Latest iMac Pro with SketchUp Pro

I am upgrading my workstation to the new iMac Pro. Do you have any experiences how well the SketchUp can use the resources iMac Pro provides (cores, graphics card…)? SketchUp is one of my main tools I use so the new workstation need to play well with that.

I believe apple has a 30 day (or maybe it’s 2 weeks) no questions asked money back guarantee.

So given that you’re upgrading to their latest and greatest hardware choices, and I assume also installing SU 2018. . . you’re probably in a small minority of people who have this combination as their current setup.

I’d just go for it, and don’t hesitate to go back for a refund if you run into problems. I can’t recall seeing any issue of late with SU running on OS X.

I’ve been running SU on a macbook pro for that last 4+ years or so (with no issues).

If this is partially a question of you wanting to know what the best computer system is for running SU… then I say go get a Windows machine. It’s pretty clear that Apple’s primary interest these days is in mobile computing, and NOT traditional Desktop/Laptop systems. and I say this mainly because they’ve done little to provide comparable options to what you can get if you were to configure your own Windows system.

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Apple has no Cuda based Nvidia in their new iMac Pro, only AMD.
The OpenGL of Nvidia is proven to be better when it comes to SketchUp and most Render-extensions, so even a top-range AMD with high OpenCL specs is likely to perform less.
Also, since all 3D modeling programs use just one core, a processor with less cores and higher speed is likely to perform better.
As @JimD mentioned, for SketchUp only, you would be better of with a windows system, money-wise.

It is probably a problem only if you plan to use GPU-based rendering applications (like the GPU rendering option in VRAY). Traditionally Macs with AMD graphics work OK with SketchUp. Their drivers are written by Apple.

Mostly what puts me off in the iMac Pro is the price. In our parts it costs about 5600 Euros. The most expensive “Workstation” PC at the same store costs about 2400 Euros less and has a more powerful processor. You will have to use part of the 2400 for a graphics card and a monitor, though.

Or, for about 2200 Euros minus a graphics card less, you can get a HP all-in-one workstation PC that has a 4-core Xeon and a monitor that has a slightly smaller resolution than the Apple.

Thank you Jim for your answer. I also have a Macbook Pro (Mid 2014) and it is definitely running out of CPU all the time. With smaller files it’s okay but as soon it reach a certain level it starts freezing. I guess I still need to do some research on this topic.

Thank you Mike for your answer. Do you think that SketchUp Pro will support multi cores at any time soon?

Thank you Anssi for your answer. You are absolutely right about the prices. I will check the HP all-in-one which you mentioned.

only when you compare chalk and cheese…

PC v iMac Pro cost


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That is essentially what I was doing, and the page you quoted does the same. It basically came down to “It’s the monitor”.

And, to continue from that, SketchUp does not (yet) benefit from a 5K monitor. Its UI starts to crumble if you scale it to more than 150%, and with that pixel density and my eyesight I would need a magnifying glass. I have tested a 32" 4K monitor (costs about half of the example in the comparison and is about the largest you can use on a desktop with reasonable comfort) and at 100% it is too small but still almost readable, comparable to my 17" laptop FHD screen.

I didn’t intend to start a Mac/PC war, seen too many of those already. What I forgot to mention is that, for SketchUp use, one of the MacPro models might also be a more economical choice, with a comparable performance to the PC workstations (but still with AMD graphics that I am prejudiced against).

I’m running a Mid 2012 now and upgrading to a Mid 2014 MBP myself.

Just to double check: For Macbooks, I always have System Preferences → Energy Saver->Automatic graphics switching turned off for the sake of performance doing CAD. I don’t really know if having it checked is problematic for SketchUp, because I never run it that way, but maybe someone else knows. I believe, if it’s checked, the computer can decide on its own to stop using your best graphics card to save energy.

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