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blake_mooney

Best kinda computer to buy for game development?

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What would be the best kinda computer to have (within reason) for programming in languages like C#, C++ and the like? Would a fast laptop be ok to use for this or would I need a workstation desktop?

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Well, if your just writing (like me) games, you dont need that good of a comp. I have a POS computer and it works fine with c++. But if your modeling(maya, 3d studio) you will want to look into something with 256+ ram, 2.3+ Ghz processor, and a good video card.

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I would say as long as your computer can run what you program it is fine. I am developing on my laptop currently (my desktop is at school). Its actually kind of nice being able to program anywhere, but it does introduce lots more distractions.

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Think about the minimum spec you would like your game to run on and then get one of those.

The problem i have is that I'm writing a 2D game that runs very well on my AMD 3.0Ghz + X800 gaming machine, but rather unsurprisingly runs badly on my girlfriends old 800mhz laptop. I've decided to buy a second hand laptop similar to hers just to get the game running at that particular speed, which for me is quite quite slow.

if you want to create the next gen FPS, then you'll need something better.

Cheers - 6

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It entirely depends on what you're building.

I could totally see myself building an indie 3D title on my current laptop (Sony SZ-140 with 2 GB of RAM). However, for our large MMO platform at work, we use Dell Pentium D workstations with 10,000 rpm SATA RAID drives.

Here's what I would prioritize to build a large system:

1) 2 GB of RAM or more.

2) 10,000 rpm hard drives, ideally RAID 1, or faster (RAID 0 may actually be slower -- you're seek bound, not througput bound).

3) Fast, ideally dual-core CPU.

4) Graphics card.

Now, pretty much any system is going to be "good enough" for most things you can build on your own, although you may wait longer on full re-builds if you use a large level compiler, lightmapper, or big game engine (size like Irrlicht or nebula2 or larger).

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Guest Anonymous Poster
You want to be able to run and debug your game on the same computer.

Thus (as others have said) you need to meet the same min (or better)
requirements to run the game, plus some added development requirements (like disk space to hold large blocks of in-progress game assets and the hardware nessesary for easy project backup/archiving.

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Quote:
Original post by blake_mooney
What would be the best kinda computer to have (within reason)


Within reason... Please specify the within reason??? cause there is no best

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What would be the best computer?
A fast one.

Most non-critical concerns with software development involve your CPU speed.

Mainly, compile time. The slower your computer, the longer you'll wait for your code to compile. Compilers are notoriously slow at compiling C++.

Also, productivity. If your computer is too slow, then your fancy IDE will most likely hinder your productivity. A good amount of RAM will compliment a decent CPU speed.

One thing I'll say I can't live without, is my CD burner. Without it, I run a high risk of losing all my code and work. If you plan on doing any serious software dev, then make sure you have a CD burner.

Hard disk space isn't really a main concern when it comes to software development by itself. As long as it has enough space to store your code and your builds/build files - then a 20GB HD should be fine for software dev. However, if you plan on doing any type of media (audio/video/graphics/games) production, then you'll want one or more decently sized hard drives with good read/write speeds.

Having extra ports (Firewire, USB, etc.), whether you need them immediately or not, is also a good idea.

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My vote goes to dual monitors... I dont have them myself but 2 monitors could be great for debugging and running a game at the same time.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by fitfool
Well, if your just writing (like me) games, you dont need that good of a comp. I have a POS computer and it works fine with c++. But if your modeling(maya, 3d studio) you will want to look into something with 256+ ram, 2.3+ Ghz processor, and a good video card.


i would definitly suggest something a bit above that for 3dsmax or maya, especially if you intend to do cutscenes, intros, etc, (if you mess around a bit with particle effects you can easily eat up 2-4GB ram with 3dsmax), 512 is probably a bare minimum and ram is cheap anyway.

dual monitors are nice to have but not really necessary (but if you have some old monitors lying around you might aswell get a graphicscard capable of handling 2)

you might also want a decent graphicscard (preferably one that supports SM3.0 if you intend to use that since its alot easier to finetune effects if you can see the result in realtime)

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Quote:
Original post by Yohumbus
My vote goes to dual monitors... I dont have them myself but 2 monitors could be great for debugging and running a game at the same time.


I Agree here, you will get the most added efficiency/productivity by uses two 17" monitors or larger, with a proper computer seat in which you can sit for 2-8 hours without getting up, a good internet connection, a nice desk with lots of room.

As for the computer itself, faster means faster compiling/running and thus testing speeds. As they said the minimum would be the minimum target for your game. Maximum, well there isn't.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Nowadays memory is cheap, so buy at least 1gb. Processor matters, and to continue doing things while you compile, a dual core micro is fine. I think storage speed is not prioritary, nearly all game programming tasks are CPU intensive so HD wont be a bottleneck.

Of course, if you are doing 3D you will need a good graphics card.

The main difference between a laptop and desktop is HD speed, so this election should be based on your budget, because graphics cards are lot more expensive in laptops. Not to forgot the greater power consumption that will limit your offline battery duration.

And what´s most important IMO is monitor, get a large one. 17" is a bare minimum if you choose a desktop given prices, look for 19", tft if you can. Two displays is a luxury, that could be fine for debugging fullscreen apps, but you can always do it in windowed mode.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I would say that Dual Monitors and a lot of memory are the most important. Having two monitors is very convenient. You can have your code/debugging on one side and the game up on the other. Also if you work with a lot of different programs up and running then you'll definately want lots of memory. Nothing bugs me more that having to sift through open apps to find one to close all because I don't have enough memory free to use my IDE's search feature.

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