i7 Skylake integrated graphics and SketchUp rendering

Hi. I’m a long time Sketchup user, using it mostly to make small projects, but I want to start rendering more, and my Core 2 Duo 8400 and 4GB RAM are rather slow for this purpose, so I’m thinking it may be necessary to buy a new PC.

The Intel i7-6700 seems a good choice regarding the CPU. But GPU wise, it seems all brands are waiting till the end of the year to finally launch their new architectures, when 14nm becomes feasible. This made me think that maybe a viable option could be to buy a i7-6700 system now, using its integrated graphics for now – it’s the HD Graphics 530 - and only buy a powerful graphics card later down the road.

Would the i7-6700 CPU’s integrated graphics be enough to a minimally decent Sketchup viewport performance?
My models are usually quite small, between 20 and 40MB.

Thanks in advance for all comments and suggestions.

I think this HD Graphics is somewhat new. You might be headed into “uncharted waters.”

Intel® HD Graphics 530 for 6th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors

i7-6700 Specifications

Links to compatible motherboards

I think the most important things are:

  • A 64-bit Professional edition of Windows (that is not limited to a single core like the Home Premium editions,) and does not limit you from installing MMC Snap-Ins. Etc. Also allow control of Windows Update.

  • RAM (as much as you can get, because the integrated graphics will steal system RAM.)

    • The CPU specs say it’s max RAM is 64GB, and the Graphics are max 64GB. ?

Under Supported 2D/3D Graphics Features for the HD Graphics, the first line under 3D graphics features is
Full OpenGL* 1.3 ICD (Installable Client Driver)

Aren’t we past OpenGL 1.3 (isn’t it 2.0) and who is the client suppling the driver?

Until proven otherwise, I would stick to the recommendation in the SketchUp Hardware and Software requirements to stay away from integrated graphics. You can buy whatever cheap Nvidia card and it will perform better. SketchUp gets no appreciable benefits from ultracool whizbang expensive gaming cards compared to much cheaper ones.

Does not apply.

At the bottom of the page (you linked,) see section:
This article applies to:
which shows “WAY OLD” chipsets (I think are from the 486 era.)

On the CPU specifications page, in my post, scroll down to the “Graphics” section, and you’ll see Intel HD 530 support is:

DirectX: 12
OpenGL: 4.4

videocardbenchmark.net"s (PassMark Software) rating:
PassMark - Intel HD 530 - Price performance comparison
It is number 294 on the High-End GPU list. (293 other GPUs test better.)

I think there are many people making do with a lot less.

But if you wish an Intel CPU on a notebook, you have no choice. It will come with integrated graphics. (Same for an AMD/ATI notebook.)

So do not be concerned (too much) with what integrated graphics come with the CPU. Choose the CPU and notebook you want, based upon other features. But be sure it has a graphics expansion slot accessible without disassembling the whole case.

Then look at the bench mark list, and choose a good Nvidia GeForce card later.

I understood that Horsinho was talking about a desktop computer. Notebook graphics aren’t usually upgradeable.
For a notebook, too, I would choose something with Nvidia graphics. That there is an integrated Intel chip doesn’t mean that you have to use it. On the laptops I use, I don’t, at least for SketchUp or CAD/BIM applications.


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(1) He was a bit vague, saying “PC”.
(2) I always try to reply as if to the general population, as many other ppl will come reading and seeking the same sort of advice.

Low end student or business notebooks, true. High-end gaming notebooks may have a easily removable panel on the bottom for access to the memory, video and wireless adapter slots. (Our Toshiba Qosmio does.)
(The US Toshiba Direct site no longer lists them.)

Thank for the replies, guys. Indeed, I was talking of a PC, yes.

It seems these CPU’s may be a good option. Even if not perfect, if it allows me to wait 6 months or one year using the IGP, it may be worth it.

There is only 3 Intel chipsets ranked above it (graphics-wise.) The ones with Iris 540, and Iris Pro 5200, and Iris Pro 5600.