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What are Unity plans for next minimal hardware requirements?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by IndubhushanDas, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. IndubhushanDas

    IndubhushanDas

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Posts:
    115
    I am planning to make a hardware upgrade (buy new laptop) for Unity development. Unity 2018.2 now requires minimal hardware as following:
    CPU:
    - 64 bit
    - SSE2 support

    Video card:
    - DirectX 10
    - Shaders 4.0 support

    To build for Android devices:
    - Android OS 4.1+
    - ARMv7 CPU with NEON / Atom CPU
    - OpenGL ES 2.0+

    But I am thinking, that in several years, minimal requirements will also change. So, what will be next minimum of hardware requirements for Unity? I am asking because I want to buy a hardware which will be supported in newer Unity versions also (for laptop, it's impossible to upgrade video-card), say, Unity 2019, Unity 2020 etc...
     
  2. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    17,068
    To be honest you will run into performance restrictions long before they alter the system requirements. Using the Wayback Machine shows that the editor supported Windows XP SP2 at least as far back as 2010. It was only somewhat recently that they removed support for it and it's not exactly a new OS.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20100102024741/https://unity3d.com/unity/system-requirements

    Just think about it for a moment. Windows XP started life at a time when the average computer had 256MB RAM. When it was discontinued computers the average computer had 8GB. When it started life the average processor was a Pentium 4 that could handle about 8,000 MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second) but a modern processor (AMD Ryzen 7 1800X) can handle 300,000 MIPS.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instructions_per_second#Timeline_of_instructions_per_second

    That's an increase - in both the cases of performance and memory - of about 30 to 32 times. If we continue the trend by the time the current generation of OSes are discontinued the average computer will have 9,600,000 MIPS and 128 GB of RAM.

    There are no laptops on the market that will come close to that.

    None of this will happen in the next two years though. Hardware does improve at a steady pace but it's not that big of a jump between generations. It's typically 10 to 20% improvements in CPU performance and 20 to 40% in GPU performance every 1.5 to 2.5 years.

    Memory capacity increases slowly too. You likely won't see a meaningful increase in capacity till DDR4 is discontinued.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  3. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    May 2, 2017
    Posts:
    10,690
    As a quick and dirty test for a good laptop, check to see if they support VR
     
  4. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Posts:
    11,364
    Any new computer purchased will be far beyond the minimum hardware requirements of the editor. The hardware requirements you should be concerned about are actually primarily driven by the demands of your specific project (a simple Pac Man style mobile game can be developed on much simpler hardware than a realistic multiplayer FPS with large numbers of high quality art assets). So when planning a dev hardware purchase you should mostly be considering the complexity and resource needs of whatever projects you expect to be working on in the future.

    Your specific question can't really be answered though, because Unity editor development is partially driven by trends in the game industry, and trends in the behavior of developers using the Unity editor. Neither of which Unity has that much control over.

    For example, 32 bit editor support and Windows XP support were dropped for the editor primarily because it was an unjustifiable expense to maintain that support when almost nobody was actually using it anymore. Unity didn't decide that their users should stop using XP or 32 bit OS's, Unity users on their own decided to move to 64 bit and OS's like Windows 7.

    If a significant portion of Unity editor users were still running 32 bit Windows XP, you can be fairly certain that 32 bit Windows XP would still be a supported platform for the editor. If in a few years the number of Unity editor users on Windows 7 drops down into similar ranges (what was it, like under 1% at the time they dropped 32 bit and XP support?) you should expect they will drop Windows 7 support, but they won't drop it if it remains relatively high.
     
    Ryiah likes this.
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