Sketchup 2020 vs 2019 Performance


Firstly, the specification for my MacBook Pro;

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15 Inch, Mid 2015)
Processor: 2.2 Ghz Quad Core Intel i7
Memory: 16GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Graphics: Intel Iris Pro 1536MB
OS: Catalina 10.15.4

Here is the situation on my MacBook Pro;

Sketchup 2020

Creating a very simple Model of a very small Single Storey Extension. File size is around 5MB.

When I zoom out and orbit, it is really quick and smooth. If I zoom in so the model fills the entire window and then orbit, it becomes jumpy.

If I make the Sketchup Window smaller on the screen, it becomes smoother.

Also, I have found that if I open one model, work on it, then close and open another model, Sketchup seems to slow down. If I reboot my MacBook Pro, Sketchup works faster. It’s as if Sketchup is not giving ‘resources’ back when closing Models.

Sketchup 2019

I can open a Model of a Commercial Office, (file size about 70MB), which is larger than a football pitch, with Electrical overlays, HVAC overlays, multiple Textures, Furniture, Structural Steel, numerous Scenes, numerous Sections, etc etc etc, and it orbits really quickly, whether I’m zoomed in or not.

Also, when I close a Model and open another, the performance is not diminished.

Any ideas on this would be appreciated as I think Sketchup 2020 seems to have a flaw.

Kind regards


Hi Michael –
Did you ever learn any more about this problem?

I have:
MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
2.4 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9
64 GB 2667 MHz DDR4
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8 GB
Intel UHD Graphics 630 1536 MB

I am trying to model farm landscapes and it is super choppy. I’ve been on the phone and screen shared with Apple, contacted SU, Trimble, consultants in the US, and in India. I am starting to lean toward the conclusion that Mac is not the machine to use with workflows involving SketchUp for larger models…

I am really trying to challenge this conclusion, because switching over is not a small task. Moving through the forums to see what others are experiencing.


I too now have the MacBook Pro 16, but with only 32GB RAM.

Touch wood I have not really had any problems using Sketchup on it, although I do notice a little difference when using it on the battery, as I believe that it used the Built in GPU when on battery, rather than the AMD GPU, when plugged in. I may be wrong on this.

I think that with my older MacBook Pro, it struggled a little bit with heavily textured Models when zoomed in because it didn’t have a dedicated GPU.

How large is the Model that you are working on?

I do, however, believe there is a difference between Sketchup 2019 and 2020.

Apologies as I know that is not much help. I would definitely start by looking at the size and complexity of the Model you are working on. Have you imported anything from the 3D Warehouse, for example?


Yeah these are large models that can certainly contain good deals of complexity. Some have recommended to keep the model more simple, and I’ve certainly learned how to minimize unnecessary geometry, but I just can’t have the orbit, zoom, or walkthrough features choppy at all.

I’ve made quite a few calls: To Apple, Trimble, IT hardware specialists. It looks like Mac is likely an inferior machine for large complex models compared to PC’s, but this might be able to be compensated for by getting an EGPU.

I am seeing some commentary in the forums about Apple having contractual issues with different graphics card manufacturers and trying to maintain their proprietariness here. I think this may be my last Mac machine considering how obtuse this approach is for this evolving creative edge.

Probably a silly question, but are you sure that SU is using the Radeon GPU and not the Intel?

For something like the original description, where a smaller model may perform slower than a bigger model, check to see if Edge Style/Profiles is turned off.