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BVAaron

Best Computer Type for Game Dev?

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BVAaron    121

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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wicked357    2424

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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Brain    18906

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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SeanMiddleditch    17565
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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jbadams    25712

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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Spazzarama    1643

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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Gian-Reto    7070

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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Unduli    2498

Not sure if applies in the country you live as well but if you consider a laptop (bad idea beside mobility imo) , you can look for a (preferably just one) previous generation of Core i5s or i7s as they are priced lower than latest gen.

 

On a desktop, I think a decent IPS monitor is must, all others are rather easier to upgrade in time , monitors aren't.

Edited by Unduli

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Gian-Reto    7070

TL; DR version of my Hardware-junkie leetspeak below: 

 

If you want to buy a new monitor with your new computer, or want to go with a laptop, look for the following:

- IPS (or VA) Panel, avoid TN like the plague

- Read reviews (tftcentral.co.uk for example) before byuing a screen, maybe skip to the conclusion if the review is too technical

- you don't need a 10bit panel, 8bit is quite fine (if you don't know what I am talking about, don't get a pro monitor for over 1000$ bucks... most probably you pay for a 10bit panel)

 

 

If you want the full version (no spoiler tags on this forum? couldn't find any):

 

 

Not sure if applies in the country you live as well but if you consider a laptop (bad idea beside mobility imo) , you can look for a (preferably just one) previous generation of Core i5s or i7s as they are priced lower than latest gen.

 

On a desktop, I think a decent IPS monitor is must, all others are rather easier to upgrade in time , monitors aren't.

 

+1... to me, it is less that monitors are not easy to upgrade (with full HD high end IPS displays being not that expensive anymore, as long as you stay with a standart color gamut), but there is nothing more annoying than a monitor with off colors and bad contrast. Nothing makes me open my wallet quicker than having to fiddle with the monitor controls all the time while still not getting a satisfying result.

 

Best to buy something good from the start.

 

When it comes to screens, again, look up reviews (tftcentral.cu.uk is a good place, though they do get into the technical details a little bit too much).

 

Personal opinion:

1) never ever buy a TN screen! I know ze pro gamerz are all over them because of ze fast reaction time and all, but really.... how split seconds is your perception? Can you really see the tiny amount of motion blur exhibited by slower screens? I know it is a big thing in VR headsets, but a normal screen? I play shooters on older IPS screens and never had a problem with that.

-> a TN Screen might be faster, but as long as you get one of the faster IPS or a VA screen, you will not have much troubles even when gaming.

-> Colors are horribly off on about any TN screen.

-> move your head an inch and your TN screen will shift colors and contrast. Most of the times this is an overrated problem, but some bad examples (like the screen on my cheap dell laptop) are really hardly usable because of that.

To me, VA screens became my technology of choice until OLED is cheap enough to buy without re-mortgage. But IPS screens are also extremly good, maybe even better as work screens.

IPS generally will give you the most accurate colors, best vertical and horizontal angle of vision, while the only downside is generally slower reaction times thus more prone to motion blur with fast moving objects. Some people claim IPS screens exhibit a faint "IPS Glow", but I never have seen any of these with my own IPS screens so cannot comment on it.

VA is a never technology that gives you best contrast of any LCD technology only bested by OLED, still better color accuray and view angles than TN. Again, only downside is slower panel reaction time. I only have a TV at the moment that VA, so I am not 100% how bad the motion blur is. I GUESS it will be just as with IPS, so if you are not extremly sensitive to motion blur, you will not notice it. 

 

2) Next thing to look out for is color gamut. Now lets get this straight: the future filled with 10bit displays and HDR sources cannot come fast enough... ever seen bad banding in a shoot with subtle gradients, or maybe even in a game? Most probably these banding wasn't there in the source, its just your screen not being able to show all the subtle color graduations! That would all be gone in the future thanks to a full HDR and 10bit support hopefully.

But back to the present day.... you might have noticed that there is a 8bit or 10bit or whatever label on most screens... this tells you the depth of color the screen can display (sometimes there is a second label for "internal lookup tables", but we forget about these for the moment).

8bit is like 2^8 = 256 gradients per color channel. 10bit would be 1024...

 

What that means is that the screen can show 256 shades of red, green or blue.... or any mix of colors you can achieve with these shades of pure colors (leading to the 16.7 million of colors possible)

 

Now, this part is really easy: get an 8bit panel for the time being, forget about the 10bit panels! Why? a 10bit or wide gamut or RGB (as opposed to sRGB, which is a more narrow gamut) panel needs a full 10bit pipeline to be of any use... that means applications have to support 10bit (not so much of a problem, PS and AFAIK also Gimp supports that)... but also your GPU needs 10bit support. And for the time being, only the pro grade Quadro and FirePro lines support that. And trust me, you cannot afford these cards if you are looking for a budget machine.

 

That is not so much of a problem though. While no graphics professional should be without a 10bit screen (and GPU), you don't need that to create accurate colors in your graphics. Just avoid TNs (who are 6bit emulating 8bit mostly... hence the appaling colors), and make sure the screen you are buying has good reviews when it comes to deltaE (under 3 is fine) and color temperature (should be as close to 6500 K as possible).

 

3) of course there are more things to look out for. Get the resolution you are most probably using (if you get a screen with a higher resolution than you can use because of other hardware limiting, make sure you can reduce the resolution 1:2 or 1:4 or something like that. 4k to fullHD for example... this way you get a much sharper image),,. at the moment that would be FullHD, mostly.

The quoted contrast is not that useful. Just read reviews to see how the contrast really is, or get a VA Panel.

screen reaction time is important because of motion blur, but again, quoted figures are not that helpful. Read a review.

Screen lag time is another thing. This is how long it takes from a GPU input being shown on screen. Mostly important for gaming, again read the review.

a fully adjustable screen is always preferrable. Your not-so-stiff-neck will thank you for it.

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swiftcoder    18437

Maybe this is a pet peeve of mine, but do we have to bikeshed every time someone asks about hardware? There's a reason I said "anything will do" at the beginning of this thread.

 

The OP wants to replace a busted computer to use RPGMaker... I'm not clear how a long discussion about how easy it is to upgrade video cards, how to build your own PC from scratch, or the ins and outs of colour gamut, actually contributes to answering the stated question.

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Gian-Reto    7070

Maybe this is a pet peeve of mine, but do we have to bikeshed every time someone asks about hardware? There's a reason I said "anything will do" at the beginning of this thread.

 

The OP wants to replace a busted computer to use RPGMaker... I'm not clear how a long discussion about how easy it is to upgrade video cards, how to build your own PC from scratch, or the ins and outs of colour gamut, actually contributes to answering the stated question.

 

True... got carried away myself.

 

Still: Point is, personally, I would like to get some pointers as to what might be good choices, price/performance and whatnot, if I'd look for a replacement for something I had little expierience with (what the TO claimed to not have).

So I still think sharing some opinions and expieriences about what people found to be good deals might have some value for the TO...

 

Just so he doesn't end up with one of the 10bit TN monitors that seemed to pop up with the latest 4k craze.... 

 

 

Though I am not saying I didn't delved to deep into techie hardware-junkie leetspeak... sorry about that. I could try to shorten my previous comments and make them more "understandable" for a non-junkie.

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JohnnyCode    1046

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'.

To support this advice, I would add up that checking up also Toshiba Satellite series is a must for consideration.

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Bregma    9214
The most important things are display, keyboard, and RAM in that order). You spend all your time looking at the screen, caressing the keyboard, and waiting for builds. At least 8 MB RAM; the rest requires some hands-on (and eyes-on) testing and is a matter of personal preference.

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Alessio1989    4634

At least 8 MB RAM

Personally, I like a bit more RAM than that!

 
Yeah, 16GiB  are lovely for virtual machines, the main issues today is VS that is still 32-bit .-.
 

I don't know, man. 64KB should be enough for anyone.

That's a half of the strip-unit I setted on my desktop xD Edited by Alessio1989

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Unduli    2498

 

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'.

To support this advice, I would add up that checking up also Toshiba Satellite series is a must for consideration.

 

 

Never liked Toshibas which gives a "comforting" feel that you also pay Toshiba tax.

 

And no mobile CPU is match for desktop one, I'd rather go with a desktop and a cheap Win 8 tablet for presentation purposes ( Asus T200 perhaps )

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Gian-Reto    7070

 

 

Never liked Toshibas which gives a "comforting" feel that you also pay Toshiba tax.

