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SketchUp is an excellent tool for interior designers, builders, mechanical and civil engineers, video game designers, and AEC professionals. When it comes to making conceptual 3D designs, SketchUp has been the tool of choice for many professionals.
Finding the best laptop for SketchUp can be a tough task as you have so many options out there that are mildly better than the other. How much money should you spend? Can you work with SketchUp on a budget? Must you have the best graphics card for the best SketchUp experience?
These are just a few questions you need to answer before you pick your laptop. If you know what you want, then this won’t be a big deal. If you’re a student or someone who is switching to SketchUp, then we’re here to help.
We’ve spent a lot of hours in deep research to find the best laptops for making 3D conceptual designs using SketchUp. This list is carefully compiled keeping a lot of our readers’ requirements in mind. You will not go wrong if you pick the right laptop for you from the list. So without wasting any more time, let’s dive in.
|ASUS ROG Strix G15
|MSI GL65 Leopard
|MacBook Pro 16
(Best Mac Pick)
|Acer Predator Helios 300||
|GigaByte AERO 15||
|HP Omen 17″||
Best Laptop For SketchUp
Here’s the list of the best laptops for running SketchUp.
- ASUS ROG Strix G15
- MSI GL65 Leopard
- MacBook Pro 16
- Acer Predator Helios 300
- GigaByte AERO 15
- HP Omen 17″
- MSI WF65
Editor’s Choice – ASUS ROG Strix G15
The ASUS ROG Strix G is a complete laptop as it comes with all the excellent hardware features, and that is why it is our choice for the best laptop for SketchUp. One of the best things about this laptop is that even though this is a high-end device, it comes with a very affordable price tag which allows even students to get top-notch specs in their hands.
Being a gaming laptop, you will find a lot of specifications that are geared towards gamers. The display is one of them. We have a 15.6” display that comes with a 240Hz refresh rate and an overdrive response time of 3ms. This refresh rate and response time are fantastic and it was an amazing viewing experience not only for gaming but also for conceptual designing and modeling. The display is also a fantastic one when it comes to enjoying your favorite movies and TV shows on this laptop.
The laptop is equipped with a 10th generation Intel chip. This is a hexa-core i7 processor that comes with a base clock speed of 2.6GHZ and a maximum clock speed of 5.0GHz. In terms of power, this is one of the best processors you can get on your laptop right now. It handles a SketchUp with ease and allows you to go as far as you can. The processor comes with excellent support from the memory department that is loaded with 16 gigs of DDR4 RAM.
The graphics card on this laptop is an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card. This is the second-best GPU you can get on your laptop at the time of writing. With a dedicated video memory of 8GB, you should be able to get pretty much any model done without any issues whatsoever. If you are a gamer, this GPU takes very good care of you. Another important thing about this laptop is the SSD that comes with excellent reading and writing speeds and generous space of 1TB.
Runner Up – MSI GL65 Leopard
The MSI GL65 Leopard is our choice for the second-best laptop for SketchUp. This laptop shares pretty much the same DNA as our first choice and delivers similar performance. We have included this laptop on this list as it gives a more affordable option with a few hardware shortcomings. You don’t get a very spacious solid-state drive and a slightly different display.
When looking for a laptop to run SketchUp, some people don’t want to spend a lot of money. If that’s you, then this MSI laptop is a fantastic choice. This laptop comes with pretty much every specification you can think of that will allow you to have the best SketchUp experience possible. The Intel Core i7 processor inside this laptop does a tremendous job in handling SketchUp and gives you the flexibility to even work on complex 3D concepts and models.
The display we have on this model is a 15.6” one with full HD resolution and 144Hz refresh rate. This display is excellent for gaming and also gives a smooth experience when you are panning, rotating, and zooming in and out of the models. The laptop comes with an Nvidia GeForce RTX2070 graphics card and 8GB of dedicated video RAM. The 16 gigs of RAM in the memory department also comes in handy when you’re working on your models.
The solid-state drive on this laptop has pretty good reading and writing speeds and brings 512GB of storage space to this device. The keyboard and trackpad on this device are also quite good but the former is what is the best we’ve seen on a laptop.
