Xeon vs. Core i7 CPU?

I am shopping for a new laptop computer to primarily run Sketchup.

I was told to look at “gaming” laptops but when I mentioned to the tech that I wasn’t a gamer he recommended a laptop optimized for rendering rather than gaming and that the Xeon CPU would be a better choice than the gaming computer running the Intel Core i7.

Does anyone have any experience or advice regarding this choice?

The intel core i7 is better for rendering, because 3d requires a single fast cpu, but photo editing and other stuff in that region benefits from multi core CPU’s. Try getting a mainstream mobile laptop with no graphics card or a low end graphics card, with an intel i7, with a clock speed of 3.4 GHz or more.
Hope this helps!

Also, Scratch the part about the “low end” graphics card. try getting a medium teir. So a gaming computer with a graphics card like a GT 1050 or a Radeon 7400.

And forget about SketchUp 2017 which requires a decent graphics card that supports OpenGL 3.0 or higher.

DaveR, Can you elaborate on your comment regarding SU2017 needing a good graphics card?

shad0w7, By “mainstream” do you mean a laptop not labeled a gaming laptop?

From SketchUp Hardware and Software Requirements

Recommended hardware
2+ GHz processor
700MB of available hard-disk space
3D class video card with 1GB of memory or higher and supports hardware acceleration. Please ensure that the video card driver supports OpenGL version 3.0 or higher and is up to date.

SketchUp’s performance relies heavily on the graphics card driver and its ability to support 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.

3-button, scroll-wheel mouse.

Minimum hardware
1 GHz processor
16GB of total hard-disk space
500MB of free hard-disk space
3D-class video card with 512MB of memory or higher and supports hardware acceleration. Please ensure that the video card driver supports OpenGL version 3.0 or higher and is up to date.

This and lots of threads here on problems related to graphics cards suggest that the shadow’s advice isn’t the best. You can search the forum and see what there is to see regarding graphics cards. Also, there are plenty of reports of issues with Radeon cards and their drivers weak support of OpenGL.

Thank you, DaveR. That is helpful.

Xeons and CAD graphics cards (Quadro/FirePro) are neither required nor of any benefit, AMD Radeons because of a flaky OpenGL support not recommended = fast single speed Core i7 quad core (not the dual core U/UM revisions) and a dedicated nVidia GeForce GT(X):


“Mobile workstations” typically also cost about 2…3 times the price asked for a good “gaming” laptop, and, as Norbert (sketch3d_de) says, do not really give any benefit for SketchUp. They also typically weigh about 2…2.5 times more, have a large and, again, heavy power supply, and their battery life is very poor, usually you can work about 2 times longer with a non-workstation.


Anssi & sketch3d, Thank you for your help. I decided to go with gaming laptop with the following specs:

Windows 10 operating
15.6" Full HD display
The 1920 x 1080 resolution boasts impressive color and clarity. Energy-efficient LED backlight.
6th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-6700HQ mobile processor
16GB system memory for intense multitasking and gaming
1TB hard drive and 128GB solid state drive (SSD)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics
Backed by 6GB GDDR5 dedicated video memory

If I missed something I have 14 days to return it. Let me know. Thanks!

I also credit this video for helping me figure it all out: Choosing a Laptop - YouTube

Thanks again to everyone who helped.

I saved a small model that I created on my macbook in SU2016 and opened it in SU2017 on the new PC system and started to see a spinning wheel [wait, what?.. I thought I was solving that problem] I ran the diagnostic: Epic fail?


Error: Your “Intel(R) HD Graphics 530” graphics card has 1 MB of graphics card memory. SketchUp requires a graphics card that has 256 MB or more of memory.
Warning: SketchUp has detected you are using a “Intel(R) HD Graphics 530” graphics card when your system is capable of using an AMD or NVIDIA graphics card. SketchUp will likely perform better if you change your system to use the AMD or NVIDIA card.
Success: System RAM requirement has been met!
Success: Operating system version requirement has been met!
Success: Graphics card OpenGL requirement has been met!
Success: Graphics card Hardware Acceleration requirement has been met!

The Checkup program found some errors (listed above). You may need to take some action in order to run SketchUp 2017.

To save power, by default laptops use the integrated Intel graphics. In Nvidia control panel > 3D settings. Go to the menu option to customize settings for programs. Check that the Nvidia card is selected for SU use.

Update graphics card driver.

Thank you, catamountain.

I downloaded the latest driver but can’t see a Nvidia control panel anywhere on this machine. All I get is a GEFORCE EXPERIENCE portal to download and update drivers. Therefore checking to see if the Nvidia card is selected for SU is seemingly impossible. Any hints on where I can find that control panel. I do apologize as I am migrating back to a PC environment from a mac. I appreciate your understanding.

Try r-clicking on an empty space in the Windows desktop. On Win7, one of the context menu options is the Nvidia control panel.


Cheers! Your Win7 trick worked on Win10. I ran the Sketchup 2017 checkup and this time it was 100% success.

You folks on the Sketchup community are truly amazing and generous with your knowledge and help.

Thanks again.

go for an IPS (or VA) display (= wide viewing angle, better contrast) preferrably as matte version.

Why your tech guy recommended an Intel Xeon cpu is beyond me.
Xeon cpus were designed to address the need for enterprise-class workstations and servers, not games, or even high end 3D graphics apps…I’m not saying they are dogs with those tasks, but when I took my wife’s Dell server with dual Xeon cpus and loaded it with a number of gaming/graphics apps, after a month of playing around, it was soon very clear that (compared to my Socket 1150 i7, it simply couldn’t keep up.
Got a database to work with? Do you need to multitask in a big way? Xeons are perfect for those kinds of tasks.

OK, so I don’t know if this is the right place, but it is related. I have a 4yr old Dell desk top with an intel Xeon CPU E-3 1225 v2 running At 3.2 GHz. Sketchup 2017 Checkup (congrats to the SU team for that) indicated that I needed a GPU with more memory. Great, so I decided on a gforce GTX 1060. My problem is that it requires a new (additional?) power supply. I would like to get a Corsair as they are reputed to be quiet and reliable. I have in the past replaced many components in my computers, but never a power supply. Like mother boards and GPUs there are too many choices out there. Modular vs semimodular, wattage, included power cables, and so on. So I need to find a site/ video that can help me make the right choice and give clear installation and connection instructions.

If I lived in an urban area I would simply bring it to a shop. However I am in an extremely remote area -not an option.

@jcharltoncarp what is your current graphic card and memory specs? There is a known Checkup issue on misreporting graphic card memory.