Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
SuperSpasm

Need hardware recommendation

This topic is 865 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

Hi, I wasn't quite sure where to put this so I apologize if it's in the wrong forum.

I'm planning to start learning Game Design and Development (on Unity) on my own using tutorials and courses I found on the web, but since I'm going to be studying away from home and on the go I'll need to get a decent laptop to run the software.

Now from what I saw all mid range laptops where I live are very CPU-centric, with either integrated graphics or Gtx 920-940 cards.

I assumed since designing games will consist of alot of graphics intensive work (and I'll probably learn some 3D modeling using Maya and some Photoshop along the way, so there's that) that it would require first and formost a good GPU along with a decent CPU, coupled with a decent amount of ram.

But since I'm basically clueless about the subject I was hopimg maybe someone with experience could recommend what's a must and what's recommended when choosing a laptop for such work, bearing in mind I can't afford a very high range computer.

So basically- could someone recommend hardware for me to be able to run Unity3D, Maya and Photoshop smoothly (not the minimum requirements),
and what is absolutely a must to have?

Thanks to anyone who helps! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement


with either integrated graphics or Gtx 920-940 cards
That's basically the two options that you get -- the Intel integrated graphics for non-gaming users, or the NVidia (GTX) graphics for gaming :)

If you go with the latter choice, you'll probably be able to play games from 2015 on medium graphics settings, and it will be more than enough for a beginner developer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you want a high end gaming machine you're barking up the wrong tree by looking into laptops.

A laptop will serve your purposes and if portability is important you're really railroaded into that corner.

However you sacrifice the ability to upgrade the cpu or motherboard etc, you are denied access to better graphics cards if you actually want to play any newer games, upgrading ram will likely be more expensive.

You say you're on the go, but will your system be mainly based in your room, wherever you are when you're away?

If you don't intend to actually develop on the go, and would be mostly doing development from a fixed location in your downtime, you might want to put desktops back on your list of possibilities.

The desktop certainly isn't dead yet even though it's nearly 2016 :)

If you really do need a laptop then my advice is simple: get one with at least twice as much ram as you think you need, which is normally four times as much as the low end laptops available in a store. By the time you've loaded up your engine, editor, copy of your game, photoshop, maya, mail client, Web browser and more, you'll sure need it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You really don't need the greatest, whiz-bang components to start out. Professionals get high-end kit in their jobs mostly because, when you figure in salary, software, and facilities costs -- and the opportunity costs of slower iterations -- it ends up being cheaper and more productive to lavish them with hardware rather than having them sit idle for 30 or more minutes each day, a few minutes at a stretch, waiting for more mainstream kit to get the job done.

Odds are, lacking in this way doesn't cost you the same, even if it would be convenient to not want for hardware resources.

Outside of certain guarantees provided by high-end software packages (as with Quadro or FireGL graphics cards) lesser hardware will do everything* that more expensive hardware will do, just less quickly.

* This is obviously not true of feature-sets or GPU feature-levels, but still the slowest of a given CPU or GPU family will usually do everything the flagship can do. That said, beware Intel's product differentiation strategy -- e.g. Celeron-branded and Pentium-branded CPUs lack, for example, AVX support even using the same core architecture of those that do (i3 and better support AVX, but always check your specific chip on Intel Ark).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You really don't need the greatest, whiz-bang components to start out. Professionals get high-end kit in their jobs mostly because, when you figure in salary, software, and facilities costs -- and the opportunity costs of slower iterations -- it ends up being cheaper and more productive to lavish them with hardware rather than having them sit idle for 30 or more minutes each day, a few minutes at a stretch, waiting for more mainstream kit to get the job done.

Odds are, lacking in this way doesn't cost you the same, even if it would be convenient to not want for hardware resources.

Outside of certain guarantees provided by high-end software packages (as with Quadro or FireGL graphics cards) lesser hardware will do everything* that more expensive hardware will do, just less quickly.

* This is obviously not true of feature-sets or GPU feature-levels, but still the slowest of a given CPU or GPU family will usually do everything the flagship can do. That said, beware Intel's product differentiation strategy -- e.g. Celeron-branded and Pentium-branded CPUs lack, for example, AVX support even using the same core architecture of those that do (i3 and better support AVX, but always check your specific chip on Intel Ark).

I see.. so basically what you're saying is that generally all the CPU's / GPU's of a given generation (e.g. all intel Haswell or GTX 9xx) have the same capabilities with the only difference being speed? if so, how big of a difference in speed, and what would you recommend as a cut-off, not to go beneath?

Also, I'm not farmiliar with AVX or Ark (sorry for the ignorance, still in the beginning of my market research) could you expand on what these are and why they're important?

 

--------

 

 

 

BTW - whats your budget? I can keep an eye out in my internet wanderings.

 

Also if you can afford it Newegg also has this machine on sale.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152902&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=IGNEFL122415&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL122415-_-EMC-122415-Latest-_-GamingLaptops-_-34152902-S0C

 

Unfortunately I can't buy from Newegg as I don't live in the U.S. , and for the same reason it's difficult to tell you my budget since most of these machines cost alot more where I live (Israel). I'm looking into import costs and sites that ship internationally but for now I can only guestimate that my range would translate to laptops that would cost you around 600-800$.

 

--------

 

 


 

about desktop PCs - I have a mid range gaming PC in my house already - i5-4570 (3.2Ghz) , GTX 760 w/4g VRAM, 8G RAM

but since I don't want to study / mess around with the engine in my house because it's too easy to get distracted,  I'm looking to study in a different environment (libraries, studyrooms, on the go) and need a laptop.

 

and regarding the RAM - there were a few mentions of 16GB RAM configurations here, I was planning on getting 8GB,  16 seemed excessive. do you think it's necessary for my purposes?

Edited by SuperSpasm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Also, I'm not farmiliar with AVX or Ark (sorry for the ignorance, still in the beginning of my market research) could you expand on what these are and why they're important?
 

AVX is intel's newer SIMD instruction set, and Ark is intel's database/website for CPU specs.

 

Personally if you go integrated graphics i'd get a broadwell minimum CPU because GPU Virtual address space support was improved past 2GB in broadwell.

If you go with dedicated a 960m is a good starting point.

 

System RAM - if you multi-task you'll appreciate 16GB, and some people have commented 16 min for dev purposes... I don't use Unity but IIRC you'll have the Unity editor and Monodevelop open at the same time.  You'll most probably have a browser, documentation open as well.  Content creation requires more RAM as well so 16GB is a good investment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just going to make it simple and point you to the Dell Inspiron 7000 15" as a very reasonably priced and specced laptop option. Lenovo and Asus are worth looking at as well, though I don't think their Skylake refreshes are ready yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

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

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!