Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Carbon101

Unity Best Laptop for Game Development

This topic is 2066 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I am currently in the market for a laptop and I am looking for some help.

 

What laptop should I be looking at for game programming?   If you can't recommend a specific model, what component should I be looking at CPU, GPU, RAM, or storage.

 

I plan to get into 3D programming very shortly and I want to start messing around with OpenGl, DirectX, and Unity. I currently use SFML, and plan to incorporate OpenGl with it.

 

Should I stay away from Windows 8 laptops, I heard they are not development friendly but I want to know what you think.

 

I know game development is better suited on a desktop computer, but I want something on the go to increase productivity. In terms of price I  would prefer something under $500, but I understand if that can be a problem.

 

 

 

* Feel free to move this to the appropriate section.*

Edited by Czar05

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

GPU will definitely be the most important consideration, although I'm not sure less than $500 is realistic for a development laptop. Usually you spend extra on development computers so you can save time. Getting a cheaper development machine means you'll need to run release builds instead of debug builds far more often, and that's harder for debugging. You'll also have to optimize earlier and more often, which will probably lead to development effort that later gets thrown away anyways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the consumer-oriented Lenovos offer good quality and specs for your dollar. Like the Y410p. For sub-$500, I'd probably recommend you to look at AMD APUs, if graphics really are important, or a haswell-based notebook with Iris Pro integrated graphics (The fully-enabled one, not the one with the 128mb cache which is too expensive). Intel's iGPU performance hasn't caught up to AMD's, but you'll get better battery life and more single-threaded performance from the CPU.

 

Other than that, get (or upgrade to) at least 8GB of RAM, and get a display that's a good size for you, and at least 1440x900 resolution, preferably higher. 1366x768 is really too cramped for serious work, 1440x900 is just barely adequate. Try to get a machine that's either entirely SSD, or has a 24GB+ SSD cache.

 

If you have money left over and don't already have them lying around, consider picking up a larger, high-res monitor and a nice keyboard/mouse. Portability is nice, but you'll probably spend 80% of your time wherever it is you sleep, if you've got the desk-space, you'd be wise to make it more comfortable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A nice GPU (NVIDIA ideally or maybe AMD but not Intel) and lots of memory. Everything else can be compromised in favor of those two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're probably not going to do games with crysis like graphics, so GPU is not all that important but it should be fairly modern. I would recommend laptop with atleast discrete GPU. But I think for me the first thing to look in laptop is it's screen resolution. Because I have a laptop with 1366x768 screen resolution and it sucks for programming, I can't fit anything on screen. Even if I open my IDE in fullscreen I still need to constantly adjust the side bars or and toolbar's size so I could fit more code on screen. Get a laptop with 1080p screen. It will be bigger, but much better for programming. If you are going to compile big applications/games then get a laptop wtih SSD, because it will reduce compile time.

 

There are other nuances when choosing a laptop, but that's all time I have for now. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Laptop?  But why?!  I need at least 3 monitors to program comfortably.

 

In any case, for consumers, I recommend AMD video cards.  For developers, I recommend nVidia but ONLY because nVidia is harder to develop for (you can get away with a lot more from AMD cards where nVidia would otherwise crash).  nVidia makes cards more geared for gaming, but it doesn't matter how much performance you squeeze out if your game crashes, which is also more likely on nVidia.  Be sure to get a graphics card and monitor that supports the range of resolutions you intend to develop for.  Beyond that, there isn't much to recommend other than the usual trusted manufacturers (Corsair for memory, western digital for hard drives, etc.).  I'd say go no less than 4GB of RAM and no less than 1GB of graphics RAM and 500GB of hard disk space to fit all the software tools and assets on.  Screen real estate is a big issue for me, as I usually have multiple files open at once for editing, so I'd go for the largest screen you can afford, unless of course you have a handful of extra monitors you carry around with you.

Edited by Uberwulu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your input, they are very insightful. Just curious why everybody here is favoring AMD, instead of Intel. I asked my brother for his input and he said intel, but I am eager to here your opinions on the matter.

 

@_greyfox Lol thanks I'm gonna need it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

GPU will definitely be the most important consideration, although I'm not sure less than $500 is realistic for a development laptop. Usually you spend extra on development computers so you can save time. Getting a cheaper development machine means you'll need to run release builds instead of debug builds far more often, and that's harder for debugging. You'll also have to optimize earlier and more often, which will probably lead to development effort that later gets thrown away anyways.

 

Fully agree with this. +1

The GPU might not be the most important piece, but it's definitely important. The other points richardurich made are also true.

 

Thank you all for your input, they are very insightful. Just curious why everybody here is favoring AMD, instead of Intel. I asked my brother for his input and he said intel, but I am eager to here your opinions on the matter.

 

Intel makes fantastic CPUs. But when it comes to GPUs, NVidia and AMD have always dominated.

 

Many many laptops come backed with Intel GPUs, which are usually the bare basic 'Yes I have a GPU' card checkbox. Unfortunately, they are pretty poor chips that are integrated into the motherboard directly and very underpowered. Intel might make more expensive GPUs as well, but the built-in GPUs on laptops are infamous - which isn't a problem for web surfacing, emailing, and word processing that most consumers do (though I find on cheaper laptops they tend to overheat when watching Netflix for extended duration).

 

As a matter of personal preference, I prefer desktops - but other developers find laptops to suit them just fine.

I'm not very well versed on hardware - recently my brother asked me to find one for him, so I got one on sale at Newegg Flash for $600 (25% off). Others give their advice and opinions in this thread where I was asking about it.

 

When developing games, you don't need a super-duperly expensive videocard, but you should at least get a real videocard in the laptop instead of an "integrated" videocard that, as I mentioned, overheats when running videos too long. Unfortunately, that does increase the cost of the laptop slightly, and you might be hard-pressed to find one for sub-$500.

 

A good amount of RAM is important - but it seems like RAM is one of the marketing points for laptops these days, so even cheap laptops have plenty of RAM (most I see have 6-8GB in them) - if you have more than 4GB, that's fine for basic game development as long as you aren't doing heavy video editing and things like that. I only have 3 GB, without any problems - except when editing images with huge resolutions (10,000 x 10,000 and multiple layers - but that's unusual unless you are an artist working in really high definition).

Edited by Servant of the Lord

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 2066 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!