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Laptop suggestions to run Unity under $400?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by adamz, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. adamz

    adamz

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    Hi everyone,

    I have a high-end desktop PC that I do most of my development on. I'm looking to get a cheap laptop to run Unity. I'm not too worried about playing scenes at high frame-rates, just something I can use and test while I'm watching TV on my couch. Ideally I'm looking for a 15" screen, 1920x1080. Anyone have something similar or suggestions?

    Here is one that I found on Amazon.

    Thanks!
     
    peopleUnity likes this.
  2. xVergilx

    xVergilx

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    That GPU is basically a potato. If your game isn't graphically intensive, then you might get away with it.
    Might be slow running editor though.

    It depends on the games you're intent to make.
     
    MadeFromPolygons likes this.
  3. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    I find loading scenes (depends on scene size) is a CPU intense operation. Also navigating scene do take CPU and ram. I wouldn't go below 4 cores and 8 threads. And 8 gig of ram
     
  4. MadeFromPolygons

    MadeFromPolygons

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    I wouldnt say cores is a metric to worry about, most important is >= 8GB ram, and a dedicated graphics card. Anything else is a bonus, but if you have those 2 you can get away doing most things in an okay-ish time within unity.
     
  5. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    My wife has a i5 with 2 cores 4 threads 8 gig ram. The editor runs like crap on it. You get around, but its not fun for longer sessions
     
    Ryiah, peopleUnity and Aiursrage2k like this.
  6. xVergilx

    xVergilx

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    I think CPU is not the bottleneck here.

    More is better ofc, but 4 threads should be enough, unless running something heavy in the background.
     
  7. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    Yeah, for shorter sessions you will be fine. Just tested you can see some activity over all thread while it loads the map though very low. But disc usage is whats most as yuo can see

    upload_2019-7-30_14-50-54.png

    Navigating the scene also sees some usage of all cores

    upload_2019-7-30_14-53-37.png
     
  8. adamz

    adamz

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    Thanks for all your suggestions. I decided to go with this, so hopefully I'll be content with working with C# and Playmaker on this machine. Like I said, I have a high end desktop, so I just wanted something to develop with while sitting on the couch.
     
  9. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    Id say at least 16 gigs of RAM
     
  10. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    That 4GB RAM and the 128GB disk are deal breakers IMO. I often use a laptop with dual core i7, 8GB RAM, and an aftermarket EVO 850 500GB SSD and it is barely acceptable, while avoiding anything which would be optimized for higher core counts.

    If I were to buy again I'd get 16GB RAM and 4+ cores. Note that OEM SSD's are often very poor performing compared to well regarded name brand SSD's. My laptop actually came with a 256GB Samsung SSD, but it had half the throughput speed of even this older EVO from the same manufacturer.

    The GPU really just depends on what your game needs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
  11. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    I agree on not willingly going below 8 gigs of RAM. Aside from that it really depends on what you're doing with it. Obviously faster is better, but I still have productive dev sessions with my Surface from time to time.
     
  12. Ony

    Ony

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    I actually make our games on an Etch-a-Sketch, so...
     
  13. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    Isn't there some way to stream from your desktop to your notebook to keep using the highend performance while sitting on the couch? Added benefit would be that you don't need to shuffle files around if they always stay on the desktop.
     
  14. xVergilx

    xVergilx

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    I've tried that previously. You'd also need some kind of decent hardware + software to run that.
    Teamviewer choked on Unity's Editor video output constantly, so scene editing with that is a no go.

    Coding is fine though. But at the same time you can code on a potato laptop with a notepad so its not worth it.
     
    Antypodish likes this.
  15. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    Teamviewer isn't really meant for that kind of work as far as I know. I was thinking more of steam inhome streaming or any other games-focused application. Not sure what else is available. Something from nvidia maybe?
     
    angrypenguin likes this.
  16. adamz

    adamz

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    I was thinking about using a Chromebook and remote desktop software to stream the software off of my PC, but most of them seem to have some latency issues. Not sure if anyone knows of any software that doesn't if you're using wifi with a quick internet connection.

    I might just have to spring another $300 and get a laptop with a Nvidia 1050. Anyone try to run Unity on a 15.5" screen? The one I'm looking at is $600, at 1920x1080.
     
  17. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Well, if you're using it from off-site then the minimum latency is determined by infrastructure between you and your PC. Software can't do much about that.

    Yeah, TeamViewer certainly isn't designed for this kind of thing.

    I believe that Steam's streaming thing can stream the desktop. I think I've done it by accident before (not 100% sure it was with the Steam one), and one of the first things I did was open Unity and see if it kept working. It it's good enough to play games then it should certainly be good enough to develop with.
     
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  18. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    As long as testing you aim to do, doesn't require much of moving objects, but mainly some in Editor fields editing, or scripts editing, you would be much good with most types of remote access software. But yes, Teamviewer will introduce significant lag.
     
    Martin_H likes this.
  19. MadeFromPolygons

    MadeFromPolygons

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    I am sure that probably crashes less than autodesk programs ;)
     
    Martin_H and Ony like this.
  20. adamz

    adamz

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    Yea thanks. I decided to build a mini-pc with a handle build into the case, and use a 1080p laptop monitor. That way I get desktop performance and still have portability to move around the house (livingroom/patio, etc.). I dont think I'll take it to Starbucks though!
     
    Ryiah and Joe-Censored like this.
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