Beginner indie Virtual Production budget PC spec

Hi, I’m a filmmaking student who are interested to do a inde-scale virtual production project.

We are currently running UE with the following spec:
Ryzen 5 CPU
GTX 1060 6GB

We know these are not ideal spec as this is what we currently have right now, and it crashes alot definitely.

Hence, we are trying to get serious into making a pc solely for VP but with budget constraints. We are trying to achieve Richard Frentzen setup (In depth Tutorial - Virtual Production with Unreal Engine and HTC Vive - YouTube)

We are not a pc expert. We hope we could get some insight on how to build our PC for this.
We looked at the documentation from this link: Linux Game Development in Unreal Engine | Unreal Engine 5.1 Documentation
and we wanted to get a GTX 2080 Ti for this but we can’t settle down on the decision to get a better GPU or CPU actually. If we based on the documentation from the link above, at the very bottom page, you will see that they wrote XEON processor used in epic games PC. We definitely have no budget to get another XEON processor if we were to proceed with GTX 2080 Ti.

Would anyone mind giving us some enlightenment on a budget PC build to run VP?

and it crashes alot definitely.

Apart from overall system instability, I’d attribute it to that 8GB RAM which is low. 16 is OK, 32 should be fine for a while.

budget PC spec

This is budget: Ryzen 5 CPU 8GB RAM GTX 1060 6GB | This is not: GTX 2080 Ti as it costs as much as a entire mid-range PC…

For a somewhat budget but still future-proof build you could opt for a setup along the lines of:

  • $ R5 3600X + GeForce 1060 (or AMD equivalent) + 16GB RAM

  • $$ R7 3700X + GeForce 2060 + 32GB RAM

  • $$$ R9 3900x + GeForce 2070 + 64GB RAM

Generally speaking a good CPU + RAM will be more important than a good GPU during development.

Do ensure you use traditional mechanical drives as storage / backup only. Investing in an NVMe drive is pretty much a must these days, especially if you consider what UE5 has to offer developers in the near future.

It sure is nice to sit on a 2080Ti but I’d rather get a superb monitor + 2070 instead.

Also have a look here:

You can use these setups as a base guideline to match your budget; ideally you’d favour a stronger CPU and more RAM over a powerful GPU since you’re aiming to develop rather than squeeze fps.

At the moment, it is me and another friend but both of us aren’t from game/animation background but we wanna try and work on Unreal as we can see it as a valuable component in filmmaking in the future. We couldn’t even run the software properly in the first place so I’m thinking to get a proper PC to run the whole VP thing, at the same time trying to learn and get used with Unreal ecosystem (or probably creating a few things on my own if this worked out well)

So yeah, I probably understand what you are trying to implying now.

But in the near future perhaps, practically in a VP set, if my cinematographer/director decided to make changes on something for the CG backdrop 5 minutes before a shot (eg, changing the direction of the CG sunlight for a CG city / adding a CG object that is supposed to be in the shot etc etc.), my compositor or I will then must be able to make these changes in real-time so that we can show it to the director on the spot immediately, and it all goes down to a potent GPU to achieve that isn’t it?

Correct me if i’m wrong, i’m still learning here hahaha

But AGAIN, in terms of development atm, your advice definitely makes sense. I’m just trying to think it as practically as I could in the near future so I could future-proof my build a little bit here

Ahh thanks for the insight!

However, from my understanding, VP emphasizes on real-time rendering isn’t it? I thought it would be natural to boost GPU to achieve that instead?

VP emphasizes on real-time rendering

All games are real time rendering (with some rare fmv titles), but yes, you are right - generally you are more likely to be GPU bound in VR - 2 high resolution screens with high refresh rate.

However you’ll be spending what, 95% of your time in the editor designing, blueprinting, coding, compiling shaders, calcualting lightmass, running background tasks, photoshop, modelling apps and maybe 5% actually testing it - this will shift a bit towards testing as your project progresses.

Unless you mean an actual VR development where you do it mostly with the goggles on and have the backend sorted by someone else. Then I’d definitely include a potent GPU in that very PC.

Coming from the QA environment myself I can confirm the dev rigs differ dramatically from QA testers’ setups which differ dramatically from end users’ machines, of course.

It’s cool to have a 2080Ti humming quietly in the background, a card whose performance 0.1% of the user base will have access to (in a couple of years perhaps). It’s a bit of a trap, but I’m not going to demonise monster GPUs, being an enthusiast and all.

You did mention budget, though - the more you move towards the end of the available hardware spectrum, the less bang for buck there is to be had - it usually means money spent much better elsewhere.

Hi, I’m a filmmaking student who are
interested to do a inde-scale virtual
production project.

What’s the scope here? I was under the impression you’re facing it all solo.

A follow up question to the one asked here:
If one is not comfortable assembling the pc themselves is it worth consulting with something like Pudget Systems to have it done. I know Pudget typical goes straight to high-end setups with $3k being on the cheap end, but I figured I’d ask nonetheless.