What do I look for in new Laptop for Sketchup? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 36 Old 10-20-2016, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Question What do I look for in new Laptop for Sketchup?

I want a new Laptop and I just haven’t kept up with all the latest computer features. My employer provided me with laptops for 10 years up until I retired at the beginning of the year and they chose everything for me. They always bought me Dell computers up until my last year which I think it was an HP.

Anyway I always had to ask for more memory for the first 5 years, but then they finial got it right. So I will probably go for the max memory right off and I think 1 TB of Hard drive will be ok. But I’m at a loss when it comes to the other stuff like Quad-Core, Intel Core i7, processor speed, Graphics Type Dedicated or integrated, Radeon or NVIDA GeForce.

So can anybody help me in buying a laptop to run Sketchup and editing photos?

JohnnyB
"I do what I do well, but I still like to dabble in what I donít do well"
I just like to build with wood and a means to save money by doing it myself.
I've been building things out of wood for 40 years and I'm still just an amateur.
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post #2 of 36 Old 10-21-2016, 03:06 AM
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You could probably run sketchup on a potato, its really not a very intensive program to run, as evidenced by the fact that my 7+ year old laptop runs it without a hitch. Photo editing is a little more demanding, are we talking 'touch up a photo here and there in photoshop', or 'professional photographer running a few thousand RAW files through lightroom'? For the first case, i wouldnt stress too much over the specs, a decent cpu with integrated graphics would be enough. Maybe a Core i5 with integrated, 8gb of ram or so, should do you fine for casual use, sketchup and photo editing, maybe even light gaming

If youre looking for professional use, what the devil are you doing asking a woodworking forum? I kid, i kid. For professional use, youd be wanting a much more powerful processor with a discrete graphics card, something like an i7 with maybe a 960m, maybe 16gb ram.

One thing you want to look for no matter what is a solid state hard drive. The capacity will be lower, somewhere between 128-512gb usually, but the difference in speed is massive. Go for an SSD for the main laptop drive, and pick up a usb drive if you need more storage space
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post #3 of 36 Old 10-21-2016, 08:18 AM
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Storage is one thing. You'll, likely, never fill a TB of storage.
It's the processor speed that's important, when it comes to user interface or "enjoyment" levels.
Just buy a good laptop. You don't really have to design your own system, unless you plan on doing a lot of gaming. Today's video games are hungry, electronic beast !!!

I would recommend buying a laptop with an exposed screen and drawing software. It's so much easier to make changes to a drawing directly on the screen with a stylus, than to try to do it with a mouse or touch pad.
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post #4 of 36 Old 10-21-2016, 08:22 AM
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I keep seeing ads for these

The ads are impressive:
https://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #5 of 36 Old 10-21-2016, 09:45 AM
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I have a Toshiba with Intel i5 and 8 gb memory, 750 gb hard drive. It works just fine with Sketchup, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements 13, Word, Excel, etc.

I did split the hdd into 500 gb/250 gb. The programs are on the 500gb partition and my drawings, photos, and everything else is on the E: drive. I back up often.
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post #6 of 36 Old 10-21-2016, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
If youre looking for professional use, what the devil are you doing asking a woodworking forum?
I absolutely hate it when people say stuff like this, because half the people here are not wood workers by trade. Just for your information Sketchup DOES NOT work on all laptops. I happen to have a Asus eee laptop that takes 15 min just draw one line and I wanted to nail it to the wall on more than one occasion..

Anyway I figured that If I asked in a place that actually talks about Sketchup, someone just might have some ideas on what is the best and what is not. Hell I asked in a computer forum and nobody even knew what Sketchup was. Now if I would have asked about gaming, I would have more than enough answers.

JohnnyB
"I do what I do well, but I still like to dabble in what I donít do well"
I just like to build with wood and a means to save money by doing it myself.
I've been building things out of wood for 40 years and I'm still just an amateur.

