Search Unity

  1. Click here to see what's on sale for the "Best of Super Sale" on the Asset Store
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Good news ✨ We have more Unite Now videos available for you to watch on-demand! Come check them out and ask our experts any questions!
    Dismiss Notice

Best Computer For Unity 3D?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Framework, Oct 4, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Framework

    Framework

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Posts:
    1
    Hello,

    What computer would work best with Unity3D? Any replies would be appreciated. :)

    (I'm thinking about purchasing an Alienware Laptop)
     
  2. Kinos141

    Kinos141

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Posts:
    969
  3. vdek

    vdek

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Posts:
    368
    Any decently built computer, Unity isn't very high demand.
     
  4. Dreamora

    Dreamora

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Posts:
    26,602
    any works, just ensure its a X5/X6 series gpu in (so a radeon 55xx or nvidia gtx 55x. for sanity, if you can choose between nvidia and ati, take nvidia or accept the punishment of choosen the land of S***ty drivers).
    The rest can barely go wrong anymore if its a Core i3 / i5 / i7 with 4GB+ of RAM.
     
  5. ColossalDuck

    ColossalDuck

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Posts:
    3,246
    Do not go alienware please. Overpriced computers. Good quality, but overpriced.
     
  6. ivanzu

    ivanzu

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Posts:
    2,065
    If i was you i would build a pc by myself much cheaper and better perfomance.
     
  7. ColossalDuck

    ColossalDuck

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Posts:
    3,246
    I would recommend this, but he wants a laptop.
     
  8. Tysoe

    Tysoe

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Posts:
    577
    I like PC's and if it were a desktop I'd say build your own.

    First thing I'd consider carefully is whether you plan to release games on the iphone or ipad? If the answer is yes it might be better to limit yourself to a mac. Expensive, but to be honest not as overpriced as an alienware. Unfortunately the GPU hardware specs probably won't be all that great compared to a high end PC laptop but you can dual boot windows/OSX and compile to any Unity platform.

    Trying to persuade my wife to get a mac notebook for that very reason. If you already have a mac do some research online. There's going to be plenty of good roundups for high end systems.
     
  9. Torsh

    Torsh

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Posts:
    553
    A desktop might be more suitable. A laptop can cost 2-3 times the price of a more powerful desktop.
     
  10. the_motionblur

    the_motionblur

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Posts:
    1,738
    Personally I prefer Apple Laptops. They are pretty pricey (Apple - duh) but worth the money. I'm talking MacBook Pro, though.

    If you want the horsepower and don't have so much spare money - build your own PC. Or go to a PC store and let them build it for you if you prefer not to do it yourself. It's still cheaper and you can get much closer to what you actually want or need for the amount of money you want to spend.
     
  11. TehWut

    TehWut

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Posts:
    1,577
    You don't need some massive Alienware gaming computer, specs aren't too specific.
    Just make sure you can run your 3D modeling, animation, sculpting programs, as well as the (very important) image programs like Photoshop Gimp e.t.c I have an ACER desktop, I think it's really good. 4gb of RAM for multitasking, although I work fine on my 2gb family computer. as far as video card CPU e.t.c I dont know too much about, but chances are if you buy a computer designed for gaming it should work with Unity3D well.
     
  12. QFS

    QFS

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Posts:
    301
    There, fixed. :p :D
     
  13. WinningGuy

    WinningGuy

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Posts:
    884
    Work best? Like price is no object? You could have something nice in the $6000 range.
    Though something in the $600 range will likely be more than enough.

    :)
     
  14. npsf3000

    npsf3000

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Posts:
    3,832
    Did you hear about the Nvidia drivers that literally melted the GPU?

    ATI drivers are pretty good these days - unless your doing something very specific (e.g. linux) the quality differentiation is next to nill.

    @ OP

    What you haven't told us is budget, usage (software) and usage (real world). Getting a expensive laptop is the last hing someone should do - because if they can avoid it they can usually save a lot of money and get more performance overall.
     
  15. Kinos141

    Kinos141

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Posts:
    969
    You should consider GPU, CPU, and Screen size(15, 17). These can't be upgraded once you buy the laptop.
    All other components can be added, i.e external CD-Drive, more RAM, etc
     
  16. ColossalDuck

    ColossalDuck

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Posts:
    3,246
    I was going to add that in there, but didn't want to start a flame war.
     
  17. L-Tyrosine

    L-Tyrosine

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Posts:
    297
    Got a Dell XPS15 with geForce GT540M for Unity develop and I am very satisfied with it
     
  18. g00niebird

    g00niebird

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    Posts:
    281
    The best computer for Unity would be a 12-core Mac Pro with dual 27" displays. Easily targets all platforms with power to spare.

    The most cost-effective computer for Unity would be the one you are using now, assuming it runs Unity.
     
  19. SimonAlkemade

    SimonAlkemade

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Posts:
    432
    I would go with a mac because then you can run both windows and mac and also have the ability to export to iOS as well. any intel based mac will do.
     
  20. jashan

    jashan

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Posts:
    3,250
    I'd buy a Mac. As mentioned before: Macs run Windows just fine (and Linux, if you so wish) - but running Mac OS on Hackintosh might or might not work. So using a Mac, you simply have more possibilities. I've also had the impression that Unity runs a little more stable on Mac than it does on Windows which may have to do with the diversity of hardware and drivers on the Windows platform.

    On the other hand, if you don't like Apple or Mac OS and are not planning to build for iOS, that's probably not really an option for you. And if you want to have the latest and greatest gfx-board, Apple also probably ain't for you.

    Another thing I'd put into consideration, though: Be a little careful with putting in the latest'n'greatest gfx-board unless you plan to only release for people with high-end hardware. While a real low-end machine might become really annoying during development, a really high-end machine might give you the impression your game works just great - while in reality, on most machines it will just suck. You can simulate less features of your gfx-board via Graphics Emulation (in Unity) - but you can't really simulate worse performance.

    However, you also might keep an old machine for testing - and as long as you really do testing, that should eliminate that problem.
     
  21. Costy

    Costy

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Posts:
    65
  22. GiusCo

    GiusCo

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Posts:
    405
    I think the new mini mc816t/a (4GB ram + Radeon graphic card) is a good candidate to support unity and other development tools for the next 5 years coming. Together with the rebated iPod touch 4g, they make the new and least expensive iOS set achievable. Near Christmas we may have further rebates from big retailers.
     
  23. Vert

    Vert

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    Posts:
    1,093
    If you want a laptop, check out ASUS, MSi and Samsung. ASUS and MSi have all sorts of models designed with high end parts. Make sure you get the best GPU you can with a laptop as you can't upgrade them like desktops. Personally, I would shoot for a laptop with a core i-7 3.2Ghz+ with 8GB ram and a Geforce 555M/ ATI Radion HD 6700/6800M card or better with 1 GB Video Ram. A machine with such specs would not be as expensive as it can get, and will also last you for a few years as well. That is, if you can afford it. Such a system would cost probably around $1200-$1500 USD

    Now if you want to develop games for iOS then you need a mac and should get a macbook pro. No other way around that.
     
  24. Jaimi

    Jaimi

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Posts:
    5,442
    I suggest to get a macbook pro, you can develop for windows, mac, IOS, and Android. As well, some of the tools just work better on the Mac (e.g. Beast lightmapping)
     
  25. JulieKing

    JulieKing

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Posts:
    26
    we build our own computers and we have really good specs (can post info if needed) however we have noticed that any importing and generating the terrain seems to take forever any ideas as to what is the ideal memory for the Unity Pro with TC/WC and RTP and what possibly could be bogging it down. Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  26. EndGame7

    EndGame7

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2014
    Posts:
    13
    for what its worth, I have both an alienware and a macbook pro. I'm primarily a PC user, so I much rather use the alienware, but I have the mbp for building to ios. If you also play PC games, then alienware is a good choice. My last laptop was a cheap HP and it was garbage, so my rule of thumb is pay $600+
     
  27. TylerPerry

    TylerPerry

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Posts:
    5,577
    IMO buy a laptop that you anticipating on having for around 2 years, so it depends on your wealth realy.
     
  28. KheltonHeadley

    KheltonHeadley

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Posts:
    1,685
    Desktop > Laptop.
    So you're saying the more it is the better? A custom build would be cheaper and better than any Alienware.
     
