Recommended Desktop Computer for Sketchup

I was wondering if anyone had recommendations on a desktop computer. It has been so LONG since I’ve purchased a computer and I don’t remember what all the specs mean anymore. I am not afraid of spending a lot to get something with some longevity. PLEASE HELP!

Just got a new rig at work…well last year (September)…
Dell Precision 3630
Intel i7-8700 up to 4.6 GHz 6 cores/12 threads
32 GB Ram
512 M.2 PCIe SSD
Nvidia RTX 2080
Win 10 Pro

About $2k
Runs Revit, AutoCAD, SketchUp Pro, simlab with no issues what so ever. Not saying get a Dell just that these specs work well.

Heres what I recommend. Basically a mid to-high-spec gaming PC but with quality parts (brands like Asus Strix or Gigabye Aorus) suitable for 8+ hours a day use.
Alienware and HP Omen offer models that work but there are many good options.

Most major brands offer something with the following spec. But getting one built for you by a local PC shop is also a good idea.

Nvidia RTX 2070 super.
Asus or Aorus brand motherboard.
tel i7 9700k CPU or AMD Ryzen 3700x
32" 4k monitor.
32gb RAM
1TB SSD drive
850watt “platinum” or “gold”-rated power supply
A decent CPU cooler (waterpump with radiator or a large Nocuta (brand) fan cooler)
Logitech G pro wireless mouse.
And a mid tower case that looks really sweet!

If you’re doing rendering or realtime animation then an upgrade to an nvidia RTX 2080super is worthwhile.

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There are many threads on this forum on this topic so you might want to search out a few. You should also take a look at this:

It’s important to think of what else you might use the machine for. For example, multi-threads will do nothing for SU in its current form. But it would if you wanted to export to rendering software.

While true, the fastest CPUs ARE the multi-threaded ones. So it’s pretty much a given. Currently the best single thread performance comes from an i9-10900k cpu with 10 cores and 20 threads :wink:

The sweet spot seems the be the i5-10600k with a 3,004 CPU PassMark core at $285. Which still has 6 cores/12 threads.

Fair point. But the OP referred to longevity, by which I presume she means she won’t have to upgrade for a long time. She doesn’t tell us what size of file she might want to handle as that presumably has a bearing on whether the fastest processor is relevant. Since my creaky old late 2012 Mac still handles current versions of SU with little problem, I would expect almost any modern replacement could be expected to last just as long as mine has.

From what I have gleaned from other posts on the subject, having plenty of RAM and a powerful (and compatible) video card are just as important, as is solid state storage (SSDs).

And I guess we can’t predict how SU will develop in future. Maybe it will take advantage of multi-threading one day.


Do you have anything against having a desktop machine built or even building it yourself? You can get more computer for the buck that way and it won’t have a bunch of junk your don’t need installed on it.

I think all the parts add up. Why have a high end cpu and card and then NOT use the fastest ssd you can get? Any bottleneck will soon show.

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I looked into that when I last went shopping, but I found that a ready-made “gaming” desktop was somewhat cheaper. Building or having it built would become the cheaper option when looking for a “workstation” that has things (like a quadro-type graphics card) that actually don’t benefit SketchUp.

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Maybe that’s a location thing. I found the desktop computers I’ve built or had built were less expensive. None of them are “workstation” computers.

I don’t see how ANY hand-built PC can be cheaper than an OEM. How can ANY shop have MORE buying power than Dell, HP, etc. Then factor in the OEM price of Windows (all but free). Unless you are getting discounted or sub-par items I just don’t see how it can be done.
Example: Dell XPS 8930 = $1,450
RTX 2070
16 GB ram
512 GB m.2
1 TB
Windows 10

From (about the best prices)
i7-9700 $320
RTX 2070 Super $510 (median price)
16 gb DDR4 2660 $100
512 gb m.2 $63
1TB HHD $44
Asus 1151 mother board $356 (median price)
case $90
PS $200
DVD R/W $20
Wireless card $40
Windows 10 $110
Total = $1,853

You’re correct though not all OEM represent excellent value.
The main reason to go custom is that you get your choice of quality parts and your favourite mouse/keyboard/monitor/case etc.

The second reason is quality. Top gaming motherboards some with much better features (bios, overclocking, better audio, more USB-C connectors, better cooling and power delivery, more upgrade slots). How many OEMs even spec decent CPU coolers or powersupplies? Or have cases which are truely easy to upgrade?

And finally you don’t have to deal with OEM software which makes upgrading a chore and can do things like install old video drivers etc.

In my experience of pro use, custom gaming PCs almost always outperform and outlast OEM machines, and if a part does fail out of warranty it’s a more simple process to replace .

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I’ve had no issues with business/professional level OEM PCs at work over the years. In fact my current home box is an older Dell Precision T1700. I did upgrade the PS to run the GTX650Ti I installed.
Now if you are talking about some $300 box from Walmart/Bestbuy then yes I agree, those are not as good nor are they on the same level as business/professional grade machines. The Dell XPS I quoted above is not a cheap and poorly built machine. It also does not have a ton of junk OEM software to uninstall. Has plenty of expansion bays but who really does that any more? These video drivers issues that some seem to have just baffles me. I just don’t see these issues and at times I wonder if they are just examples of self-inflicted problems.
Now if you want some uber (typo) cool one-off PC then rock on! To each their own :wink:

Who doesnt want uber cool one-off PCs?! :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t disagree with you.
OEMs do work as intended and are reliable within their warranty period (otherwise they would get warranty claims that would put them out of business), but you often do pay a lot if you pick and choose your parts ($3000 for an Alienware) and you still forfeit options to upgrade as tech develops, for example by adding a 2nd video card, 2 more sticks of RAM, or adding several hard drives if you wish to store backups of video files.

There are unfortunately a lot of bad traits that OEM manufacturers use which make their PCs difficult to work on (for parts replacement/upgrades). A lot of this is value engineering but some of it is actually planned obsolescene.
I’ll just grab a couple of images from the internet (very quickly) to demonstrate.

Gaming PC case = lots of space, easy access to everything, standardised cables and mounting positions, lots of power ‘headroom’ for upgrades, lots of mounting options for coolers, etc. You can do anything on this platform (including overclocking) and many of the parts will still be with you 10 years from now.

OEM PC = cramped, strange plastic brackets and limited (or no) mounting positions for today’s (very) l large GPUs and cooling systems. The PC likely comes with some low-spec options (cooling, ram, psu) and - at worst - proprietry connectors, and has non-modular cables. Upgrading this PC would be a real pain in the butt. Bios may not even accept CPU upgrades or overclocking.

This isnt limited to cheap $300 machines, but also applies to some high end ones like the Alienware Aurora, HP Z-workstations, Lenovo Thinkstations (picture #2) etc.
HP Omen desktop PCs are probably the best OEMs I’ve come across in terms of consistent quality of parts, layout and price/performance.


Ha, I’ve still got one of those Lenovos at work. Great boat anchor (weight)! I did disable the RAID, install an SSD and a fresh copy of Win10 Pro and it’s like it got a new life! But it’s still running :wink: Not a Lenovo fan btw. Not going to disagree that a good gaming PC won’t make a great CAD/3D machine becaus they will. Yes the HP Omen is a good OEM. If I go into the office tomorrow I’ll take a pic of my new Dell. Good discussion Sam :wink: