Need to Know about Graphics Support Needed for SketchUp


(Apologies if this is a duplicate post. I thought I’d posted a similar question yesterday but cannot find it today.)

In the past, I’ve used a home-built desktop system that included a GEForce 9500T graphics card. That system has died due to unknown causes. I’m trying to resurrect it instead of buying a new system because retirement income doesn’t stretch to a new one.

I think the problem with my system is a failed motherboard (mobo). It might also be that the graphics card has died. I suppose that it’s also possible that my Intel Core i5 CPU died. I won’t know until I start replacing parts. I’ve checked the power supply and it’s OK. I’m pretty sure that the disk drives and SSHD are OK.

I’m reading that today’s mobos offer native video graphics support adequate to ‘most’ tasks meaning that most folks do not need to buy a graphics card, which leads up to my question. If the GEForce graphics card proves to be bad as well as the mobo, is there a mobo with onboard graphics capability that will drive SketchUp? I will need an LGA 1155 ATX (not micro or extended) with 4 DDR3 RAM slots.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions and help on this problem.


Short answer: not recommended. SketchUp runs best with a dedicated (my preference: Nvidia chipset) graphics card. Most graphics problems people post here are related to Intel integrated graphics chips.


Graphics included on a motherboard will almost always be “integrated “ with the CPU. These are notorious for issues with OpenGL features needed by SketchUp. You will be much happier with a discrete graphics card. Nvidia have the best track record with SketchUp.


This was passable “in the past”. It has the very minimum of GRAM at 512MB.
Nowadays, the recommended minimum is 1GB of GRAM.

But the more important feature is the OpenGL support.
According to the specifications at Nvidia, the 9500GT supports up to OpenGL v 2.1.
This means it will be limited to running SketchUp versions 2016 and earlier.

SketchUp 2017 and later require OpenGL 3 support.


Make sure that the CPU heatsink is not clogged with dust. This will cause the CPU is overheat and the machine will shut down.

Does the motherboard go through POST ? Do you hear any beep codes ?

IF not, the most common thing might be a damaged switching power supply circuit that supplies the CPU core voltage. It’s a combination of a monostable multivibrator and a power MOSFET along with some aluminum electrolytic storage capacitors. If you have a voltmeter you can check the output of the MOSFET to see if there is CPU core voltage being output.
The labor and time it takes to replace the surface mount components (the MV chip and the transistor) is likely to be in excess of the cost of a new old stock mobo.


Thanks a TON, Dan!

There are no beeps when I start the system. There are no ‘idiot light’ indicators on this particular mobo. I’m guessing that the mobo is fried and I’m not going to try to replace parts on the board. I will replace it. I’m thinking now about a new old stock Intel board.

I will have to live with the Nvidia card I have for awhile. I have removed and cleaned all parts; so I don’t think dust is a problem. I’ve even removed the CPU and reinstalled it with appropriate cleaning and ‘lubrication’ as I did when I first installed it.

I’ll start saving pennies for a graphics card that supports OpenGL 3.0.

Again, thank you for a timely, content full, and helpful response.


Good to know about integrated graphics! Thanks!!!



Now I’m perhaps more confused than ever before (not hard for someone past his use-by date).

In light of my previous post - considering strained retirement budget - what Nvidia GPU would you recommend? Searching has produced a lot of options and I don’t know how to evaluate them.



Even your current card supports OpenGL 3.2. The thing that might cause problems is that the newest driver available for it is about two years old.


Thank you, Anssi!
Yes, I expect to use my graphics card with a new mobo, but I’d like to identify the next one to buy when the pennies add up. Dan R. suggested an minimum of 1GB GRAM, but I’m seeing some with 2 or more GB.
Do you have a recommendation for a good one that’s not too expensive?


Why does it when the specifications I link to above (and again here,) say it supports v 2.1 ?

Is the spec page out of date ?


I might be wrong. Tried to go back to the page where I remember seeing the higher specs, but couldn’t locate it. A senior moment, perhaps.


I have them all the time. :wink: Don’t worry about it.

Reexamining the Nvidia specifications page, it has a note above the details …

Note: The below specifications represent this GPU as incorporated into NVIDIA’s reference graphics card design. Clock specifications apply while gaming with medium to full GPU utilization. Graphics card specifications may vary by Add-in-card manufacturer. Please refer to the Add-in-card manufacturers’ website for actual shipping specifications.

And … BEFORE his mobo died he had posted the specs (per Speccy) from his EVGA branded card in this post …

in which Speccy indicated OpenGL 3.0 support.

So @rabbithutch, SU2017+ may indeed work for simple models (given the half Gig of GRAM on your old card.)
Only way to tell for sure is to try and run a trial SU2017 or higher. If it doesn’t then you just run Make 2016 until you can afford a better card.

Lastly, the latest 9 series driver I could find for 64-bit Win 7 was released in Dec 2016 (v 342.01 - WHQL)