Rendering in sketchup 2017 maxes out CPU but not GPU


How’s it going? There’s a user at our business that has a intel hd 630 graphics card in his laptop, when he tries to render something it maxes out the CPU but the GPU is barely used.

Is this normal? Can you force Sketchup to use the GPU on board? I’m new to Sketchup so I’m trying to figure this out.

If there are any settings that need to be tweaked can someone please let me know. Any help would be most appreciated :slight_smile:


I think it will depend on the renderer being used, for example, THEA can render with either or both CPU/GPU in the settings.
You should try to get the renderer info so that someone familiar with that could help.

Ahh ok, so the renderer is the sketchup plugin., Renderin3 from the website. Does that help?

Yes I see the render engine you are using. Unfortunately I am not familiar with that one and I trust you have tried their forum as I think they would better be suited to help. But there may be someone here that is familiar with it.

Their system requirements say that you need:

3D class Video Card with 1GB of memory or higher. Please ensure that the video card driver supports OpenGL version 1.5 or higher and up to date.

It may be that the laptop you are using does not have a graphics card that has those specs and as such it will not do anything for the rendering but leave the CPU to do the work. Many renderers make use of the GPU for speed. It may be worth checking the specs of the graphics card and maybe upgrading it?

If you do have a card with these specs and its not working its always good to check yo have the latest drivers installed too.

Otherwise you could check the documentation of the renderer to see if there is and option to use CPU or GPU or both ( maybe %), but I suspect it would be configured by default to use any available resources. Sometimes there are options like this so you can assign only so much horsepower from the GPU/CPU to the renderer so that the computer is still able to be used for other work while the render is in process. Hope you figure it out.

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many renderers are still running on the CPU only, which is in this case no disadvantage using a lame integrated GPU as the intel HD 630.


Actually, the HD 630 GPU is integrated into (within) the Intel CPU package, creating what the chip industry calls an APU. So it is not a discrete graphics card.

Some higher end notebooks (and workstations) have a dedicated card or GPU sub-system onboard. You can use a utility from the manufacturer to set SketchUp to use this “high performance GPU” (instead of the integrated GPU inside the APU.)

  • For Nvidia GPUs this is usually called the Nvidia Control Panel which is accessible via the right-click context menu on the Desktop.

  • For AMD GPUs there have been several control utilities, among them is the AMD Catalyst Control Center (legacy) and the newer Radeon Software Crimson Edition.

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All GPU rendering systems I know only work with Nvidia graphics cards.

Wow, thanks for all the replies! The integrated graphics card doesn’t seem like a great option to have staff working on, but the company I’ve just started working for didn’t really know what they were doing and were ordering laptops for everyone and not really checking the specs. The comments about the GPU being integrated into the CPU and the fact that a lot of rendering programs don’t use GPU is helpful. So, in this case the best option could be to use a more powerful CPU, or use a rendering program that could use the GPU?

I’m now buying workstations with dedicated graphics cards like the Quadro P2000 and Xeon processors.

workstations will be great…

The rendering program you have “Renderin” can use the GPU, it just isn’t able to make use of it on the hardware you currently have.

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Thanks,do you know if they actually have a list of supported hardware like Autocad? the system requirements were pretty generic

Yep, this is as much as they say, I guess they don’t want to promote a particular manufacturer and also some components may play more nicely with others so its often best for the user to tailor the various components to one another… But these are the likely the minimum requirements. GPU’s can get expensive. I’m using nvidia as these seem to be most popular but that doesn’t exclude other options.

If you have an IT person it may be possible to set-up a local “render farm” so that rendering can be spread among all of your machines? There are also online service s that can do this work too.

If for SketchUp, you are way better of with an intel late generation i7 or higher with high clock speed in combination with a Nvidia Geforce (1060ti and up)
Compared to the (low)clocked Xenon and the quadro ramge.

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I wonder why large company IT managers do not press the makers of “workstation” laptops like HP and Lenovo to provide models with higher-end GeForce graphics cards as an option instead of the slow and expensive Quadro models that are basically not needed by current 3D CAD/BIM or rendering software. “Gaming” laptops seem to have features that do not recommend them to corporate buyers.

Sometimes it’s the way those gaming laptops “look”.

I hear what you are saying but these guys use Autocad a lot more then Skecthup on their machines, so I think the Xeon with the Quadro makes sense from what I’ve read, although there’s a lot of “ideas” about this… I think someone suggested using a render farm or dedicated rendering machine, makes more sense two me if autocad and renderin\sketchup use hardware differently.

So, what would you recommend for a rendering machine config and a autocad config?

Merely ‘value for the bucks’ the nvidia geforce range will give you more flexibility, investment wise, I think.

Been using AutoCAD professionally since '96 and there is NO reason to buy a Xeon and Quadro for it. You will get the same if not better performance using a current i7 cpu based machine with a GTX 1080 gpu for less money.
Dam, for $5k just get the Alienware Area-51 with Core i9 7980XE (18-cores and 36 threads), GTX 1080 8 GB, 32 GB DDR4, 512 GB M.2 PCIe NVME + 2 TB HDD :wink:

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OK, I’ll look into the corei7, that sounds like a good idea but i managed to get a similar setup as above for $2700 AUD from Dell with a p2000 graphics card and not $5000 AUD from mwave. Which is pretty darn good. I definitely hear what you are saying, but there are so many opinions on this its hard to tell what is going on. The p2000 is about 20% cheaper then the 1080 in Australia, is it worth the extra money?

Also, looking for some advice on machine specs to render, using renderin3 . We’ve got probably 6 people who need to do rendering and they are waiting around a lot while their machine does its thing.

Also, i found out that Renderin3 only uses CPU do to the rendering. Is this optimal, is it not better for a rendering program to use the GPU? If we continue to use Renderin3 then it sounds like a high ghz processing speed is the way to go. Also, if it’s better to ues the gpu, can anyone recommend another program?