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BVAaron

Best Computer Type for Game Dev?

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My computer's busted so I'm in the market for a new one... I'm not very tech savvy and planning to develop my own game. So I'm wondering if there's a kind of computer that's best-suited for this task, since my only other real needs are office tasks

 

 

P.S. I'm planning to develop the game via RPGMaker, so it's not like I'll need something capable of running glorious graphics

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Pretty much any computer will do. I'd recommend a cheap Windows laptop, because I like coding from the couch. If you don't care about portability, a cheap desktop will do fine.

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So you need something that can run at best SNES style games... I would say a Dell from Walmart will do! Haha jk I would never ever ever recommend one of those. Sounds like you just need a decent machine since you won't be doing compiling or at least minimal not sure how RPGMaker works. I do however recommend building a machine you will always get more bang for you buck. You can order a bare bones and a decent graphics card probably spend like 400 - 600 and call it a day. If you want a little better you can up the cost and go to 800 - 1000. Newegg is a good place to start.

 

The best thing is you pick what you want and link to it and people will always give you help and let you know if that works out recommend something else to assist you.

Edited by wicked357

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Decent screen ( this means good resolution too, coding on a 768p is a pain in the ass)

Decent keyboard

... all the rest should just capable to run the OS.

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Get any off the shelf pc, add some extra ram and get a second monitor.

 

The extra ram is so you can easily run a paint program like gimp or photoshop while running you dev environment (RPG maker) sound editing tools and an instance of your game, plus Web browser etc.

 

The extra monitor is wonderful to have, and once you've tried it you won't go back. Use them effectively, putting your game on one and your dev environment on the other, or whatever floats your boat.

 

I tend to have visual studio on my 24" monitor and my game and a Web browser on my 17" laptop screen.

Edited by braindigitalis

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I'd second a laptop. You can attach additional monitors to any decent laptop and all but the cheapest laptops these days are quite comparable to your average desktop. It's easier to get a better screen on a laptop than on a desktop monitor, too. The portability is very handy when it comes to working with other people, showing off demos at conferences or networking events, and moving when you feel you need a change of scenery to keep your motivation up.

I can recommend from experience a Samsung Series 8 or 9 (the Samsung laptops I've used are the best I've ever had), Lenovo Y Series (there's a sale on that right now and Lenovos are generally very well made), or a Dell XPS 13 or 15 (if I had need a new laptop myself, I'd go for a higher end XPS 13). Avoid ASUS; they heavily market so-called gaming laptops but they're... just dont'.

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Anything that meets the RPG Maker system requirements will do. :)

 

If you do decide on a laptop I would personally recommend that unless you're planning to use an external keyboard you look for one with a full-sized keyboard rather than the cramped versions many laptops have -- this is really personal preference though, and many people are perfectly fine without it, so take that advice with a grain of salt and be sure to consider your own preferences.  You'll also want a nice monitor that isn't too small or overly low resolution.

 

 

Plenty of RAM (you want to exceed the recommended amount for RPG Maker if possible so you can run other software at the same time smoothly) and an SSD are desirable for nice snappy performance.

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I know you don't need it at the moment and perhaps a bit pricey for what you want to achieve right now, however I find it helpful using a MacBook with Bootcamp for dual booting into Windows also. This allows me to develop and test games for Windows, Mac and iOS (and Android).

Edited by spazzarama

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IF you are tech savvy enough to build your own rig - which means you need basic skills like telling apart connectors, you know what a static charge is and how to avoid it (respective where to grab the parts and where not to), and you more or less know what you need to build a working computer - and you don't need to lug said PC around, always build your own desktop. You will get way more for way less.

 

OEMs have a strange habit of coupling the best CPU they can get with a crappy Graphics card, and some weird RAM configuration (like single channel when 2 channels are available) and sell it for outrageous prices. The weak GPU will most probably not affect you, but you could most probably get something just as fit for your use case for half the price by building it yourself.

 

Personally I am not a big fan of laptops, for the following reasons: 

a) weaker hardware (because it has to be at least somewhat mobile, thus power limitations)

b) more problem with heat because of the tighter spacing and less air vents

c) way pricier than a desktop because of specialized parts, a battery, a screen and keyboard built in

d) less options to swap out parts should they become obsolete, or just stop working.

e) completly pointless compared to a desktop if you do not lug it around.

 

Of course, that is a completly personal thing. I know people that always buy laptops even as stationary workstation.... just in case.

 

Just be aware: if you buy a laptop, you gotta look at the complete package... its not only about CPU, GPU, RAM and Motherboard now. You also need to look up if the screen is any good, hows the keyboard or the mousepad, if you intend to use it.

Usually cheap laptops save money on the screen and keyboard, so make sure you read some reviews on any machine you might end up buying.

 

As an example I bought a small Dell 12" some years ago because of favourable reviews.... and yes, pretty much everything is really good for the price. Apart from the screen. Colors are off and seeing a white item in a webshop on a white background is almost impossible... you have to wiggle the screen for hours just to get a glimpse of the item. Hardly usable, lucky I only need it for light productivity and not image work.

 

 

I recommend/second the following things:

a) get an SSD, if needed an SSD as system disk and a normal HD as data disk. startup time of windows and applications can be brought down to seconds this way.

b) get plenty RAM (if you build your own or have the possibility to customize it). RAM is cheap nowadays, having too much will not help you, but having to little will bring your system to a crawl. So rather have half of you 16G sitting around and do nothing most of the time, than only have 8G and have your machine come to a halt because of swapping as soon as you go over that. 

c) don't fret too much over what CPU to get. I know plenty of people that fall for Intels propaganda on how leet their i7 are. They are pretty cool if you have applications that can use massive multithreading. Else they are i5s with a small speed bump and a 50% price hike.

If you get a laptop, things get even more complicated. And don't even go into trying to compare AMDs chips with Intel, it gets really complicated then.

If you want a low-end workstation, avoid intels Atoms and AMDs low end chips, then you should be fine.

d) with your modest requirements, you could go without a dedicated GPU for now. Yes, an intel iGPU will do quite fine for 2D or low-end 3D workloads. I use mine for 3D Modelling from time to time, and it does the job.

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