Lower End Build for UE4/Blender beginner - suggestions please

Hi all, This is my first post and am approaching UE4 from a beginner’s standpoint. I’m not a noob to programming, but much of what is in front of me wrt UE4 and Blender is going to be new, so I know I’m going to have to approach this as a longer term learning process. My current PC is not going to be able to run UE4, so I’m going to be building a new PC for this.

I’ve looked through many of the suggested PC build posts I can find and have put together several builds on pcpartpicker that tend to land in the $1300-$1400 USD range. These builds in this price range tend to look like:

i7 4790k + mobo
GTX 970 - probably MSI or Gigabyte
16G or 32G RAM - DDR3 1600 or 1866
250g or 500g SSD - Samsung
1TB hard disk - WD Blue
high quality PS - maybe 650W Corsair RM or similar
Cheap optical drive
Decent Case
Windows 10

Again, this build is mainly based upon conversations I’ve gleaned from many posts, and I’ve tried several variations of this and price seems to come to around $1300 to $1400 range depending on a few changes. My understanding is something like that might be the best “bang-for-the-buck” build at the current point in time. (Please advise if I’m misunderstanding)

My general thought is this is a lot of cash, especially for a beginner, so I’m wanting to compare to some suggestions for lower end builds from folks who are using them, and would expect they’d be sufficient for a beginner. I know some folks have posted they run UE4 on less, and I’m trying to gauge what a decent lower end spec would be considering I’m learning and a beginner at this. I especially appreciate comments from folks from that perspective :wink:

Anyhow, in that context, I’d like to stay with Intel CPU and Nvidia video (mainly due to heat/noise/power efficiency issues along w/ generally better compatibility/support), but within those constraints am trying to understand what a “not-so-great but workable for a beginner system” might look like.

-If you’re running i5’s, are they OK for beginner, or is springing for more CPU a no brainer?
-Does a GTX 950 (or less) get the job done for you acceptably as a learner/beginner?
-16G ram is probably minimum? It’s not too expensive, so not a big deal
-To save cash, would going simply with single regular spinning HD work fine (and wait on a SSD)?

  • I’m assuming Windows 10 is fine, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

Thanks for the feedback. I’ve been looking at system options for a couple of days and am trying to get a better feel for what a lower end system might look like so I can compare the costs to see where I land prior to making my final decision. Comments are greatly appreciated. Thank you,

If you can, get 32 mb, or a motherboard to upgrade to 32 mb later.

Use a SSD for the UE installation and projects if you can (250 GB should be enough for this), also use a 250 for your OS, or a 500 for both, Install everything else on a 1+ TB HDD

Hi unit23,

Thanks. Yes, in any scenario I’ll get a mobo with up to 32G RAM capacity, regardless of how much I start with (probably 16).

I’m actually looking for suggestions on a lower end system that would run acceptably for beginners who are learning just for comparison. Have you run UE4 acceptably on lower end system with just a regular HD (like WD Blue) rather than SSD+HD. There’s some cost saving there if that would work ok for beginner.

Also, if I’m understanding properly, if I go for a higher end, you’re saying it’s best to put OS and UE4 on separate SSD drives? (ex: it would be better to have 2 SSD at 250, rather than a single 500G SSD). thanks,

From my point of view, don’t target for lower end systems, target for a system that can do high performance tasks (especially rendering) for the next 3-5 years. Building a PC is not cheap, yes, but I always think of it as an investment. And long term investments always need more money upfront than short term investments.

an I5 should be fine, just make sure its a quad core and at least 2.50GHz, although obviously the better the CPU the faster at building lighting/compiling code.

well the card that epic recommend if your building a PC for developing with UE4 is a GTX770 so you don’t have to go for a 970 or whatever but I wouldn’t recommend you go with a 50, I would say a good bet is any recent card that ends with a 70 or 80 and it should run UE4 quite well, take a look at the performance survey thread for a better idea about decent GPU’s.

my old laptop only had 8GB and it was fine so 16Gb will work.

yep, a normal HDD will work fine it just wont load quite as quick as it would with an SSD that’s all.

hope that helps:).

Thanks smokey that info is helpful. Regarding the cards. I mentioned 950 because it was newer and close (but lesser) in general performance to 770, but I note one particular benchmark it is terrible in compared to the 770 - the 3D Mark 06 test. Is that an important benchmark for using with UE4/Blender? Several other benchmarks are very close. I do like lower power consumption of 950.

Here’s comparison I’m referencing:

I’d strongly suggest the GTX 960 over the 950, much better bang for your buck and close to GTX 770 performance.

Hi all. OP Here. Just wanted to say thanks for the feedback. It’s gotten me looking around a bit for used cards on ebay too. Might not be worth the risk for much of the build, but for certain items, maybe.