What PC to buy?

Looking to buy new PC. Is there any advantage in getting touchscreen for using sketch up (not pro)?. Secondly are most integrated graphics cards good enough or do I need a separate good quality card?
Thanks for any advice

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Most integrated graphics cards are not good enough to use with SketchUp, and if you look at the hardware requirements ( SketchUp Hardware and Software Requirements | SketchUp Help ) they are still on the “not recommended list”. That also about rules out a touchscreen, as almost all of them rely on an Intel HD chip. SketchUp is designed to be used with a scroll wheel mouse, so there is no particular advantage to be had from a touchscreen.


Thanks for your reply anssi. Will let you know my choice (before buying just to make sure)


CPU : intel Core i7-4770/4790k (slower <-> faster)
GPU : nVidia GeForce GTX 750Ti/760/770/780 (slower <-> faster)
• RAM: 8+ GB (2x 4GB)
• SSD : Samsung 840 Evo/Pro Series as system disk (slower <-> faster)
• OS : Windows 7 Professional x64 (better OpenGL support than W8)

not: AMD CPUs (slow) / GPUs (Win: bad OGL)
not: integrated video systems as intel HD series (bad OGL)
not: CAD video cards as nVidia Quadro FX or AMD FirePro (no advantage, expensive)


Windows 9 (or whatever it will be called) should be announced at the end of September. Some leaked reports have it being better than Win8. I’ll cross my fingers.


Quadros seem to have a bit more reliable drivers than GeForce cards. The latest Nvidia problem (with Fast Feedback, since fixed) didn’t occur with Quadro cards. I agree about the price, but if you don’t play games, a midrange Quadro is sufficient.


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sure, the extended OGL support of Quadros is more reliable but not required by SU, problems w/ the GeForce GTX series are seldom and regularly fixed w/ a new driver release.


I agree, based upon my experience running mid-range QuadroFX GPUs for >6 years.
Tools used in one’s profession are just that, tools; they’re worthy of greater investment.

The product release cycle is longer for workstation hardware vs. consumer goods.
That equates to more reliable, mature drivers.

nVidia describes the difference between their professional and consumer GPUs in this article;
Quadro vs GeForce — nVidia Product Report

The cost of professional hardware isn’t necessarily prohibitive either.
Previous generation Quadros are generally available for far less than the latest and greatest.
Obviously, one should consider a current generation GPU when buying a new system.
But if your system is a few years old; a previous generation QuadroFX can be an economical upgrade.


I will disagree. It all depends on how complex your drawings are going to be !!

For SketchUp Make (i.e. non-Pro) and not overly complex models, integrated graphics are adequate. I actually use a laptop without a mouse. Yes, it is a lot more going back to menu for tools and clicking, but rotations and pans are instantaneous.

My 8 year old desktop (WinXP with and old dual processor AMD integrated graphics CPU) is the same.

Sure, if you are building something with 100s-1000s of components you are going to need more horse power. Dual processors minimum; 4 or 6 is obviously better. More memory is always good. (Newer versions of Windows always seem to use more memory. I am sticking with Win7 for a LONG time !) You don;t need the “screaming fastest”: (i.e. most expensive) graphics ard out there, But, from observing a friend using Lightroom, a large screen (30+") or 2 displays is very useful, so make sure any card you buy has DisplayPort and 2 DVI/HDMI ports

Last comment. Buy a smallish SSD (256M). Install your OS and application on there. (If possible, find a retail copy of your version of Windows. The PC manufacturers add so much useless bloatware !) Take the original C: drive and make it your “data” disk. If you are doing anything that you feel is “important”, mirror your data disk… (RAID 1; never RAID 0)

An SSD and a fresh install of a retail copy of your Windows OS will make your machine feel like a rocket !

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Regarding integrated graphics, SU uses OpenGL function calls for more than speedily rendering models. Increasingly the tools and other functions also require OpenGL functions to create and manipulate geometry. If the IGA driver has critical OpenGL deficiencies, some tools and features will not work. Hardware acceleration will have to be disabled so the CPU can do all the work instead of dividing the rendering workload between the GPU and CPU.

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Yes, with HWA turned off SketchUp will run on most anything.
Nonetheless, the Hardware/Software Requirements for SU Make and SU Pro are identical.