Last edited by Sleeper; 10-21-2016 at 10:30 AM.
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post #7 of 36 Old 10-21-2016, 10:54 AM
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I am currently working on kitchen cabinets. The guy didn't know what to do so I made three layouts using basic boxes and he chose this one. Now I am modeling each cabinet in detail for construction (by me).

Today I will be building the sink base and two side cabinets to fill that 76 inch area. The other box is the refrigerator. This is for an efficiency apartment.

I haven't had any problems, drawing, rotating viewing, zooming...nothing. I drew the cook top cabinet in a separate file and imported it into this layout with no issues.

Hope this helps.
Good luck.
Mike
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post #8 of 36 Old 10-21-2016, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Looks great Mike, I just love Sketchup and I use it all the time on my desktop for everything from landscaping to woodworking. I don't think I build anything no mater how simple it is without running it through Sketchup first.

I still have my desk top computers, but I get tired of running back and forth from my work to my desktop and that's why want to buy a new laptop that could do all that with ease.

I took a long train trip across the country last April and had a lot of projects that i wanted to work on while traveling so I loaded Sketchup on to the little Asus eee computer, but just kept crashing because it was so slow. I even thought about tossing it away to save the trouble of caring it around.

I drew up my whole house in other programs that will not run in Win10 anymore and I just wish I could transfer all those measurements and drawings into Sketchup before I lose my Vista and XP computers.

JohnnyB
"I do what I do well, but I still like to dabble in what I donít do well"
I just like to build with wood and a means to save money by doing it myself.
I've been building things out of wood for 40 years and I'm still just an amateur.
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post #9 of 36 Old 10-21-2016, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by epicfail48
"If you're looking for professional use, what the devil are you doing asking a woodworking forum?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper View Post
I absolutely hate it when people say stuff like this, because half the people here are not wood workers by trade.
You left out the very next part Epic typed, " I kid, i kid."

I absolutely hate it when people only see what they want to see, then complain about it.
I'm joking, but you probably won't read this sentence.
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post #10 of 36 Old 10-21-2016, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikechell View Post
Originally Posted by epicfail48
"If you're looking for professional use, what the devil are you doing asking a woodworking forum?"



You left out the very next part Epic typed, " I kid, i kid."

I absolutely hate it when people only see what they want to see, then complain about it.
I'm joking, but you probably won't read this sentence.
Ya I saw the "kid", "kid", but it still pisses me off.

JohnnyB
"I do what I do well, but I still like to dabble in what I donít do well"
I just like to build with wood and a means to save money by doing it myself.
I've been building things out of wood for 40 years and I'm still just an amateur.
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post #11 of 36 Old 10-21-2016, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikechell View Post
Originally Posted by epicfail48
"If you're looking for professional use, what the devil are you doing asking a woodworking forum?"



You left out the very next part Epic typed, " I kid, i kid."

I absolutely hate it when people only see what they want to see, then complain about it.
I'm joking, but you probably won't read this sentence.
Thanks for saving me the trouble of pointing that one out, you did it a lot more politely...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper View Post
Ya I saw the "kid", "kid", but it still pisses me off.
Mate, take a bloody joke. Did you miss the part immediately after that statement where I pointed out it was a joke, or completely overlooked the following paragraph where I gave an idea of what to look for? If you're gonna call me out because you think I'm being a jerk, the least you could do is leave my quotes in context

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post #12 of 36 Old 10-21-2016, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
Thanks for saving me the trouble of pointing that one out, you did it a lot more politely...



Mate, take a bloody joke. Did you miss the part immediately after that statement where I pointed out it was a joke, or completely overlooked the following paragraph where I gave an idea of what to look for? If you're gonna call me out because you think I'm being a jerk, the least you could do is leave my quotes in context
Look don't take it personal, I'm only saying that I don't appreciate the joke. Some humor just isn't funny to everyone.

It would be nice if there were just one forum that you can ask any question without being criticized about where you ask the question. If I wasn't serious about a recommendation, I wouldn't have asked.

So anyway thanks for nothing. I guess I'll just have search each laptop spec on my own to see what I want. Time consuming, but at least I don't have to explain myself each time.

