Macbook Air or a Windows laptop i5


Hi, I am Kevin.

I am new here in Sketchup Community.
I would like to ask if Macbook Air is good for Sketchup + Vray or should I get a Windows laptop?
What model should I get?
*I have a limited budget.

Note: I also use Photoshop and Illustrator for my other projects.

Thank you. Hoping to get your advice!

Hardware Purchasing Advice For SketchUp & LayOut [wiki]
Reccomended laptop

See topics:

Macbook Airs have chipset-integrated Intel video, which have been experiencing issues on recent SketchUp versions, to the point that on PC, the 32-bit edition must be used instead of the 64-bit.

General consensus is, if the platform supports Nvidia video, either built-in or with expansion, get it. Note that AMD/ATI video has also been problematic for many endusers.

IMHO, generally speaking, hardware-wise, Macs cost twice as much as comparable PCs.


Thank you sir.

If you would buy a Windows laptop, with a medium budget for an i5, what would you recommend?


I don’t know what your idea of “medium” is.

What is important to you re: display size ?
11" / 13" / 15" / 17"

Touchscreen ?

Storage ?
500GB / 750GB / 1TB ?


Would a DELL laptop have a good system to run Skechup? I use a PC at my office and want the best Windows laptop to take to the Base Camp in June.

Any suggestions?


Depends upon the model. Post a model number and we can look up the specifications. Cheap Dell “Student Grade” notebooks (like sold in Walmart) are already obsolete. (I know, I have one.)


Thanks for your reply,
I’m not trying to be cheap, just want the best equipment to use Sketchup. It needs to be a laptop. I’m looking at the Latitude E6540
4th gen Intel core i5 processor. I guess I just need to be told what can be the best fiction with the best video card and speed. I’d like to reach for the largest screen laptop.
Thanks for any suggestions, mm not very computer savvy

Mark C DeMille MCD


That looks to be a rather low-end laptop. With only 4GB RAM and a small HD. It also has integrated Intel 4600 graphics. Basically it looks to be a Office app PC. The only positive I see is a Pro edition of Windows. (But it seems strange they are advertising Win7. That is 2 version behind. Are these obsolete clearance units?)

Generally, you should be looking at “gaming” laptops that have better graphics, or at least a slot where you can have a discrete graphics card plugged in. I’d always recommend Nvidia and avoid AMD/ATI graphics at all cost.



One more time, checking this out.

Asus - ROG 17.3" Laptop - Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive - Metallic
· Model: GL752VWDH71

Thanks for your input,


MilleStone Marble & Tile, Inc. (760) 341-7525 (phone)
72091 Woburn Court, Ste D (760) 341-7527 (fax)
Thousand Palms, CA 92276


the Asus with i7, matte Full HD display and GeForce GTX 960M is fine. The only thing which could be improved would be a fast SSD as e.g. the Samsung Evo/Pro 850 or Crucial BX/MX. Which can be swapped later on too because case can be opened.

Alternative from Dell would be the Alienware gaming series or the Precision workstation series.

P.S.: please remove giant and therefore obtrusive signature.


Thank you responding,

And also letting me know about that obtrusive logo, my bad☹

Thanks for your help,

Mark DeMille


@Oldstonedude: Agreed


Hi Dan - sorry to bump this old thread, but you seem to be the man in the know! Hoping you can help!

As my old laptop is not up to the job (running Pro, largest drawings 6-8Mb so far), my company has agreed to purchase a new one which is better suited to using Sketchup.

The proposed specification is as follows:

  • Dell Latitude E6540
  • 15.6" (1920 x 1080)
  • i5 4310M – 2.7Ghz CPU
  • 16GB Ram
  • AMD Radeon 2GB graphics
  • 256 SSD
  • Office Home & Business 2016

Would this suffice or do you think I should push for better spec (i.e. is the AMD an issue, CPU quick enough)?

Thank you in anticipation!


No, do not buy some old 4th generation i5.
Basically your looking at overstock or used refurbished machines if it’s a 4th gen CPU.

Get a new 6th or 7th generation.

And get Nvidia graphics, the best you can.

I don’t endorse any particular brand, model, etc.


Hi Dan, thank you for your prompt response, really appreciated.

Last questions!! - does it really matter if it is an i5 or an i7 (Sketchup runs on single core I understand) and is there a minimum Nvidia graphics card that is recommended?

As this is a work computer, we are trying to limit the cost obviously!

Thanks again!


If you will only be doing simple modeling, and no rendering, then you might get by with an i5.
Base and burst speed would be more important.

I’d think if you go with an i5 machine, you might be limited with the choice of discrete graphics. Get the best available in the model line. Probably should be something up in the 800-900 M series.

P.S - Just noticed this is a Macbook Air thread.
Should have started a new trhead for this PC / Dell question.


Thanks again Dan.

It is a Macbook or Windows i5 - thought it was close enough!! :slight_smile:


Okay, I’ll let ya’ off this time … :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


For those of you who are getting quite confused with regards to choice of CPU, see below:

Well written explanation of how complicated a question it really is!

When you then start to consider Sketchup in all this, I wonder (as Sketchup apparently only runs on on core) if it is a logical decision to go for say a dual core rather than a four core (assuming all other specifications were the same)… or to put another way; when comparing similar speed/spec processors, would having more cores actually restrict the performance of Sketchup?..

Maybe someone with more than the limited knowledge of the current specs could confirm this?..


if Dell and below 1k bucks have a look at the ‘Dell Inspiron 15’ (7559) too, e.g. with:

• intel Core i7-6700HQ
• nVidia GeForce GTX 960M
• non-glare IPS display
• illuminated keyboard
• maintenance hatch (!)

intel Core i5-4310M vs. intel Core i7-6700HQ