SketchUp is a single-thread application. A system with 4 or 6 CPU cores will not benefit SU.
SU utilizes only one processor as do the actual 3D modeling tasks in all other 3D modeling software.
Consequently SU performance responds to a faster CPU, but not multi-core CPUs.

The old 3.6 GHz Pentium-D (dual-core) in my older workstation noticeably outperforms the 3.00 GHz Core2 Quad in my primary system.
The advantages reverse when it comes time to render as most rendering apps are multi-threaded.
The machines have identical QuadroFX 1800 GPUs @ 768MB.


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Who said anything about turning off HWA ? I am running SU Make on a laptop. Admittedly everything I am doing is very simple things but the responses is instantaneous.

When it comes to integrated graphics, AMD definitely has a leg up on Intel.

it’s not only speed but also the maturity of the OGL support of the Radeon Catalyst driver… which has been proven in the past to be optimized for speed in games instead of accuracy with 3D modelers.

btw, normally the HD 7660g is accompanied by a second dedicated GPU as e.g. a 7670M… if the driver does an automaticall detection and switching you are maybe already running SU on the dedicated GPU without being aware of.


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Thanks for your replies. I don’t pretend to follow the more technical aspects nor to resolve some of the differences of opinion … I currently use an old dell 6400 which has worked fine for furniture design especially some complex spiral staircases. (Complex staircases not necessarily complex in terms of sketch up models) and that is what I intend to continue to use it for. Bearing that in mind and trying to combine requirements with a reasonable budget how about this spec.

Lenovo z50 70
i5 4210u processor (1.7 GHz with 2.7ghz turbo boost) 3mb cache
Ram 8 GB ddr3l
Graphics card nvidia geforce gt820m (2gb ddr3)
Storage 1tb sshd

I thought this was a reasonable spec for the money (£550) provided it is man enough for the job. Waddaye think?

Nobody around here likes to go out on a limb when someone is spending money on a computer. You have the link to the SU requirement.

The one thing that sticks out is the use of a solid state drive for storage. If something bad happens to a disc hard drive, often the contents can be recovered - at a high cost, but those precious files can be recovered. Data on a bad SSHD cannot be recovered. Have a backup drive for your storage and regularly update it.

Another note: a large, US electronic store will stop selling Win7 at the end of October to begin the transition to selling Win10 (MS is skipping Win9). If you want Win7, the ‘window’ to get is beginning to close.

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a SSD should be used as system disk for the operating system and maybe some important applications only, the user data (aka documents) and all other applications should reside on a cheaper/bigger HDD… at least if a desktop is used.

backup early, backup often


Hi everyone,

I am a new in the forum and I will appreciate all your suggestions

I need to buy a new video card because I have some drawings with a lot of objects (more than thousand) and my drawing freezes constantly. It takes more than a minute or two to go back. At this moment I work with nVidia GeForce GT630 2GB DDR3. My computer CPU is Intel Core Quad Q6600 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, Windows 7 64-bit

What video card will you recommend for upgrade.

Thanks in advance.

Hi viena, for starters, I don’t think a new video card will give you what you image you can get. First you need to tackle your modeling techniques. Review How to make SketchUp run faster.

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if you wanna buy a new video card but do not want to spend more than roughly 150 bucks go for the GeForce GTX 750Ti (e.g. the silent MSI Twin Frozr model).

At least if the mother board has a PCIe port… if an AGP port only is available don’t invest any money in extending this system.


I run Sketchup 8 and Sketchup 2015 very well on my laptop. Its specifications are as follows:
CPU: AMD E1-1200 1.4GHz
GPU: Integrated GPU at 500MHz

It runs almost as well as it does on my school’s computers, which have the following specifications:
CPU: Intel Core I7 4770 3.4GHz
GPU: Dedicated Graphics at 1000MHz
Ram: 4GB

The Sketchup website lists the minimum requirements as a 2GHz CPU and 4GB of RAM and nothing about the GPU. Another Sketchup page states that the Sketchup program does not support hyperthreading CPUs or Multiprocessor or even Multi-Core systems and that the software will not use any more RAM than what the system requirements states as a minimum.