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Which of latest MacBooks models officially recommended for UE4?

According to UE4 hardware requirements it's looks like only one models is good enough - the 15-inch Retina witch GeForce GT 750M, but it's also looks like that this laptop may not have enough power for serious work: https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/13833/macbook-retina-geforce-750m-16-gb-ram.html

I know that Mac support by engine currently is not have same quality as PC, but I guess that UE4 team have some target mac hardware configurations in the mind which they would like to support. Therefore I would like to know which of MacBooks will has enough fps in UE4 for serious work after some further engine optimization in next few months? or might be will UE4 always only for desktops and workstations machines like Mac Pro, iMac?

PS. Currently I have Macbook pro 2013 with HD Graphics 4000, is enough for serious Unity3d development, learning of UE4 and most other my tasks, but I would like to use UE4 seriously also because of I thinking about buying new hardware and choice about which of hardware is suitable for my workflow is really painful: Should I get new macbook laptop for all? Should I use current macbook for other tasks + powerful new PC laptop for UE dev? Mac Pro or iMac for all + current mac laptop for mobile use? etc. Therefore I hope that UE4 team will say something about mac targeted hardware.

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asked May 04 '14 at 08:16 AM in Everything Else

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avatar image phobik2k Sep 03 '14 at 04:17 PM

I too am looking into buying a new laptop and be able to run UE4 and ideally have access to OSX for development, so am wondering if there are any improvements to this. Will an Intel HD 5000 ever be able to do any work at all or do I need 2000€ plus for any decent performance?

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A lot depends on what you consider “enough fps” and “serious work”.

The performance problem mentioned in the link you referred to were solved in 4.0.1 (if I remember correctly) and it also mentions that hiding the Unreal Engine Launcher does make quite a big difference in editor's performance - something we're still working on. And using a display mode higher than "Best for display" may slow things down considerably.

A while back I installed Windows on my MacBook Pro 15", Retina, GT 750M and did some performance tests. On most maps I tested the editor in OS X was, on average, about 10-15% slower than in Windows, so not that bad considering the current state of OpenGL on Macs. Compared to a good desktop graphics card, GT 750M is very slow, but for many things it may be more than enough.

If you’re curious about performance of specific samples from our Marketplace, I can load a few and give you some numbers. Let me know.

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answered May 05 '14 at 07:54 PM

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ZeroEightSix STAFF
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avatar image strobe May 06 '14 at 06:37 AM


If you’re curious about performance of specific samples from our Marketplace, I can load a few and give you some numbers. Let me know.

How many fps have you got on medium quality settings (with 100% resolution scale) in the “Effect Cafe”, “Elemental demo” or “Shooter Game” (on your MacBook Pro 15", Retina, GT 750M) ?

avatar image ZeroEightSix STAFF May 06 '14 at 01:41 PM

Effects cave: 15-25 fps Elemental: 4-25 fps ShooterGame (Highrise map): 30-40 fps

I'm not counting places where there's almost nothing to render and fps is high. And that's with display mode set to "Best for display". For comparison, on Iris Pro (same MacBook Pro), I get 20-25 fps in ShooterGame, about 10-12 fps in Effects cave and few to 12 fps in Elemental.

avatar image strobe May 06 '14 at 06:37 AM

A lot depends on what you consider “enough fps” and “serious work”.

I guess it about stable 60 fps in the any editor activity, especially if you worked on environment like "Effect Cave”. Also I think that fps in single viewport is not all, because UE4 has many editors with 3d view and in some cases performance could slow down considerably while you open few editors windows.

In other word "performance for serious work" is about freedom to work on game content and code without fighting with editor performance while you making complexes scenes.

A while back I installed Windows on my MacBook Pro 15", Retina, GT 750M and did some performance tests.

On my MacBook Pro 13’ I also tested performance on native windows 8 and not found big difference. Also I found that Mobile Preview Mode could give much better fps (even if in editor I set all scalability setting to low and disable all post effects) - in Tappy Chicken I have about 2x performance speed up(about 50-60 fps on my machine) (why this mode not available in editor directly?).

But then I say ‘mac hardware support’, I mean that mostly latest Apple hardware has much less power GPUs that usual PC hardware (even laptops), therefore for full Mac support, UE4 Editor have to get capabilities to work smoothly on cards like Intel Iris Pro and GT 750M (for instance in Unity3d editor on Intel 4000hd I have about 200-300 fps in simple scenes like 2d games). But currently Epic position of future mac hardware is unclear because incomprehensible that UE4 focused on supporting only top edge Apple hardware or it will support low-end also like Mac Mini, Macbook Air, MacBook Pro with Iris etc (supporting not only to running and playing with engine and work with it on daily basis).

avatar image ZeroEightSix STAFF May 06 '14 at 02:33 PM

I'm afraid that if you want to work on visuals like in Effects Cave or Elemental demo, you will need a good desktop graphics card with plenty of memory. A PC with 16 core CPU, 32 GB RAM and 2 GB NVIDIA GTX 670 (maybe not latest and greatest, but still pretty fast) that I checked is much faster than the latest MacBook Pro, but it's still far from 60 fps in these two samples - rather about 20 fps in worst places...

As you said, most Macs have slow graphics cards. We are working on improvements for low end hardware (rendering optimizations (including UI), support for cards with OpenGL 3.3, including Intel HD 3000, etc.), but I’m unable to tell at this moment how much will we be able to squeeze out of them.

avatar image strobe May 06 '14 at 03:33 PM

Many thanks for that comment (and first about fps) - it's really cleared whole picture for my case.

According to this I think that for near perspective Mac Pro or iMac with GTX 775M or GTX 780M is best choose from Macs for complex scenes and is possible to work on non complex scenes like for 2D games on MacBook Pro 15(GT 750M ), But PC desktops still more easiest choose for UE4.

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