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How does system specs affect UE performance ?

A little background, I recently got interested in game dev. I’m a 19 yo student majoring in business management, and I guess I just have kept myself pretty busy since the lockdown started. Prior to that, I had zero technical background, but since I’ve started being home all day, I took about 3 months to get a foundational understanding of programming with languages like C and Python. And I spent another month picking up unity and c#. I was just starting to get comfortable with unity but learning more about the different engines available and the games it has produced ( I found bright memory by FYQD particularly inspiring and made me realize what one person can do with something as powerful as UE), I figured UE is more in tune with the kind of games I’d like to make someday. So I quickly decided to make the switch.

I downloaded and installed the launcher and the engine and everything and I also got an unreal introductory course ready to go. Today was supposed to be my first day learning unreal and I woke up excited to start, but about a half-hour in, I get an error ‘**Unreal Engine is exiting due to D3D device being lost’, **I also noticed my laptop fan gets pretty loud when running UE4. I tried to ignore it and restarted the engine, but every 15 minutes or so, the editor kept crashing and the same error kept popping up. Now I did know that UE is a little processor intensive but my system specs are reasonable (i think ?) compared to the minimum system requirements specified in the documentation. And if it’s relevant, because my laptop is prone to heating up very quickly, I have Intel Turbo boost disabled and I’ve also slightly undervolted my system.

My Laptop Specs :

  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Intel core i7 @ 1.8GHz
  • AMD Radeon 530
  • 16 GB RAM

It is a little disheartening because I don’t think I can afford a new computer for a while. I also tried updating the GPU drivers, defaulting UE to use the dedicated GPU and everything.

Sometimes the editor does go a little while longer before it crashes. I just wanna definitively know if I can comfortably use my current laptop at least till I’ve learned unreal to a good extend and I can actually start making games.

Excuse me if this is not the right place for this post, and thanks in advance !

I built a new computer lately (less than a month ago) with the following specs, and have encountered a similar error:

AMD Ryzen 5, 3600 @ 3.6 GHz base frequency (mine is not overclocked or boosted, which would be 4.2 GHz)
32 GB DDR4 (3200 MHz, dual channel) RAM
AMD B550 Motherboard
RTX 2070 Super graphics card
Triple front fans in the case, and each major component having a fan and/or heatsink built in
650 W 80-plus, Bronze power supply

I’ve also seen other users with 2080 GPUs and more RAM / CPU power have a similar, if not same, error(s) regarding D3D…and another one is RHI.

Your laptop is a bit too far under spec for UE, to be direct about it, but it could probably suffice for some things in the engine. I’ve used UE on a laptop with merely a bit better specs than yours, and it is rather slow in compiling shaders (happens every new project initially, and when changing certain things such as landscapes, materials, and adding some new content to a scene). Updating a material preview when creating materials is somewhat too slow (10-20 seconds on average per click Apply button, and per save, which is required to update the changes). Painting materials on a landscape is far slower, at about 5-10 minutes per small area. It’s really best to use UE on a newer computer with at least 3 GHz CPU, probably more and faster RAM, and a higher-end or newer graphics card. Don’t pay much attention to Ray Tracing unless it’s pivotal for the work, as in UE it’s still buggy / mixed with raster and standard rendering stuff. Even the latest version, 4.25.3, has a number of issues with ray tracing and developing scenes, which is observable by a ton of forum posts. And get a better monitor, with a higher refresh rate than 60 or 75 Hz, low response time (1-5 ms), probably HDR capable, and HDMI 2.0b input (2.0a is half the bandwidth of 2.0b, whereas 2.1 is more than 2x the bandwidth of 2.0b, though it’s rare in low to moderately priced monitors). IPS type monitors do not get viewing angle desaturation of colors, per the average from what I’ve seen / read, yet TN panels are often higher refresh rate and have HDR…though IPS has HDR too in a number of monitors. If it’s 4K, check refresh rate because there’s lots of lower-priced 4K monitors that are only 60 Hz or 75 maximum. And another reason to get HDMI 2.0b or 2.1 is so 4K @ 120 Hz is accessible. However, I have a suspicion that higher refresh rates aren’t completely required to get higher than 100 FPS, as I’ve done lots of reading about those specs with the notion of the supposed limiting effect of refresh rate on FPS never being explained or supported by the more technical reading I’ve done.

Hi, 16GB RAM is enough (you can even handle with 8GB but that can be quite a pain), a slow CPU will just make compiling slower (especially shader compiling), so it is just a general pain. Too low GPU memory can lead to problems as the crashes you’ve experienced, as you run out of GPU memory. Your GPU is quite slow, so I would lower all the graphic settings in UE, maybe even switch to mobile rendering. Further with 2GB of gpu memory, you should close all other programs that consume graphic memory, and close open asset windows in UE if you do not need them open right now.

Also reduce the texture streaming pool size (r.streaming.poolsize), else that can take up to 1GB of your gpu memory, not leaving much for the rest.