Sketchup and ARM Windows

Given the announcements from Microsoft yesterday regarding the direction the company wishes to take personal computing with AI and the ever increasing number of manufacturers that are producing ARM based devices running Windows on ARM chips. Is there a development plan in progress looking to provide a native ARM Windows version of SketchUp?

There will be a growing number of SketchUp customers who will look to move to ARM machines for the performance gains that appear to come with this hardware (myself included) and a lack of a pro version of SketchUp that will run natively on ARM Windows may force them to move to other software whether they want to or not.

I know it’s not normal for Trimble to talk about development but in this case end users (customers) need to know for their future purchasing decisions so a general heads up as to whether there is a move towards a native ARM Windows version coming or not would be very useful.


As you say. I don’t think either if you’ll get a concrete answer to this in the near future. :wink:

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Thanks for the reply, I guess my tired old brain just decided to rename the company for some senile reason. :crazy_face:

I know I’m not likely to get much of a response but hey you never know what might happen and if you don’t ask you’ll never know right?

Considering they made a native ARM version of SketchUp for Macs already, I would guess that the windows version would be in the works if PCs really do commit to copying Apples hardware strategy. Problem is Intel is still going strong, so it’s not one or the other.

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Given that the bottleneck with SketchUp (and Layout in particular) is single core/single thread performance, it is pretty interesting to see new Qualcomm chips performing inline with the intel 14900hx on single core synthetic benchmarks. I’m over buying 22 cores I can’t really utilise just chasing better single core performance.

Having Sketchup native for ARM seems like a good move for the future. It would be nice to have a laptop that isn’t huge, has good battery life and which can reload a SketchUp model in layout quickly.


They made the move. Apple computers have been exclusively ARM based for years, and SketchUp is native on them. As for the machines being lighter, no such luck. My M3 MacBook Pro is bigger and heavier than the intel version it replaced. I suppose the battery life is higher though.

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The motherboard circuitry makes up a relatively small fraction of the weight of a laptop compared to the battery, case, and screen. A different CPU will have almost no effect.

The higher efficiency promised cooler chips requiring less space and cooling hardware, which was true of the first M based machines. But the new one is just more of the same. It’s still a great machine, just surprisingly heavier and bulkier than the model preceding it by 5 years.

I’ve been off Apple since 2012. I couldn’t handle their control and ecosystem.

Very interesting that the size and weight has gone backwards M1-M3. However your comparing Apples to Apples (ha). Try comparing your M1 or M3 to a 16inch Windows gaming laptop - which is what we need to buy if you want adequate cooling for a multicore processor + dedicated GPU. Also battery life on any windows laptop is like 4 hours.

So I’m not at all assuming the CPU will directly change weight, I was assuming (hoping) that moving to smaller architecture would produce considerably less power draw and heat for the same or better single core performance and therefore the laptop can have a quieter more compact chassis with longer battery life to boot. Also having less total cores running but having those fewer cores perform well in single thread should also help with power and heat.

Heat and power draw is what I really want to see go down.

That’s what the ARM architecture is primarily used for - it’s why it’s been used in cellphones , tablets and other low power devices for decades.

For consumer devices it makes lots of sense, as the vast vast majority of tasks users are doing will be web based or simple productivity tools.

Companies like Apple and Microsoft both have other interests in doing this.
1: They have certain rules and legislation in regards to carbon emissions of their products.
2. Both have huge service businesses that make them lots of money - they want you to need to pay to get them to do things rather than have the hardware yourself - so some of these shifts work more in their interest for that longer term goal.

Mmmmmmm interesting… your really taking the shine of ARM :joy:

That’s probably an incredibly cynical reduction of it - but a lot of the time it comes down to money.

It’s cheaper to get an ARM chip made or certainly a custom one made versus getting from from Intel or AMD also…

Well that exclated beyond where I thought/hoped this might go but still interesting to read everyones take on the potential or not of Windows on ARM. I’m still undecided about how this may alll play out and if I’ll even be purchasing an ARM Windows machine in the future but if I do I sure hope SketchUP/Trimble have a native version for me to continue with. I’ve been dabbling in Fusion 360 a bit lately and I have to say I really like SketchUp :laughing:

Whilst true that there is an ARM version on the Macs it isn’t always clear that this will translate into other less ‘regulated’ platforms as can be demonstrated in the lack of an Android tablet version whilst the iPad version has been out a while now. I understand the economics of this but it does worry me that Trimble might not see the need to support a Windows on ARM version unless there is some instant uptake of ARM Windows machine sales and if and when they do down the road it may be too late and SketchUp users have all jumped ship…

It is important to understand that ARM is a generic architecture that each maker adapts to their specific needs. There is no assurance that a Windows implementation for ARM will be compatible with SketchUp’s ARM version on Mac.

In the case of iPad vs android it’s really about the OS than the hardware making the translation more work than worth it, and the fact that there are simply too many crappy android tablets out there that simply couldn’t be accounted for. Apple only has a couple of models and they are desktop powerful so it’s a very safe platform capable of doing reliable 3d. This isn’t true for android ecosystem of hardware.

Exacxtly, and this is the reason for my initial question It is however very interesting to read everyone’s opinions on the pros and cons of an ARM based Windows machine.

Yep, hence my ‘regulated’ comment. There is the possibility that Windows on ARM may have similar issues depending on how Microsoft implement it and what specific hardware requirement will be needed to run the OS. I’m sure I’m not alone in having had to work on laptops that were labled to be capable of running various versions of Windows over my many years but were in fact a pile of junk and not really capable of doing anything other that check emails (slowly) and browse the web. So I guess only time will tell.

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Just back on this. Besides your M3 mac not being maybe as light or slim as one might hope… is it blisteringly fast for SketchUp and layout?
Given that Sketchup is now ARM native on mac as you say (rather than emulated as it initially was), and the M3 boasts the highest mobile chip single thread scores avaible, and the RAM & SSD in the Macbook are also quick… it should be knocking Sketchup/Layout productivity out of the park right?

Or is the specific architecture of Sketchup and layout still its own worst enemy/bottleneck?

I guess I’m wondering if they made a windows ARM laptop with M3 level single thread performance, high speed ram and ultra fast SSD - could this make layout snappy? :smiley: :laughing: