What GPUs do you use for game development with UE4?

Hello guys,

I asked this question on LTT forum, but noone answered. So I guess I will ask it here.

When do the professional GPUs start to take advantage over a normal gaming card when it comes to development in the game engine? I realized that the new Vega FE has some features for UE4. There were a couple of slides from AMD:

As well as this:

I wanna know what I would gain for $400 more for professional Vega FE (over a normal $600 gaming GPU), when it comes to game development with Unreal Engine 4.

Don’t ever use a workstation card as a gaming card. Wait until the gaming versions of vega cards are released.

  1. The drivers aren’t built or optimized for gaming. There may be weird bugs, quirks, or they might not be fully supported by games.

  2. It’s not worth the price premium.

There’s be plenty of topics and discussions on game art forums (such as polycount), and the general consensus is, it is (almost) never worth it. The only real exception is if you need a quardo or workstation card for uses outside of game development.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I’m aware, things like FirePro and Quadro aren’t ever really “useful” as far as specific features are concerned. I’m not aware of a single tool that would really benefit in any meaningful way from it, as opposed to just throwing a GTX 1080 in there or something.

Texture baking is all CPU or CUDA, lightmap baking is all CPU, Maya/Zbrush is going to just use the CPU mostly (any GPU whatsoever will suffice).

The one use for the rendering market that those cards have are for things like render farms, where you might throw GPU rendering on it. But that’s not really useful for game engines, at all. My render server barely even has a GPU, I just threw a passively cooled GT 710 in there and it made zero impact on lightmap baking speed.

Honestly, my guess its it’s just marketing fluff to make it a nice, even 2 and 2 in their comparison slide. It’s not worth a single penny of that extra $400 if you don’t plan on using a GPU rendering engine like Redshift or something. Just get the fastest high end, standard gaming card you can. Considering the numbers you were throwing out there, a GTX 1080 Ti is probably your best bet. Fastest on the market, and so you can take advantage of CUDA if the need arises.

I have a GTX 980, so that’s CUDA GPU already in my rig right now. I don’t want to buy a Pascal card and I am hearing that Volta won’t come to the consumer market. I am buying a Vega 10 (RX Vega Nova as the name goes from AMD).

So in that case, how are these cards “Professionally” used (the Vega FE and Quadros)? Is it only about AI and machine learning?
I just want to know more about GPUs, but what I am confused is why is AMD marketing this card to game developers, when the whole Star Citizen team, i heard, has GTX 1080s in their rigs (i thought they have Quadros!)

I wouldn’t invest $1000 in a video card by AMD, yet.
I am running 1080GTX series now and I have no reason, that i can think of, to move back to a Quadro. Now, with that said, I would do any and all 3D work with a Quadro, you would be stupid not to. This is why all CAD machines have them (or should). They far outweigh the “gaming” cards of equal stats. Gaming cards are built for speed, dev cards are built for raw power. Like the difference between a 1970s GTO and a 2010 Honda Civic with all the mods.

For unreal, gaming card. For all your modeling and high-end 3D dev work? Quadro (or equiv). I wouldnt put AMD/ATI’s first born in my machine and expect magic to happen. Truth is, we dont know how it will perform. It might blow CUDA out of the water, it might not. I am the kinda’ guy that is very “go with what you know”.

Question for you is: Why arn’t you using a 1080GTX if its proven to work effectively for development ?
EDIT: ^ not you WhiteSky, “you” is a general term here

We are a 2-man development team. My friend is doing all the CAD work and modeling and animations, I do coding. He will be building a PC, but he doesn’t have the money for a Quadro card, nor for a prosumer card. I can buy a Vega FE, but I am not doing the 3D rendering work, he is. I bought my GTX 980 2 years ago and I didn’t want to buy another nvidia card since a GTX 980 = GTX 1060 and that’s good enough for a gaming card and an UE4 card, at least for a programmer.