Best Mac For SketchUp – MacBook Pro 16
If you are looking to get a laptop from the Apple ecosystem then the MacBook Pro 16 is the best laptop for SketchUp as it is the only one that comes with a dedicated graphics card. The 16” MacBook Pro is a fantastic device that has all the hard work you need to go all-in on 3D conceptual designs and models. It is without doubt also the most expensive laptop on this list.
The MacBook Pro 16 comes with a stellar display. We have a resolution that is a bit better than the QHD resolution, and the output picture quality is outstanding. We can easily say that this is one of the best displays you will get on a laptop. It comes to processing power, there is a hexa-core Intel chip handling things. This is a powerful processor and it gets ample support from the 16 GB of RAM in the memory department.
The graphics card we have here is an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M graphics card. This is a high-end graphics card that comes with a dedicated memory of 8GB of video RAM. When it comes to handling 3D models inside SketchUp, this laptop does a pretty sweet job. The solid-state drive with probably the best reading and writing speeds also plays an important role in the overall performance of the laptop.
Best Budget Laptop For SketchUp – Acer Predator Helios 300
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is an excellent laptop that comes with all the elements you need to have a sweet SketchUp experience on a budget. The laptop comes with a mid-range graphics card that belongs to the latest generation and it manages to deliver a pretty sweet overall performance. The GPU we are talking about is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 and it arrives with six gigs of dedicated VRAM.
A 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor handles everything on this laptop. This is a very powerful processor that can clock up to a maximum of 5.0GHz. The 16 gigs of RAM in the memory department gives you the ability to do some serious multitasking and also handles SketchUp beautifully. The SSD on this laptop comes with a capacity of 512GB and brings in some serious speed when it comes to reading and writing.
The display of this Acer laptop is a 15.6” display that comes with a 144Hz refresh rate and 1080p resolution. As this is a gaming laptop, you can experience a fluid user experience all over the operating system which is very addictive. This display is also fantastic for gaming and media consumption besides 3D modeling.
Best 4K Laptop For SketchUp – GigaByte AERO 15
If you are on the lookout for a 4K laptop, then the GigaByte AERO 15 is a very good choice. This laptop comes with a beautiful AMOLED display with 4K resolution and is one of the best panels we have seen. The display comes with 100% coverage for P3 color gamut and sRGB color gamut which means you will get the most accurate colors even for media consumption and modeling.
As far as the performance of SketchUp is concerned, the laptop does a pretty good job, thanks to the hexa-core processor from the 9th generation of Intel chips. This is an i7 chip that comes with a maximum clock speed of 4.7GHz and pulls some serious power when you need them. You get 16GB of RAM that helps in giving you a restriction-free multitasking experience.
The graphics card we have on this processor is an upper mainstream graphics card in the form of an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 TI. This graphics card comes with a dedicated VRAM of 6GB which does a pretty good job when it comes to handling 3D models inside SketchUp. Overall the farmers of the laptop are also on point, thanks to the fast solid-state drive that keeps everything snappy.
Best 17-inch Laptop For SketchUp – HP Omen 17”
If you are on the hunt for a 17” laptop for SketchUp, then this HP Omen model is a very good choice. This model comes with a 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor that has everything you need when it comes to handling even complex 3D models. The processor can clock to a maximum of 4.7GHz which gives you enough processing power to handle pretty much anything you need.
The memory department on this laptop is loaded with 16 gigs of RAM that is of DDR4 type. Multitasking on this laptop is a place and you don’t have to restrict yourself at any point. The storage department comes with a 512GB SSD that is spacious as well as fast. The display 17.3” display comes with full HD resolution which might give you a below-par pixel but fares practically well.
The graphics card we have on this laptop is an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 with a dedicated VRAM of 8 gigs. This is a high-end graphics card and it has an exceptional job and it comes to handling games as well as SketchUp projects on this laptop. The overall performance of this laptop is just brilliant and if you’re looking to have a huge laptop, then this one wins our vote.
