Sketchup will work best on which laptop?



Which is the best laptop to handle work on sketchup. Because I’m buying a laptop specifically for working on sketchup and that will be it’s primary (if not only) functionality. I also want it to be fairly cheap (my budget is 30,000 - 40,000 INR)

thanks :smiley:

Hardware Purchasing Advice For SketchUp & LayOut [wiki]



Inside your price bracket (I don’t know how much cheaper computers are in your parts than here in Finland) there are very few models with a Nvidia graphics card (if you plan to model seriously an integrated Intel graphics chip won’t do), and, as to processor, the ones I found had an I3. What size screen are you looking for?
The best I found was an Asus that has a 15,6" screen, Nvidia GT920M graphics, 6 GB of memory, 500 GB disk and an Intel i3-5005U processor at 2 GHz. The processor is perhaps the weakest link here, but this should be OK if you don’t build models of millions of faces/edges.



Im using an Asus ROG with GTX860, 8Gb mem, 64bit quad @ 2.4ghz, 1Tb HDD… Works like a champ. It also can run just about any game if you play such.


That’s roughly 430-580$ USD…

If you got your ROG notebook for that kind of money, kindly let us know where you got it from! :wink:


Is it worth stretching my price to buy a Apple MacBook Pro (MD101HNA) (3rd Gen Intel Core i5- 4GB RAM- 500GB HDD-33.78 cms (13.3) Screen- Mac OS X Lion) (Silver) which will cost me 56,000 INR (816.64 USD or 734.216 Euro). Remember I am an architecture student and I value good design and am willing to stretch my budget for something ‘sturdy’ (for the want of a better word). My user experience with Mac OS X has been good and I find the OS very friendly.

I am not very rich though, even by Indian standards. All I want from a laptop is to learn Architectural design using sketchup (no gaming at all and the occasional AutoCAD and Photoshop usage) because I find it the most honest software tool for design in the market and hope to eventually use it for all my Modelling, rendering and printing uses (emphasis on modelling). I hope there are no problems in using the above laptop for sketchup?

The idea for stretching my budget to get a mac stems from the insistence of this review and also my personal experience (however limited) with a Mac system. It ‘feels’ better than a cheaper windows system (something I find hard to resist):

A laptop is a one time buy for me so please help me only if you can understand my need. I know nothing about configurations but I am fairly clear about what I need. You can ask me more questions if you want to help me to figure it out.

English isn’t my first language


@skpjunkie, I think the Mac would be a good choice if you felt it was justified. My sons are learning SketchUp on a 2008 13.3 inch unibody MacBook and a 2010 13.3 inch MacBook Air. I think they are both core 2 duo processors, so it will work, and their computers run reliably. With an older MacBook, especially running things like SketchUp and Photoshop, just be prepared to bring the charger with you, the battery won’t last long.


My Asus also has the standard Intel GPU chip… It works just fine with that. If money is a concern, then just about any laptop will work. I’d wait for sales at your local stores and hit one up when prices are low. You could also buy a refurbished laptop or something from a pawn shop. Not to mention sites like ebay, craigs list, or newegg.


Computers and laptops are not one time purchases. And even if the hardware lasts for many years, might not support an operating system upgrade. And eventually the operating system becomes old and software developers stop developing software that can run on older operating systems… One can see how SU dropped support for outdated OS’s over the years.


The two main things to consider are that Sketchup relies heavily on a good graphic card and a fast processor.
Go for the best graphic card you can afford, currently Nvidia have shown themselves to be generally better than most. Try for a system with a second card rather than an integrated one.
If you have a choice of processor one with a higher speed and less cores will be better than a lower speed and more cores. Sketchup only uses one core at a time. So a fast single core can be better than a slow multicore.


go for a recent intel Core i5/i7 (preferably not as the slow ultra low voltage version) and a dedicated nVidia GeForce GT(X):



I won’t go into the Mac/PC controversy here. and the choice of platform depends on what other applications you are going to use besides SketchUp and what you already have.
Increasing your price bracket will give you much more choice, and if you decide for a PC, the same price as the MacBook Pro will buy quite powerful computers as recommended by sketch3d_de:

I would perhaps add a high-resolution screen to the list, preferably a large one if you are not afraid of the size. Look for “gaming” laptops.



Probably kind of late to post on this thread, but I use a Dell Latitude with 2GB NVIDIA dedicated graphics, Intel i5, 4GB RAM, and I got it refurbished from Dell Outlet for right around $600 USD. Dell Outlet may not be an option wherever you’re located, but my point is that you can get a mid-power notebook in that price range, and it runs SU and SU-based rendering engines easily.


Hello Anssi and please excuse me for replying to this post but I’m new here and haven’t yet figured out how everything works.

I’m coming from a Mac background and was running SU on a MacBook Pro early 2011 and had a few annoying experiences of spinning wheels… the laptop is now dead and I’ve decided to switch to Windows for a number of good reasons!
I am desperately trying to decide which laptop I should go for and after reading one of your posts I am learning that nvidia Quadro aren’t the best for SU.
I use SU to build 3D models of gardens and don’t need to have a superpowerful machine for rendering as most clients prefer hand finished images. However, since my previous experience with spinning wheels I would like to have a better performance at hand!
My best option right now seems to be the XPS 15 (i7 or i9 not sure yet), 32GB, GTX 1050ti, 1TB SSD which I should be able to buy for about £2,000.
As I like to use the screen to colour up models, I have been looking at a Surface Book 2 15" i7 8th gen, 16GB, GTX 1060, 256SSD. this comes at £2,350. I am aware that having a separate device as a tablet would be probably better, but that would involve yet another cost.

I would prefer not to waste precious money and wonder if you or anyone could give me a hand deciding?
I was using SU Make but will upgrade to Pro hopefully soon!
Many thanks

Best regards


I think both your options would do well with SketchUp. As to editing images with a touchscreen, I would recommend that you try it before you buy. Does the Microsoft support a stylus? Image editing professionals use things like the Wacom Cintiq display/tablet that are specifically tailored for Photoshop work.


Thank you VERY much for the super fast reply! It is very kind of you, thank you!

I think the surface option is the one I’m going to get the most out of. So thank you for confirming it would handle Sketchup. And to answer your question, yes it does support a stylus and that’s a great bonus for me.

I have heard about the wacom tool but that’s maybe too much for me. I have downloaded some Adobe apps on my phone last night and I’m impressed with the results!

I was originally thinking of connecting a large screen to the laptop but let’s see how it works out. I think that if I’m ever going to need more power, I can always buy a more powerful desktop that would be comparatively cheaper… Do you think that’s sensible?

Reading one of your leads, it seems that there is a cloud based rendering service too and I will investigate that too. Do you have any experience with that?

I have used LightUp for sketchup and I love it… I like to be able to see what the garden looks like at night with the lights on and probably that’s the only situation where I will need to have a decent rendering machine. My old one used to leave black squares around…

Once again, thank you very much for your help!


Fabio Nalin

m: 07720 975897