I really hope SKP 2023 uses the metal API

I really hope Trimble finally drops the old OpenGL at least on Mac, other apps that have been optimized claim to have huge gains in performance, some of them more than 100% like VectorWorks or blender. OpenGL shouldn’t even be used on windows, there are a lot more efficient APIs out there. Please open your mind a bit Trimble development group.

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OpenGL is cross-platform and that is a huge plus I suspect.

If SketchUp decides to use Metal on Mac and DirectX on Windows it might mean two developing teams need to work in parallel thus increasing complexity.

But, it might be worth it.

OpenGL runs under a kind of emulation on Macs, it makes it extremely inefficient, I own a 2021 MacBook Pro M1 max, and compared with my 2013 intel MacBook it feels a bit faster cause te m1 soc is extremely powerful, but compared with other softwares like blender, performance gain is barely noticeable. LayOut still gets laggy if you use some vector images instead of rasterized. Compared with my windows pc the performance is lower, I want Trimble to do something with this because I don’t like windows, and it’s a desktop, due to my work I have to travel and my MacBook is awesome, the battery last a lot and it’s very powerful.

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SketchUp doesn’t really use any GPU acceleration, my understanding is it still uses a software renderer/rasteriser - this is why it is so CPU heavy on the whole - changing to metal won’t give any noticeable gains, because OpenGL is not the bottleneck in this case.

I guess if this thing was replaced by Metal things would be quite fast.

This is incorrect but regardless, SketchUp hardly touches the sides of any modern GPU. Layout performance is a different hardware utilisation case.

Perhaps that was a better way to put it.

I don’t know if it has changed but I understand that the vector graphics part of navigating a SketchUp model is mainly calculated by the CPU while things like shading, fog, textures and shadows etc. are handled by the GPU.

The last version with software rendering available was, if I remember right, 2016. After that the possibility to turn Hardware Acceleration off was removed. Software rendering was truly very slow and the difference to any acceleration was drastic.

It uses something for sure but the rendering performance is not where it where it should be.
In a world of real-time raytracing, 120fps and multi million poly counts , disabling profiles to scrape 15fps on a more complex model is far from ideal

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It applies to all 3D design applications, basically probably because they are all single-threaded. AutoCad is fast in 2D wireframe mode but switch to shaded and it is worse than SketchUp. As are the 3D modes in Revit and Archicad.

The processing of geometry is single threaded, that’s pretty normal. Shading and rendering and showing something on the screen is a separate part of the pipeline. It could definitely be better and it is my one wish for SketchUp to make the user experience better. I presume there is something unconventional in the way that SketchUp renders edges.
But back on topic - switching to the metal API isn’t going to solve the issue unless some other changes are made first. I’m

The performance boost for Vectorworks in 2022 was that they started to compile for the Apple M1 (ARM64) chip, so it no longer needed the Rosetta2 translation.
SketchUp has already done that.

OpenGL is not emulated on any Apple hardware. The Apple GPU drivers support OpenGL natively - though it is an old version, which means things like raytracing and a few other things aren’t feasible on Apple hardware. (But Metal doesn’t support most of those anyway, which is probably why Apple haven’t updated the OpenGL driver)


Blender and vectorworks use the metal API, and the performance is much better than sketchup, in blender there’s even a metal ray tracing in development. So it could make a huge difference if sketchup use metal instead of OpenGL.