Imac Setup for Sketchup & Layout


So I use Sketchup and then Layout for planning drawings, so primarily 2d.

Occasionally use some 3d, may look to do more in the future, but realistically that’s not a driving force behind my decision.

I appreciate Apple products are probably not par for the course…However I am using a MacBook on site to start the drawings off, then looking to get home and send it to layout on the iMac.

I tend to draw it all in Sketchup in 5-6 hours on site, then transfer it to the iMac and send to layout so I have a nice big screen to see the whole picture to add the final touches. (Current iMac is too old to have the supported OS required for Sketchup and just doesn’t work when I open the apps now)

Is anyone able to recommend a 27’’ iMac set up they use.

You can tell I’m pretty green behind the ears on memory etc.

So to conclude:
-Mainly 2d
-will have lots of saved files and pdf’s plus standard word use etc

I really look forward to any advice from users of iMac / apple


I recently upgraded my Mac from my previous 1012 model. The spec looks like this:

Screenshot 2021-04-17 at 13.14.41

It is more than enough to run SU and LO. You will still find LO a bit laggy but that is due to the software, not the hardware.

If you are only doing 2D work, you don’t even need a spec as high as mine.

SU works fine for me on a six year old iMac 27” 5K retina machine, with an i5 processor, 24GB RAM, and Radeon R9 M395 with 2GB graphics, even for large and complex models (300MB+, tens of thousands of component instances, and many millions of edges).

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My current rig is:
iMac 27" 5K, Late 2015, 4 Ghz i7, 32 Gb Ram, AMD Radeon R9 M395X, with Only 4 GB.
Simon Bevans’s rig is newer and nicer than mine (envy!), especially that 8Gb of graphics memory. (But, I have to believe him when he says it doesn’t help LayOut performance, at all!). This is indeed a long standing, persistent, and perpetually unfixed “software problem”.
You have some choices …
Personally, I’m eagerly waiting for the new M1 chip iMac’s, which are supposedly due out late this year, or early next year.
Once these M1 iMac’s are out (or maybe before?), you may be able to pick up the older intel based iMac’s at a discount (probably never from Apple directly, but from authorized resellers).
Or, if you can wait another 6 months or so, get an M1 iMac - although not yet totally proven when running SU/LO, the M1’s are potentially going to be a big leap forward in processor and graphics performance - which will definitely enhance SketchUp, and (maybe) even help LayOut’s doggy behavior as well?
We shall see …

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