Noobie Spec Info!

Hello community,

What is the lowest size of graphics card you recommend I use for UE4? I’m newish to this, I just bought the Game Implementation Audio for UE4 book, I have a music production degree, I studied FMOD and Unity at a basic level. I’m looking to buy a refurbished iMac, my budget is around £1000 but can stretch a little.

Also with regards to SSD vs standard spinning disk hard drive, is there any significantly noticeable difference I should be weary of for game audio implementation? Keep in mind I’m just starting out and won’t be using UE4 or the iMac for any high end multi application graphics etc.

I have been offered an iMac 27" 2011 model, 8gb ram, 2gb graphics card, 3.4ghz i7, 1tb Hdd for £775.

I have also been offered a similar machine, but 2013 i5 fusion drive 2tb 256 SSD 16gb for £1065.

There are several other similar offers out there, it’s becoming mind boggling!

Any help, education and advice from you experts would be most welcome!

Things that are on my mind are, graphics card, year of machine, type of hard drive, size oh hard drive, speed of processor, amount of ram, display.

Thanks in advance


Don’t buy a mac for game development. You can get a far better pc for the same amount of money…

I’ll take that onboard, however I’ve been told the opposite is also true.

Right now switching isn’t an option for me as I have a fair arsenal of music production weaponry on my Macbook Pro which I don’t have the time or patience with to cross grade all my licenses or re-isntall. I think for audio implementation an iMac of this spec will be fine.

Agreed, You are limited by budget yet you want overpriced hardware.

I googled for some part picking website in UK, here is what you can get for 1100 pounds:

amd ryzen, geForce 1080, 16gb ram. Much better than those apples.

PS. Do not buy exactly those parts, I did not checked compatibility, this is just to have idea what can be assembled for 1100.

Why not use the audio software on your macbook and unreal on a pc? The build Nawrot posted above has like 10 times the graphics power of that mac.

Thanks for the advice and info.

Overpriced is a matter of opinion, you get what you pay for. I’ve had dozens of PCs break down on me, never one Mac. I’m no expert, I know a bit, but I prefer the quality of Macs, 20 years working in the oil industry using both machines for various technical drawings and reporting plus over a decade of music production and Ableton Live performances showed me where to spend my money. I’ve also always experienced great aftercare and customer services with Apple.

Also as mentioned it’s the convenience and time factor which is important for me, my entire software library is licensed for Mac, I really cannot be bothered at this stage switching back. Maybe in the future but not right now.

I do appreciate your advice and looking into it though.

Many thanks.

I did think about that, it’s just too much hassle importing and exporting things around, my Macbook isn’t the fastest either. Aaaarrrgggghhhh!! Stop tempting me back to PC lol! Hahaha you’re almost convincing me!!

Also, I’m wondering just how important the graphics power is for me at this stage?

I’m only implementing audio.

I do intend to venture further down the game development rabbit hole and explore all areas but that’s a couple of years away at least.

Then get powerfull PC now, like top of the like i7, geForce 1080ti, 32gb ram, samsung 2t ssd m2, etc. Just for unreal.
And get your mobile apple laptop for other things next year or so.
You wrote one thing: 20years of work in oil industry, so buying even 2000 pounds PC this year and another 2000 for mac in year or two should be not a problem. At first I assumed you are student with limited budget. But in your case i would not go for cheapest option, it costs less to buy one top of the line PC every 4 years than buying some used (or mid range) every two or so years. Also remember when you get PC you can upgrade it for less than mac, and have bigger choice of parts.

And one more tease, get this 4k monitor for unreal: 4K Ultra HD LCD display BDM4350UC/27 | Philips
It “probably” does not have proffesional level of color accuracy, but it is my best purchase this year. For color accuracy i have some older Wacoom monitor.

Graphic power is quite important for unreal, unless you can work in 1080p on single monitor. Calculating lightmass requires powerfull graphics (or lots of time). Then at some point you may want to play with some VR development, and that eats 1080ti just like Crysis did to 480ti’s back then.

PS. Over years I got: 480ti, then 580ti, and now 980ti. At some point I calculated that if i bought 470, and every x70 nvidia graphics card total cash spent would be like 10% more. And i would have less average performance. Currently battling myself over 1080ti, but i think i skip this generation.

Nawrot, I cannot thank you enough for your input, great stuff! :slight_smile:

Regarding 20 years offshore, I just bought my house in Scotland and have a respectable home studio of music equipment where I live in London, I also travel and snowboard a lot so all funds have gone haha!

I am actually a student though, an adult student albeit, I quit the oil industry to study drums and music production, recently graduated and am doing a Masters in September with a a focus on gaming audio.

In the last hour something very peculiar just happened on Ebay with a friend of a friend, one of those weird spooky “IT WAS MEANT TO BE” moments so I ended up going for a much higher spec and newer iMac for a lot less than what I should have got it for! I’m a very happy bunny!

Where are you based Nawrot?