Computer Build for Unreal Engine

It would be great to have a sub-forum somewhere where a discussion could unfold about building and configuring hardware for Unreal and related applications. Anyway, I am at the point of getting ready to build a new computer since my office workstation is now 4 years old and my home workstation is 9 years old. They both were pretty solid I7 builds with Geforce Graphic cards and a good bit of ram and handled my various tasks such as photoshop, 3dsmax, vray, Revit, mudbox and most recently, unreal engine and unity projects. However, as I ventured into VR and the real time game engines with the light builds and such, I have realized I could use some new hardware to help speed some things up. this became apparent whne I ordered a new laptop for VR last year using the 9th generation 17 9850, 2080 ti card, and 32 gigs of ddr ram. I did a light build in my office workstation and that took about an hour. Exact same scene on my laptop took 32 minutes. That is too much of a difference to ignore when my time is important to production.

My question is, I am not a computer expert in any way shape or form so I have been trying to reorient myself with the new hardware that is out there. I tried out AMD with their processor and professional cards about 9 years ago and it was…okay…but not great so I went back to Intel. Now, I keep seeing reviews and actual project comparisons with builds using the AMD cpus and it seems pretty impressive. I am not a brand loyal guy, I use whatever gets the job done best. My question is, I guess pretty obviously, what would be a really good build using either Intel or AMD where my tasks are focused on the tasks I mentioned above? I am particularity focused on my renderings in ray traced engines such as vray as well as my real time engine projects. Light builds in unreal particularly.

As mentioned before, I am not an expert computer guy so this terminology of number of cores versus actual clock speed and the impact of pairing certain types of ram with certain processors because of voltages and timings is beyond me at the moment. There was a great article about a guy who worked for a big studio, went out on his own focusing on unreal projects and worked with AMD and their Ryzen cpu to see how well it could do with unreal. They got into actual optimizing the AMD to gain better performance and there was an impact of the type of memory used with it. Can anyone with some knowledge suggest a best bang for the buck build that I could pursue? If you press me on a budget, I would say 2-3,000 dollars for the box with no monitors or other accessories.

Thanks alot. :slight_smile:

You want a good CPU.

Here is a build with a Threadripper 3960x which has 24 cores for under $3000.](

And a build with a Ryzen 3950x which has 16 cores for $2200.](

The other specs are
RTX 2070 Super
750W Power supply

Hello Bambaloogi. I wound up building my own Ryzen with a 2080TI card and it has done quite well so thank you for your suggestions.

You should have either went with a 2070/2060 or waited for the 3070, 2080ti is massively overpriced for what it puts out.

Im also looking into building a workstation. If we go with Threadripper 3960x which runs at 48 threads its prob best to run double the amount of RAM to thread, so about 96GB. For GPU would the RTX 3080 suffice or is the 20GB of ram on the 3090 worth going with at double the price? Will things change with with hardware needs once UE 5 is released where realtime raytracing will be pushed even more?

Just focus the build on a 20gb plus card. And 64gb of ram.

The gfx is near impossible to get still, even for x2 the retail price. So you are SOL like all of us even if you are willing to drop 6k on it…

Oh, and ue5 won’t be pushing raytrace anymore than its already being pushed. Which it isn’t. They don’t care about it one bit or they’d have fixed the issues we have been reporting since it was introduced already.

You need more than 64 GB of RAM these days. Some of the Epic demo scenes fail the export correctly unless I turn off all other programs while doing it on a 64 GB system. For “real” development, I’d suggest shooting for 256 GB. Also, Something in the 16-32 core range is good for the CPU. When/if the RTX 3080 20 GB comes out, get that; else the RTX 3090 and its over-pricing is pretty much the only good option :frowning: (I’m a fan of AMD CPUs, but not AMD graphics cards – their drivers have always had more bugs than NVIDIA for me. If you’re going to release a game, you’ll need one of each brand of GPU, though, for testing. But maybe that’s a concern for later.

That’s really of no concern.
Most AAA games aren’t even tested with anything other than nvidia in house before shipping. An indy dev surely shouldn’t worry about it one bit unless someone specifically reports issues with the specific card manufacturer. At which point it becomes easy to test.