The reason why i thought about buying a FE card (i anyway need an upgrade) - it would serve me OK as gaming/game performance testing card, cuz it has game mode, and also, my friend can use it to do the heavy 3D rendering. I am essentially trying to kill 2 birds with 1 stone. My nvidia card, I could just use it for optimization and testing for Cuda. Afterall I need to know how the game works with GPUs from both nVidia and AMD.

Now why am I choosing a Vega FE instead of a quadro? Cuz it’s cheaper and Quadros are x2 more expensive. We can access the Pro drivers and the gaming drivers at the same time. This is only our own project, it’s not even university give (we don’t have such PCs even at uni).

The other people here would probably suggest me to just buy a consumer RX Vega when it comes out (I want to switch to AMD, I refuse to buy Pascal card from nvidia). If I do that however, we will have to do ALL the 3D rendering on our gaming rigs, and i wonder how well is that gonna work… My friend only has budget to buy an RX580. So basically, he needs to do 3DS Max modeling on that and that includes rendering even the level design.

So do you think an RX580 will suffice for 3D Render and modeling?

The workstation cards are a really poor value, though that’s partially due to the small market for them and the hype that companies put into them, for example they like to highlight Quadros for GPU rendering which usually run faster on a gaming card.
The vast majority of the time it’s worth it more to get a gaming card, if you look at a workstation card of similar value it won’t be a good card but the higher-end workstation cards can make an impact when working in 3D software like CAD programs and 3ds Max/Maya, it’s just super expensive.

For game development, I wouldn’t waste the money on a workstation card, GTX 1080 is just much cheaper and extremely powerful.

Oh, i see the break down now. Hmmm … wow, this could really go either way
I would 100% stay away from using a GAMING card as it can really mess with 3d rendering (apples to oranges here)
Now, the real question is, “is CAD a primary CUDA render?”. I think it is. I would need to double check

If CUDA support then nvidia
If Stream support then ATI/AMD

it really depends on the apps you are using, but, i wouldnt get a desktop gaming video card for any 3D design … if you MUST, then, i would stick with whatever CAD supports.

Ok, so i think im gonna then just wait for normal RX Vega and buy that. I don’t really want a Pascal card, i got a Maxwell one that’s good enough to just test CUDA on.

There’s nothing wrong with using a gaming card for 3D software, a workstation card has just a few advantages over a gaming card. First, you can get a workstation GPU with more memory, which is good for GPU rendering where often times you have to fit everything in memory for it to be able to use the GPU. The biggest advantage of workstation cards is how they can handle many objects. If you’re doing extremely complext scenes or CAD designs then that is helpful. Also, workstation GPU’s are usually more reliable, meaning they aren’t likely to fail as easily so if you use them intensely then they’ll hold up more.

I agree with this, to a point.
When you use words like CAD in your 3D design, it changes the entire conversation.

You want to use Maya and Blender? Feel free to use a gaming card. You want to use a robust software like CAD, get a workstation card. Workstation card for a workstation software. If it was “well, it doesnt matter” conversation, then the biggest 3D developers (not gaming devs, 3D designers) would just toss in a 1080GTX TI and call it a day. They dont.

Game dev /= 3D design

CAD will still work really well on a gaming card. 3D design is a very big part of game development, in some cases you can design your level completely in your 3D application and it often lacks the features of a engine editor that makes things run quickly as you work. Besides that, you’re going to be working on assets that will end up being much more complex than what they’ll end up in a game.
You don’t see a performance jump until you start spending well above the cost of a GTX 1080. It’s not worth it unless you’ve got a bunch of money to spend or you’re doing something that just won’t work on a high end gaming card. That’s rarely ever the case. In a lot of cases studios will get systems with workstation cards just because Nvidia recommends it. It’s a similar case with software, Autodesk has been telling developers to switch from 3ds Max to Maya, for what reason? Is it really going to make a big difference? No, they were doing that to get studios to buy new licenses rather than keep using the perpetual licenses they already had. It’s also been the case sometimes where Quadros are actually the same exact hardware as a gaming card but with different firmware and then they jack up the price.

