Microsoft surface book i5 256gb

Wondering if anyone can help me?

Is this laptop powerful enough for use with Sketch up 2016 - use is garden design - pretty basic stuff, a few plants but largely basic geometry.

This is spec…

Software: Windows 10 Pro, Microsoft Office 30-day trial
Exterior: Silver magnesium casing
Dimensions: 232.1 x 312.3 x 22.8mm
Weight: Up to 1.6kg
Storage: 256GB
Display: 13.5” PixelSense display, 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI) with 10 point multi-touch
Battery Life: Up to 12 hours of video playback
Processor: 6th Gen Intel Core i5 Processor
Graphics: Intel HD graphics
Security: TPM chip for enterprise security
Memory: 8GB RAM
Wireless: 802.11ac WiFi Wireless networking, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible, Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology

Randomly I’ve a £2000 Selfridges voucher (won in a raffle!) and this is the best / most powerful laptop they sell apart from MacBooks. I’m pretty basic with Windows XP and don’t trust my ability to learn a new operating system.

Any advice very gratefully recieved!! Thank you.

Hi, I don’t know much about the surface book but I know a ton about garden design models, and the one thing I know is they can get big… recently finished a 200mb model, laptop wouldn’t run it, had to move to the desktop to complete. this lap top running i7 quad core with invidia 650m 2 gb graphics card. The better the processor you can get the better SU should run!

I’m using one of those, and it’s a great computer. It can handle quite a bit: probably any sort of
residential garden model. Since you are buying in a physical store, perhaps you can visit, and ask for
permission installing sketchup temporarily. Then download a complex model and see. It’s probably all good for you.

Very kind to reply.

Turns out you cant use that laptop for very much 3D wise. Graphics card pretty poor.

Graphics card is least used part of system, CPU is where you want the power. you will not be running graphics volume as if you would be running video games… the whole thing is in computation so the bigger the cpu you can get the better. All the rendering programs (if you get into that style of presentation) rely on the CPU with the exception of V-Ray which does a bit of gpu rendering. Don’t get me wrong, I always get the best G-card I can afford but the last comp I setup we spent the budget on the CPU that is where the work is done.

Graphics cards are a big hairy deal with SU.

A 100% OpenGL compliant graphics driver delivers the OpenGL function calls SU uses when hardware acceleration is enabled in SU. Graphics cards with dedicated RAM can process OpenGL functions up to 3000x faster than system RAM and CPU processing the same thing. But with integrated graphics, even if the driver provides OpenGL functionality, the graphics chip will be sharing the MB RAM with the CPU. So some speed, at least, will be compromised.

There have been good reports of Surface Pro running SU. If the driver in above unit cannot provide OpenGL support, hardware acceleration can be disabled in SU and the CPU can do all the work.

Just a dumb/impossible idea: When SU is set to use software OpenGL, couldn’t that be delegated to a separate thread. Most computers today have several processor cores that usually sit idle while SketchUp is using just one of them.

Reflects probably my complete ignorance of programming.


I wonder if it would make any difference. The processing in SketchUp is largely sequential in nature, so there isn’t much that can take place in parallel. The advantage from hardware acceleration is because the GPU is designed to do certain graphics operations much faster than a general-purpose CPU, not that it does them in parallel with the CPU.