Best Workstation Laptop For SketchUp – MSI WF65
If you are on the lookout for an affordable workstation laptop for SketchUp, then this MSI WF65 is a very good choice. The laptop comes with some interesting specs that belong to high-end models at a price that belongs to low-end models. MSI has made some amazing gaming laptops in the past this workstation laptop definitely gets our attention in the budget category.
The processor that runs the show inside this MSI laptop is an Intel Core i7 chip from the 10th generation. This is a high-performance processor that comes with a base clock speed of 2.6GHz and a maximum clock speed of 5.0GHz. The processor handles pretty much everything you want on SketchUp and also breezes through your everyday activities.
When it comes to the memory department, the laptop comes loaded with 16 gigs of DDR4 memory. This memory is fantastic for handling multitasking makes inside and outside SketchUp. The graphics card on this laptop is an Nvidia Quadro P620 graphics card that is a workstation graphics card but a mid-range one. The overall performance of the laptop with regards to SketchUp is quite good for the price and definitely stands up to the workstation tag.
Best Laptop For SketchUp – Ultimate Buying Guide
When looking for the best laptops for SketchUp, you need to make sure that you’re focusing on certain aspects of your laptops. We’ve detailed everything in the following ultimate buying guide in an easy-to-follow fashion.
Without wasting any more time, let’s get into it.
A laptop that deals with models and conceptualization must come with a good display. Make sure that your laptop has a good display which does not affect your working style negatively.
It is very important to go with the screen that is the right size for you. If you’re a student who is always on the move, then you might want to settle for a 13.3″ display. This is also true for professionals who work on 2D models and have a light workload. A laptop with a 13.3″ screen usually weighs from 2.5 to 3.3 pounds and you can easily take it with you wherever you go.
If you don’t need a portable laptop, then a 15.6″ display is a perfect fit. Most users who use SketchUp find this to be the right size for their modeling needs. This 15.6″ screen comes with a slightly more screen real estate and you will have a nice widescreen to work on.
The next thing you should consider is the panel quality. There are different panels with varying degrees of qualities, but we always recommend going with an IPS panel as it will give you the best pictures on the screen. A TN or a VA panel can be cost-effective but will not give you a good image and also creates more headaches later.
An IPS panel comes with a good contrast ratio. We have seen a lot of IPS panels in different budgets, almost all IPS panels come with a solid contrast ratio. Thanks to this, you will observe deep blacks and bright whites paving way for an awesome grayscale performance. You will also be able to see more colors on an IPS panel as opposed to a TN or a VA panel. Not to mention, the viewing angles of an IPS panel are also simply fantastic.
Now, it is time to think about the resolution of your display. As a minimum, you should go for a full HD display. This resolution is perfect in more ways than one. One, it gives you a neat pixel density which in turn provides excellent picture quality. Two, SketchUp performs the best in this resolution even though there is native support for higher resolutions as well.
If your budget allows, you can also aim for higher resolution displays. Most flagship laptops these days come with a QHD display and it will scale to the native resolution of the application for your best experience. You can also go for a 4K display but that will be overkill as SketchUp doesn’t need that kind of a display for regular operation.
Another thing to note is the maximum brightness of your display. If you’re someone who works outdoors or in a place where there are a lot of bright lights, then your laptop should have a good maximum brightness value to give you a good viewing experience. If you are going for high-end models, you don’t have to worry about this. But if you’re going for budget models, then shoot for at least 300 to 350 nits of maximum brightness.
There is also the option to choose from a matte display or a glossy display. If color accuracy is important for you, then a glossy screen is a good choice. If you’re looking for a reflection-less screen, then a matte display is a good fit.
Also, if you plan on getting a convertible laptop, make sure you have a sensitive touchscreen on board. The display should have very little input lag so that you can write and illustrate without visible lag.
A laptop that is purchased for running SketchUp should have a good processor in place. SketchUp is very dependent on the processor and his performance. If you are on a budget, we would still not recommend going for dual-core processors as they are absolutely useless when it comes to 2D as well as 3D modeling.
If you’re going for the latest-gen Intel Core i5 or an Intel Core i7 processor, you should be okay in most cases. When it comes to the number of physical cores on your processor, he should be okay if you start with a quad-core chip. A quad-core processor from the latest generation of Intel or AMD can do a fantastic job when it comes to running SketchUp. If you are going to be dealing with mostly 3D models, then you might want to invest in a hexa-core processor. This will give you more power in order to deal with complex 3D concepts and designs.