JohnnyB
"I do what I do well, but I still like to dabble in what I donít do well"
I just like to build with wood and a means to save money by doing it myself.
I've been building things out of wood for 40 years and I'm still just an amateur.
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post #13 of 36 Old 10-22-2016, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper View Post
Look don't take it personal, I'm only saying that I don't appreciate the joke. Some humor just isn't funny to everyone.

It would be nice if there were just one forum that you can ask any question without being criticized about where you ask the question. If I wasn't serious about a recommendation, I wouldn't have asked.

So anyway thanks for nothing. I guess I'll just have search each laptop spec on my own to see what I want. Time consuming, but at least I don't have to explain myself each time.
Im guessing at some point in your life, youve made a statement somewhere along the lines of "Hitler was a horrible person for thinking that the jews should be exterminated". Would you like it very much if someone came along, took part of that statement out of context and called you a horrible person for saying "jews should be exterminated"?

Same concept here mate. You wanna get snippy with me because you decided to take 1 line i typed out of context, you can expect me to get offended, particularly when every other line in that response was a perfectly reasonable explanation of what to look for in a laptop given the vagueness of your original post.

You want a specific recommendation, try posting more requirements than "i need to run sketchup" instead of insulting people who came into this trying to help

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post #14 of 36 Old 10-22-2016, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper View Post
It would be nice if there were just one forum that you can ask any question without being criticized about where you ask the question.
Before this gets too out of control ... read his statement again. He wasn't knocking you for asking the question here.
He was aghast that you thought a bunch of louts like this group would actually have more than grunts and slopping noises in response to the question.
We're not all Neanderthals all the time, but we fit the description some of the time.

In other words, Epic made a joke on us (including himself), not you.
But again ... you'll take offense if you want to, and some people just seem to want to more often than others.
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post #15 of 36 Old 10-22-2016, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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So I did some research on the processor and I now know that I donít want the Intelģ Coreô i3 and probably will look for an i7 if itís not too terribly expensive just in case anybody is interested..

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404674,00.asp

Ok so now on to finding out about Graphics Type.

JohnnyB
"I do what I do well, but I still like to dabble in what I donít do well"
I just like to build with wood and a means to save money by doing it myself.
I've been building things out of wood for 40 years and I'm still just an amateur.
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post #16 of 36 Old 10-22-2016, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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So I now know a little bit about the graphics and fond that dedicated would be best for extremely detailed designs like a complete house in Sketchup, but at a cost of excess heat, extra cooling fans, and low battery life.

Integrated Ė uses computer memory for less power, lower heat and longer battery life. It can watch YouTube videos and even Blueray moves as well as regular office programs.

Dedicated Ė has its own Graphics memory which is nice for watching high-definition movies or play graphic-heavy games. Also works best for graphic designing and I have drawn some pretty detail intensive Sketchup drawings that slowed down my desktop on a few occasions. Since battery life is still important to me, I have to do more cost comparison before deciding.

http://www.toptenreviews.com/compute...vs.-dedicated/

As far as NVIDIA vs RADEON Video Cards go, I think Iím going to leave that alone because itís too complicated and i probably will never know the difference anyway.

JohnnyB
"I do what I do well, but I still like to dabble in what I donít do well"
I just like to build with wood and a means to save money by doing it myself.
I've been building things out of wood for 40 years and I'm still just an amateur.
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post #17 of 36 Old 03-14-2017, 04:26 AM
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Sketchup needs processor power and 3D rendering, so a good processor i5 or i7 combined with a graphics card ( nvidia 2gb for instance ), not on-board graphics chip ( intel 4000 or intel 4400, not good enough ) and at least 4gb ( better 8gb + )ram will let you design a detailed house. If you just want to design furniture and basic designs then almost any laptop will do as long as it has 4gb of ram. More power means less battery, Its the trade you have to make. Obviously the more you pay the better the machine and the longer the battery life, buy a battery bank and work for hours, usb mouse with its own battery, turn down the brightness a bit, don't use touch screen, turn of windows aero just while you are designing, all these things would help but a good graphics dedicated laptop is best

my laptop Hp envy win10, i5 2.2GHz, 8gb ram,intel 4400 graphics and will struggle on a large design once the 3D gets heavy as the processor is doing everthing, and being a touchscreen windows 10 makes no difference. I can't make it better so remember that the laptop you buy is the same in five years, so go big.

