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Thread: Laptop for Sketchup

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Question Laptop for Sketchup

    Hi,
    This is my first post on here, testing the waters so to speak. Anyway, I've been using AutoCAD to design projects in drafting and solid modelling but would like to take some time and play with Sketchup.
    I've been thinking of buying a small laptop to do this at my leasure, with family in TV room, in bed, etc. Have you experts got any tips on hardware required without breaking the bank. Remember, the desktop is still my main tool, this is just to get acquainted with the ins and outs of this program. I have the learning DVD's but need practice drawing with the program. What should I look for?
    Thanks.
    _______________________________________

    Statistically, six dwarfs out of seven are not happy.
    http://www.picturetrails.com/workinginwood

  2. #2
    Chris Hatfield is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    This four year old tablet I have runs sketchup just fine. I don't think it's a very hardware intensive program. Just be sure you buy a real mouse.

    Welcome to the board.

  3. #3
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    My older laptop runs an Intel dual core, 2gig of RAM and an Nvidia card of some decent flavor. I have no problems. My old desktop with a 3.4GHz Pentium D, 1gig of RAM and the motherboard video card will stutter or lock up if I am doing anything too aggressive (curves with lots of segments). A group select of multiple objects seems to be the main video card killer. Simple drawings are not a problem.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
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    Welcome Larry !!

    We have a bunch of Sketch Up pros here. I'm sure you will get some great advice.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the welcome guys. So it looks like most of the new ones will run the program, the mouse might be a problem. Now to decide what size of screen.
    _______________________________________

    Statistically, six dwarfs out of seven are not happy.
    http://www.picturetrails.com/workinginwood

  6. #6
    Chris Hatfield is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Robertson View Post
    Thanks for the welcome guys. So it looks like most of the new ones will run the program, the mouse might be a problem. Now to decide what size of screen.
    A personal preference is to avoid 13" displays, unless you are looking for everyday portability. I also prefer not to spend the coin on the massive displays, because if it's that big it's probably going to spend more time being stationary. And if that's the case, you're better off with an external display or a desktop. So 15" would be a sweet spot for me, if I were buying.

    Where a real mouse (over say a pad or forbid, a eraser head) is is the push/pull tool. Once I figured that out, my ability took off.

  7. #7
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    Welcome to the forum, Larry. I'm not very good with Sketch-up, but I'm happy to meet you.
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  8. #8
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    FWIW, SketchUp will only run on a single core so dual core and quad core is overkill for that. Of course you'll run other apps as well and they may or may not be able to use multiple cores. Since SketchUp will only use one core, speed will be more important than the number of cores. SketchUp needs proper OpenGL and ideally you'll want Nvidia for your graphics handling. Lots of graphics RAM, too.

    As far as the mouse goes, simple is better. An inexpensive mouse with a center mouse wheel/button will be the best. AND DON'T LOAD MOUSE DRIVER SOFTWARE.

    If I were going to use a notebook as a primary machine for SketchUp, I would buy either a peripheral numeric keypad or a standard keyboard. Actually, for my Macbook, I have a blue tooth keyboard that I prefer to the onboard keys.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Robertson View Post
    Thanks for the welcome guys. So it looks like most of the new ones will run the program, the mouse might be a problem. Now to decide what size of screen.
    First, Welcome to the Family Larry!

    As Chris mentioned, pickup a two button with wheel mouse, either corded or not. It's almost essential to using sketchup.

    As for resources, the youtube tutorials for sketchup linked on the splash page of the program are pretty good, follow each and practice with each tool. Using those most anyone can pick up using sketchup in a few hours. I use a 15" screen and it works well for a laptop. I tend to stay with that or smaller, mostly as the battery life will be less with larger. If you want a 10 key, the 17" usually has this though.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  10. #10
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    Larry,
    Welcome! I have an old Dell laptop with a 17" screen that works great for sketchup. If you are used to AutoCad, you know you can never have enough screen. The same laptop also runs AutoCad but you really need dual monitors to get any serious work done.

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