What version of sketchup to use to test how well a computer uses sketchup?

I am buying a laptop. One of the things I want to do with it is learn Sketchup. I want to bring a couple of laptops to someone to test how well they perform with Sketchup. I noticed that Sketchup Make doesn’t do a lot of the things that Sketchup Pro does. Also there are online and off line sketchups? What kind of sketchup should I use to have the computer tested? Should I do a trial of Sketchup Pro? If I do that, It will be months before I start to learn sketchup. Is there a way to freeze the trial? What are the best ways to test sketchup performance on a laptop?
Priya ### ####

Hi @priyag, and welcome to the user forum.

I think the appropriate answer depends on how you intend to use the software. Probably the best (and easiest) way to learn SketchUp is to download and review each of the introductory video tutorials which are linked HERE. (Click the bold text to be directed to the link.) After viewing the first video, the next intro vid in the sequence will be available at the top of the playlist on the right. There are 4 intro vids although if you want to explore the tutorials, you will find many more.

In spite of your expressed apprehensions, I suggest you try the trial version of Pro because it has the full complement of design tools as you have noticed. There is no way to suspend the trial…once you open the program you have 30 days to complete the trial before it ends. In the past, new users were allowed a maximum of 8 hours to complete the trial before it reverted to Make. Today Make is no longer provided with new versions of SU Pro.

The web-based browser versions of SU (Free and Shop) are used online only, while SU Pro (and SU Make, which is now only available in version 2017) resides on your hard drive, so these may be used offline or while online.

Again I refer you to the previously referenced intro vid link. Try performing the procedures illustrated in each of the videos and this should offer meaningful insight into learning the program. As far as performance is concerned, I would not expect you to encounter any difficulty with speed, model size or rendering capability at the early stages of your learning experience. As you progress in your productivity and if you incorporate extensions into your workflow, there may be noticeable changes in the way your system performs, although these will likely be quite negligible in most cases.

I encourage you to simply dive in and let the experience take you where it leads. You can always ask questions in this Forum and you will discover just how helpful the participants here can be.

Finally, it is not advisable to provide private information (such as phone numbers) in posts to the open forum…better to limit this material to private messages directed to specific individuals. For that reason, I am editing your post to remove the phone number.

The best way is to first learn some basics and determine what to use it for in the the first place.
Do not get tempted to assume that a piece of machine or software is going to ‘do all the work’ for ya.

I have seen some pretty amazing modelling around here with lower specs machines, and some lesser with the highest specs machines…

1 Like

Thank you for all answers. This is in reply to all of the answers. I wouldn’t buy a computer now for sketchup except that I have to buy one now and I plan to learn sketchup. Plumbing plans, 2d, 3d, light animation will be used. Someone at GeekSquad is going to compare sketchup performance for me on computers that pass the test on this link. * OpenGL 3.0 or higher. To test your graphics card’s compatibility, please download and run the SketchUp 2017 Checkup application . Historically, people have seen problems with Intel-based cards with SketchUp. We don’t recommend using these graphics cards with SketchUp at this time.
One of the computers that passed the test is this one which has integrated intel. https://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspiron-13-3-touch-screen-laptop-intel-core-i7-16gb-memory-512gb-solid-state-drive-platinum-silver/6162026.p?skuId=6162026
I assume its best to test on a version that lives on the computer instead of online because it would be good to be able to work off line.
Geeksquad and I cannot figure out how to get the sketchup pro 2018 trial to work for the first time. One of the geek squad people has sketchup on his own computer and can’t figure it out. I downloaded it yesterday but what is the next step?And is there a way to freeze the trial after testing the computer? I won’t be starting to learn sketchup for at least a few weeks and I will want to start on make before pro.
Is there any number I can call at trimble to ask this question? Thanks!

Hi, I don’t know if this reply is going back to the moderator… I will use it for plumbing plans, 2d, 3d and light animation. I am frustrated to the point of tears. I downloaded sketchup make which automatically started sketchup pro trials, all of which are losing days and I can’t find a way to begin to use any of them. Neither can geek squad, including the microsoft rep who has sketchup on his own computer. So I downloaded sketchup 2018 pro trial on purpose yesterday, and I can’t get that one to work either.
I only want to use these to test computers. Is there any place I can call for help?

Is there any way to freeze the trials once the computer is selected, to save the trial for when I will actually be learning sketchup?

I want to learn sketchup, in part because the pr says its easy to learn. I am starting to doubt that.

THanksso much!



If you want to not run out the clock on SketchUp Pro 2018 Trial, then download SketchUp Make 2017 instead.

The hardware requirements are similar (possibly identical), and Make includes a 30 day free trial of Pro 2017.

Thank you. Already downloaded 2018. If I delete it will that stop the clock?
How do I activate 2017 after downloading make? I thought it was just me until a committee at geeksquad could not.


Now you’re asking questions beyond my knowledge. When I first got Sketchup over 4 years ago, I went straight to Pro because I knew I wanted both Dynamic Components and Solid Tools. Since then, I’ve paid my Pro Yearly Maintenance and, when newer versions were released, I received an email with a license activation code and a download link - which I immediately used.

So I never worried about a free trial clock. I’ve you’ve ever entered a license number into Pro, you’ve probably already started the clock which, if I recall other threads on this forum, can’t be stopped.

For the same reason (that I’ve never done it), I can’t advise on the details of activating Make.

1 Like

Thanks so much for trying! Very kind of you! Is there anyone at Trimble I can contact to find out how to turn on make?

SketchUp Versions Run side by side… you can have 2018 and 2017 both installed… or other editions as well.

So just download the version you’re interested in. and try it out.

