Can AutoCAD or SketchUp be Installed on a Surface Pro?

As an architect, I have always been obsessed with portability when it comes to working, I always wanted to have a lighter, thinner laptop that I could use practically as a notebook.

Until the release of the Surface Pro, this tablet/laptop hybrid has all the features I need to be able to draw and also carry it around.

And yes, the Surface Pro depending on the model can run and handle both AutoCAD and SketchUp, obviously, the more complex the job the more limitations could be presented.

In my personal experience, I have worked SketchUp and AutoCAD on a Surface Pro, and the overall experience was very good, if you want to know what kind of surface I had and how I used it to work continue reading.

Can AutoCAD or SketchUp be installed on a Surface Pro?

You can definitely install AutoCAD on a relatively modern Surface Pro without any problems.

You have different versions of AutoCAD and also different models of Surface Pro, newer versions of AutoCAD require more powerful computers.

But precisely, the most recent Surface Pro is powerful enough to work with AutoCAD without any problem.

SketchUp and AutoCAD, are two of the most widely used programs for architects and architecture students. This has made it take the design world by storm. Regardless of the kind of graphics, Whether a 2 D or 3D, users are confident that your computer will get the work done.

However, this is not always possible on any gadget, implying that this can only happen in a suitable device. But can you install AutoCAD on a Surface Pro.

Here are the minimum system requirements for AutoCAD 2022:

  • Operating System: 64-bit version of Windows 10
  • Processor: Basic: 2.5–2.9 GHz processor
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM (16 GB recommended)
  • Disk space: 7 GB free disk space for installation
  • Display: 1920 x 1080 resolution (3840 x 2160 recommended) with True Color display
  • Graphics card: 1 GB GPU with 29 GB/s Bandwidth and DirectX 11 compliant

For newer versions of AutoCAD, not so much processor is required, rather, a lot of graphic memory is required, although the fact that you have less than 1 GB, does not mean that you cannot install the program, you may experience slowness and loading problems on relatively large DWG files.

What about SketchUp on a Surface Pro?

Yes, you can install SketchUp on surface pro and have it run smoothly. You only need to make slight adjustments to its setting to have it offer you the best performance.

Keep in mind, that SketchUp requires much more video card and processor power to handle models with large volumes, the Surface Pro video cards are not designed to handle heavy graphics.

Anyway, the Surface Pro’s integrated video can handle small and medium scenes without problems, I know from my own experience.

However, regardless of the adjustments, SketchUp should install and run smoothly and seamlessly. To install AutoCAD on surface pro, download the installer from the SketchUp official website, double click it, and you will be good to go.

Microsoft Surface often runs SketchUp smoothly if the pro has the recommended specs. If you need to design 2D models, you will require a 5th version generation featuring considerable storage space and eight GB RAM.

However, if you need to do complex 3D modeling, you will be required to have a higher-performance laptop. Since the Surface Pro is not as powerful as a laptop, it might run slowly.

Complex jobs require Core i7 of tall model Surface Pro versions with 16 Gb RAM and ample storage of 256 GB SSD and 1TB HDD or higher. Moreover, the laptop should have a bigger screen with high image resolution.

My experience using AutoCAD and SketchUp on an old Surface Pro

As I said at the beginning of the topic, I have used AutoCAD and Sketchup on Surface Pro, but not a powerful surface pro, a really old and underpowered one.

My Surface Pro 4, had an M3 processor (the lowest end), it wasn’t i5 or i7, it also had 4 GB of memory and a not very advanced integrated video.

Anyway, this was enough for me to install a version of AutoCAD 2007 and be able to work with several more advanced versions of SketchUp to make simple models.

I never had any problems, I worked smoothly and without complication, I could take the Surface Pro to the construction site and show the builders details of plans and update in “real-time” any errors.

This was the best advantage of using AutoCAD on the surface pro, I wasn’t so much interested in the power, but rather in being able to use it as a sort of digital notebook, and it worked perfectly for me.

Can you install and work AutoCAD or Sketchup on a surface pro with 4GB or 8GB of memory?

Yes; you can install Autocad and work on a surface pro with 4GB or 8 GB memory. Surface pro is a powerful intel-based gadget that can run a full windows operating system.

However, a model with specs, including high memory, will work better than the lesser ones.

Necessary specifications that a surface Pro must have for use in AutoCAD and Sketchup

Like many programs, SketchUp needs specific software and hardware specifications to install and run. Here are some of the basics required.

  • You will need a 64-bit windows ten operating system
  • 2.5 GHz processor
  • 8 Gb memory, but it is recommended to have 16 GB
  • 10 GB disc space
  • 1920 by 1080 resolution with accurate color display
  • 64 big windows ten operating system
  • A 3D class video card featuring at least  512 Mb memory and also supports hardware acceleration. Before using it, it is vital to ensure the video card driver supports OpenGL 3.1.

Advantages of using a surface pro for working in CAD program

Using a surface pro for working a CAD program has many benefits. The use of surface pro four and surface book has brought many changes.

The advantages include:

  • Surface Pro can run a complete 3D CAD
  • It can drive up to  2 by 4 k external monitors
  • It can connect peripherals like 3 d printers while providing a highly mobile and lightweight experience.
  • They also offer a touch interface and a pressure-sensitive pen
  • They also have a trackpad and keyboard and an option for a mouse through Bluetooth or USB.

The concept behind Microsoft Surface is to develop a gadget that works like a tablet and laptop to make it convenient for various users. Because of its top-notch features and sleek design, the surface pro makes a clear testament to the latter.

While Microsoft Surface Pro is an excellent gadget, the aim is to determine if it can make a good addition to all user’s needs.

Generally,  the current Surface Pro can effectively run some 3D and 2D auto CAD designing, although this platform might strain other versions. The versions that the platform will strain are those that do not meet the minimum specs requirements.

The gadget should feature at least 8 GB RAM and a core of at least i5. The Microsoft pro gadget should effectively perform tasks as long as the bought version contains the required specifications.

Notably, it is vital to ensure that the surface pro you purchase has better specs for smooth running on 3D Auto CAD.

Fortunately, most of the surface pro models are designed to meet the minimum requirements for it to run 2D versions on AutoCAD. What is only needed is ensuring that the device chosen has at least 8GB RAM and core i5.

The only downside is that such devices are ineffective in working with complex 3D designs. For technical projects, it is advisable to have a Core i7 or i9 and also consider having 16 GB RAM because of the many tasks on your computers.

If a user’s computer architecture fails to match the SketchUp system’s demanding nature, the gadget will only be strained, resulting in sub-par performance and lagging.

Likewise, users must prepare for compatibility issues, and only 2D modelers will benefit from laptops that meet the lowest necessities. According to users, the Surface Pro’s novelty is its touch screen aspect.

Other users have restrictions about the device’s small screen. Microsoft’s Pros’ best characteristic is its portability, which allows users to perform all tasks even when on the move.

Likewise, some surface models were of high performance, so users should seek to purchase a model or version with higher storage space and processing speed.


Most users dream of having a Microsoft Surface Pro gadget because of its exceptional features and sleek and slim design, which makes it portable and lightweight.

Likewise, most users love the detachable keyboard and touchscreen properties. Whether using your AutoCAD for work or schooling, it is vital to note that Autocad can be installed and run on a surface pro.

Some versions feature high processing speed and a whole clocking of more than 3GHz. The Surface Pro also comes with ample storage space and an impressive GPU.

It also has high resolution allowing it to create high-quality images. But it is important to note that not all Surface pro versions can support SketchUp. Hence always be keen on the specs of a surface pro to ensure they meet requirements.

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