System Requirements for SketchUp
By Daniel Foster
Google SketchUp is a 3-D modeling tool available under the name SketchUp in a more consumer-friendly format and as SketchUp Pro for professionals. Although SketchUp is free to download and use, it does not have some of the advanced features of SketchUp Pro. The system requirements for both versions are the same. Learn more about the minimum and suggested system specifications for SketchUp to ensure optimum compatibility with your computer.
Operating System and Software
Google SketchUp works in Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.5+ and Mac OS X 10.6+.
Windows users need Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or later and Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 to use SketchUp. Make sure you have Service Pack 2 or higher if you wish to use SketchUp Pro 8 on Windows XP.
Mac users should have QuickTime 5.0 and the Safari web browser. SketchUp does not support Boot Camp or Parallels.
CPU and RAM
Windows users must have a 1GHz or faster CPU, but Google recommends at least a 2GHz processor for best performance. Mac users must have a 2.1GHz or faster Intel processor. SketchUp does not work with PowerPC CPUs.
Windows XP requires at least 512MB RAM, but Windows 7, Vista and Mac users need a minimum of 1GB. Use a computer with at least 2GB RAM for best results.
SketchUp relies heavily on the video card to process graphics. If you have Windows XP or Mac OS X, you need a 3-D-capable video card with at least 128MB of memory. Vista and Windows 7 users should have 256MB of video memory. Google recommends at least 512MB of memory for optimal performance.
Your video card must also support OpenGL 1.5. According to Google, SketchUp does not work well on Intel graphics card. Make sure you update your video card with the latest drivers from your manufacturer.
The ATI Rage Pro and Matrox G400 video cards may not display projected textures properly unless you disable hardware acceleration.
Hard Drive Space
You must have at least 300MB of hard drive space to install SketchUp, but Google suggests 500MB or more. Windows 7 and Vista users need at least 16GB of total hard drive space.
Other Requirements and Licensing
SketchUp requires a three-button mouse with a scroll wheel. You need an Internet connection to access some features.
You cannot license SketchUp over a Wide Area Network (WAN). Also note that licenses are not interchangeable between platforms. A Windows license will not work on a Mac computer and vice versa.
Daniel Foster has been writing about computers and technology since 2006. His work has appeared on websites including Salon, Pingdom and Internet Blog. His photography has been printed in "Maxwell Magazine" as well as the "World of Knowledge" textbook series for children. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in international trade and finance and a Bachelor of Arts in German from Louisiana State University.