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Using Ultrabook for UE4 Development

In Short: Is there anybody here who has tried an ultrabook yet? What is your experience?

Longer: I have a very good desktop computer, but I want to code something outside. My main development will be with my desktop, the notebook I want to buy will be used just for trying new game dynamics and mostly coding c++ with my friends in a cafe :)

I searched all the forum and answerhub daily for a long time. What I understand:

  1. No it is not suitable(mostly because of the GPU requirement), but maybe later(I think I remember something about supporting low performance cards like intel hd XXXX "in the future" in a post... )

  2. The most powerful macbook pro has GeForce GT 750M, and the requirement is GeForce 470 GTX. From some websites I can see that MBP's GPU is very weak compared to 470 gtx. Ok I am not expecting UE4 to be run on a very basic computer but really... WHAT?!! (Please tell me that I am very very wrong and all of those MCPs are not garbage) I am talking about 750m because the ultrabook that I wanted to buy has 840m. According to comparison sites, these have similar power.

I'll just buy a notebook for supportive development, I don't want to buy something "next month I will be less powerful also I am heavy" type of notebook, that's why I am thinking seriously about ultrabooks with good hardware(at least they are not heavy)

What I am talking about is very subjective but I think it is very obvious that there is a very big difference between what we have and what you want from us. I believe that UE team will solve this in the future, and I hope they will inform as about that issue very soon with a version number.

If UE team can encourages us about this issue we will be very grateful.Even so if UE team says "you should at least use an 860m or better; because we know what will happen in next years", that is also very important information, we'll buy a normal notebook. :)

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asked May 23 '14 at 01:18 AM in Everything Else

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3 answers: sort voted first

Hi Cankansin,

With the question that you asked about the Ultrabook this is a question that is best served to be answered by the community as it falls out of Epic's recommended specs. On our website UnrealEngine.com in the Frequently Asked Question's section we have our recommended specs that are posted:

Desktop PC or Mac Windows 7 64-bit or Mac OS X 10.9.2 or later Quad-core Intel or AMD processor, 2.5 GHz or faster NVIDIA GeForce 470 GTX or AMD Radeon 6870 HD series card or higher 8 GB RAM

Please keep in mind that these are the specs that Epic recommends to have a comfortable user experience while using UE4.

Can the engine run on below spec machines? the simple answer is yes it can, but it's not guaranteed to be a friendly user experience.

Over on our forums the users have made an Un-Official list of various hardware setups that they use and have listed their user experience as well.

There are some things that we have in the engine to help curtail the user experience by scaling down the graphics settings. You can check out the documentation on setting the Engine Scalability here.

I'm not sure if this will fully answer your questions, but feel free to post if you have any further questions relating to this topic and I will do what I can assist you. I would also encourage you to participate in the forums, even post your suggestions in our "Feedback for Epic" section.

Thank you!


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answered May 23 '14 at 08:04 PM

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Tim Hobson ♦♦ STAFF
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avatar image cankansin May 24 '14 at 07:24 AM

Hi Tim,

Thanks for the answer. As I can see there is only one way to work with friendly user experience; at least 860m for my needs. We don't want to pay for/have two good computers for just UE4.That's the reason I asked the question.

What we are "also" trying to hear is: Should we wait for an update to make "bad user experience computers" to "not so bad user experience computers"? Is it worth the wait if it will come?

Note: You are upgrading the engine very fast; for example yesterday there was no vehicle but now there is. Like this, there can be good updates like this in the future, and they can consume more gpu power for these capabilities. So if we want to use more unreal power in the future we must have a good computer period. This kind of answer is also welcomed.



avatar image Tim Hobson ♦♦ STAFF May 27 '14 at 06:15 PM

Hi Cankansin,

Unfortunately, I'm not sure that I can tell you what you want to hear. If you want me to tell you that UE4 will run on a lower-end machine in the future through updates I'm not sure this is going to happen. Still depending on what you're developing may curtail that. I don't want to suggest that you have to have a top of the line computer to build a game like "Tappy Chicken" which uses a couple of planes for it's game scene. UE4 is great for developing a wide variety of games from mobile to AAA but it's an intense program to run. The base specs are more recommended for those that are developing, let's say, a FPS similar to Unreal Tournament.

Using the scalability settings I pointed out would probably be your best bet when using a laptop, then when you are on your desktop using settings that fit that environment.

On a side note, as far as what I run at home vs here at work is worlds apart. I have UE4 installed on my desktop that means the bare minimum specs listed above for CPU and GPU and I run 16gb of ram. I have a good user experience on that when I'm not running anything too crazy. My average FPS, for example, in "Cave Elements" is anywhere from 20-30fps. There are a lot of particles that will give me some hiccups in framerate though.

My laptop is an HP Envy 14 that is a few years old (got it back in 2010), has 8gb of ram, processor is 2.5Ghz, and gpu is a AMD Radeon (not sure of the specific model offhand). My experience on that has been fairly well. I've not done anything too crazy with it yet. The Cave Elements example framerate takes a severe drop here, while Tappy Chicken is great.

A lot of what you intend on doing is going to affect things more so.

avatar image Tim Hobson ♦♦ STAFF May 27 '14 at 06:16 PM

Here at Epic we iterate very quickly on builds with internal builds happening almost daily. We try to release a public build usually monthly (but this is not always the case depending on what's being developed). We used the same development process with releases for UDK by usually having monthly builds that incorporated new features.

As you noticed with the new vehicle template, this is absolutely something we're doing as well. We try and focus on things the community would like see as templates and content by releasing these kinds of things to help new and old users get a head start on developing the kinds of games they would like to play.

I hope this sheds a little more light on things.

Thank you!


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I am running the engine on a macbook pro with a gt650m, i get 20 to 30 frames on the "epic quality" setting (I get 60fps with "low") with the desktop resolution set to 1920x1080. The engine is quite laggy on it overall but workable for sure.I am using a desktop at work and it runs so much better there. I am able to get around with it on my personal project but I certainly would not use it long term as it is just going to get worse with more content added. The scene that I am working on doesn't contain much just a few walls and a floor (https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/47337/no-indirect-lighting-information-generated-for-ins.html). Hope this was helpful.

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answered May 23 '14 at 02:36 AM

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The answer is inside your question.

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answered May 23 '14 at 01:34 AM

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avatar image cankansin May 23 '14 at 08:25 AM

If I answered my question, then we have a very big problem, there can be only 1000 developer for the unreal with good machines, which can publish at least one game. There are several and cheaper game engines out there for the simple games for the slower computers can easily accomplish.

As you can see, answer is not in the question, it shouldn't be, this is not good for the UE4. I am/We are waiting for an official person to illuminate us with this problem. Because I am feeling a big update is coming about this issue.

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