The next thing you should be focusing on is the clock speed. While the number of physical cores on your processor is important, it also should give equal weight to the clock speed of your processor. If we are going to work on 2D models, then you don’t have to worry about having the best clock speed that is. A clock speed of around 2.6 to 3.0 GHz will do fine.
If you are going to be working on 3D models, then the processor should come with a clock speed of at least 3.2GHz. The processor should be able to reach how much higher clock speeds in upwards of 4.2GHz when you need it. Most flagship laptops these days will come with a hexa core processor that will be able to easily handle your SketchUp needs.
You can go with either an Intel processor or an AMD processor. Both these manufacturers have come a long way, and there is no longer a monopoly in the industry which is a fantastic thing for the consumers. Whether you go for an Intel or an AMD chip, your laptop will have the desired performance. In fact, you can save a few bucks by choosing an AMD processor as they are a bit easier on your wallet. Alternatively, you can spend the same amount of money and get much better performance than the AMD processor as well.
Now let’s talk about that RAM situation on your laptop. Having enough memory on your laptop is very important when dealing with complex projects. If you are a student who is just learning the art of modeling architectural and interior designs, then you will be mostly restricted to 2D models. If this is your current situation, then we highly recommend going for 8GB of RAM. This memory will be fine when dealing with such models and you don’t have to overspend getting more memory.
If you are a professional who needs to regularly work on 3D concepts and models, then you might want to go for 16GB of RAM from the get-go. 16GB of RAM will give you adequate memory to work on your modeling, and also will have some left that will deal with the operating system and additional applications running side-by-side. If you know that you are going to be dealing with some super complex models, then it might make sense to go for 32 gigs of RAM.
When choosing memory, it is important to go for the latest DDR4 type RAM. This is the latest and it gives you a huge advantage over the previous generation. One of the notable fanbases is the much higher clock speed that you get with DDR4. With the same amount of memory, DDR4 easily outperforms DDR3 which is why we recommend the former.
Though most of the operations inside SketchUp is heavily dependent on the processor, a dedicated graphics card can make things much smoother when it comes to rendering and viewing things finally. A good graphics card can greatly improve the rendering time and also will make panning, zooming in and out, and other navigations very fluid.
Let’s talk about the scenarios where you will need different graphics cards. If you are just a student who is figuring out what everything is, then you will do fine with an apartment range graphics card like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 or the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060. These upper mid-range graphics cards are quite good when it comes to handling simple graphics applications. You will be able to work smoothly on 2D models and also some 3D models depending upon their complexity levels.
If you’re going to need heavy graphics processing, then it would be smart to go for a high-end graphics card. You can go for Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 or 2080 graphics cards. These graphics cards are much better in terms of performance and will give you excellent output in terms of graphics. These graphics cards will also give you the freedom to play the latest and the greatest games out there.
There are a myth out there that workstation graphics cards will outperform consume and green graphics cards. This is simply not true as you can pretty much get the same old payments from both types of graphics cards. We urge our readers to go for consumer-grade graphics cards unless you are sure that a workstation graphics card will make a significant difference in performance.
Finding the right kind of storage for your laptop is crucial. We recommend going with a solid-state drive as it gives you the best performance for your money. Unlike mechanical hard drives, SSDs do not come with moving parts and regular operation is a lot faster as well.
You don’t a lot of space for SketchUp. You will be fine with 15GB of free space which means even a fast 128GB solid-state drive can make it work. If you have a huge library of files, then that size might not be enough. We usually suggest starting with a 256GB solid-state drive so that you have a good storage option in place. If you’re routing for a flagship device, then you will get a minimum of a 512GB SSD on your laptop.
The only caveat with SSDs is that they are very expensive. You will get huge mechanical hard drives for a lot cheaper and this is not the case here. If you’re on a budget, a 128GB SSD will be a good choice. The higher the storage amount goes, the higher will be the cost of the SSD. You can also go for a hybrid storage setup that consists of both the HDD and the SSD to get both performance and space without wasting a lot of money.
