Layout speed, Apple M1 Chip, and another vote for improved PDF resolution

Every year, I hope Layout will improve in performance in how quickly I can work on and navigate around a Page where the Model is set to render in Vector or Hybrid. With every new release, and with every hardware upgrade on my end, I am disappointed. However…
I’ve just upgraded to a MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro chip and I am elated to report that the problem has been… solved! I can’t believe it, but there it is. A page full of multiple, complicated, models full of texture and geometry, rendered in Hybrid, and I can work on it as easily as if the models were rendered in Raster.
I don’t know if other people have been as lucky in this as I have, but if it is real, perhaps the Sketchup Team could leverage that new chip and give us the ability to at least opt to import PDFs into Sketchup at full (or at least higher) resolution? I know that has been a wishlist item for years, but if should be an easy fix for them, and it presents another opportunity for the team to score a win with the users when the next release comes out.
@adam @Mark @colin


Im planning to buy the same laptop as you do, can you be kind enough to share the file you are working with so i can compare it to my i7700k with 1070 32gb ram if it runs smoother, because i find it hard to work with hybrid models its very laggy

Attachment available until May 21, 2022

So, here are a few sheets from the plans. These are elevations and a few sections, the sorts of viewports that usually give me the most trouble, being the most graphically intensive. I’ve embedded the linked files, so I’m not sure if that will effect your performance. I can say that what I am sending you is very laggy in Hybrid or Vector on my two year old top-end iMac with a serious graphics card, but zooms and edits beautiful in those modes on the M1 Pro laptop.

Click to Download

for Gerard.layout
26.9 MB


Hello again bradodonnell, the file you sent was working smooth and perfectly on my pc. I’ve noticed that files I’ve been working on were much heavier, May I ask you to try viewing this file… It is very detailed and large, somewhat a site development of a resort, scrubbing to Layout is very laggy on my pc but somehow manageable. I wonder if it’s the same with an M1 pro…

I’ve been traveling. I’ll take a look at this today.

That file brings my M1Max to its knees. It’s not even navigable using vector or hybrid. All I see is beachball.

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Agreed. That file crushed my M1 chip. Sorry!

@Adam, @Colin, @mark. This sort of file is the kind of thing that just kills Layout. The question is why? Computers today are ridiculously powerful, how is it that Sketchup and Layout can’t leverage that power? Is this an area the team could work to improve, or are the programs at their cores just too old to ever be able to bring them up to snuff when it comes to speed?
I am glad the M1 worked for me, but for much more intense programs, alas…

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I strongly agree skeptchup and especially layout needs innovation that can optimize the use of computing power nowadays, btw that file also runs slow if I hade the program running for hours but when I do restart the computer it runs smooth for about 3hrs and then starts slowing down again. I dont know whats the cause tho

Basically all 3D applications with a “paper space” do the same thing: Every viewport on a page has the whole 3D model running inside it, so the demands for system resources grow rapidly when your model gets more complicated or when the number of views increases. AutoCad has a setting that limits the number of viewports that can be rendered at the same time - should LayOut have the same?

Strange, though, that even for models of similar complexity to those from 10 years ago, Layout wasn’t rendering more quickly for me despite significant hardware improvements, until the M1 chip. And even there we see that it didn’t work for @bastabarroso’s file.
I imagine everyone has already set their Layout preferences to turn off auto re-rendering. Doesn’t that do the same thing as Auotcad’s viewport-render limiting?

Could it be as simple as the Sketchup team turning off the live-link until we chose to refresh the model and re-render? Even if the 3d Sketchup model is embedded in Layout, it’s still odd that the viewport can’t be as snappy as working with Sketchup itself. Maybe the model needs to be better-embedded, maybe it needs to be removed completely and each viewport exported behind the scenes to Layout and rendered as a vector pdf ? Whatever it is, the status quo is a severe productivity limitation that seems unnecessary, given the great degree of hardware improvement we’ve seen over the years.

My concern is whether this can be fixed at all, even if it requires some real effort, or whether the issue is so fundamental that it would require completely rebuilding Sketchup and Layout. Because I have seen zero speed improvement with similar sized models over at least 10 years, I fear it is the latter.

I’d love any additional insight, just for my piece of mind.

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