SketchUp Performance | CPUs and GPUs

Hello folks. These last 2 months I’ve been helping/teaching my friend SketchUp. We’re both graduating next week and since he’s seen me working with SketchUp for 4 years, he asked me to teach him, so he could prepare his diploma project, like me. As a thank you, he invited me to his place, so I could use his computer to finish my own project, because I’ve added so much detail, that my notebook refuses to work properly anymore and my presentation is in 4 days (I’m super nervous about it, tbh).

He’s got a powerful notebook and we were discussing the performance of SketchUp, while I was working. I’ve told him that SketchUp runs only on one core and that surprised him a lot. On my way back home I was thinking about it. As much as I’ve read on the Internet, most people say that it’s a disadvantage, that SketchUp uses only 1 core, unlike other 3D softwares.

Do you think SketchUp will run on more than one cores in the future? Maybe GPU support, or something like that? Also, a question about V-Ray. I have difficulty understanding whether it runs on GPU or CPU and whether there’s a chance to choose between those 2. (As far as I know, there are no such options in the settings, except the RT render.)

I’m asking all these questions for several reasons. Firstly, there’s some chance that I might get a powerful notebook/PC in the near future, so I want to make sure I get the best one. Secondly, the future of SketchUp really interests me and as I’m a big fan, I want that future to be the brightest possible and if there’s a chance, I’ll do my best to influence it.

Thanks for reading. :slight_smile:

This question comes up very frequently. Here’s a recent discussion:

The bottom line is that while none of us can predict when there might be a breakthrough, it is fundamentally hard for a program like SketchUp to use multiple cores. This is different from a renderer, in which separate cores can work independently on spatial sections of a scene, or a game, in which most of the work is done by the GPU.

So, at least for now, the best path is to get the computer with the best single-core performance you can afford and to load it up with the max amount of memory it can hold. Get a mid-range Nvidia GPU card (avoid Intel integrated graphics and be careful with AMD).


I haven’t been with the SketchUp Community since the beginning (unfortunately), so I don’t know its roots. I’m curious why it wasn’t developed as a multi-core program in the first place?

@denisroy, thank you VERY much! Your examples and explanations helped me figure out this whole thing, which I couldn’t understand for years. :thumbsup:
One of my acquaintances told me that 3DS Max runs on multiple cores, that’s why it’s better. Apparently they lied or didn’t know for sure, because as you say all 3D modeling programs require linear calculations.

One more thing, I’d like to know your opinion on. Regarding computers, I have my eyes on a beautiful Lenovo Y700, with:

  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ (2.6GHz up tp 3.5GHz)
  • 16GB RAM DDR4 (2133MHz)
  • 1TB HDD
  • nVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5

I’m familiar with this terminology but what you wrote above confused me. As I understand the graphic card will only affect my renderings, right? It won’t play an important part in SketchUp modeling. And for the actual 3D modeling, I should be looking at the RAM and most importantly, the CPU. This one’s i7-6700HQ with 2.6GHz.

The current one I have is an i3-2350M with 2.3GHz. 2.3 - 2.6 aren’t that far apart. Does that mean that i7 or i5 or i3 don’t play much role and it’s only the GHz I should be looking for? This is the part my brain freezes over. :smiley:

@denisroy, thank you again sooo much! I appreciate you taking time from you day and explaining everything. This all was really enlightening and interesting. You make it sound so easy to grasp. I’ll keep all this in mind when the time comes to buy a new computer. Thank you again, Best wishes to you! :blush: :thumbsup:

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as a small supplement to @denisroy excellent replies above…

In recent weeks I saw an interesting discussion on the McNeel (Rhino) Forum.

The original question was concerned with whether or not V6 (version 6) of Rhino will support more than 64 cores.

In his first reply John_Brock comments on the diminishing returns that are run into when trying to utilize multiple cores…


Oh Man,…

Sorry, I didn’t format the link above properly to the forum discussion I was referring to. It is working now, and hopefully it will have some interest to fans of this thread/topic.



Would you clarify your position here?

You first talk of:

An then talk about Classic Menu, no problems on VM Ware, not loosing Video Driver and Mouse ever…

I can imagine the following:

Ubuntu manages resources better and Ubuntu’s user interface isn’t that scary so why not change windows for Ubuntu and speed sketchup up? Is that it?

One thing I also can’t understand is why using windows inside other OS would be faster than simply using windows?

Is VM ware simpler than windows so it’s faster even if ubuntu is on the back?

Your concern is correct: running an OS inside a VM cannot make the OS run faster than it would natively. The VM provides an environment within the base OS that simulates standalone hardware. The simulation may be good, but it is never completely without overhead.


I’m not concerned with that but “every day there are people who write about” how they are happy using Windows in Mac and Windows in Linux and I’ve, since now, completelly missed the point… I guess I’ll still keep missing it from now on!

Thanks for your input!

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Not to mention there are double-digit, multi-million unique users of SU each month. So actually only a small minority of people are coming here to report issues with mice and driver support.


my original comments no longer apply since too many other comments have been deleted in this thread.



I think I’ve seen other users on this forum and on other similar forums using the same avatar you have.

There are minor changes on the color but the overall design is the same.

I would say either you or the other users are infringing intelectual property rights here:


You might argue that Sketchup forum imposed this avatar on you. That claim also has no fundament as you chose to neglet having your own avatar so you gave them no chance.

Overall I think you are exposing yourself to some major implications even if only on moral ground… I think it would be wise to consult your legal experts and consultants starting by @denisroy