Realistically there should never be any issues when using a closed engine though. I definitely never came across any, Nor have I ever seen a forum post about the subject, which considering just how much people like to wine about issues in the forum, probably means there’s not much of a chance to have such an issue.

Re more than 64gb. I personally think it’s a waste of money. You’d need a specific mobo/cpu to go with something that supports more than 64gb. As well as a bios update probably
I’m not sure what you mean by “fail to export”, but generally speaking unreal isn’t very good with ram access - Most causes of BSODs on my end are the editor attempting to access protected addresses, generally when dealing with large scenes and physics simulation, or collections of thousands of hism.
A faster cpu would actually be much more beneficial.

I set up my PC before I started to work on Unreal (6 months ago). At that time, I was mostly working on Blender. So, I want to go for an RTX 3080 & I didn’t care about the CPU at all. Since, due to stock issues, I cannot find a 3080 so I got a 2060 RTX assuming I will update it to 3080 sooner.
Then I went with a Ryzen 8 core (16 threads) machine.

Then, I started working with Unreal & now I don’t need 3080 anymore. I’m fine with my 2060 but I desperately need a new CPU with more threads. The reason is shader compile time.
I don’t work with ray-tracing stuff so I don’t need a fancy GPU. I can still get 60 FPS with most of the games I play & stuff I made in Unreal.

I have a 16 GB setup & I still don’t have any issue with the RAM.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some “AAA” game that was that cavalier about compatibility. I wouldn’t go so far as to say “most” of them do, though.

I’ve seen many large studios and publishers with in-house hardware compatbility labs. There are also lots of compatibility testing outsourcing companies that both studios and publishers will use. Finally, many games come with lists of “feature enable/disable per hardware kind / driver version” blacklist files, developed through testing on various kinds of hardware, and those couldn’t be developed without having the actual hardware to test on.

I can understand that developers would mostly be on Nvidia (as they are the market dominator) but I can’t believe a big studio wouldn’t at least test on other hardware.

That would be reckless, especially when you can use an outsourced QA team to do it, assuming the company didn’t have a sufficient in house lab.

Have you guys even played a game on release day in the last decade? I’d assume not.
if you had, then you probably wouldn’t be saying that they bothered testing anything at all…

For current UE, would Ryzen 12 core (3900x) suffice, or do I need more cores? Currently have x570 mobo with 128Gb RAM

THis should answer those questions, but ya for many things not all, depending what you are doing, that should be basically fine:
Recommended Hardware | UE4 Community Wiki

I disagree. Perfectly happy with my 2080 TI RTX. If you look when I built this computer, if I had heeded your advice, Id still be waiting for the 3080 or 3090. I’ve had three projects since that time that were doing GPU based rendering and Ive paid for the 875 dollars I spent on my 2080 TI several times over with the speed it chewed through my GPU renderings (all 1077 of them!) They were 2800x2100 and each one took a little over 6min in Arnold with final high fidelity settings.

As for the other comments on here regarding system build, I always say build the most you can afford. I do both real time and project that require lots of light builds and both tax my system pretty good. When it comes to light builds in UE, I feel that the engine is inefficient in how it is utilizing resources. Watching the swarm feedback while doing a build and monitoring the threads of my Ryzen 3950x, the cpu is barely utilized during the early part of the light build which also takes the longest time. I guess it is not much different than using another offline renderer like Vray but Vray seems much more efficient in how it does its rendering or “light build”. Then again, I am no expert when it comes to hardware.

I have 32 gigs of DDR4 3200 speed ram and I have seen the use of that come close to almost topping out. I think on one build it was at 85%. I will probably add another 32 gigs just to be safe but other than that, I am happy with the build. I mean, you always want more. If I could have afforded the threadripper, I would have used that but, unlike the GPU for my use, I could not justify the cost of the threadripper.

Well, I just ran into a situation with the 3950x in Unreal Engine that has me losing alot of confidence with this processor for Unreal Light Builds. I would discourage one from specing this CPU if your focus is unreal engine work.