Will SU 2018 run well on a MacBook Pro 2018 13in with only Intel Iris 655 graphics?


I can’t quite find an answer for this question on the forum or elsewhere, and although there are similar questions I don’t get 100% confidence that it will necessarily work fine.

I’m planning to buy a MacBook Pro 13in 2018, which doesn’t have an option for a separate graphics processor, and only has the inbuilt Intel Iris 655 chip.

I’ll get the i7 processor, and upgrade the RAM to 16GB.

How will this work for largish SU models?

Unfortunately, I don’t have the option to try it out before buying in the shop I’ve ordered it from - they won’t allow me to try it on the demo model they have.

Any advice would be welcomed, especially from anyone who runs SU 2018 on this version of the MacBook Pro 13in and uses MacOS Mojave.



Do you specifically want to stick with Apple?

For largish models, why use a 13" screen?



Good point: do I have to stick with Apple? Not absolutely necessary, but it goes with other hardware I already have - an iMac and an old iPad Mini.

Mostly i work with larger models on an iMac 27" Desktop, but I want an easily portable way of showing other people the models - usually via projection to a large screen, or plugin via HDMI or DVI to a second monitor. So I don’t expect to do much editing on a 13" screen.

And while it’s important to me that SU should work well enough, i use the machine for other things too.

But I could be persuaded to revert to Windows on a laptop. I have an old Win10 Ultrabook, which I use sometimes for programs that don’t have a MacOS equivalent as well as for SU. But it’s old and rather slow. And I use both Win10 and Win7 on Parallels VMs on my iMac for a couple of things that don’t have MacOS equivalents.

I don’t want to afford a 15in MacBook Pro - it’s several hundred pounds more expensive for an equivalent spec, and this isn’t for work, just retirement hobby use.



Sounds sensible to stick with an all Apple lineup.

There have been lots of issues on this forum with driver updates for Intel GPU’s on WIN laptops, but I don’t recall any on Mac.

I would guess Apple are more careful about driver updates.

You should be able to test some 3D apps on a demo model in a high street near you?



Thanks for your comments.

I will try again to get the local shop I’m ordering from to let me try SU on their demo model, if it has the same chip.

SU is really the only 3D app I use, though I know there others.

I’m still interested to know if anyone (including you, @GSTUDIOS?) has the same hardware as I’m planning to buy, and successfully or otherwise uses SU 2018 on it.



I use a WIN laptop, heavily customized.

Just had a look at Mac Pro specs - one thought that occurs is future proofing your purchase - if you get the 15" model with a Radeon GPU, it would likely be compatible with SU longer that an Intel GPU (depending on the Open GL specs of an Intel GPU). Many other benefits such as easier to read the larger screen (as we age), 6 cores instead of 4…



I understand and appreciate the logic of that. But the extra cost and bulk put me off, rather. I’ll keep thinking about it, and go back to the shop before making a final decision.


Compare against the MSI GP63 Leopard ...

Compare against the MSI GP63 Leopard … I bought one at Walmart on sale for 200 US off.
They are normally 1600 US, whereas your MacBook Pro is normally 2000 US.

The Leopard’s Intel HM370 chipset supports up to 32GB of RAM, and comes with a hexacore i7 CPU.
They come with an empty slot for another SSD (2 slots total.)
The HDMI port supports a 4K monitor. It also has an Apple Mini Display port.
It comes equipped with a Nvidia GeForce® GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5 VRAM which will support SketchUp and 3D applications for many many years to come.
And the internal display is 15.6" … Basically you get a lot more for your money.


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I decided in the end to stick with the MacBook Pro range, but to get the bigger 15" one, with a Radeon 555X graphics adapter.

Thanks for the comments and suggestions.



For what it is worth, my main “daily driver” computer is a MacBook Pro 13-inch, 3.5GHz Core i7 with 16GB of RAM and an SSD. SketchUp Free is my preferred version of SketchUp, running in Chrome. So if that doesn’t work, you can be sure I’ll tell the Engineering team directly.




I wondered about this myself, though I’ve always ended up with 15" MBPs myself. I recently got a 13" for other family members, not me, but out of curiosity, I could try installing a trial of SU on it to see how it does.



I have a Gigabyte 15 inch notebook with a GTX1070, 16GB ram i7 CPU…

my model is the P35Xv6… but what is better is the new release AERO15

Now, reason for me is I use also TWINMOTION 2016 for realtime amimations

for clients and I need portable power…

If you thinking about going down the LUMION / ENSCAPE / TWINMOTION road you need a strong GPU …

This is the link to the realtime Twinmotion 2016 Model of the above project

It is a 160Mb exe file [not a virus] and will run smoothly on any good GTX machine

and fly around in real time, go day to night, lighting , wind , cars [like LUMION




integrated solutions are made of office/internet/video and therefore slow (and power saving) by nature, for at least ‘largish’ models a dedicated gaphics system is regularly the better choice.



Hi John,

I had the same doubt a year ago as i was about to buy a new mac. I talked to several people (Apple vendors, Trimble people and friends in the know) an nobody could or would be 100% positive about your question. They all said simple models would be fine with the shared graphics card but doubted that renders would be done easily. In general people advised me to get a machine with a dedicated graphics processor.

In the end i bought a new iMac instead of the others i had been looking at.