Running unreal engine on a terminal server

Hello all,

This is my first post so I will make a brief introduction: My name is Auric, 29 years old, and I am building with friends a small game dev team. All noobs, myself included, but with great intentions of learning.

We already have a project started

As a support engineer for system and net admins, I enjoy making environments. To my experience, and taste, there is nothing like terminal servers for co working.

I would like to know if this is the case for game developing with Unreal Engine

Current specs of test machine:
old dell poweredge running xen server 7
8 xeon cores
16 gigs ddr3
raid 0 2 disks for OS volume
intel p530

I have left the most important for last. I am using a crappy integrated GPU. The desktop experience (for being remote) is flawless and fluid for normal task. But as soon as I open the Unreal engine, the content of the graphics frame engine struggles. The reason is obvious.

My question is: is it WORTH it to add an Nvidia quadro like GPU? Which, to my understanding, is meant for this kind of use. GFX and animations production. How well does Unreal Engine make the best of that kind of GPUs?
From this list:

does anyone have any feedback to share in regards on how well does a terminal server with the specs mentioned, and a dedicated GPU works?

Is it worth it?

Or should every team member use their own hardware?

Thank you!

UE4 will work better with a GTX than a quadro from my experience. (The quadro only had about 20-25fps with the latest model card.)
It’s also somewhat cheaper to get a GTX card. (Than a quadro up to snuff for UE4) Or even a AMD equivalent card which can be even cheaper.

Not sure how good the zeon is. What is the GHZ on it?

16 gig of ram is pretty much great! You can’t open the kite demo without 32 though… But I really don’t think that will be a problem.

The HDD’s ought to be fine. A SSD is way better. But I run a raid setup with some old HDD’s and it’s quite good.

You will need Windows 7 or higher to run UE4. Xen will not run it.
Linux Ubuntu can run it… Not the best way of doing it. (I run it!) But it is an option for the cheap. (There will be no launcher. Or marketplace support on Linux. Also, it only uses opengl on Linux. But hey! It’s free! :smiley: )

Hope some of that helps man!

Hey, thank you so much for your reply! It has opened my eyesight and currently reconsidering my environment upgrade from scratch

my xeon btw is 3.5

so, traditional gaming GPU are better for unreal engine as opposed to the “designers” ones? Interesting. So I should be aiming for a 1080 like you mentioned.

This brings a side question now: most servers (2U) have pciex 8x. not 16x. At first when I realized that I was disappointed on imagining how would run a so expensive 1080 at half rate. But it turns out the bus is not SO bad.

Id like everybody’s thoughts on this please if I may ask:

So, how would run, for three concurrent designers MAX with the specs I have from m first post + a gtx 1080 but on a 8x pciex

again, I am not looking for some l33t numbers. I am doing basic numbers to answer a simple question. terminal server for dedicated unreal engine for my incredibly small team, or should each head make their workstation?

having a terminal server is just not for raw power, but the conveniences of an active directory shared folders etc.

thank you!

A server won’t be a good use of money, since it’s designed for a different purpose–the issue here is that the server components are more expensive and unless you need to use multiple CPU’s and lots of RAM it’s not worth it. Working in a 3D app remotely also won’t be great, since streaming an image quickly enough will be an issue you’ll get some lag which is more noticeable in a 3D app.

Getting an i7 system with a gaming GPU would be more ideal, with each user having their own hardware with some kind of backup system. If you work in the same location you can even network the PC’s and use them for building lighting.


Thank you for the new feedback.

The main reason why I am even considering this (besides I enjoy very much setting up environments) is that the experience so far (office, desktop) and even multimedia streaming in 1080p is pretty much flawless.

Everything is close to real time, until any of the users open unreal editor. And even there its good: the menus etc. Just the frame with the game preview. There, the fps drops to 3-10 average. (Unusable)

Since this is the only issue, and like i said, even media playback is fine, I was thinking maybe a GPU would fix this one problem. And of course keeping the quality of the other uses of the machine.

I am still looking forward reading more feedback; as I evaluate this option based on what I read here and what I can get from my hardware provider.

Any thoughts on ? Can you really put in a 16x picex (lets say the mentioned 1080 gtx) on a 8x pciex and barely loose one fps!?

Otherwise… servers with full lane pciex 16x is way out of my budget. It must be a 4U unit and with a price related to its massive size and power consumption

Definitely this. Quadros are designed to overcome mainstream GPU limitations that the engine designs around, so you won’t see the benefits at all in UE.

I have M4000, M6000, P4000, P5000 and P6000 and all works good in terms of fps. Where does the 20-25fps statement come from?

The card I saw in action is a year or two older. (Earlier days of UE4 aswell.)

But I can bet the 1080 will out perform any of these cards. (In UE4 and in games) UE4 is suited to the use of GTX or AMD equivalent cards.
Though the FPS is probably not unusable on these… It will most likely be totally dominated by the GTX or AMD card.

They are also way more cost effective than a quadro for such work.