Upgrade RAM to 20GB or RAM to 12GB + SSD 512GB for C++ ?

I am using UE4 on i5-7200U, 8GB RAM, Nvidia 940MX 2GB.

When using C++, compilation times are horrendous. I have to wait sometimes around 4-5mins.
My laptop supports a maximum of 20GB RAM. I am confused as to go for 20GB RAM or 12GB RAM + 512 SSD. I do intend to work on some level designs.

I did read some posts on this forum and seems like 16GB RAM should be the minimum requirement for good performance. I am really confused.

I have 32 Gig ram on my pc. And The demo for Ue5 The Ancient One Game, requires 64Gig for best performance , else some features are disabled for my 32gig system.

Unreal Engine is not for laptops, except some very expensive laptop. Unreal is really for Desktop Power, and my high-end desktop struggles, even crashes, so i save my work a lot.

My system is 4.4Ghz on 1 Terabyte SSD with 32Gig ram. And i struggle in some places, especially the Ue5 demo. And yes C++ builds in Visual Studio too takes ages sometimes, more than 5mins.

So using laptop, means you forget what you were doing by the time processing is done.

As robotics engineer i have used a lot of PC tools in my career and played a lot of games , but i have never seen anything as power hungry as Unreal.

This tool is built for high end Desktop PC in order to get the most out of it.

Well… I run a threadripper 2950 and 64G ram with about 8T of NVMe (thank-you threadripper for lanes) and about 100T of spinning rust. So I can’t say I empathize.

… that-said… if you’re paging, you’re aging. Paging is only mildly tolerable when you’re switching from one application to another — but if your active set is paging — well hopefully you’ve also got a good (paper) book to read.

maxing out your RAM probably makes the most difference.

Hopefully you are wrong about this. Ram is always set up in pair and has power of 2 values.
To get to 20GB you’d have to mix sticks.
Mixing sticks used to (no idea if this is still true, it’s just something we don’t do ever) lead to performance loss.

Usually you only have 4, 8, 16, 32 as single sticks (32 being very rare).

If you have 2 slots for ram, then the most you can get is probably 32GB

Otherwise the max would probably be 16GB…

The 512SSD also makes little to no sense.
If you plan to work with unreal on the laptop you probably need at least 1TB for unreal to work alongside the OS.

And your GFX won’t allow you to load most map levels (4GB Vram minimum on most things).

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Given he says his choices are 12+ssd or 20, I suspect he has one stick of 8 OR 8 on the MB (fixed). Then he’s proposing to add a 4 or a 16 in a single slot. Lots of cheap laptops have memory on the motherboard. I suppose he’s lucky to have a slot.

The question is: with 20, does he get 16 of dual-channel and then another 8 on single channel… or is the chipset dumb and it comes out as all single channel?

… but questions like these aren’t easy for regular people to answer.

Given the two options, I’d still max the RAM. Single channel sucks, but not as much as less RAM.

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You mention the minimum to get “good performance.” I don’t think you’ll get good performance for UE4 game dev from that laptop no matter what you do. You might get to “OK,” but you’ll always struggle with performance. Your money is better invested in a desktop.

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