Graphics Workstations & Rendering Systems for SketchUp
Understand the parameters that make an ideal SketchUp system
What is SketchUp?
SketchUp is a 3D modelling computer program for a wide range of drawing applications such as architectural, interior design, landscape architecture, civil and mechanical engineering, film and video game design.
What makes the best system for SketchUp?
There is no one ideal workstation for SketchUp, though this page will guide you through some of the factors to consider in choosing one depending on a number of factors. The most important factor is your intended usage of SketchUp software - simple models will work well on a lower powered workstation whereas large models will require much more powerful hardware. Similarly you should also consider whether SketchUp will be used standalone or whether other design or rendering packages will be open simultaneously - the below recommendations and guidance focus primarily on the requirements for SketchUp software alone, so you may want to read other application pages to understand how systems specifications may be impacted if multiple software applications are used together.
What CPU should I choose for SketchUp?
Whether you work with 2D or 3D models, SketchUp will benefit from CPUs with a high frequency and high IPC, so CPUs with lots of cores will have little impact as the application is predominantly single-threaded. Considering these parameters we recommend AMD Ryzen 5 or Intel Core i5 CPUs for entry-level SketchUp systems, Ryzen 7 and Core i7 for mid-range systems and Ryzen 9 or Core i9 CPUs for high-end systems.
What GPU do I need for SketchUp?
As we’ve stated SketchUp is a software application that relies on CPU for the majority of tasks so a basic GPU will suffice if working with 2D models - such as an NVIDIA T-series card. When using 3D models, especially larger ones we would recommend a higher specification GPU, such as an NVIDIA RTX GPU, to cope with the more complex graphics, but as SketchUp doesn’t rely on GPU memory very much there isn’t much need to invest in a card with large memory.
How much RAM is recommended for SketchUp?
The minimum RAM that we recommend for SketchUp is 16GB. As previously stated, if you require several models open alongside each other, or other applications open together then increasing the memory to 32GB is probably wise. Likewise, if you opt for a higher end CPU, it makes sense to match the RAM to the CPU capability for a more powerful system all round.
What storage does SketchUp need?
We would always recommend using an SSD for the primary drive that will host your OS, SketchUp itself, and any active projects you are working on. The high speed of SSDs allows your system to boot, launch applications, and load files many times faster than any traditional hard drive. Alternatively, as your work projects increase you may want to consider a second SSD or higher capacity HDD - depending on your budget - so your OS, SketchUp and live projects benefit from SSD speed, but your archived work uses the HDD where speed isn’t a necessity and costs can be lowered. Another archive solution could be to employ an external NAS device allowing sharing and RAID protection.
When it comes to deciding on drive capacity, this will very much depend on your number of files and the model sizes. You should also consider the space required by other applications and their associated files too.
Recommended SketchUp Workstation Specifications
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 9 / Intel Core i9||AMD Ryzen 7 / Intel Core i7||AMD Ryzen 5 / Intel Core i5|
|GPU||NVIDIA RTX A4000||NVIDIA T1000||NVIDIA T600|
|Storage||SSD + SSD||SSD + HDD||SSD|
The Best Workstations for SketchUp
Click the links below to view the range of graphics systems. We offer pre-configured systems that are ready to go or can custom build a system to your preferred specification.