Sketchup pro & Vray - Buy Mac Pro or Imac


I want to get Pro and Vray and use for commercial Interior Design - have to purchase new Mac - not sure if I should go for a desktop Mac (solid steady sits) or need something more portable. Will the quality of renders be sufficient to present on ipad pro?
Any help would be great thanks.


Do you need/want portability? An iMac looks nice on the desk and the big screen is pleasant to look at but if you need to take it places, then a MacBook Pro probably makes more sense. You can also connect it to a larger display when you are in your office and depending upon the client, you might use the MacBook to make your presentations. You might want to sit down with the client and make changes to your model on the fly. Maybe you have a projector if you need to present to a larger group.

As for render quality, that’s not a function of whether or not your computer fits into a briefcase or sits on your desk. The quality will be determined by how good your model is, how you use the rendering application and so on. It might be that a render takes a little longer on the MBP than on the iMac depending on the processors but I doubt you’ll see huge differences there. There’s no reason for any difference in appearance of your rendered images on your iPad from either platform.


Thanks so much - I really appreciate your response- it’s exactly what I needed.


I have a MacBook pro running Sketchup 2017 and Vray 3. Its the 15" retina with intel iris pro graphics card. This works fine for interior renders and takes about 1.5hrs to render. So plenty fast enough.

However, if I’d known before I purchased the MB pro I would have gone for the top spec one which had two graphics cards fitted. SU & Vray would use the better of the two. But thats just me. Im not satisfied with second best.

I like the portability of the MacBook too. Even just around the home.


Thanks so much - my naivety will show through!!
1.5 hours!!

Is this the higher spec macpro you are referring to:

Touch Bar and Touch ID
2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
16GB 2133MHz memory
512GB PCIe-based SSD
Radeon Pro 460 with 4GB memory
Four Thunderbolt 3 ports

I don’t think I can afford it but is still good to know.


Yes thats the current higher spec model. Mine is the mid 2015 model with 2.2 GHz intel core i7 processor. 16 GB 1600 MHz memory and Intel Iris pro 1536 MB graphics card. Its got the 256GB flash drive. When I bought it only the 512 GB size came with the better graphics card.

These took about an hour and a half for each image to render which I’m happy enough with. So the lower spec is more than capable.


I tried the imac and the macpro today & think I’m going with this:
Any negatives before I press the button?
& thanks for your help - its a big wad of money for me so don’t want to make a mess of it!

27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display
3.2GHz Processor
1TB Storage
3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor
Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
8GB (two 4GB) memory, configurable up to 32GB
1TB Fusion Drive1
AMD Radeon R9 M390 with 2GB video memory
Retina 5K 5120x2880 P3 display


For rendering purposes I would guess that the performance of these two would not differ very considerably, even though an i7 usually outperforms an i5. If you think 1.5 hours is slow and you want to shorten that, you would probably have to go for a desktop model with more processor cores than four. Rendering applications can use many cores while SketchUp only uses one. So Turbo Boost does not work with renderers, but SketchUp benefits from it. I don’t know what the specs for current desktop Macs are.


hi Will I be able to achieve the same quality of renders with the below specs of Macbook Pro??

2.3GHz Processor
256GB Storage
2.3GHz dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
256GB SSD storage1
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
Two Thunderbolt 3 ports


I don’t know is the honest answer as ever not used that spec machine. As a guess I would assume that the quality should be much the same but speed may be a bit longer.

MacBooks are nice machines but be prepared for a high repair bill if you break the screen. Just shelled out £500 on mine today!!!


Thanks for the reply.
What kind of a laptop would you recommend to do Sketch up v ray other than Macbooks?
I am planning to buy a laptop your recommendations would be highly appreciated.

Mostly I am working on small files (small projects).


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