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Computer Builds for UE4 Development

Hello all! Two of us are developing a very large, complex game in UE4 but neither of our computers are quite up to the task.

Old System 1: Core i5-4440, 16GB DDR3, GTX 760 2GB, MSI Z87M-G43, 2TB 7200RPM (OS+Data)
Old System 2: AMD FX-6300, 16GB DDR3, Radeon R9 ?, unknown MB, unknown HDD size (this is not my computer and I’m not near it to check exact specs)

I want to build New System 1 from scratch and rebuild Old System 1 into New System 2. That way I can reuse as much hardware as possible. Here is what I’ve come up with so far.

New System 1: Core i7-5820K, 32GB DDR4, GTX 970 4GB, MSI X99A, 1TB SSD (OS+Game), 2TB 7200RPM (Data+Backup)
New System 2: Core i7-4790K, 32GB DDR3, GTX 760 2GB, MSI Z87M-G43, 500GB SSD (OS+Game), 2TB 7200RPM (Data+Backup)

Both setups would be with three 1080P monitors.

We are new to game development and UE4 in general so while I am a full time computer technician and have no problem selecting parts I’m simply not sure what the bottleneck is. Since my i5 is maxed out for long periods of time, I’m thinking the CPU is very important, and since it takes so long to open the files the SSD would help a lot.

What are your thoughts on these builds?

Thank you :slight_smile:

In that situation I’d look into getting a GTX 980 instead of the 970, which supposedly they are dropping prices.
On the second system, I’d be concerned with doing 3 1080p monitors with a graphics card with 2GB of memory and trying to do a big complex project.

In a similar vein to this, is there a recommended spec for swarm nodes? do they need good GPUs? the swarm documentation sayst it uses gpu for exporting processes but is that just on the controller pc?

I got a Skylake chip, 32GB DDR4 and Nvidia TitanX, all from Scan. My local computer shop put it all together. I’m a newb to this having used Macs all my life, and don’t really know the optimal system against budget for Ue4, but the price difference for the optimal budget system choices and what I have doesn’t really seem that much.

You don’t need a good GPU for network rendering, only need a fast CPU and enough memory to load everything. I would say 32GB memory and a fast CPU.

That’s a bit overdoing it—the GTX 980 Ti is a better value than the TitanX

Thank you everyone for your input!

What role does the GPU play in the development? It seems from using GPU-Z that GPU load is usually not at 100% when I am waiting for UE4 to process changes but mainly the CPU. That is why I figured the GTX 760 2GB would be OK. But this is incorrect?

The GPU is used heavily during gameplay, all textures/meshes/animations get loaded into GPU memory and the speed controls how fast it processes it all. Things like dynamic shadows make things slower, so having a faster GPU will improve your FPS.

For the CPU, that is mainly to control gameplay, UE4 uses PhysX for the physics system using just the CPU. And for building lighting it uses the CPU and not the GPU.

Im getting a bottleneck somewhere else in the process then. during the processing mappings and then the reimport stages of swarm. unless its just down to CPU speed on the nodes.

Your new System 2 is pretty much the same setup that I have, except for the SSD.
So far, everything runs smoothly, baring the occasional crash…
If you go for a 4790K, make sure you provide enough cooling. They get surprisingly hot under full load…
RAM is enough :slight_smile:
And I never had any (serious) bottlenecks with the GPU so far either…
just make sure RAM and CPU match speed-wise… :slight_smile:

For building lighting, it will depend on how fast the CPU is, if you’re doing network rendering then it would also depend on the network connection. If you get an SSD that can improve speed a bit as well.