The new M1 processor!

Hi All,

Just getting the ball rolling after Apple’s keynote a few hours ago. The new M1 processor! When can we expect a Sketchup upgrade to run natively on the new chip? Has there been any beta testing of the new chip with the existing SKP release? If so are there any performance improvements (especially in Layout)?

I’d imagine SketchUp for web would run fine on it, but that’s just speculation as I can’t find any reviews (with the actual computer) on YouTube, as of now. Having an 8-core processor on a super thin laptop sounds like a game changer though.

Apple has a history of mismatching processors (and their tdp) to their cooling solutions, resulting in thermal throttling out of the box which is pretty ■■■■ ridiculous. Considering that I’d be very cautious until they announce power draw, tdp and the first reviews are in.

From what I read yesterday, only laptops will be available with the new processor to begin with. Also, at least one of those laptops requires no cooling (apparently).

I am very interested in this, as the architecture is so new I have no clue how to compare ghz/gpu and memory compared to the intel variations. Benchmarks are all well and good but I would love to see the real world performance. I believe that Colin (Sketchup) a while ago was testing on Apples developer machines so hopefully the results are good and we will see some speed increases and perhaps ipad support at the same time??
Any info on this would be greatly appreciated from Trimble (please)

looking forward to the future…


Game, yes maybe. But SketchUp use only one core currently.

Thea are stating : " All your existing apps work thanks to Rosetta 2". I’m curious how efficient is that? And when (if) SU will be rewritten to natively support ARM core(s)? And how about the graphics card support?

+ Mac mini

I believe this is the real question. Apple GPU surely supports Metal, probably Vulkan?

Did someone mention Metal Vulcan?

In all seriousness, if the new processor is aimed at laptops with minimal thermal solutions and Mini devices, it probably won’t be packing much of a punch.


That’s what I thought…but the benchmarks so far are very promising and may say otherwise.

The A14 (current gen apple chip) beats the 10700k in most benchmarks, and the A1 is likely to be 20% faster than the A14 (putting it on par with the AMD 5950x!).

Current scientific & java benchmarks show emulation having a 15% performance hit; not too bad.

I dont know if ARM SoC will ever be useful for transactional compute workloads since it would lack complex instruction sets and memory and also things like PCIE. But 99% of users dont do (real) producivity, and then we have web-based apps/vms to do the heavy lifting, if needed.
There are much larger ARM cpus (Ampere datacentre cpus with up to 80 cores?) but they’re not used for productivity.

I assume it will take years for software companies to start witing proper native x64 ARM apps an that’s where the real performance will be unlocked.

All we really know is that minecraft runs a bit faster on ARM.
Oh, and Adobe, (who should be right in the middle of the cross-platform productivity space), appear to be completely silent.

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This is very important. Apple is transitioning all macs to ARM in the next couple years. Hopefully SketchUp is working on a native version. In the mean time hopefully SketchUp works well with Rosetta.

A key question will be whether Apple chooses to support OpenGL on their proprietary graphics.

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Won’t happen. Metal all the way! :metal:

EDIT: I was wrong, all the better! Well, at least for some time, see this post : The new M1 processor!

If true that could spell the end of SketchUp on macOS, other than Intel emulation mode which likely won’t perform as well as native code.

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In this previous thread back in June 2020 when Apple announced the architecture transition from Intel x86 to Apple Silicon, @jody said:

I can guarantee that we will not have a version of SketchUp for Desktop that takes advantage of the new Apple chips when they’re first released. We just learned about this plan at the same time as you.

June 22, 2020 – November 12, 2020: They now had 5 months to port SketchUp with the Mac mini transition kit available to developers to do the job. Apple says that porting an existing app running on an x86 Mac to a Mac running on the M1 chip takes “a couple of days”. Maybe the official announcement is postponed to SketchUp 2021.

One thing I wonder is: will the various plugins available currently work in the SketchUp version for Apple Silicon? Or will they need new specific versions too!

For an existing app that they choose.

I’d personally take the first generation of anything with a grain of salt and jump on it not before the second generation. In case of M1: “It’s faster in benchmarks” does not mean it is already the better choice in practice. It might be where Apple wants to compete against e.g. mobile workloads (web apps) like Chromebooks. But be aware of the constraints:

  • the presented devices are rather under-specced in other aspects: no replaceable RAM or SSD (soon electronic waste!), only 720p webcam, no thunderbolt 4, no eGPU
  • only LLVM-compiler based software is officially supported, that means no software that developers can only build with GCC, if you rely on open-source or scientific software, the Python/Numpy stack, R

Regarding SketchUp extensions (assuming SketchUp is ported and graphics are sorted out and the Ruby interpreter is available on M1), we can expect that pure Ruby extensions work from the start, but any extension relying on a compiled “Ruby C extension” (e.g. renderers, connection to databases etc.) probably need to be updated by the extension developers who not necessarily own Apple hardware.

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The change will have no effect on pure Ruby extensions (most of them), but any extensions that use compiled code will have to be ported.

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That was because intel makes inefficient chips. Apple has a history of making their own chips and matching them to cooling systems for the most efficient and powerful mobile devices on the planet. Now they are moving that into larger devices.

The numbers are in. It’s cool and fast.

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The single core performance of the M1 is running laps around current gen Xeon processors. It currently beats every single core performance in their entire lineup and it’s their entry level.

It’s gonna be a game changer at the very least. My guess is sketchup will run very quickly right out of the gate even in emulation.

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Thanks for calling back to the quote. My guarantee remains. We will not have a version of SketchUp optimized for the M1 chip when they come out. We will not have a version of SketchUp optimized for the M1 chip in 2020 even. We WILL let you guys know when we have an optimized version, but we still don’t announce plans in advance so I can’t say when it will be.

It is not our priority to release software for a brand new chip on release day, even if Apple says it’s easy that doesn’t make it so.

If you want a Mac with the M1 chip (I know I do) then feel free to get one, but keep your old Mac if you plan to use SketchUp.


Thanks for the reply! This is understandable. Feel free to share the performance of SketchUp 2020 in macOS Big Sur on an M1 Mac through Rosetta 2, when you are able to do so. I wonder if this is usable or not.

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