SU & Layout multi-core RFI


Hi, Can I ask is there any plans to make Sketchup and Layout a multi-core CPU application? I am running a very fast 16 core ACM Threadmaster (with 64 gig of ram, a nice fast new solid state hard drive and decent graphics card) and it’s pretty frustrating that only 1 of the 16 cores is functional?


Do a search on multi-core and multi thread in this forum. I expect you’ll find some useful information.

As for future plans, there’s really no point in asking what they are because you won’t get an answer to that sort of question from anyone on the SketchUp or LayOut teams.


Hi Dave, I did before I posted, but the response was unclear and vague. If you want to point me at a specific post I may have missed feel free to do so.

I wasn’t satisfied with the answers hence re-asking the same question.

So I’ll ask again. Who is working on this and when will it be actioned?


Basically, as far as SketchUp is concerned, multi-threading isn’t an option because only one core can do the rendering.

So I’ll repeat myself. As I said, you won’t get an answer to that question. The SketchUp and LayOut team members are not permitted to disclose future features or even plans for features let alone when they might be released if ever.


Hi Dave,

Thanks (I think?). So you are saying it’s not possible on one hand, and on the other that no-one will answer this software development query even if it was possible?

Is there anyone else (or another forum?) I could ask this question to if this forum is not the right place to be asking about this kind of performance & feature development?


It seems that it is not possible to write a drawing program to be multithreaded.

Have a look in this thread from around post 55. Drag the widget at the top right to scroll. I can’t see how to link to a specific post without only linking that post.

You can use your cores for rendering or running multiple applications but for SketchUp fast single threaded performance is more useful.


Since this is the forum sponsored by Trimble, there is no other place to ask questions about SketchUp and LayOut development where you’ll get an answer. Just accept the fact that the development team will not answer questions about features to come or when features would be made available.


Thanks for the link McGordon, I’ll have a read. Yes I’m well aware of the huge performance improvements with SU Podium Walker for rendering and animation, that’s why we spent $7K on this new beast of a desktop PC. It’s cut our rendering and animation times by as much as 2/3, and meant our capacity as a small design studio has increased dramatically! Ditto for other applications such as Adobe Creative Suite.

Dave R - what’s the point making observations about performance & user issues with your software then if we’re just going to get ignored? Sounds like a pretty crappy forum to me. Maybe another option for you guys to consider might be “thanks for the idea/feedback, we’ll consider doing something about that, we are keen to improve the performance of our product”???

Or if there is some genuine technical reason that all drawing packages (or just Sketchup & layout?) can’t run multi-core processing then it would be really useful to summarise that succinctly. While I may not like it or understand it I’d accept it.

I’m no software developer, I’m just trying to understand what’s possible, and realistic as one of your users/customers. If you could help with that it would be greatly appreciated.


Who said you were being ignored? I didn’t. All I told you was that questions about what new features and when they are going to be released will not get answers from the development folks. They aren’t permitted to give that information. If you think that makes this a “crappy forum”, so be it. Your judgment of the forum is not accurate.

If you put your requests in the Feature Request forum, the developement folks who monitor the forum will see them as feature requests. You aren’t the first to make the requests you did tonight, though. Many of the SketchUp and LayOut team read this forum regularly.

And what makes you think it’s my software? I’m very satisfied SketchUp and LayOut user with over 15 years of experience. I participate on this forum to help others learn how to use it and sort out problems they may have and like the other SketchUp Sages and many other members here, we do this voluntarily. We aren’t getting paid a cent to be here.


Mate how about calm down with the attiude mate. Just chill.


There’s no attitude on this end.


Hmmm ok. Maybe I misunderstood.

So just to recap can you help summarise how realistic it is that Sketchup, or any other drawing package is made to work with a multi-core processor computer at some stage in the near future? (not asking you for a commitment that Sketchup will do it, just in general is this a realistic expectation for drawing packages).


The multi-core thing has been requested perhaps since the beginning. There are other CAD drawing programs that reported long ago that multi-core was coming. Even years after making that statement, they still have yet to produce anything. I’d be inclined to say that multi-core isn’t possible or at least practical for vector drawing. It is useful for rendering programs but SketchUp is not a rendering program.

What benefit do you believe you’d see if SketchUp was multi-cored?.


Thank you for getting back on topic. So basically is it fair to summarise that there is some technical software issue precluding all cad packages from currently running multi-core (at present), but it may be posisble in the future?

The benefits if SU & layout moving to a multi-core CPU application would be;

  • Huge labour time saving (if anything like my recent experience with the excellent plugin SU Podium walker for renders & animations where a better than 50% performance improvement has been realised with this new AMD Threadripper 16 core desktop computer, top of the line solid state drive and good graphics card).

Time = money, so better profitability for small design agencies like ours.

  • Improved capacity. If we can do our work quicker, we can not only make better money on the jobs we have but it also means we can take on more work with the same resources.


So the benefit you’re looking for is not in SketchUp, it’s in rendering. Use a rendering application that is capable of multi-threaded processing. Many are. According to the Podium site, it is too.


It’s clear. I understood that from the beginning.



It is impossible to say with certainty that any particular technical challenge will never be overcome. Human beings are amazingly ingenious and technology in particular continues to move forward at a dizzying rate.

That said, there are no known algorithms that will allow 3D modeling operations to be efficiently multithreaded. This is true in SketchUp as well as in all of the major 3D CAD modeling kernels (ACIS, Parasolid, etc.). Some operations outside the kernel can be accelerated, but not in the way you’re thinking.

It is a simple and well-understood axiom that time = money and anything that can minimize the time you spend waiting for your computer to finish some task will increase the profitability of your business. We understand that on the SketchUp team and we’re always working to make SketchUp faster.

But multithreading on the CPU just isn’t the best way to do it at this time. SketchUp is much more dependent on GPU performance than CPU. Splashing out on a hot NVIDIA 1080ti graphics card will improve your SketchUp performance much more than extra cores in your CPU.



modeling operations are typically processed by the CPU, GPU does the OpenGL stuff (= raster processing for display/export/print output) only.


I think what would help is a recommended computer hardware page that goes into more detail about what SketchUp relies on and how one can improve performance - instead of just the bare minimums. Right now, I feel like hardware and software companies have made things intentionally confusing - from Intel’s ridiculous naming schemes, to Autodesk’s refusal to endorse NVIDEA 10* cards.