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

Cheap used 64-bit laptop for Unity3d

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by IndubhushanDas, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. IndubhushanDas

    IndubhushanDas

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Posts:
    110
    I have two computers now. One desktop - 64 bit, and laptop - just 32 bits. So I have two versions of Unity3d - on desktop is latest, 64-bit, but on 32-bit laptop - it's only Unity3d v5.

    I was thinking at first of upgrading my laptop (add SDD, RAM etc). Both computers now have just HDD, but not SSDs, so it seems that they are very slow. The "4k-test" of both HDDs gives a speed around 0,5 MB/s only... It's terrible, as http://www.userbenchmark.com/ says ... I never ever used SSD drives. Recently one my Unity3d advisor told me that I should buy SSD to improve Unity3d speed. Though I always thought that they are not quite reliable. Anyway, it looks like the situation have changed and they are more reliable now (right?).

    Well, right now I am thinking that instead of upgrading my 32-bit laptop (upgrade it to fastest CPU which MotherBoard supports, add RAM to maximum, change HDD to SSD), it's probably better to buy used laptop instead.

    I've took a look at ads, and was surprised that there are offers of laptops with 64-bit systems, Windows 10, 2GB(+) RAM, and some with SSDs for a price of only 100$ (that's a sum which I was about to spend for upgrading my 32-bit laptop).

    I want to buy used 64-bit laptop after around 1 month. If you have any ideas of what is the best deal I can get by buying used laptop - please let me know here.

    My worry is: now Unity3d stops support of 32-bit hardware. So what would be the next step in stopping support of hardware by Unity3d? So that I don't buy 64-bit laptop (Win7 or Win10), but after some years it would also be outdated as my current 32-bit laptop? Should I better wait and collect a bigger sum of money and buy 64-bit laptop later, but of higher characteristics?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    16,263
    Yes. I understand having to work with a small budget. I've been there and had to do it myself. That said you don't want that laptop unless you just have no alternatives and need it now.

    A machine running Windows 10 will be almost unusable with 2 GB. You'll have at most a couple hundred megabytes of memory for your apps after the OS is loaded. There are no strict system requirements for Unity but I wouldn't go with anything less than 4 GB. If it can be upgraded that's a different story but it most likely can't go much further.

    Yes. When they first came out they had problems but modern SSDs are just as reliable if not more so than HDDs. They massively boost the performance of a laptop too and because of that brand new laptops are almost entirely SSD now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
    IndubhushanDas likes this.
  3. IndubhushanDas

    IndubhushanDas

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Posts:
    110
    Thanks for reply. At the moment I am thinking that it's best to buy 4-core CPU (though I didn't read about their differences, so don't know which are better, except "more Gigahertz are better"). Not sure if I'ld need multiple threadings support (like 4 threads on 4 cores, or 4 th on 2 cores). I once made a thread in Unity3d for Text-to-speech, this is the only my experience with threading.

    And I took a look at some more ads, - I can buy a laptop with 4-cores CPU, 64-bit, but 4 GBs RAM is not guaranteed, I mean it is not common for this price. I am not attached to Win10. For me Win7 is also all right. But of course if something would change to Unity3d system requirements in future - they may stop Win7 support some day. Then it would be not so good. Win10 would be slower, yes.

    Laptops which don't support upto 8GB RAM I simply don't consider worth buying. They are outdated.

    I have MacMini. I mentioned it in the post. I've bought it around 6 years ago (maybe in 2012). It has only 2 GB RAM now, it is not quite fast. I was always wondering why it is sometimes quite slow. Maybe problem is not with RAM itself (though it also is necessary), but with HDD. HDD indeed seems too slow. 0,5MB/s is very very slow.

    I mean a test http://www.userbenchmark.com/Faq/What-is-4K-random-write-speed/29

    " 4K random write speed" or Random read speed, on my both laptop and MacMini are both around 0,5MB/s... I was always thinking the problem is "not enough RAM", or that Win10 "eats" too much resources (CPU etc). But I think SSD should indeed solve the slow speed problem.

    Problem with used laptops ads is that often people don't write the details like is it "32/64 bits" laptop, or what is maximum RAM etc etc... Usually ads are about selling machines with around 2GBs RAM, 2-core CPU (around 100$). Anything above that like SSD, more RAM is matter of additional upgrade.

    I don't need top fastest laptop, as I don't make big games. I have relatively small projects. But it really seems that SSD should help much, as Unity would read multiple files from different folders, so it would that "4K random reading speed" which would be important.

    What about Video-card/memory? Usually, I see, laptops have integrated video-card, which can't be changed/upgraded. And thus they share video memory with RAM. How that influences Unity3d?
     
  4. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    16,263
    Windows 10 is almost identical in performance to Windows 7. I've installed both operating systems on machines as old as 2006 and I wasn't able to see a difference in performance. Windows 10 is definitely more annoying though.

    It's a massive difference to upgrade an older computer from an HDD to an SSD. I've had old machines go from being unusable to being acceptable with just that upgrade. I'd still upgrade the memory though. I'm fairly certain that every Mac Mini from 2009 and on can at least hit 8 GB.

    If it's a brand new laptop integrated graphics is perfectly fine for mobile development, but with a used laptop it can range anywhere from barely usable to acceptable. The oldest integrated that I've used with Unity was Intel HD 3000 and it had playable performance for unoptimized 2D. I never tried it with 3D.
     
    IndubhushanDas likes this.
  5. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Posts:
    9,603
    Generally Unity performs better with lots of RAM, more CPU cores, a modern but not necessarily high end video card, and SSD storage.

    I wouldn't go lower than 8GB now except for the simplest projects, so if you intend to continue using this laptop for a few years I would think you shouldn't really consider 4GB as an option.

    Unity's light baking benefits a lot from more CPU cores and SSD storage (more cores is better than less cores but faster GHz per core in this case), and Unity has in general been moving towards much better multithreading support especially with their latest features they are working on. Loading your project and scenes, as well as compiling builds, tend to benefit a lot from SSD storage as well.

    The graphics hardware you need really depends on the requirements of your project, except I'd stick to something as modern as you can to avoid compatibility issues. Threads pop up on here rather frequently where people have strange graphics behavior in the editor, and it ends up they are using an old DirectX 10 level GPU that doesn't receive any new driver updates and they are stuck until they upgrade. With laptops it is usually impossible to upgrade their graphics hardware.
     
    IndubhushanDas likes this.
unityunity