Specification for a replacement Laptop 2022

Dear All,

I see various posts along similar lines but they are quite dated.

This morning I had a scare with my Lenovo ideapad which is 6 years old. I am therefore thinking of a replacement sooner rather than later.

It is a long time since I looked into specifications so I would appreciate some feed back.

From my review this morning it would appear that an RTX Graphic Card and AMD’s Ryzen Processor are currently in favour for Sketchup/Autocad.

This would definitely stretch my budget.

Could a guru indicate what a reasonable specification with a bit of future proofing would be to run Sketchup pro and Layout.

Thank you.

You are generally on the right track. SketchUp is very CPU intensive, and single threaded so everything must squeeze through a single processor thread, so watch for a CPU with a good single-thread rating. Graphics card is IMO a bit secondary, any decent one will do. I confess to an Intel CPU/Nvidia GPU bias.

Unless you have your corporate IT department breathing to your back and a large budget, stay away from “mobile workstations”. They are just expensive without any benefit for the normal user. Look for a decent spec “gaming laptop”. I would recommend starting with 32 GB of RAM. Disk space according to your needs. Don’t forget the quality of the screen and keyboard.


Most important:

  1. Keyboard layout (numpad?) If you use this.
  2. Newest and highest spec CPU. AMD and Intel are about even so don’t worry either way which one you go with.
  3. Fast hard drive (a PCI-E Gen-4 is recommended) and a decent capacity so you can run all your projects, component libraries, etc, from it. LayOut loves a fast hard drive.
  4. GPU is useful if you do rendering or other apps. SketchUp uses it but the importance of having a powerful GPU seems to be diminishing as time goes on, since sketchup can run well on a lower spec hardware, and higher spec doesn’t provide a huge benefit - also even the integrated GPUs (iris plus and Vega) are getting quite powerful.

32GB ram is a logical choice but don’t fret if you end up with 16gb, as long as you are able to upgrade in the future.

You don’t need RTX for sketchup at all. GTX 1660ti would be totally fine… But if you don’t already use rendering, then now is a good time to get into it because it’s easier than ever…try Twinmotion for a start.

I picked up a relatively affordable Dell Inspiron 15" (one of their better Inspiron models) and it was very fast and fluid with sketchup…even with integrated Iris Pro video card. If you’re on a budget and not an advanced sketchupper with a dozen extensions or highly realistic models, then don’t overlook an integrated GPU. Particularly useful is the fact they give you excellent battery life. Many laptop shops offer the ability to test them, and since sketchup can be downloaded and installed quickly, going into a store and bringing your files on a USB stick isn’t a bad idea, if you are able to do that.

@Anssi Those Mobile workstations are crazy expensive to a consumer, but IT Depts can often purchase them at the same price as an equivalent consumer model (30-50% off rrp), particularly once warranty/support is factored in. It’s a pricing model designed to make H.P. the dealer of preference for just about all large businesses…at least in my region. Pricing is skewed further now that supply chain and bitcoin mining has messed up the hardware economy.

For the first time Im looking at a new laptop for myself and NOT instantly checking all the top-tier options. The size, weight, heat and battery life are getting a bit extreme on the upper end laptop models, and sketchup just doesn’t push the graphics enough to justify the +2% performance boost for +50% weight/price/etc. I don’t think I even need a 4k, 15" screen. But I am looking to test external GPUs this year.

Thank you that is very useful.

Thank you. I note that you say that GTX is not essential, however am I correct in thinking the a separate graphics card/GPU is required rather than an integrated card. Thx.

Highly recommended, not required…

The SketchUp hardware requirements do still contain a “not recommended” warning about integrated graphics.
Many third party rendering applications and game engine based realtime renderers support using the graphic card hardware for their calculations. For instance, V-Ray renders significantly faster using your Nvidia card for processing.

Thank you.

If you want to futureproof, then yes, it is highly recommended.

Once you have a laptop spec at a price you are happy with, you can post it here and we can let you know if there are any weaknesses or unncessary items.

It would help us if you described a bit more about your modelling style, size of models, type of work, etc, maybe show a few example screenshots etc.

I have been about to upgrade my much loved brilliant but tired 15" Dell xps for a top spec 17" i9 64gb xps, I have noticed for the same price a precision xeon laptop.
I use mostly sketchup and photoshop but am considering using renderers. I know Sketchup alone is happy on a gaming set up and intergrated graphics.
I am torn now wandering wether the RTX 16 gb graphics card etc will benefit the renderers and Photoshop.

Many of the rendering softwares use Nvidia for denoising, it is faster. The cards that have at least 8MB of memory are the most desired. The RTX series is the best choice IMHO.