Need advice on buying new laptop for Sketchup work

Dear Sketchup family,

I am close to purchasing my very own laptop for Sketchup work.
I’m using my own money, and my budget is quite limited.

I’m leaning heavily towards Dell, as I’m pretty used to their (fairly) reliable support and build quality.
I have heard that getting a gaming laptop is an affordable way to “get into the game”.

I’ve found a refurbished G15 on Dell’s website, and here are the specs:

PROCESSOR: Intel Core 12th Generation i5-12500H Processor (12 Core, Up to 4.50GHz, 18MB Cache, 45W)

SOFTWARE: Windows 11 Home

512GB PCIe M.2 NVMe Class 35 Solid State Drive Hard Drive


15.6 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Wide View Angle Anti-Glare 120Hz 250-nits LED-Backlit Non-Touch Narrow Border Display LCD


Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 2x2 802.11ax 160MH NETWORK

The asking price is roughly 700USD.
I’m assuming that the graphic card is compatible with OpenGL standards.

What do you folks think? Are the specs adequate and provide a relatively stable and smooth working experience? Sometime in the future, I might upgrade some of the components to boost performance, but for now, this is what I can afford without having to take a bank loan.

Looking forward to hearing your advice and comments!
Thank you in advance.

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Dell machines are usually overpriced, it also depends on what kind of work are you gonna do with your new laptop. What softwares beside sketchup are you gonna use? in case you need to use another software, are you going to do rendering or just 3D modeling? And what’s your budget?

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Hi Francis,

Thanks for replying! I’ll be using Microsoft Office stuff like PowerPoint and Excel, a lite version of AutoCAD, and an online version of Photoshop called Photopea…

My budget is currently around the 700USD mark… any more than that, and I’ll have to take a loan

At some point in the future, I’d love to add V-Ray when I can afford it. I’m hoping some hardware upgrades will make the laptop able to cope

In that case, I don’t think you could find a new one with the specs of the Dell refurbished you already checked, I would go for it. The closest you can get on a new one is this.


Hi Francisco,

You’ve been very helpful :+1:

I checked out the HP (the Victus was an early choice) and it looked really good. “Brand new” is always better :sweat_smile: However, I’ll need to add another 85USD to get the Victus :money_mouth_face:

So now, all I have to do is wait for my paycheck!

Thanks again!

Before buying check if you can upgrade the ram and how much ram can you put in it, cause nowadays 8gb is almost nothing, if you have a big file and a couple google chrome tabs opened you can run out of it, 16gb would be the minimum 32 would be perfect for 3D work, for office automation it’s fine with 8gb.

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IMO the Dell would be quite OK. If your models are very big the RAM might perhaps be upgraded.


Hi Anssi,

Thanks for your reply!
What file size would be considered “big”?
The largest file size I’ve recently achieved is roughly 280MB

(I’m currently issued with a high-spec Dell Precision, so it’s pretty smooth sailing)

Just bought new Dell XPS (desktop) for work. XPS 8950 (white chassis) 12th gen i9-12900K, 64 gb ram, 1 tb M.2 and 1 tb hdd and RTX 3080. Completely satisfied with this purchase. This is my 3rd Dell at work and they all have been rock solid machines. In fact the other 2 are still working but I get a new PC every 4 years so I just down grade them to other uses.
That laptop sounds like a good deal for $700. You might want to upgrade the M.2 to a 1 tb model and double the memory to 32 gb but I think they’ll be fine for the time being. Good luck.

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Hi Sean,

Congratulations on your new purchase! It sounds like a monster :grinning:
I’m definitely going to give it a few upgrades further down the line, just got to save up!

Thanks and best regards

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Good luck Rudy

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What kind of work do you do? The gpu you have is a very good one, but in my opinion and for my work an i9 or Ryzen 9 are overkill, most of the programs I use don’t take advantage of multi threads, I prefer to get an i5 or i7 and get a better gpu which is a lot more helpful than having 16 or 24 cores.


Hi Francisco,

Here’s an example of what I do on a daily basis:

I propose furniture solutions for my clients and translate them into a 3D visualization so that they will understand how things fit together in their spaces, their relative size and how they are laid out :ok_hand:


Nice. Do you design the furniture or just make them fit in the required room?



I do a bit of both… Usually you’ll be able to find most of what you need in the Warehouse.
If I can’t, I’ll have to visit the showroom and take measurements and translate that into a 3D component.

You can check out my stuff, just search for “Rudy A.”
There are a few other folks with that name, I use Jouaquin Phoenix’s “Joker” as my profile pic :ok_hand:

I also have to build specific combinations of furniture like kitchens, media units etc…


Hi Francisco, I have several types of work that I do for my employer. My main job is “Space” manager for a large facility (5.8 M gsf). This is managed with a database that is attached to our CAD files. When the CAD files are updated the database automatically updates with it. They are managed at the building level at each floor. Well over 100+ buildings in total across several sites. The database can query and report out on this space as well through a web portal. When I am not managing this I also do planning/design work on internal projects. In addition to this I will be called upon to do special projects that can include 3D design and rendering. SketchUp is my 3D application of choice and 2 of my rendering solutions are CPU based, Ambient Occlusion and SimLab Composer, so I need at the cores I can throw at them. If you are going to need a fast CPU you might as well get a good GPU to go with it. I also am the CAD manager for our Planning and Construction department and manage 3 licenses of the AutoDesk AEC Collection as well as 5 seats of AutoCAD LT. I support the users of these licenses with any troubleshooting that they might need. I love my job and I am approaching 13 years here and see no reason to not retire from here in another 13 years. I am in control of my own small departmental budget and can get pretty much whatever I need as long as I can justify it’s need and use. Here are some work images…


Hi Sean,

That looks like an enormous amount of work! I salute you, sir!!
Globally, my employer is moving towards Revit… my department is possibly the very last holdout of Sketchup. In the time that I was till managing my team, I had to fight to keep us using Sketchup!
At our level, we just didn’t need the level of complexity that Revit brings.

Something more relevant for us would be to get trained on V-Ray. Nowadays, it’s a given that most ID firms provide photo-real perspectives for almost nothing.

Here’s a sample of what I “tried” to achieve with V-Ray…

It’s pretty amateurish, but I was happy with it :grinning:


Nice work Rudy! Yeah, all of our deliverables are in Revit as well and I have added into our contracts that in addition to a PDF set I want ALL sheets in CAD format also. This just help us with the building life cycle going forward. I have Revit and I can dig into it enough to be dangerous! Good luck on your V-Ray education. I’ve seen some great looking images from it.

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I recommend you to try Twinmotion and D5, those rendering softwares are way more intuitive and easy to use than Vray, and you can create very realistic renders in a fraction of the time that Vray takes to do it.



I’ll check them out :+1:

Edit: It seems like I’ll have to open an Epic Games account, no worries! :grin:

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