streamline a file and display settings that can optimize speed when working on large files, but it’s better to see how a file is constructed before offering advice.

The good news is you don’t need to by a new computer. Your M3 should be plenty up to the task.


Hi Riley. Just send you an email. Thank you so much! Would love the help

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Will shoot you an email! thank you so so much! will def tale you up on the offer

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Well I not only use Sketchup but also rendering, my recommendation for you is the following but you really need a computer capable of moving video images quickly and being able to make more complex models later if I had to choose with my experience in computers I would take a computer specialized for games because they have video cards that process a greater number of images and you can see the most applied details Without slowing down your computer, I have been using computers since I was 7 years old and if I can recommend something I would look in the ASUS Gaming computer line for something that has an nvidia video card that has 32 to 64 GB of RAM and I assure you that you will not regret your purchase. If you can choose between the processors, I would go with an Intel i7 or an i9 and that would be good, that will give you three times the power. that you need and can work with rendering and other visual applications, although it is understood that the result is on paper and will be printed, but when working you need as much speed as possible. and the operating system of course Windows 11 and you will be in paradise


I worked with the OP to clean up their original file and recommended some things they can do to avoid getting into this pickle in the future. For anyone curious, after purging unused components, a little clean up, and resizing a very big collection of excessively high-res texture images, (one tiny image was 15k pixels across) the file went from starting at 540MB and ended up being 24MB, a reduction of 96%, needless to say it can be easily worked with now.

So, in this case no new hardware is needed, especially as the OP is currently on an M3 Max already which they would be very hard pressed to improve on no matter what system they opted for.


Search the Internet for “Custom high end PC”, choose a few of the interesting hits (someone near you might be nice), send them some of your concerns, see which reply and what prices and specs they offer. Someone can make a monster machine for you, but it will cost!

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I suspected as much when I saw Qsonik’s screenshot… Glad you could help.
4% useful data will make a big difference!

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Hello, do you have tips for keeping the file size small? That is a huge decrease!

The procedure is explained in @endlessfix 's post

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I have a Windows (laptop) machine with an Intel i7, 32GB of ram, and an nVidia RTX3080. My projects are usually pretty resource-intensive and in fact I just finished modeling off of a 6GB/80M point LiDAR dataset using SketchUp (Studio) while also running ArcGIS Pro (I had to stretch myself a little thin for a bit) and I didn’t have a single crash.

Here is a link to what I purchased, I don’t think they make the exact model/configuration anymore (it’s been “out of stock” for a while) but perhaps a good reference for specs.

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YES!! And its flawless now!! so much appreciated!!

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Thank you very much!