 

And no mobile CPU is match for desktop one, I'd rather go with a desktop and a cheap Win 8 tablet for presentation purposes ( Asus T200 perhaps )

 

 

Amen to that. While I wouldn't say the TO NEEDS a particularly powerful CPU with his modest use case, mobile CPUs are at least 50% slower than mainstream desktop CPUs, at least in multithreaded workloads. Intel Mobile CPUs are still dualcores at max, which makes them comparable to the i3 desktop CPUs... with frequency differences and different Cache sizes, a mobile i7 might be a little bit faster than the fastest desktop i3 (IDK, I didn't really compare them that much).... but it will be at least 50% slower than a desktop (mainstream) i7.

 

On the flip side, the desktop i7 uses 2-6x as much power while running at full speed. That is a biggy when working on the road, but of course is not of much help if you are working thetered to a power cable. You might still save some electricity, but thats about it.

 

And price wise, the mobile i7 will be in the same territory as the desktop i7.... the desktop i3 which is comparable speedwise, but still uses more power, is much cheaper (which might make a difference in the total price if you buy a pre-assembled machine).

 

 

To cut it short -> TL; DR:

 

I second Unduli in going for specialized machines over one-does-it-all. Usually, you get more power for a better price.

 

A laptop is a good (or the only) choice if you need to work on the road. If you want to be able to work anywhere in your house, also.

 

If you have your office and will work with the machine thetered to the wall 100% (or more than 95%) of the time, i'd first go with a good desktop.... then look into what I need for the other 0-5% afterwards. Do you really need the same amount of power on the road? Or will a cheap laptop / tablet do for simple word processing or only some e-mail checking?

Edited by Gian-Reto

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GoliathForge    2278

 

 


At least 8 MB RAM

Personally, I like a bit more RAM than that!

 

I don't know, man. 64KB should be enough for anyone.

 

That's what Big Billy G. used to say. :P

 

 

Every time I buy cheep, I regret it early. 

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Gian-Reto    7070

 

I have to concur with that. People look at you funny when they hear you dropped $3,000 on a state-of-the-art laptop, but they have repeatedly served me well.

 

 

Now that I can agree with! I also did my few tries to get away cheap, always ended up with a sour expierience.

 

 

I went through 3 laptops during university... you know, I studied IT, it was used a lot for school, but I was also doing some gaming on it, and I lugged it to school and back every day. That tends to end up in a few drops from shoulder height, and other not so advisable events over the lifetime of a laptop.

 

My first, cheap cheap Acer started to go bad after less than a year. It was heavy, loud and not very powerful from the start, keys started to go dead (yes, emulator gaming does that to a cheap keyboard) and finally the GPU and Disk crapped out. Must have been damaged in one of the "oops, dropped my backpack" events.

 

Second one, more expensive Toshiba, was good for over a year with the same treatement. Would have soldiered on, if it wasn't for 1 or 2 broken keys... at that time, I bought a VERY expensive Sony Vaio, which lasted me through the rest of university (another 3 years), and then was used as my main computer at home for another year.

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Ravyne    14300

Amen to that. While I wouldn't say the TO NEEDS a particularly powerful CPU with his modest use case, mobile CPUs are at least 50% slower than mainstream desktop CPUs, at least in multithreaded workloads. Intel Mobile CPUs are still dualcores at max, which makes them comparable to the i3 desktop CPUs... with frequency differences and different Cache sizes, a mobile i7 might be a little bit faster than the fastest desktop i3 (IDK, I didn't really compare them that much).... but it will be at least 50% slower than a desktop (mainstream) i7.

 

Not true. I've got a quad-core with hyperthreading in my laptop, and its the same 4th generation i7 architecture as in my Desktop. It doesn't spin up quite as fast in turbo, has a slower base clock rate, and it spends more of its time at slower speeds to keep the power consumption and heat generation down, but its basically identical otherwise ( I think the desktop version has twice the cache, too). A laptop CPU isn't going to beat the best desktop CPU in sustained performance, no, but its a closer fight than you might expect. My laptop keeps pretty close pace with the top-end quad-core i5, in multithreaded workloads, as hyperthreading in my laptop makes up for the clockspeed advantage on the desktop, and cache numbers are pretty comparable. Its maybe 20%-25% slower than my 4770k desktop CPU, which is nearly as good as you can get without going to Socket 2011.

 

And my laptop CPU is two notches down from the best you can buy. If I were willing to drop another $500 or so I could have had 400Mhz better base/turbo, and doubled my cache. That would very nearly close the gap with my Desktop CPU.

Edited by Ravyne

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