Sketchup's use of hardware

Hi all, for a possible new system sketchup for a friend I am wondering if sketchup 2021 still uses just a single CPU core? Or is multicore supported these days? Also: is the GPU used for rendering and textures, or does it use just the CPU? I have read conflicting messages about this on the internet so I hope I can get some insight. Thanks!

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Regarding your first question, interactive 3D modeling is inherently a serial task that nobody has ever been able to usefully multi-thread. SketchUp can’t change that basic fact.

Regarding your second question, SketchUp’s relatively simple internal renderer requires a GPU with hardware acceleration but does not benefit much from high-end features. Some separate renderers rely on specific GPU features for best performance. Notably VRay needs NVidia CUDA to do hardware-accelerated rendering. Since NVidia is no longer available on Macs, they can do only CPU-based rendering.


Focusing on Windows for the sake of simplicity, I can’t find a lot of information on the number of CPU cores, but as for the GPU:

SketchUp’s performance relies heavily on the graphics card driver and its ability to support OpenGL 3.1 or higher

That’s straight from the System Requirements page, along with a link to download a diagnostic program of sorts to check if your gear can make the grade.

For context on the first part of the question, I used to run SketchUp’s web app on an antiquated Chromebook that might have had as much as 4 whole gigabytes of Dedotated Wam if you be weave the dam wise. That was about 4 years ago and the thing was already at least 2-3 years old by then, yet the whole operation ran so buttery smooth I only gave it up because the Chromebook gave up first. Needless to say, I wasn’t taking full advantage of what the app had to offer, and the desktop app is another story.

The short version of that story is I’ve got Pro on a Mac Mini (Intel-based because I’m not an early adopter) and while I’ve never had any performance issues, I’ve also yet to look under the bonnet to see how much mojo is being mustered up to make my models.

As an experiment, I’m running SketchUp Make on my work PC with a few other apps open. I’ve no idea if it’s helpful, but maybe it’ll put some things in perspective.

Overall, SketchUp is pretty lightweight. Maybe if you load up some textures and have some really complex scenes, you can push the numbers, but it’s hardly a benchmark.

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One thing I can add to the previous comments, is that a good dedicated GPU can run SketchUp in high anti-aliasing modes. This is good for creating animations and exporting views to image files.

High AA settings can slow down SketchUp a bit. This would depend upon the complexity of your friend’s models. They could model at a low AA setting and then kick it up for creating output. (Note AFAIK LayOut uses the OpenGL settings as set within SketchUp.)

Thanks for the replies! This helps. I will look further in to it today.