Design and Cooling System
Design is something that a lot of people overlook when hunting for a laptop. Yes, we do focus on whether a laptop is good looking or not. But there’s a lot more to that than just looks.
You should always go for a durable laptop if you want the device to serve you for a decent number of years. A laptop with an aluminum build will be a good choice, but if your budget doesn’t permit you can settle for a simple plastic laptop that has proven durability. Just make sure there isn’t any creaking noise or visible flexing when pushing the laptop to its limits.
SketchUp can be a very demanding application when dealing with 3D models. With a solid processor and a GPU on your laptop, you need to make sure that your laptop comes with a good cooling system in place. Most gaming laptops have a neat cooling system that keeps the laptop at an optimum temperature with the help of fans or liquid cooling.
If your laptop has a solid cooling system in place, then you don’t have to worry about running SketchUp to its maximum potential. You can crank up the processor and GPU to the maximum with a heavy workload without any lag or heating issues.
Connectivity and Battery Life
Ensure that your laptop comes with excellent connectivity options. You will benefit from the inclusion of ports like the USB Type-C port. Make sure that you have a recent gen port so that you get good data transfer speeds.
If you really want excellent data transfer speeds, make sure that your laptop comes with a USB Type-C port. This is the latest innovation in the connectivity world, and it comes with the ability to transfer data at super-high speeds, charge your laptop, and connect your laptop to an external 4K or even a 5K display.
Wireless connectivity on your laptop should be overlooked as well. The laptop should come with the latest generation of WiFi built-in. If you can’t have WiFi 6 on your laptop, then make sure it has at least WiFi 5 so that you can get super-fast internet. If you’re a gamer, then WiFi 6 is handy with very low latency and ping. Built-in Bluetooth connectivity also ensures stress-free wireless connectivity with external devices.
Let’s talk about battery life. If you’re someone who designs models on the go, then a laptop with good battery life is paramount. But if you’re among the most who will work in an office or at the comfort of your home, then you don’t have to worry about battery life as you’ll always have access to a power outlet.
Regardless of which camp you belong to, make sure that your laptop comes with at least a few hours of battery backup so that you can continue working even when there is a power failure.
Your budget is probably the most important factor in this list and people seem to overlook it quite easily.
Regardless of the requirements, you have in mind, your budget will always have the last laugh. The good news is that you can run SketchUp even with a budget gaming laptop. If you’re in this situation, you can refer to the Acer Predator Helios 300 laptop above as it comes with an affordable price tag and manages to give you an excellent performance.
If you want an even tighter budget option, the Acer Nitro 5 model would be a good choice.
With no bounds for budget, you can go and get the laptop of your dreams. But we highly recommend getting the specs that will serve you well, and not overspend on vanity hardware configurations. Most designers don’t know how to make use of 32 gigs of RAM but will still insist on having them on your laptop. Don’t be like that. Save money wherever you can so that you can use it on some other hardware.
Unlike certain 3D modeling applications, SketchUp is available for both Windows and macOS. If your laptop manages to fulfill the minimum requirements for the software, then you can have a solid 3D modeling experience in either of the operating system.
If you’re accustomed to a certain operating system, there is no need to jump ship just for the sake of some optimization. For example, macOS does have some disadvantages when it comes to the graphics department. But the difference you get will be by switching the operating system will be insignificant and the learning curve will also be a bit too much to handle.
SketchUp is a fantastic software for those who want to make 3D conceptual designs. With the best laptops for SketchUp, you can make some amazing designs where only creativity is your limit.
If you’re looking for an all-out performer, then you should be fine with our Editor’s choice, the ASUS ROG Strix G model. Alternatively, you can also go with any laptop that comes with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card with 8GB video RAM.
If 2D modeling makes most of your workload, then you can go a bit easy on the hardware selection. The Acer Predator Helios 300 would be a very good choice in this scenario. You will also be fine with any laptop that has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti or an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU.
By now, you should have finalized the best laptop for SketchUp that suits your everyday routine. If you’re still not sure then do hit us an email, and we’ll push you in the right direction.