Sketchup 2016 perfomance improvements?

Hi all,

New to this forum, but not to Sketchup. Been using Sketchup professionally since 2005.
Thinking about upgrading to v.2016. I am pretty happy with v.2015. My main concern & has been for a while now, is the
speed & geometry handling of Sketchup.
Anybody out there know if 2016 has improved overall speed, & can handle more geometry than 2015?
Does 2016, as a 64 bit program, utilize more than one processor on a multi processor machine?
Can it access more ram than 2015? (2015 has access to, 5gb if I remember correctly)


1 Like

Great questions. I am a new user but have used Auto Desk Maya in college. I noticed that even though I running a 3.3 ghz processor and 16 gigs of RAM SketchUp sometimes renders very slowly. Is this an internal issue with SU ?

There were various internal tuneups done in 2016 that speed up some operations. Whether you notice or not will depend on exactly what you do. Being a 64-bit program and using more than one processor are totally separate issues. Both 2015 and 2016 are available in 64-bit versions that can use all the memory you have available. The lower limit is on 32-bit versions. No version of SketchUp uses more than one processor.

Thanks for the response.
A couple more questions:

  • I us a lot of plugins currently. Most I have downloaded from the Sketchucation website, & a few I have purchased, like Artisan, Render[in], etc. Are the plugins I am using on 2015 in general compatible with 2016?
  • Any plans in the future for Sketchup to use multi threads?



In general, there is always a risk that extensions and plugins will malfunction on a new version of SketchUp. The top-notch and active developers usually discover and fix things when a new version is released, but it sometimes takes a while and inactive developers do not post updates. It is possible that all your 2015 plugins are compatible, but the best advice is to install the latest updates instead of copying them. Fortunately, both the Extension Warehouse and sketchUcation’s plugin store have tools to make the migration go smoother.

You won’t get a definite answer about future plans for SketchUp. Outsiders like me don’t know, and Trimble employees are prohibited from discussing them outside of Non-disclosure agreements. I can tell you that multi-threading is a complex programming task that is easy to get wrong and hard to get right. It also only provides much benefit to tasks that can be split apart into pieces that can be done at the same time with minimal dependence on each other. Most of SketchUp does not fit this description.

Thanks for the your in depth response!
I guess on the plugin issue, I’ll probably do my usual; dump all of them in 2016 & update the ones that don’t work. Probably not the best way to do it, but it’s saved me some time in the past.
It does seem like getting Sketchup to use multiple processors is pretty complicated, & i appreciate you describing what you can about that issue.
I guess my main concern, & has been for years, is the overall speed & the amount of geometry that Sketchup can handle. It has improved since v.5, but not exponentially. Having said that, the great number of plugins available, esp. from individual developers, makes Sketchup a much more powerful program than it is in stock form.
It would be cool if future upgrades of Pro took into account a crucial element of working with Sketchup professionally: deadlines! The work-arounds you currently have to do to get Sketchup to run faster, esp. on larger models are o.k., but time consuming.
I think it would be great if Sketchup could get into the speed range that would be comparable to, let’s say 3D Studio Max, etc.


Hi Gary,

While I cannot say if all of your extensions are compatible with 2016 or not, I can say that many 2015 have no problem running in 2016 as there were no major changes to the way extension interact with SketchUp (i.e. changes to Ruby) which caused issues with extensions and SketchUp upgrades in the past. Your best bet is to check with the developers of your “must have” extensions and find if their existing releases work with 2016 or, if not, that they will be updating soon.

That said, You will want to heed @slbaumgartner 's advice and install into 2016 on an extension by extension basis.





Same Q’s here… I am new to SU and just downloaded the 2016 FREE version a few days ago. I’ve got a 3.3 Ghz processor (AMD Athlon II) and 16 Gb of memory. My project keeps locking up. Even functions as simple as moving in (zoom) and out and panning side to side cause my screen to lock up.

Granted, there are a lot of complex lines, but not that many… IMHO.

Lately, ATI has been releasing OpenGL deficient graphic drivers. Test what you have. In SU, go to Window > Preferences > OpenGL and disable Use hardware acceleration. Restart SU. If performance improves, update your graphic driver, re-enable hardware acceleration in SU and hope for the best.