    Deleted User likes this.
  29. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    13,209
    I use both, regularly, for different things. The things I do on one I often could not do anywhere near as productively on the other.

    For instance, try taking your desktop to a client meeting. It's a tad difficult!

    Or try taking it with you on a trip. Pretty cumbersome, and the lack of a battery is a killer. ;)

    When it comes to computers I've owned I think it's fair to say that hands down I've got more work done on laptops than desktops. Desktop power and price are great, but at the end of the day they're tied to a physical place, and if that's not where you are then they're useless. The portability can be a huge advantage. Got a long bus trip? You can get a little something done on the way. It's a flight? Get a lot done! Away from home/office? No problem. Meeting a client on site? You can take it with you anyway. So on and so forth.

    Laptops are indeed generally slower and more expensive, but considering that most of the extra power gets wasted most of the time, and that you can physically use it for much less time... laptops can easily come out on top for some people. It's way better to have a slightly slower computer (that you won't even notice most of the time) that you can use far more often (that you will definitely, absolutely notice).

    Not that the advice being given here is of any use any more (being a 2 year old necro thread!), but when in the market for a laptop battery life and portability are at least as high on the agenda as performance specs. It's important to consider both how much you'll need to use it away from a power plug and whether or not you're willing to carry the adapter around with you.

    Another important non-performance feature is the screen. Make sure it's got the resolution you need, the brightness you need (comfortable daytime outdoor use often requires a very bright screen!), and the finish you need (glossy looks sexy and is great for making a sale, but is a pain an any kind of bright environment).

    Finally, if you can do so, get hands on with the keyboard before making a purchase decision. You'll be touching it whenever you're using the machine. Personally I'd pay more or sacrifice a little performance any day for a better keyboard.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  30. Adrianis

    Adrianis

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Posts:
    109
    @angrypenguin - Could you share the model / specs for your laptop? I need to get one for all the reasons you specified but have absolutely no idea what the ballpark is like for laptop specs
     
  31. NLSC-E-MS

    NLSC-E-MS

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Posts:
    593
  32. superroxfan

    superroxfan

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Posts:
    83
    I just bought this PC. Coming via mail, so it hasn't arrived yet, but I expect it to be able to do all I'll need for a while. It's probably a bit overkill for Unity, especially the RAM (darn 32 bit Unity!), but shouldn't be "out of date" for a while.
     
  33. NLSC-E-MS

    NLSC-E-MS

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Posts:
    593
    @RAM: Unity might be 32bit only but it uses a bunch of 3rd party plugins which aren't. Example; Have 3ds max open, Unity open, bake a lightmap with Beast and voila! Suddenly 8gb of system RAM in use ;)

    @The laptop: My only problem with it would be the screen. Anything less than 1080p would be a no-no for me...
     
  34. lazygunn

    lazygunn

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Posts:
    2,749
    Concur, even if buying a laptop, buy a nice big monitor to plug into it when you can, the prospect of using a less than 21/22 inch screen at under 1080p with the amount of different software i'll typically have open is painful
     
  35. superroxfan

    superroxfan

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Posts:
    83
    I'm a programmer, not an artist, so I'm fine with 720p (though I bet there are plenty programmers who would agree with you). I plan on using a secondary monitor during a normal workday, anyhow, so I suppose I can just use a 1080p monitor if need be. @RAM I usually only have Unity and Sublime Text 2 open, so not too much of the RAM will be used most of the time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  36. NLSC-E-MS

    NLSC-E-MS

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Posts:
    593
    As with anything, it's always about what you need yourself ;)

    I'm a programmer myself and find that even two 1080p monitors isn't enough... All those Unity Windows.. and browsers.. and references ... and oh no my artist just sent me a message about which file he has to commit on the version control server and I have to compare the model with...

    Yeah... game development ;)
     
  37. lazygunn

    lazygunn

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Posts:
    2,749
    I do a bit of everything and whatever i'm doing i cant stand a low res screen, in fact 2 monitors has been something ive been wanting the money for for a while, two huge monitors
     
  38. superroxfan

    superroxfan

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Posts:
    83
    720p isn't low res... in my opinion at least. Then again, all monitors (only 2 different ones) I use are no higher than 720p, so I probably don't even know what I'm missing! I'm thinking about getting a 1080p one now just to see the difference...
     
