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Does Unity take advantage of "real" graphics card

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by fred_gds, May 25, 2016.

  1. fred_gds

    fred_gds

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    Hello,

    I've been developing with Unity for quite a while now. First on my Mac Mini, which only had a Intel HD 3000, and then switched to my current Macbook Pro 13 Retina (i5) using an Intel HD 4000 as graphics card. So on both devices my Unity Editor is very laggy on big scenes and that makes it hard for me to work with. I mean it takes forever to even do little things/changes.

    Therefore I decided to get a new Laptop (as I travel a lot I can't take a desktop). So I thought I'd either get a new Macbook Pro 13" Retina or a Alienware 13". As far as I can see the MacBooks still offer one of the best dual-core Intel processors, whilst other manufacturers like Alienware offer as similar setup and an additional graphics card.

    I know it has been asked 100 times which laptop to get so I do not want to ask that (but still appreciate suggestions ;) )!!!

    My main question is whether the Unity Editor can take advantage of the graphics card performance and if that would improve the flow. Or if the main bottle necks are other components of the system.

    Best regards,

    Fred
     
  2. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    It depends on your scene, and needs testing.

    Unity is not very good when it comes to manipulating large number of objects at once. For example if you tried to rectangle select few hundred objects it would take forever. on earlier versions (5.2 and the like), and I doubt that it was fixed.
     
  3. darkhog

    darkhog

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    Oh, it definitely can take advantage of the "real" GPU. Just look at Adam demo, AFAIK it is running on either 980 or Titan (1080 wasn't out when it was showcased). Will edit out with YT link to the demo.

    //edit: As promised:

     
  4. Brity

    Brity

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    hes talking about in editor....
     
  5. fred_gds

    fred_gds

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    @neginfinity Well I have large city scenes, with many buildings, details and so on. I would love to test it on the different laptops but I don't think that it will be possible
     
  6. KnightsHouseGames

    KnightsHouseGames

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    Why would the editor not take advantage of your graphics card? The test feature would be pretty useless if it didn't use real hardware to run the game.

    Also, if you check Unity's hardware requirements, pretty much the only thing the editor needs for certain is a decent graphics card. They say you should be running either an Nvidia or AMD graphics card, or REALLY good Intel internal graphics. They wouldn't have that requirement if it didn't actually need a "real" graphics card

    I know for sure you need a "real" graphics card because Unity won't even run in a Virtual Machine because it doesn't even recognise the virtualized graphics card.

    So yes, not only does Unity take advantage of a "Real" graphics card, it requires one.
     
  7. fred_gds

    fred_gds

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    Sure it needs graphic card. The thing is that I see a lot of other people using Macbooks with the Intel internal, so I really wondered whether this actually makes a difference. I don't mean during runtime/play mode. I don't really care on how good it looks on the laptop rather than having the editor experience being a smooth workflow with no lagging or so.

    But I guess I can take from your statement that this does make a difference. :)
     
  8. KnightsHouseGames

    KnightsHouseGames

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    Yeah, you'd probably be better off getting a better macbook with a better graphics card

    Or a better laptop in general with a WAY better graphics card
     
  9. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    Yes, the Unity editor does run better on computers with a powerful dedicated video card. For example, I use the Unity editor on a nice desktop PC with an Nvidia GTX 780, a laptop with a weak internal GPU, and a Mac Mini. On the desktop PC with the GTX 780, the Unity editor runs great. On the laptop and Mac Mini, the Unity Editor is slow when working on the same scenes.
     
  10. Brity

    Brity

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    @fred_gds I think that the CPU is going to used a lot on various things. for example when you select 100 objects in the scene, I dont think the gpu is doing all the hard work here, i think the cpu is doing more. There seems to be a huge lag when selecting many objects even with a GTX 980.

    But im not an expert in these things so it would be great if unity peeps could enlighten us with the inner workings of the editor.
     
  11. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    If the bottleneck is CPU, then better GPU won't help. For example, lightmap baking does not utilize GPU.

    Speaking of which, default settings for lightmap baking is "auto", so it'll keep trying to re-bake scene often, so the editor may act sloppy because of that.
     
    angrypenguin, JohnnyA, Kiwasi and 2 others like this.
  12. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Yeah, it depends entirely on what the bottleneck of your scene and editor setup is compared to the hardware it's running on. CPU, GPU and available RAM all make a difference... but the difference each makes is only noticeable if your scene/editor setup needs more than what's available.

    For instance, if you're doing something CPU heavy with minimal graphics then a better GPU or more RAM won't help. If you're doing relatively little CPU work but have loads of heavy visual effects then the opposite is likely to be true - a better GPU will help crunch all the pixels, but more CPU is unlikely to make a difference.
     
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  13. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Just about every graphical effect a computer can do, whether it's 2D or 3D, goes through the GPU. If an application is heavy on the GPU but the computer has a weak GPU it can be held back from running ideally. Likewise this problem can occur with the CPU too.

    Intel's graphical hardware is very weak compared to their processor hardware.

    Generally I recommend people pick up an MSI gaming laptop like the following.

    http://www.amazon.com/MSI-GL62-6QF-893-NOTEBOOK-i7-6700HQ/dp/B01D8VJ0K8/
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
    RavenOfCode likes this.
  14. darkhog

    darkhog

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    If engine can do it, so by extension editor can do as well, since they're using the same tech behind the scenes.
     
  15. Brity

    Brity

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    "Does" not "can"

    oh nevermind lol..
     
  16. RavenOfCode

    RavenOfCode

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    I would not recomend an Alienware, I personally would go with an this or something like it. Reason? Larger screen, better graphics card, larger SDD, all for $200 less.
     
    Ryiah likes this.
  17. fred_gds

    fred_gds

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    I see that most of you mention that I should find the bottleneck. So I am actually wondering how I would do that. I can tell for sure that RAM is not my main concern. The ActivityMonitor often shows me a high CPU usage but I can not find information on how much the gpu is used...

    @Ryiah and RavenOfCode: Thanks for your suggestions. I actually love the 13" size ;) I also saw the new Razer Blade 14" which is more compact any experience with that?
     
  18. RavenOfCode

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    I don't have personal experience with either, yet I do have a friend who used an Alienware and he enjoyed it but for the price he wished he had gotten something better.

    I personally don't mind the look of the Razer, the specs are nice too. I just would want something bigger. :)
     
  19. KnightsHouseGames

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    Yeah, I feel like Alienware is more overpriced in some respects than even Apple.

    I remember out of curiosity one day look at their website a few years ago when I was buying my current laptop and I was expecting super high performance components and all this for everything I had heard about them, and I was shocked to find out that building a laptop with specs similar to the laptop I eventually went with from Sony (gives you an idea how long ago this was) was like, twice as expensive. The only difference was the battery life was poor and the thing was significantly heavier.

    Personally, I find 15 inch to be the best compromise between performance and size, 17 is just too heavy and unweildy, while 13 usually doesn't have a full keyboard, and at that form factor compromises usually need to be made in the performance department as well. 15 is just kind of an ideal size, where you can have something thats reletively light and useable, while still having a full sized keyboard and can usually get most of the components that can fit into a 17 inch (with the exception of the more extreme stuff like desktop GPUs, but really people getting those in their laptops are just overcompensating anyway. Like people who buy Corvettes)

    I've seen a few nice MSIs out there, and of course Asus makes good stuff. personally, I've been looking at System76 for my next computer, because I think I want my next laptop to run Linux
     
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  20. RavenOfCode

    RavenOfCode

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    Just curious why Linux?
     
  21. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Traditional reason for switching to linux are:
    1. Ideology
    2. Price.
    3. Powerful dev tools.
    4. "I wanna be a l33t kewl h@x0r"

    Now #3 is one of the solid reasons.

    Console tools are very powerful, it is also a very good environment for programming. Also for mad science. "Switch to linux and build your death ray today". For example, clang was working on windows for years before there was any progress with windows build. Some tools are unique, even artistic ones. For example, there was a time when some GTK functionality broke for windows platform, which made most recent versions of mypaint unavailable for windows users.
     
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  22. KnightsHouseGames

    KnightsHouseGames

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    Well, theres a few reasons. First, I am firmly in the Never Windows 10 camp. I don't like where Microsoft is going with pretty much any of their products and I don't want to be tied to that if I don't have to be.

    Also, Windows is expensive, and most of the software I use is Linux software anyway, like Gimp, Krita, Audacity, Thunderbird, Libre Office, Might as well use all of them on their native platform. On my current laptop I run Windows 7, but I use Ubuntu on my aging desktop (which pretty much doesn't work on Windows for the most part anymore, just due to hardware limitations. Linux also needs less overhead in terms of hardware requirements), and I've found that it just does some things so much more easily than would otherwise be possible on Windows. Not to mention Linux doesn't just say "Oh, I'm shutting down now, better save your stuff, because update time!". And whats REALLY annoying about that is it's super intrusive about updates....and doesn't even update everything on the computer like Linux does.

    I've always held back because there was some vital software to game development that I couldn't get on Linux that made me require windows, the big one being Unity. But now that Unity is working on the Linux version, I feel safer making that transition. I might just keep a Windows 7 machine around just for stuff like video editing and maybe Maya, if they never release a Linux version of Maya LT.

    Also @neginfinity has pretty much covered most of the bases...

    ....how did you know my true reasoning for switching.....>_>
     
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  23. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    If you're determined to go with a 13.3-inch laptop then you're pretty much stuck with Alienware as most other manufacturers do not put discrete graphics cards in their ultrabooks. Here is one for $999 on Amazon. That's a decent price to be honest.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XQXZ300/
     
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  24. fred_gds

    fred_gds

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    I love your guys answer and for a long time I shared those ideas. But after having been at a couple Microsoft Event, I kind got their idea for Windows and I really appreciate it (even bought an Xbox after the last event :D ). Also as I said before, I own some Macs and I appreciate a lot of their OS. But currently I feel that Windows 10 offers the most compromise between liberty and simplicity for "advanced/experienced" users. Also due to my experience I had more problems with Windows but I was able, to fix those almost every time, whilst on Linux and especially on Mac I mostly gave up because I could not find a fix that suited me.

    @Ryiah I'm not too stuck on the 13" but let's say between 12 and 14. I just fell like 15 inch is getting too big to really take with me. I'm still going to university and therefore use it there too, so being compact is important. But I agree that there is really not much choice. Still looking for something up to 2k as I also want a Retina/QHD/4k display, just wish the offer you showed would be available in my country ;)
     
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  25. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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  26. KnightsHouseGames

    KnightsHouseGames

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    I feel like 4k on such a tiny screen is kinda pointless, your OS will look more like an ant farm than an OS with such pixel density.

    I feel like if you want 4k functionality, you should get a seperate monitor to connect to your laptop when you are able to be more tied down like in your home or dorm or whatever. I'm sure any higher end laptop should have external display support. Have a more usable resolution on the actual laptop itself, then use the money you saved doing it that way to buy yourself an external.
     
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  27. TylerPerry

    TylerPerry

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    It kind of depends, I like having a full 1080p Unity view open(And tiny little microscopic buttons :() when doing UI work.
     
  28. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    I'd have definitely agreed with previous OSes, but this problem is disappearing as improved GUI management becomes the norm. In Win 10 most apps I've used scale quite well to the 13", ~2800x1800 display of my Surface.
     
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  29. KnightsHouseGames

    KnightsHouseGames

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    But that also depends on the program. I've seen some streamers I watch who had Win 10 on 4k laptop screens, and some of the older programs he was using, all the icons and menus and such in them were absolutely microscopic. And this was through the stream on my much larger external monitor, I can't even imagine how it was on his monitor.
     
  30. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Well yes... that's why the problem "is dissapearing" as opposed to "has disappeared", along with the other qualifiers I mentioned.
     
  31. TylerPerry

    TylerPerry

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    Especially for Unity as it doesn't scale while keeping the game window at full res. I think they said in the 5.4 beta that it was retina capable, but it certainly isn't for windows :(
     
  32. fred_gds

    fred_gds

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    Well I actually don't mind the small buttons :D

    Just another thought I just had. Does anybody have experience with a external thunderbolt GPU?
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  33. hk47t

    hk47t

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    Out of those two, I'd personally recommend going with viabox. They have significantly cheaper shipping fees and a nicer customer support team too.
     
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