Recommended SketchUp Laptop Specs

I’m about to be employed and my new boss is wondering what kind of laptop I’d need to do my interior design work. I’d only really need to be using SketchUp and V-Ray.
He’s suggested;

16" WS-M IC-T i9-13900HX RTX4060

  • 16” 2560x1600 100% SRGB
  • Intel® Core™ i9-13900HX
  • 24 Cores & 32 Threads
  • GeForce RTX™ 4060
  • 64GB DDR5 4800MHz
  • 2x M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 / 4.0
  • 358 x 268 x 26 mm (WxDxH)

Is something like this suitable? Or is there anything with the same budget that would outperform it?

Thanks for the help!


What is the budget?

Sounds very good, with even some future-proofing included.

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It’s ok but I’d prefer a laptop with an i7 or i5 and a more powerful gpu, i9 is overkill, sketchup uses just 1core and for rendering, the 4060 is faster than the i9, if you find a laptop or if you can configure it with an i7 and a 4070 or 4080, you’ll have more performance than with the i9 and 4060, cause the single core performance of an i9 and an i7 is almost the same but between a 4060 and a 4070 there’s a big difference in performance.

You’ll be fine as Vray can use hybrid CPU and GPU rendering.

If you’re rendering often or for longer periods then get a laptop with really good cooling and check the actual benchmark performance in games, since many laptops with high specs get so hot they go into heat-management mode, and then run slower…

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AK_SAM is 100% correct that thermal performance matters when it comes to rendering and other heat intensive apps. I find that the best way to check that sort of thing is to check the benchmarks each model can get with a high end game, just like he suggested. Most popular games will be tested on different computers by the manufacturer so checking the average frames per second of something is usually a good way to figure out where something falls on the performance metric.

If you really want to get into the most detailed performance of a computer though, you will need something like 3DMark to test it under a sustained load as games tend to vary in intensity as game play can be a bit more dynamic and thus results may vary from one moment to another.

Officially I am however unable to make any official recommendation on a hardware manufacturer or brand but I can say that the requirements for running SketchUp can be found here:

I can’t speak for V-ray though as that has a different development team.

We get so many “is this laptop good enough” requests.
…and hear frustrations by users (some of whom have upgraded unnecessarily to latest GPUs etc).
Common understanding of hardware specifications seems to be falling in recent years as more people (and marketing) focuses on mobile devices etc.

The current spec recommendations are not helpful at all if somebody is considering purchase of a new computer, or even an old one. Why not explain the role of the CPU, GPU and other components in SketchUp performance for large model, rendering, Layout, etc. It wouldn’t take many sentences.

Do you know the last time a 1ghz CPU was sold in a PC?
Pentium M, released in 2003. For a desktop it was the Pentium 3, released in 2001. Windows XP was the operating system of choice, and Google Search was fairly new at that time. Some SketchUppers weren’t even born yet.

Impressive that SketchUp actually runs in that environment , but “1GHZ” or “2GHZ” ? when we all know that’s fairly meaningless as a measure of system performance.

What about a “3d class video card” with 1GB Ram? You have to go back to a GTX610M to find that, over 12 years ago. So it’s not really a “current generation AMD or NVIDIA” option.

I get that minimums are, technically, the bare minimum…but maybe adding some tiers eg “Small models with 1m edges or less” and work up to very large/complex models (maybe a couple of visual examples of each to help people out).


You are of course 100% correct that the specs are a little vague and I agree that we should better quantify the requirements for SketchUp on our site @AK_SAM. I also wish we were allowed to make recommendations on hardware as PC building and tinkering with existing PCs has been a hobby of mine for a number of years and I am getting pretty decent at it too so I could definitely offer some good tips on hardware. Legal is pretty firm on this issue though so I can’t offer official advice.

I would personally be quite happy to have that laptop and would expect it to run most programs you throw at it quite well and it definitely meets the system requirements for SketchUp on a hardware level.

If you want to keep talking specs @joseph3, I am sure that there are a lot of people around here who have some opinions on what is best and what is overkill for different tasks. I just wish I could be one of them too.

I realize SU cannot and should not recommend a specific product. Why not provide benchmarking of various combinations of hardware using Intel, AMD and Apple processors? This would also include several GPU combinations. This should help clear the air for those who are clueless about hardware. This does not have to be a complete guide but rather using some of the later products currently on the market

SketchUp would have to update this at least twice a year to stay a bit up to date…
Seams like a lot of work…

I realize SU cannot and should not recommend a specific product.

Almost every other company does it… Autodesk go so far as to certify H.P. machines (Zbooks and the like) for AutoCAD/Revit use.

For a long time the (un)official recommendation for SketchUp was an Nvidia graphics card. I wonder if AMD got angry and threatened legal action, which is why we don’t have recommendations?

Now we’re about to see CPU manufacturing coming out of Chinese, Indian and Russian so it’ll get waaaaay more confusing for the consumer, when one “current generation 5ghz CPU” performs 69x faster than a similar-looking “current generation 5ghz cpu.”

The answer to all of this is a reasonable benchmark utility for SketchUp and layout…something that benchmarks different performance aspects (like how Windows 7 did it…that was very helpful!)
Then the users can post it online and it’s like 3dmark results…we can see which CPUs etc are getting good scores.
The problem is (with 3d mark and other gaming benchmarks) people overclock and do various things to cheat the results making them annoying useless for hardware comparisons.

I would personally be quite happy to have that laptop and would expect it to run most programs you throw at it quite well and it definitely meets the system requirements for SketchUp on a hardware level.

Well, it is a top tier system… Probably overkill for SketchUp & Layout, for 95% of users.
Something costing 1/2 the price of that laptop would perform only a few % slower.
People may like to know that.

Sorry for derailing the thread btw…!

@joseph3 That spec is good but Francis is correct - Vray would benefit from better GPU.
The high spec RAM and CPU are making that machine expensive so if price is a factor then find one with a better GPU and an i7 13700 cpu.

You mean something like this?

The only issue with the Test.time-display is one needs to purchase a PC or Laptop in order to use the utility. The users are clueless what to purchase without some guidelines.

@RLGL The results from other users can provide guidelines…

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For being DDR5 the speed is slow, it looks more like DDR4, if it’s the firsts DDR5 modules that were released, it has high latency.

The theory is good but the actual results dont say much about system performance across a range of sketchup/layout functions. And the test is prone to user input, therefore has unreliable results.

Ive used Test time display for a lot of testing, along with other tests on larger models, such as timing longer operations (opening outliner, peforming sandbox operations om complex terrain, importing large images), sending,rendering and printing from layout, etc.
Its not difficult to set up a small battery of tests to compare two or more systems.
Problem is that we need that to be turned into one simple executable.

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Well since you’re also looking at Vray, they have an official benchmark on their site so you can look into that :slight_smile: