Which computer ( PC / Mac Configuration )?

Hi all SKU folks. I am thinking about updating my computer. I have no idea where to start with this- Mac or PC for instance? I’m presently on a PC and SKUI 2020; I dread changing to Mac however-
I need my computer to perform better using Sketchup. Even with using tags and layers off, minimizing 3d models from the warehouse, etc, I’m finding my present computer struggles. Also - Layout causes really slow work especially with lots of pages.
Whilst I am beginning to love SKU, its slowness is beginning to affect my efficiency.

Is a new computer required and if so what is the best option for working time efficiently with SKU?

Thanks in advance

What’s the specification of your current computer, and how old is it?

In particular, your profile says that you are running SU 2018 Pro, but in your post you say it’s the 2020 version - please update the profile. Your profile also says you don’t know what graphics card your computer has, and that’s one of the things that can make a big difference. If you are just using ‘built in’ Intel graphics, it’s possible that upgrading to a standalone graphics card on its own might improve things noticeably (if that’s possible - if your computer is a laptop, it probably won’t be).

On the other hand, if your computer is more than five or six years old, even a modestly price new one with a good (preferably nVidia) graphics card and a fast processor could make a substantial difference. But otherwise, it isn’t usually ‘transformative’ in boosting SU’s performance, and you might not even double the speed in SU.

I changed over five years ago from PC to Mac, and am still using a late 2015 model 27" iMac 5K screen resolution with an i5 processor, and except for one HUGE model (600MB+) I worked on, it has performed well and still does. The originator of this model had a similar iMac except it had an i7 processor, and he could work adequately on that. My machine struggled, but was usable on parts of the model, though not on the whole model.

I have to say that what sold me on this iMac was the absolutely gorgeous screen - both the size, and the resolution. You can now get near equivalents for a PC, but they are almost equally expensive, and not quite the same quality, I understand.

The transition wasn’t as difficult as I feared, and I’ve since grown very used to it. But there are still a few programs I use that have no Mac equivalent, so I now run a virtual Windows 10 machine on the same hardware, using Parallels.

You could even just run Windows on the Apple hardware using Boot Camp.

But there are also excellent PCs that work very well for SU. It depends on your budget, and whether spending a bit more on the hardware would pay for itself in terms of saved time and reduced frustration if you are paid for your work.

I also read on the forum that many but not all users of Layout find that the current (2021) version is usefully faster than previous versions.

See if you can find out more about your present computer configuration, and others more knowledgeable than I am will be able to comment on whether a newer, faster computer would make a worthwhile difference.

1 Like

Thanks John , great help!
Im on a PC windows 10, Processor intel ® core TM i7- 6700cpu, memory 16384MB
Graphics card: Intel ®HD Graphics 530. All of which mean very little to me. I am worried about the transition to Mac and have been advised that many pcs can out do a Mac. Still umming and ahhing over this one but in the mean time if I do need a new graphics card I shall get one pronto!
thanks again

Desktop or laptop? Could you add a graphics card to your current system?
Your current system starts to be a bit dated, but it should be OK for small models.

CPU: Single thread performance is what counts with SketchUp. Yours rates at 2302 in PassMark. Best current ones are around 3700. This would count as noticeable, but probably not mind-shattering.

Memory: 16 GB seems to be the standard today but if I went shopping now, I would ask for more, 32 or 64.

Graphics card: I have a Nvidia bias as they seem to have less hassles with drivers. Almost any model will give you noticeably better performance than Intel but today the RTX models seem to be the norm. Stay away from Quadros, they only take your money.

At the moment I think that there are unsolved issues in the SketchUp/Mac relationship. Apple has introduced a new hardware architecture. While reports of SketchUp performance have been positive, the appllcation currently runs through emulation and has not yet been ported to the new processors. Also the fate of future OpenGL support on the Macs is uncertain.


