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Best hardware setup for a new Unity team

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by imec-apt, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. imec-apt

    imec-apt

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    Hi,

    I work for a large research institute's software development team and we've recently started working on applications built in Unity (both mobile, AR/VR as desktop clients). Currently we're limited to two Unity developers with a third on the way.

    Since our previous projects were mostly focussed on web/mobile development, most of the devs have a laptop as primary devices (Macbook Pro's and a mixture of Windows laptops). This works fine for small Unity projects but since we have several projects on the horizon that will require more graphically intensive applications (3D modelling, animation, photogrammetry,...) as well as Unity development, we are looking to buying some hardware for the Unity devs that is better suited for these tasks.

    I'm looking for suggestions/advice on the best dev setup for our team, whether it's high-end tower pc's, a VDI setup with one powerful central server or renting resources in the cloud (like Amazon Workspaces). What would work best for a small team (max 5 developers) and provide the most efficient workflow keeping in mind that all devs will probably keep their laptop as their primary device for other projects and OS-choice doesn't really matter.
     
  2. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    You get alot of bang for the buck with the AMD Threadripper platform. They are also releasing a 32 Core CPU soon. But the 16 Core one will do to.
     
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  3. imec-apt

    imec-apt

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    So you suggest separate PC's for a team instead of a centralised solution? Doing some more searching I found Boxx which has a number of solutions for 3D workstations but I don't know if they're any good/worth the money.
     
  4. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    You mean cloud based GI baking etc? I dont know how well that works with Unity to be honest. But when doing large worlds is also nice to have some performance when working in the editor

    edit: I'm on a AMD Ryzen 2700x 8 Core @ 4.2 GHZ myself, 64 gigs of RAM and a 512 gigabyte Samsung 960 PRO. I'm pretty happy, Would like 16 or 32 cores when baking light though
     
  5. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    IMO i'd be looking for a decent GPU for when GPU light-mapping gets shipped, I believe this will be vendor agnostic, still as historically nvidia have always lead the way for GPU lighting, I'd plump for one from them, other than that, unless you're going AAA which is an oxymoron for indies anyhoo, you're pretty much good to go.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  6. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    I've seen this bad boy of yours in action. *mouth drools*
     
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  7. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    Well, no. The GPU lightmapper is based on AMD tech btw.
     
  8. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    Is it . . . oh well isn't it purportedly vendor agnostic anyway?
     
  9. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    Since the Vega architecture was a big disappointment I really hope so
     
  10. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    It is.

    Well, who knows, by the time they finish the GPU lightmapper, AMD and NVIDIA will probably no longer exist. So who cares!
     
  11. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    This is the reason I would go for as many CPU cores as I can :p
     
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  12. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    BTW, in case anyone is reading, I'm talking about your computer here, in case it came across sketchy
     
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  13. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    Too late.
     
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  14. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    @imec-apt - Ask your devs what they need. Presumably they're specialists, so they'll probably know what will maximize their productivity. For example, one artist might be particularly effective with a specific type of mouse or drawing tablet, or he might be experienced with a particular type of photogrammetry camera setup. One programmer might be more comfortable using Visual Studio on a Windows PC than a Mac, and from her experience she might have an idea of what hardware will increase her productivity, such as a minimum amount of RAM, or a number of monitors.

    Your team members will almost certainly recommend local workstations, not VDI. But keep in mind your back-end server requirements. For example, your institute may require the version control system to be on-site.
     
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  15. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    * More CPU cores is better than faster but fewer cores.

    * Have a good GPU. I'd start with NVidia GTX 980 or better, or the AMD equivalent.

    * 16+ GB RAM

    * SSD storage

    * Choose a version control solution.
     
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  16. imec-apt

    imec-apt

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    Interesting thoughts, our institute does in fact have an on-site hosted version control solution. Most of the things we develop (Unity or otherwise) are NDA and export-restricted.

    I was wondering, we do have a DGX-1 here (that is used for ML tasks) but would it be usable in our Unity workflow as well? Any thoughts on this?
     
  17. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    Seriously doubt that, Unity does not even have normal GPU lightmapping yet
     
  18. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Last month someone asked about the possibility of using Amazon Workspaces for Unity. Being fascinated with the idea I went and researched the topic for about an hour and came to the conclusion that for the cost you pay the service is only practical if you only need it for a few hours per week.

    It's important to understand that the base tier of Amazon Workspaces doesn't have dedicated hardware acceleration for graphical tasks. It's intended for business applications like Microsoft Office. For programs like Unity you will need to step up to the much more expensive Amazon Graphics Workspaces service.

    Currently the lowest priced tier for Amazon Graphics Workspaces provides you with eight virtual CPUs (they don't specify whether these are all dedicated cores so it's entirely possible it's 4C/8T), 15GB RAM, and one dedicated graphics card with 1,536 CUDA cores and 4GB VRAM. Based on the specs it's either a GTX 960 or a GTX 1050 Ti.

    Cost is $22/mo + $1.75/hour. Working off of the lazy estimate that a work week is 160 hours (4 weeks of 40 hours) that comes out to just over $300 per month. For hardware that is on par with a basic gaming machine (examples below).

    https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/new-gpu-powered-amazon-graphics-workspaces/

    Equivalent desktop:
    https://www.amazon.com/iBUYPOWER-Desktop-i5-8400-Geforce-N27W7055GRXV2/dp/B07BDQPMSC/ - $885

    Equivalent laptop:
    https://www.amazon.com/MSI-GL62M-7REX-1896US-i7-7700HQ-Steelseries/dp/B074VLX5XV/ - $915
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  19. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    But what engine does :D, unreal GPU LM is still in beta, You guys gotta cut unity some slack, you know that age old adage.

    don't bite the hand that feeds you. . . lies

    *ducks and hides* jk jk
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  20. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    hehe, our customers nag on us for bugs in the game, we nag on Unity, unity nag on third party vendors like umbra and enlighten :D
     
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  21. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    ^
    nah you're being optimistic they prolly just have you on the ignore list :D
     
  22. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    Considering Unitys absence in my thread about my Baking problems you could be right :/
     
  23. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    Trust me everyone's problem is critical because isn't their game is gonna be the next AAA blockbuster that needs to be solved immediately, even paying customers :p *

    *Disclaimer: my posts do not reflect UT philosophies or their business model.

    P.S if you wanna get baking just right I use this. . .

    B001DI4VN0-1-lg.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018