Here is my core PC specification:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4 GHz Processor
  • 3 GB 533 MHz RAM
  • ASUS P5B-VM Motherboard

Recently I've upgraded my graphics card from a GeForce 6200 TC to a GeForce GTS 250 to play games. I'm a programmer by profession and have little interest in graphics software. However, my sister uses Google Sketchup 7 (and some other graphics-related software). She complained about my slow PC when she sketches a complex structure in Sketchup and zooms in and out, rotates, or translates that structure. Those operations cannot be done smoothly. Also, it took about one minute when she rendered in 640 x 480 resolution using the iRender plugin of Sketchup. I assured her that it will be much faster on the graphics card I was going to buy.

However, though I can play the latest games in very high graphics detail in 1680 x 1080 resolution (my LCD's native), performance of Sketchup wasn't improved. I'm guessing that Sketchup is either CPU bound or does not use hardware acceleration.

Is there any way to render in Sketchup using hardware acceleration?


Yes, SketchUp can take advantage of hardware acceleration.

  • In SketchUp navigate to the Window menu.
  • Click Preferences -> OpenGL
  • Check Use hardware acceleration and hit OK.

A better video card will definitely improve performance. SketchUp is highly dependent on GPU power. From the words of Google:

We recommend any graphics card that fully supports OpenGL 1.5 or higher and has at least 64 MB of video memory. If you're going to create large models, we recommend a graphics card with more than 64 MB of video memory.

For more information see Which graphics cards are recommended for SketchUp?

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