My pc is a cheap dell, Win7, i3 2.93 Ghz, 8gb ram, NVIDIA GT 4300 (1gb nothing special) is much better. I use two screens but the Graphics card is doing the 3D work not the cpu so rotating, zooming and moving around the design are much better, it will still glitch for a second or two sometimes but has never crashed or frozen for longer, A better graphics card ( cheap example Club 3D GeForce GT 640 Graphics Card - 4GB $100 ) and i would have not issues.

I am in the UK so can't comment on prices but the more you pay the more you get, I would expect to pay around £700 pounds and upwards from there. so $850 dollars to start.

Hope this helps
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post #18 of 36 Old 03-14-2017, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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I ended up buying a HP ENVY - 17-s151nr with 7th Generation Intelģ Coreô i7 processor, 12 GB memory; 2 TB HDD storage and NVIDIAģ GeForceģ 940MX (4 GB DDR3 dedicated)

I really didnít want to spend this much, but it was on sale for a good price. I wanted the large screen so that I could see all my detail and dedicated video ram with a large HD. I also needed the backlit keyboard because my eyes are failing me and I needed all the help I could get.

I am very happy with it except that I wish I would have got the one that fold up so that it would not take up as much space on my work bench.

JohnnyB
"I do what I do well, but I still like to dabble in what I donít do well"
I just like to build with wood and a means to save money by doing it myself.
I've been building things out of wood for 40 years and I'm still just an amateur.
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post #19 of 36 Old 04-21-2017, 07:59 AM
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You talk about workshop space with your new laptop, the smart thing to do if this is going to be used in an active working area (lots of dust and debris) is to put the laptop itself in an enclosed area and have cheap keyboard, mouse, and additional monitor possibly mounted to a wall.

Not only does this help to protect your investment (dust is the number 1 laptop killer) but also can free up valuable space. Keyboard & mouse can easily be stored up and away from work surfaces (dedicated shelf for the both, or just tucked away in a drawer or dedicated slide away shelf. And in the case of a spill, dropping something.. etc your laptop will be out of harms way and worse case you have to spend another $15 on a new keyboard or mouse, or maybe a new cheap monitor.

As for cheap monitors, at Microcenter they have refurb Dell monitors that are like 15" and cost $45, which is perfect for shop use due to small size and low cost, so replacing it is not painful.

I cannot stress how important it is to keep the laptop as clean and dust free as possible, laptops today are built with such tight tolerance cooling systems that lint, normal dust, woodworking sawdust very easily can clog up the cooling system, very often these laptops have a single fan that circulates air for the CPU, GPU, and other high heat components. This single point of failure can quickly ruin a laptop and often times by the time you realize you have a problem, replacing the fan or cleaning it is simply too late... the damage is done.

If you take action now to protect your laptop it will easily last for many years, but in an active shop with no protection... you'll be lucky to get a year out of it.

A few examples of cheap keyboard & mouse that are wired and meet your backlight needs:
$24 AULA SI-859 Backlit Gaming Keyboard with Adjustable Backlight Purple Red Blue USB Wired Illuminated Computer Keyboard

$24 (Keyboard & Mouse Combo) Tecknet Kraken 3 LED Adjustable Backlit Gaming Keyboard and Mouse - Black
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post #20 of 36 Old 04-21-2017, 12:03 PM
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I do not know why the original question has taken so long to answer.

Sketchup is not a power program. I would believe that any major brand laptop sold on the market would handle any possible sketchup designs with ease.

For that matter they will handle any normal persons(not a gamer or user of power programs) needs also with ease.

George
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