Hardware for Archviz (No Games)

I’ve been using Max/Vray for years, for me UE4 hasn’t been a serious consideration ‘till Ray Tracing was a thing. Before I buy a new RTX card I want to understand if this will save me from hours of light baking.

Staring with what I consider a simple / medium interior scene in Max, exported to Datasmith then into UE4.25 It’s taking several hours / medium light quality. (Currently using a GTX 970, i7 , 64gb) good results but if I make changes I gotta start baking again. So if I had an RTX card can I skip the bake? FPS be dammed. Looking for highest quality stills and animation for Archviz.

The second part would be to pick the right video card or the best value card for Ray Tracing. Otherwise do I still need to use a farm or dual Xeon for these bakes AND still also need RTX?

If you’re using UE4 for Archviz animations I’d like know your hardware setup.


It is interesting to me as well. I have RTX 2080 TI and 32 GB I haven’t got a decent picture yet, I’ve asked here before didn’t get practical advice. With Unreal 4.25 it got even worse the High Quality Media Export didn’t help a lot.

I guess, it really depends on how much you know about lighting and where you set your lights. I have scenes, that look like the noisiest garbage you can imagine, and then i have ArchViz Scenes, that look really nice for my PC and standards.
If i had to guess, then it seems to boil down, of how much you can light your scene without relying on global illumination, or how good your lighting solution looks with just the first bounce.

Have a lower end to barely middle class PC (AMD Ryzen 7, 2700X, 8 Core at 3.7 GHz, 16 GB RAM), with an RTX 2070, and i recorded the ArchViz Scene from the learning portal, that you can freely download.

This one:

ArchViz Interior Scene.jpg

Test video:

I think I have achieved good quality at the cost of very slow baking, my question is really more — can I skip the light baking if I have an RTX card? Or will an RTX card speed up that process?

@Suthriel, does that scene require baking (building lighting) or is it all real time rendering on your 2070?

I just had downloaded that scene, never touched any baking option, what you see, is how i downloaded it. But i do not know, if it came with already baked lighting. So in theory, this what you see should be realtime, and that´s why it gets so noisy, once i turn off some lights. RTX is sold as to not require any light or reflection baking, but for really good results, i guess, you need a stronger machine than mine for more samples for the GI and reflections.

For GPU accelerated light baking (doesn´t matter, if RTX or not), you should check out one of the neighbor threads:

With ray tracing you wouldn’t need to build lighting, it’s calculating the lighting on every frame which is accelerated on RTX cards (which is why they’re necessary)

However, if you want to go down that route, I’d recommend waiting a few months, they’re going to be announcing a new generation of RTX cards which looks like the ray tracing performance can be 4x more powerful.

This would mean the next gen RTX card upgrade for a basic PC is a better investment then entirely new PC build, let’s hope pricing of Ampere is good :slight_smile: