HP Z220, can it be successfully upgraded to run Sketchup 2016?


I am hoping to upgrade my HP Z220 SFF Workstation Desktop, 3.4GHz Intel Xeon E3-1240V2, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD NVS 310 graphics to run Sketchup Pro 2016/17. Is this a sensible proposition, I am not seeking huge performance merely reasonable functionality. As it stands it occasionally has issues running the software that I believe are a result of inadequate graphics card. Has anyone found a compatible graphics card that would be up to the task and be compatible with this HP computer? Thanks


Answered here:

Basically yes that old card is office app quality, not for graphics work.

As far as compatibility with a specific workstaion (or motherboard) that is some you’d look up in the specific card’s specifications.

What kind of graphics slots does the motherboard have ?


Hi Dan, model # C7M11UP. It has one PCI slot, one PCI Express X1, two PCI Express x 16. It is SFF but I would consider cutting cover for room if necessary. I am uncertain as to how receptive the HP will be to “unspecified” graphics cards.


The only thing that IMO needs changing is the graphics card. I would get a Nvidia Geforce card - several models seem to be available as low profile cards.



Hi Anssi, I appreciate your and Dan’s response. I suspect that I would be satisfied with what you suggest as the workstation currently will usually run Sketchup 2016, and a little better and more consistently with only one monitor (not stellar though). It handles my 2D software quite well as is.The cards I have seen sanctioned by HP, the Nvidia Quadro 600 and Nvidia Quadro K 600 have less than stellar reviews. I was hoping someone might be aware of a card that would perhaps be better and still compatible (or would work with) with the HP platform. Takes me back to my origional question I guess, is this unit feasible to upgrade for my purpose. I do not want to spend too much for a card for this computer and get a card that would not be worth using on a better system. However I did say I would be happy with reasonable functionality (and reliable would be nice), so perhaps the 600/ K600 would fit the bill. Thanks


I plan to try PNY Quadro K620 VCQK620-PB 2GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Plug-in Card Workstation Video Card and see how that goes. Thanks again for the input.


Quadro cards with a number below 1000 are for 2D applications. Nvidia GTX cards provide more bang for the buck - the higher the model number, the better.

If attempting a card upgrade on a system with so-so graphics, note that better cards require more power. So a new power supply may be needed.


This 600 card has 2 gigg, they suggest in this page suggests that this card is up to 3D? http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133560 As to power, I only have a 240 watt power supply, the chip is relatively efficient at 69 watts but clearly that does not leave a great deal available. Apparently switching the Power Supply in this SFF format is difficult ( size constraints ). Any who perhaps I could manage to boost power. I am running Windows 10 Pro, I have concerns as to what will function on this HP board. Am I wrong to fear driver issues etc with regard to HP if the cards are OK for the OS, available power, appropriate slot and physical space? Thanks for your input.


The driver supplies the OpenGL functionality. Looks like the card is for entry level CAD which is not SU modeling. Also specs don’t indicate any support for Win 10. 8.1 max.


For me those unknowns (driver support, etc) slow me down, I could add RAM and add an SSD plus a new video card but really don’t want to invest if I would be wiser to simply replace. If I could make this reasonably functional at a modest cost I would do so and be happy with it. I really just want SketchUp for 3D views for customers and some basic 3D building of components, mostly dimensional, straight lines and 90 degree companants. I was hoping a user on here would have already successfully upgraded a comparable Z220.


Beyond an uncertain point, SketchUp really will not benefit appreciably from pouring money into an ultracool whizbang graphics card. What it needs is that the graphics driver has good OpenGL 3.0 support. Overall performance will always be limited by the time taken by the CPU in the single thread SketchUp uses to process all the vector geometry when zooming or orbiting. The graphics card power is used mainly for textures, shadows, transparency and other raster-based features.

I would guess that any decent Nvidia-based graphics card that fits in the slot and case of your computer, whether pre-tested by HP or not, would work OK. Even the Quadro models you mention would outdo the old QuadroFX 1800 card in my desktop that runs SketchUp 2017 quite satisfactorily with my small models even if I haven’t bothered with upgrading he driver for quite a time. I use Windows 7 Pro, though.



That sounds great to me, I ordered the 620K Quatro card yesterday then cancelled it an hour later when I saw that there was an HP version of the same card, essentially the same but $100 bucks more. I am thinking I will renew my origional order and let it go, I did check to see if there is an Windows Pro 10 compatible driver and I believe there is so should be fine. Thanks again. I will drop another line to this topic if I am still able once I have the card installed and have given Sketchup a try with it. Cheers