Make 2017 will run as SketchUp 2017 Pro for 30 days after which time it will revert to Make. Running SketchUp 2017 as pro for that time will not affect SketchUp 2018 Pro however IF you have actually installed SketchUp 2018 Pro, it’s timer has already started. You would need to contact SketchUp Support directly to see if they will reset the 2018 timer for you. This forum is not for contacting the official SketchUp Support folks. Do that through the SketchUp.com website.

As for why you can’t seem to make SketchUp run, there’s a great deal of missing information. Installing SketchUp is not difficult. On a Windows machine, after downloading SketchUp, find the installer file (probably in the Downloads folder), right click on it and choose Run as administrator from the Context menu. If that has been done and it still doesn’t seem to run, there must be some indication of what is happening. The Geeksquad people should be smart enough to figure out what that is by looking at what Windows reports.

FWIW, Intel HD graphics, while they may pass minimum requirements for SketchUp, have proven to be problematic due to their lack of adequate support of OpenGL. You can search through this forum and find reports ad nauseum of problems related to Intel HD Graphics. Since you are shopping for a computer and are not committed to one, yet, you should consider getting one with an Nvidia GPU. Nvidia has a long history of good OpenGL support.

Thank you so much! I will try to contact sketchup support again and I am going to try geek squad one more time. I will post the solution if I can find one. And if I can’t, of course no point in buying a computer for a program I can’t learn.

This shouldn’t be as difficult as it sounds like you’re making it. If the “Geek Squad” can’t get SketchUp installed and running on a computer, I think you need to find a different squad. Or maybe an 8 year old.


:slight_smile: 8 year olds are smart. I just left Geek Squad They had no trouble opening it today after reinstalling. Not sure what the problem was yesterday. Big relief.
Tomorrow they will test sketchup on this computer for me.


What kinds of sketchup tasks will work better on a computer with Nvidia than on this Dell?


Thanks so much!!!


SketchUp relies on OpenGL to create the 3D-ness in the modeling. Models with lots of textures would be a good test. Have them download some complex models of buildings and such and see how the computer behaves when navigating around the model space. Also turn on shadows for that.

Hello again @priyag,

Sorry for the slow response…I have been out all day and only returned to my computer late this evening. It is not evident as to why you and the GeekSquad consultant ran into difficulty installing SU. This program is very simple to place on your computer. Download directly from the SketchUp website or click on the following link:


Select the version you want and when it is saved to your downloads folder or other location, find the .exe file, right click and “Run as Administrator”.

Since you have already installed the Pro trial, reinstall and use the Repair option this time, again being sure to Run as Administrator.

As I indicated to you earlier, there is no way to freeze the trial period…once you start using the software, the clock begins to run until the 30 day period is over.

FYI, I am providing a link that enables you to contact SU Pro Support. You can make a specific request to them on that form and they may accede to your request. Here’s the LINK.

You should paste the following url as a reference into your request message so that the support folks will be able to follow your posts and gain an understanding of your experience.


The system you identified is very similar to the last Dell unit I purchased for architectural work. (I am a practicing architect when not functioning as the SU Moderator.) The most distinct differences between the system you referenced and mine is that I have a larger screen and the integrated graphics adapter bears a different number. I am not aware of the technical variations between the two. My system also has an nVidia graphics adapter which has been set to be the primary graphics card for the system and it works flawlessly.

I also cautioned you about including your personal phone info in these public posts. This is not advised because these posts are available to folks all over the internet and even though, I’m sure, most SketchUppers are honest and decent people, it is not necessary to risk the information falling into the hands of someone who may have nefarious purposes in mind, therefore again, I am editing your post to disinclude the phone number.

I had no idea my replies were public. I was replying to what I thought were emails. Thanks for all of the info. We had no trouble downloading sketchup. It just wouldn’t activate but yesterday it did. Thanks so much for all of the help. Much appreciated!

Hi, Dave, I have not noticed a difference on Sketchup between these two computers doing fly arounds or playing with shadows, but I don’t have sketchup skills, and no one I know does. Still trying to decide between the Lenovo and the Dell. Here is some research. I have some facts now but I don’t speak Geek. **How much would the difference in these cards influence functioning in Sketchup? **
Thanks so much for any advice. I am going to geeksquad to optimize some settings so that I can use the bench mark tool on each computer. Will send you the results when I get them.

All the best,


Looks like the Nvidia mx130 (on the flex 6) is better than the Intel uhd graphics 620 on the Dell.


Here are the graphic card specs for the Intel (on the Dell)

Gráficos UHD Intel® 620:

DirectX* 12

OpenGL* 4.5

OpenCL* 2.1

Vulkan* 1.0.66

Here are the graphic card specs for the nvidia on the Lenovo Flex 6

Geforce MX 130 specs:

Graphics Features

DirectX12.0 (11_0)





Shader Model5.1


I don’t know but I guess I would lean toward the computer with the Nvidia card. Too many reports of problems related to Intel graphics here make me think that buying a computer that only has Intel Graphics is a bad idea.

What is the price range for these machines?

Thanks for the reply. The Dell was on super sale recently and I got it for 700+ tax. I can get the Flex 6 for 1150 including tax.
B&H doesnt charge tax.) Here is a comparison of the computers. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/compare/Dell_Inspiron_13_i5379_vs_Lenovo_Flex_14/BHitems/1399479-REG_1401772-REG

So I have been looking into it to see if the nvidia on the flex is really worth spending 50% more. ($1099 is the regular price for the Dell and $1149 is the regular price for the Lenovo.) The computers weigh the same. I like the Dell more for general use because the keyboard, track pad and monitor seem better. I am going to ask to calibrate the color today on both computers and also see if anything can be done to set the track pad and keyboard better on the Lenovo. I will adjust to liking the Lenovo a bit less in general if the sketchup performance is markedly better. If the Dell is fine for learning Sketchup on, then I would like to get the Dell.