New Mac book pro suggestions

Hello I’m a long time Sketchup User. I use to work on 50/100 mb projects for music spaces and recoding studios… nothing too complex …

I can run SU2020 and SU2021 very smooth on my 2010 Mac Pro , 3,33 GHz 6 Core-CPU, 32gB RAM, 4Gb video Card .

Since SU2020 I 'm experiencing problem on my laptop MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), 2,2 GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core, 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3, Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB … everything is slow and laggy… on SU2021 things get even much slower !!

Do you think s that normale or are there problems ?

For other reasons I’m planning to buy a new Mac Book Pro , could you suggest me a minimum configuration in order to be able to work smooth like I do on my Mac Pro desktop ?

Thank you !!

SketchUp (like all CAD programs) only runs on a single processor, it does not (cannot) multithread. So the number of cores is irrelevant, it still matters for other programs and for doing things on the side while SketchUp is running. GIven that SketchUp is running on one core the main factors effecting lag are: clock speed, ram, hard drive speed, and graphic card.

Clock speed is the basic speed limit of any given processor, the faster the better. 2.2 is low but workable. With turbo boost macs can overclock and run faster but as the processor heats up they throttle back down, especially in laptops. Get the fastest clock speed you can afford.

Ram is good, 16 is workable, 32 or 64 is better. In Mac you get one chance to decide as it is not upgradable, so go big from the beginning. If I were buying today i would go minimum 32.

Hard Drive speed is important for loading and working on big models. Obviously a 100 or 200 gb file is bigger than your ram can hold, so the processor is constantly writing and reading from the harddrive to load and work with bigger files. Solid state drives are becoming the standard and accesses info much quicker than spinning plates. Again, not upgradable, so go big, 1tb min?

SketchUp lives and dies by the graphics card. For instance some low end macbook airs only the integrated graphics card struggle to run it at all. You need a good quality discrete GPU (not integrated card). The good news is that most new MBPs have strong discrete cards (I think some older 13" did not so watch out if you’re goin used), Apples choices are often not the most powerful in the world like some pc gaming laptops, but are tried and true and they tend not to have the constant driver updates that plague the windows systems. Vram, get as much as you can afford, minimum 2gb?

As far as what to choose things are a bit up in the air now with the release of the M1 chip. By all accounts the M1 even running rosetta 2 is blisteringly fast and once SketchUp is ported to M1 (fingers crossed) it looks like it will be the fastest system to own on the planet short of deep blue. There are a couple ways to look at this, either hold out for the M1 MBP which is surely on the way, and take a chance to own your own rocket ship, or wait for the glut of perfectly good high end intel based MBP’s that get dumped on the used marked once the M1 drops and all the kids run to the apple store for the latest thing. Honestly I’m not sure where I stand…

All opinion, your mileage may vary.


Hello , thank you for your detailed suggestions !!
Just one doubt, you say :

either hold out for the M1 MBP which is surely on the way,

From what I know MBP already are on M1 , is that correct ??

There is one 13 inch MacBook Pro. Here are rumors about a couple of models expected later in the year:

The newest MBP has an integrated chip. I wonder if Apple will stick to this trend on future M chips, or design their own discreet GPU. I’m thinking that they might stay integrated for the next gen, meaning all new MPBs in the near future will have integrated GPUs. And that probably won’t be an issue, based on what we’ve seen so far. Can’t wait to see what happens.

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Thank you for updating … I’m very pleasured to see more ports, mag safe and NO TOUCHBAR !!!

So as I understood ( sorry English is not my native language ) actual MBPs do have a M1 processor but next MBPs suppose to have integrated GPUs and other nice goodies as above…

Is that right ?

The current M1 Mac models are the Mac Mini, Air and 13" MacBook Pro. All have integrated graphics. The current 16" Macbook Pro model hasn’t been upgraded to Apple Silicon yet and is still running an Intel CPU with various flavors of AMD Radeon Pro GPU’s.

The expectation is that when the 16" MBP is next upgraded, it will be available with a new M1x or M2 chip with discrete graphics. What we don’t yet know is whether the GPU will be from Apple (most likely) or if they will continue with AMD. (Their irrevocably broken Nvidia relationship precludes any GeForce RTX options).

We’re also waiting on the higher-end 13" MBP models(which will likely bump to 14" for the next gen), but to date Apple has only offered integrated graphics in the 13" models.\

ETA: Apple claims that the M1 has the fastest integrated graphics available.

Graphics performance tests have suggested the M1 chip offers performance that exceeds the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and Radeon RX 560. It also earned an OpenCL score of 19305, similar to the Radeon RX 560X and Radeon Pro WX 4100.

The following article is a good overview of the current state of the M1 and includes with links to the graphics tests that produced the results above:

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Thank you , everything is much clear now !!!