Thank you Anssi - Your right, my computer is a bit dated!!
I shall heed all advice and my hesitation towards Macs and SKU is now even more substantiated.

Those specs are not far off from my home pc. I have a 4th gen i7, 16gb ram and a Gtx 650ti. I have no problems bringing my models home from the office to work on. Now rendering is a bit slower (AmbientOcclusion and Simlab Composer).

Many people jump at getting better hardware at huge expense only to find the speed increase is minimal.
You need to address this much like riding a motorbike, you need to learn to ride the nuts off a small bike before you move up to a larger one, or you will never understand how to use the extra power.
So it’s very much worth your while to spend the time to understand the best way to optimise your modelling to get the best out of whichever system you are using.
This very old link is still current as a good place to start.

Too often we see models that will cripple any machine being passed off as ‘oh it’s only a simple model’. I’m not saying you are doing that but it is all part of the process.
The hardware, much like the bigger bike, only comes when you have wrung every last ounce of performance out of what you have, so you will be able to use the extra horsepower properly when you get it.
Changing OS also shouldn’t be a decision taken on how well sketchup works. There are good things and bad things with both versions, and enough differences to make the transition ‘interesting’ but not impossible. Deciding on an OS should encompass all your usage and not just an idea of what might be better.
One of my many brother moved from PC to Mac just before he started a 2 year working on the road extravaganza, he cursed that mac in 32 different countries. Another brought a PC into a Mac household, wife and 3 kids all with macs, iphones, ipads etc … it was not a pretty sight.

So, make sure you understand what you have and what you need and then look at the advice on offer.


• SketchUp Help Center: Improving Performance

if you gonna buy a new system, get the fastest single thread performance CPU you can afford, add a medium sized nVidia Geforce GTX/RTX (~200-250 U$/€) and you’re done. Enough RAM (>= 16 GB) and a SSD as system drive is obvious.

Graphics cards are expensive these days, you might want start with a smaller model and upgrade later on when prices are dropping again… everything is better than an integrated intel (U)HD.


That’s funny!!! Your poor family-

I get what you’re saying, and indeed it’s not just about SKU. But it is the tool used that generates my income so bears heavily on the decision.
I am however quite reasonable at grouping, tagging, turning tags off. not using heavy warehouse 3D models etc, etc Am I missing something - is there something else I should be doing?

When I use layout and SKU together the computer almost faints!!! “Sketchup not responding” is the message. So whilst I have coronary thinking I’m losing my work it finally comes round with a saved model. Layout, however, is so slow when labelling and dimensioning in particular. It really slows my productivity down.

Any tips much appreciated.
thanks everyone for all your answers.

If you attach a model that you are happy to share that you may be having issues with, people here will be willing to evaluate and give you some tips if necessary.
Probably too big for a direct attachment, but upload to dropbox or drive etc and post a link and you’ll get some good advice.

yep, use the fast styles at least during modeling, the do have a stop watch icon in the lower right corner and switch of ‘eye candy’ as shadow, fog, x-ray and textures of course:

Thanks for all the great answers SKU people, but why is Layout so so slow, in particular doing dimensions and labeling. A recent 20-page document caused me nightmares!I did have SKU switched off as I thought this could be contributing. Does anyone have both programmes open at the same time - is this a factor I wonder?

I think most people have SketchUp still open while working in LayOut.

Would you be willing send an example document to me? If it’s large you could put it online somewhere and send a link to me. You can click my avatar, then Message, to send the link to just me.

I know the LayOut developers like to have test case files, it helps to show whether any performance improvements they are making have helped for that particular kind of document.

I really don’t know how to put my model on line that is - its quite large and again i am having issues - now 3d warehouse will not open any models or even do a search??

Upload it to a file sharing service such as Dropbox, OneDrive or WeTransfer, and post a shared link here.

Hi there
If I do dropbox where do I send it to?

You don’t ‘send it’ anywhere. You copy a link to the file and post the link here.

Make sure anyone can read it.