They don’t. It’s a game engine, needs a gaming card. Like the 1080 ti… I have one and it’s great :smiley:

I’m not sure why people keep wanting to wait for vega… AMD just disappoints every single time. Vega benchmarks have been released, and who could have guessed, it sucks

First of all, many of those benchmarks that were released for Vega were fake. AMD did compare their Vega FE to the Titan X, only because it’s the same price, and Quadros are x2 more expensive.

The point is that we are not designing a car or anything that would go into the factory, we are making a game. My friend would need to model things like swords, siege weapons, characters, maybe buildings, maps, etc.
Since he is working in 3DS Max, is this considered a CAD? Does he really need a professional GPU for just that? I don’t see him buying anything more than a RX580. I could get an FE and let him work on my PC whenever he needs to up the polygons count in his design and render it. Buying things that are already in the market store in UE4 may come more expensive in the end, so we decided to model everything ourselves and not rely on someone else’s work.

As I said before in one of my previous posts, that CIG, the company behind Star Citizen, explicitly said in one of their shows that they were buying GTX 1080s for every PC in their office(s). Now i don’t know if they are using professional cards for the people working on design in Maya and Autodesk 3DS Max. I asked on other forums and people told me - if the modeling is extremely that detailed, to the point where you are actually modeling each screw, then you need a prosumer card, not for game content stuff. Now the ships in Star Citizen are very detailed as you can tell, so MAYBE they are using pro cards for what they are doing? who knows.

I think that it will be fine to just buy a normal gaming card and most of the design/modeling of things like characters and weapons can be done without having to buy a 2K Quadro card. Remember we are making a medieval single player game…

I don’t know myself, not a designer nor an artist. I just wanna make sure our work flow is going to be with no problems. I however didn’t know anything about the professional cards so yeah… that’s why im asking.

You’d definitely be better off with a gaming card, since UE4 will run better on it along with many other tools (Substance for example)

I agree.
I thought the 3D design was being done in CAD. Swords and stuff, easy. Toss in a 1080 and call it a day.

3DS Max isn’t CAD. Whoever told you you that you need a prosumer card for making assets for a game like Star Citizen does not know what they are talking about. A lot of the tiny details in Star Citizen are just planes with a screw texture on them, which get added in at the very end. Really for game art, you can get away with a $150 gaming GPU. I know plenty of game artists running older hardware on their PCs at home, because they don’t need a GTX 1080 to make assets. The only real bottlenecks to worry about is, making sure the GPU has enough VRAM for their workflow and the game.

Again, the only people that need Quadro or Workstation GPUs, are the ones that KNOW they need one, they are for very specific tasks. Game developers do NOT use workstation GPUs.

Thanks a lot for the answer. I just had to know. Advertisements these days are VERY misleading, especially in that video and slide I posted in above. If you don’t ask and you just go with the advertisement, they just won $1000 and you’ve wasted your money. That’s why I always ask before I buy stuff.
Again, thanks a whole bunch :slight_smile:

Ok, but I am not going to buy a GTX 1080. I will buy an AMD RX Vega Nova instead. I want to try the new AMD architecture this time. I have been long using nVidia, but I want competition in the market as well. Recent rumors surfaced that nVidia isn’t bringing Volta to the consumer market, and that they will only shrink down Pascal. That can tell you something - they are not innovating! They are LAZY. They take the advantage from the fact that the name NVIDIA has a big name share.
I am not going to buy their products until they don’t bring something that is a innovative and new to consumers.

I agree
Now my confusion came because of the post where it was mention they were using CAD. Hence my push for a Quadro.
Sure he doesnt need a 1080GTX, not for the 3D design part. It was also mentioned that the PC is a dev + 3D design machine.

The cost of a 1080GTX Ti = ~$700 USD
Cost of a RX Vega Nova = ~$600 USD

Actual benchmarks to see if the top amd beat the top “team green” … ? we have yet to see.
After that, the cards fall short in the lineup targeting the 1070 instead of the 1080GTX line.

GTX 1080 is a beast but if you want to go for AMD, Vega GPUs are probably going to be also extremely fast.