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Hardware Recommendations for Unity

Hardware Recommendations for Unity

Processor (CPU) • Video Card (GPU) • Memory (RAM) • Storage (Drives)

Like most software developers, Unity maintains a list of system requirements that can be used to help ensure the hardware in your system meets their minimum requirements. However, this covers only the very basics of what hardware is needed to run the software, not what hardware will actually give the best performance. Because of how basic this list is, we’ve taken the time to determine what hardware runs Unity the best to come up with our own list of recommended hardware.

Processor (CPU)

The processor (or CPU) is one of the most important pieces of a Unity development workstation. While many other parts of the system impact performance to some degree, the CPU is the core piece of hardware that is a part of absolutely anything and everything you do. Like many programs, what CPU will give you the best performance changes based on the specific task you are performing. However, some of the most intensive tasks that take a long time to complete (GI baking, progressing lightmapping, etc.) benefit from a CPU with a high core count. Because of this, we offer a range of CPUs depending on your budget and the tasks you most commonly do in the Unity.

For most users, the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X 12 Core is a terrific choice. This CPU features 12 cores, and 24 threads, enough to provide good performance for most users. If budget allows, more cores will always help, and the Ryzen 9 7950X 16 Core proves to be a worthy upgrade.

For those that need the best possible performance for heavily threaded tasks like building lighting and compiling the engine from source, we offer a number of high core count CPUs depending on both your budget and the performance you need for these tasks. The AMD Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series are substantially faster than the Ryzen family for tasks like light baking and compiling. Please note that these CPUs can be slightly slower for other tasks, however, so we typically only recommend one of these high core count CPUs for users that spend a significant amount of time building lighting or compiling.

Video Card (GPU)

Currently, Unity utilizes the video card solely to display the graphics on the screen. Many applications in other fields have begun using the GPU for other tasks as well, but this has not yet been implemented in the Unity editor. Because of this, a faster video card will give you a higher FPS in the viewport or in a stand-alone game, but likely will not improve your productivity in other tasks.

We currently offer three video cards on our Unity workstations depending on your budget and whether you are planning on developing VR content:

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 8GB – This GPU offers great performance for its price, and has plenty of power to handle multiple displays without a problem.
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 24GB – With 24GB of VRAM and terrific performance for the price, the RTX 3090 is one of the best GPUs to use for game development, Virtual Production, and Architectural Visualization and our recommendation if you plan on developing VR content. The high amount of VRAM makes it suitable for workstation with three or even four 4K displays and the extra power is great for games that have not been optimized.

Memory (RAM)

The amount of RAM you need is going to depend on your specific project and whether you do RAM-intensive tasks like building lighting. However, as a general rule of thumb we recommend

  • 32GB of RAM for most users
  • 64GB+ of RAM if you build lighting that takes more than a few hours

Keep in mind that these only basic recommendations and only covers the amount of RAM needed for the Unity by itself. If you often work with other programs in addition to Unity at the same time, you may want to have even more RAM in your system as each program will need its own chunk of RAM.

Storage (Drives)

Our systems offer three different types of storage drives depending on your specific needs and requirements:

  • Standard SSD (Samsung 860 EVO/Pro) – SSDs are a staple in modern workstations, especially as your primary drive containing the operating system and program installations. They are more expensive than a traditional platter hard drive, but also many times faster allowing you to launch Windows and programs significantly faster. We offer both the Samsung 850 EVO and Pro line of drives with the primary difference being the write endurance. The Pro line is rated for a much higher number of writes making it a better choice if you will often be writing data to the drive.
  • PCI-E x4 M.2 NVMe SSD (Samsung 970 EVO/Pro) – These drives are about 30% more expensive than a standard SSD, but around five times faster! However, in most cases you will not see much of a performance difference since a modern standard SSD is already so fast that it is rarely a performance bottleneck. However, some projects you will be able to open faster with a NVMe drive which can make them useful as a project drive.
  • Traditional Platter Drive (Western Digital) – These drives may be slower than the SSDs we offer, but they are much more affordable and available in much larger capacities. While we do not recommend working directly off these drives, they make terrific long-term storage drives.

We allow for up to four drives to be used in our workstations by default, but we can configure a system with more drives by request. In general, we recommend a two to three hard drive configuration depending on your budget and desired performance and organizational level:

  1. Primary Drive – OS/Software (SSD) – Includes your operating system and the base Unity installation. An SSD is highly recommended as it will greatly improve how fast the OS and programs startup, but there is usually not much of a performance benefit to upgrading to a faster NVMe drive.
  2. Secondary Drive – Project Files (SSD/M.2 NVMe) – If possible, it is a good idea to separate your project files onto a secondary drive. For most users a standard SSD will work fine, but if you work with RAW footage there can be a large performance benefit to using a M.2 NVMe drive.
  3. Optional Storage Drive (Platter) – For long term storage where the high speed of SSDs is typically not required, a larger traditional platter hard drive is a good choice as they are still much cheaper per GB than SSDs.
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