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What's a good Hardware setup?

I have what I considered to this a day a fairly good computer, I7 processor, 16GB and a 6Gbit/sec HD, but now with Unreal, that feels like I have a Windows update. yesterday my machine was fine, a new Windows comes out and it’s slow as molasses.

Now what would be considered a good hardware setup? Is there a trick, perhaps with multiple harddrives to distribute load? Does one of these static ram drives help? I never bothered getting one since I thought they only help when you startup the same big application all the time and my apps run most of the time, so startup is not a problem, but the build process now or importing graphic assets is really taxing.

The speed of Importing stuff is only affected by your CPU. Same goes for things like building light or compiling stuff. Which CPU do you have? There are i7 tons of different i7 CPUs, some which are from 2008 so that doesn’t really say anything. Having a fast harddrive helps with loading stuff and saving large files but won’t affect your build or import times. Also there is a difference between Gbit/s and GB/s and what you’re referring to is the speed limit of the Sata III interface, not the speed of your hard drive. You can download CrystalDiskMark to test the actual speed of it.

The core says 3.4 GHz, but it’s a few years old, I guess from 2010 or 11 . When compiling, UE says doing 4 tasks in parallel.

I am observing the HD light sometimes and when compiling it’s often off when UE compiles the heavy stuff so I guess a SSD drive wouldn’t help much. Maybe it’s just so that UE is so heavy that it can’t be sped up. Sometimes I feel reminded of that fat guy in Jurassic Park who said “I should let you know that the system is compiling. That can take 18-20 minutes” :slight_smile:

It’s probably your CPU, and also mechanical hard disk.

Ivy Bridge, Haswell or Skylake i7 Quad will make a difference. SSD definitely makes a difference. 16GB or 32GB RAM is great. With a fast SSD you shouldn’t need a RAMdisk. GPU nothing less than Nvidia 980 IMO.

Don’t forget a fresh install of Windows.

I’m using a gaming laptop but it has an Ivy Bridge Quad so nothing too frustrating, just that the GPU is only a 660M. But I think I’ll get by for now especially with overclocking the GPU. And shockingly, a Windows 10 fresh install has kept things fast and quite stable.

I would suggest getting a new machine with Intel Skylake i7 (or even a more affordable fast Quad i5 Haswell), big SSD, Nvidia 980 Ti and 32GB RAM. Then you can use your old machine for speeding up Lightmass baking using Swarm.

Finally, it appears Lightmass baking in 4.9.0 is significantly faster.

Ye maybe you’re right. I kind of stopped following hardware developments a few years ago when Moore’s law went out the window because single core processors couldn’t get any faster anymore, so I kind of got the impression there are no more hardware improvements other than more and more cores and thus more parallel threads, but perhaps there are other improvements that make a single core work faster with it’s environment. I guess I will keep going with my machine since a new machine is not in my budget right now and then it gives me time to browse the internet while I wait for a compilation.

I’m using a Core i7 950 (four years old CPU,) and it’s doing alright. I have a fast SSD and a GTX 980 to help it out.
However, now the motherboard starts losing the third channel of RAM intermittently, so I think it’s time for a new mobo/CPU/RAM triplet.
Hopefully it’ll keep working enough until the Skylake bugs are worked out…

For a budget game building computer today, I’d put together something like:
Core i5-4690
GTX 970
Samsung EVO 850 512 GB
16 GB RAM

An SSD actually helps a lot. Never compute without one!

Also note that the instructions-per-clock have slowly incrased over the last 5 years, as well as caches and memory speeds, so the new Skylake will get almost twice as much done per clock as the i7-950 I have. If your CPU is equally aged, it’s probably time for an upgrade if it’s bogging down.

If you haven’t already, get yourself a decent SSD or two, then use Incredibuild.
I originally used a single SSD for the OS, with everything else on a decent HDD.
Since switching to SSD for OS & source, compile times are better, not to mention quieter :slight_smile:

Also, the “don’t put your files on the same drive as the OS” advice isn’t all that high importance. Having all files and OS on the same SSD is generally much faster than having one SSD and one spinny disk of rust. Two SSDs are perhaps even better, but the difference there isn’t huge.
So, if your graphics card is OK, and you have at least 8 GB of RAM already, then the next important upgrade is likely an SSD.

Ok, thanks sounds good, I do have an SSD slot on the mainboard, I remember when I put it all together, but I still fear the reinstalling of all my software and such. I guess I will probably wait and see if I can finish my game project with the current setup and then hopefully be in better shape.

Re-installing software really isn’t all that bad, I’ve re-installed Windows like 4-5 times this year, and in 6 hours I had everything back, just make sure that you make sure that you have your licenses for software & such.

You know what? Me too. I have been a developper for the longest time and you probably know how that goes, you install stuff and the machine gets sluggisch and then you reinstall, or try an install with a different setting on an old machine etc. I bought Windows 7 a few years ago. my first official Windows, I paid 300$. And do you know what happened?

After a few reinstalls, I got a message from Microsoft: That’s enough! You activated Windows too many times! So then I had to go and get an activation crack from the net to be able to run my legally bought Windows 7 at all. I swore to myself, that was the last MS product I ever bought. If Unreal development was possible on Linux, I wouldn’t even have to worry about Windows.

I started using a virtual machine for development a long time ago. Doesn’t matter if you reinstall the host. Install Windows and drivers and then whatever VM software you use and you are good to go. If my SSD decides to go belly-up I just need to grab a replacement and reinstall those three things I mentioned and I’m good to go.

Unfortunately none of the VMs support DX11 which UE requires. But for all other development I suggest a VM.

Regarding your original question. I think you would benefit from an SSD in any case. The rest of your setup seems fine, unless your i7 is really ancient (an i7-920 or something). Even that should be OK.

Also, you said a new Windows came out. Did you upgrade to Windows 10 already? And if you did an upgrade, try a clean install. Maybe something didn’t go as planned.

If you are interested in an SSD I would suggest the Crucial MX200 or Samsung 850 EVO, very good price/performance ratio. I need more fast storage myself so I’m going with the MX200. I don’t trust Samsung after their screw up with the EVO 840 (TLC) series.