Looking to upgrade video card


I’ve recently upgraded to Unreal Engine 5, and it promises to be amazing for the kind of game that I have always wanted to make (granted, it’ll probably take me decades to make it! LOL)

I know that I need to upgrade my video card from the little bit of playing around in the Enigne, but because I’m on a limited budget and can’t afford a nice new computer with a kick-butt video card in it, I need to know, in your opinion, what would be the best Ndvida graphics card my current computer can handle?

Dell OptiPlex 5040.
Intel i7 (6700) @ 3.4Ghz
Windows 10 Pro.

Everything else is stock on this PC.
Here’s the link to the official Dell specifications, although, I’ve got 32GB of RAM.
Dell OptiPlex 5040

I am willing to upgrade the power supply if it can be done to something that can handle the additional power needs of a new video card.

Thank you!

Hey @Cmdr.Kokoro!

While I can’t really give you a specific recommendation, I can give you some resources that will help you easily find the card that fits your needs best. First is the official hardware and software requirements:

And the other is a non-Epic affiliated site that I used often when building PCs that checks for possible compatibility issues as you plan parts:

I hipe the above gives you the tools you need to make an informed decision!

Hello @Quetzalcodename!

I came across this thread as I’m trying to work out at the moment whether or not my current video card (NVIDIA Quadro M4000) is able to support Lumen Hardware Ray Tracing or not.

I’m using UE5.1.1 (Will use 5.2 as soon as 3DConnexion update their drivers to suit).

On the documentation page it mentions I need to be using Windows 10 with Direct X12 support (I’m using Windows 10 and according to NVIDIA the video card can run Direct X12), and video cards must be NVIDIA RTX-2000 series and higher. It’s unclear to me whether or not my video card is higher than that series…

I suspect it isn’t, but it would be nice to know for sure exactly.

In what way does it need to be higher? If I have to buy a new video card in order to render Lumen Hardware Ray Tracing I’d like to know for sure what performance capabilities I need to be looking for, that’s unclear to me from the documentation.

Would be great if you could provide some information which makes this more clearer please!

This is the documentation page I was looking at:

And a Data Sheet on my current video card:

The Quadro M4000 is about 5 years too old to support all the necessary features.

Also, it’s significantly slower than even a RTX 2060, so you’d also see noticeably better editor experience with an upgrade to a modern mid-range GPU.

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Hello @jwatte thank you very much for that information. I had a feeling my card was now in need of upgrading, but it’s nice to have a confirmation for sure.

Out of the NVIDIA graphics cards currently available, are there any you would particularly recommend?

If you’re going to use the Unreal editor, then the more power, the better.

If you’re a one man band, then you probably won’t be working on the size of levels that need the Quadro level of VRAM budget. Probably.

If your computer can fit it, and your power supply can handle it, and your budget can handle it, and you have enough main RAM (because you need > 3x as much main RAM as VRAM) then the RTX 4090 is the choice.
If your system could stand an M.2 disk SSD upgrade, and maybe doubling the RAM, spending that money there and getting the next level down of GPU might be the best overall choice.
And then just back down until the price/power/RAM fits your budget :slight_smile: The RTX 4060 is fine, as far as those things go. Just don’t go below that.

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@jwatte thank you very much for that information! I definitely am going to be using the Unreal editor a lot. I’ve been using a variety of 3D/CAD programs since 1994, and Unreal Engine 5 is one that stands out as being especially impressive - being able to work on things in real time without having to wait for hours for renders to finish is a fantastic improvement.

Since I need to upgrade the card and everything else to suit it makes sense for sure to go for the best that I can make work budget wise. That’s a very good tip regarding getting plenty of main RAM, it’s something I was considering but now will definitely do also.

Are there any particular brands of RTX cards you’d recommend more than others? I get the impression they all seem to be the same, almost like electricity/telephone/internet suppliers; they buy a technology/service in, slap some branding on it and then market it as being their own product!

I haven’t had a bad experience with any of the standard RTX card manufacturers.
Ironically, the NVIDIA cards (“founders edition”) tend to have noisier cooling solutions …

My current 3090 is an MSI model.
You might want to not go for the overclocked versions, if your main goal is stability.
The gain in overclocking is generally not that great, and if you end up with something that requires futzing to stay stable, might not be worth the hassle.
Or get an overclocked card (for the better cooling) and run it at stock speeds :smiley:

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That’s interesting to hear. I’ve found the NVIDIA card to be rather quiet overall, most of the cooling noise comes from the fans that are part of the water cooling system I have. I once had to replace a GeForce card after it overheated, but that was many years ago, over a decade now actually, and card technology has improved exponentially since then.

Overclocking wasn’t something I had thought about. Many thanks for pointing that out. Certainly stability is something I definitely need. I’ll now be mindful to read the specifications closely and make sure whichever one I choose is completely stock.