  39. lazygunn

    lazygunn

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Posts:
    2,749
    1920x1080 is a significant increase in resolution against 1280x720, 720p displays for workish things to me is like going back in time 5 years
     
  40. proandrius

    proandrius

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Posts:
    544
    MBP Retina in 4k resolution mode so far the best for me.
     
  41. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    13,209
    It's a late 2009 (I think) MacBook Pro 17".

    It kicks ass on all of my criteria except that it has a glossy screen. It's bright enough to not be an issue most of the time, and I rarely ever had to use it outside for it to be a real issue.

    The keyboard feels pretty nice, but the key layout (and lack of some keys) can be a pain if you run Windows.

    In every other regard it's a kickass laptop. I can't remember if it's 3 or 4 years old now. The battery life is now starting to drop, but even with that in mind it still lasts longer now than my previous laptop did when it was new. Due to the all metal and glass exterior build (aside from the keycaps) it's physically aged far better than my previous laptops, and I don't treat my stuff especially gently. Based on this, when I get my next laptop I'll strongly consider it being another MacBook Pro even if I'm not looking at iOS development any more (which was the main factor in my choice at the time).
     
  42. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    13,209
    Yeah, I'm one for high-rez and large displays. At home I have 2 x 1080p monitors, at work I have a 27" 1440p and a 24" 1080p.

    It's especially useful for Unity, even when programming, as I often have Unity running full screen plus a code window plus whatever tools I'm working on at the time.

    Since we can only look at one place at a time, I'm really looking forward to seeing if/how virtual workspaces take off in the semi-near future. Why have 2 monitors when I can wear some head gear that knows where I'm looking and pseudo-physically move my work around? More screen real estate, less hardware and power usage...
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  43. superroxfan

    superroxfan

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Posts:
    83
    Dual monitors is at the top of my hardware To-Do list once my laptop gets delivered.

    @virtual workspaces-that would be pretty sweet! I would defineitely get a device that did that! However, I'm still waiting for a (practical) way to control my computer with my mind :D Imagine the productivity increase that you would get by just thinking something and having the computer do it! ... But there I go getting off topic
     
  44. Zeblote

    Zeblote

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2013
    Posts:
    1,102
    Uhh. How large is that screen?
     
  45. proandrius

    proandrius

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Posts:
    544
    15-inch laptop. :)
     
  46. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    13,209
    It's not quite the double edged sword that it sounds like. Retina displays don't (generally) show content pixel-for-pixel, they convert it into DPI similar to print and interpolate it onto the screen... or something like that. In short, text size does not shrink as the resolution increases, if that's what you were thinking of when you said "Uhh".

    To be honest the 15" screen is one of the things that's got me half-half unsure about the new MacBooks. I love the 1200p screen on my current one, partly because of the resolution and partly because of the 17" size. Going to a new one means I get a half-win on resolution (the Retina DPI emulation thing means I don't necessarily get the real estate gains there I otherwise would, and even where I do things will be tiny), and a lose on physical display size because it all shrinks by 2".

    If there was a 17" version I think I'd be won over.
     
  47. Kaji-Atsushi

    Kaji-Atsushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Posts:
    234
    Yeah, I'm hoping they didn't discontinue the MacBook Pro 17 inch permanently, and are just waiting till the retina display and battery tech is viable/good enough for the 17". But I think that's just a dream of mine...
     
  48. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    13,209
    I think I'd happily have it without the Retina display. They're sexy and I'd love one, but I don't know if they'd practically increase my productivity past what a good 17" screen currently does. Plus, I bet the Retina would be pretty expensive...

    I'd totally love a full sized keyboard, though, sans number pad since that wouldn't fit.
     
  49. Jzmallz

    Jzmallz

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Posts:
    39
    Well if you are looking for laptops I love macs and they are beautiful computers for designing and graphics, and they work very well with Unity. I think if you can afford alienware that is always an option because they are pretty good computers and I really like the design I just think they are very over priced for a computer with the performance they have. When buying alienware you are basically paying for the name. I would recommend anyhithng above i3 with decent intel graphics(over 2500).
     
  50. Kaji-Atsushi

    Kaji-Atsushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Posts:
    234
    If you go with Windows, I say just build a PC.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
unityunity