What are the best desktops for Unreal Engine 4? If the name Unreal is unknown to you, then you’re probably one of those people who haven’t much to do with video games.
But for those of you that do know what it is, you must also be aware of its popularity, either through the projects created by it or directly the Game Engine itself.
And not only game developing, but Unreal Engine presently has also found uses in the marketing and advertising industry, video production, various kinds of realistic entertainment, certain defense sectors, and so on.
While these purposes of the software weren’t originally planned, it has quickly replaced the dedicated software that these industries previously worked with.
Assuming that you already know if the Unreal Engine 4 platform suits you, we have something here that can help you decide on a desktop that would be used for developing purposes.
It won’t matter if you are a beginner or if you have been working with heavy projects, these desktops have been handpicked keeping in mind certain things such as performance requirements and budget.
Also, to make things easier, there is a guide at the end which comprehensively discusses the most important aspects of a PC that is supposed to run UE4.
You are thus well equipped to choose an option on your own.
- Desktops for Unreal Engine 4 – Price
- What is Unreal Engine 4?
- Minimum & Recommended Desktop Configurations for Unreal Engine 4
- 5 Best Desktops for Unreal Engine 4 2021:
- How to Choose Best Desktops for Unreal Engine 4?
Desktops for Unreal Engine 4 – Price
What is Unreal Engine 4?
Unreal Engine is a 3D visual development and simulation software owned by Epic Games, launched in 1998 with an association to the game Unreal.
In the early years, the engine was mostly used to develop FPS (First-person shooter) games like this, but now it has transcended not only to other genres of gaming, but also other industries like Television, automobile, Architectural designing, and much more.
The latest version, Unreal Engine 4 was launched back in 2014, and though required a subscription at that time, it was made free after a year and has been so since 2015. The developers also have access to the source code, available at GitHub.
The newer version, the Unreal Engine 5 is expected to be launched later this year and has drastic, “never seen before” features that would let the developers up their game by a whole new level.
What sets Unreal Engine 4 apart from other developing software are the various free tools, plug-ins, and optimizations that the developers get access to, which reduce the time required to complete a certain project, by even days in some cases.
Also, Unreal Engine 4 helps its users work in large teams and provides excellent flexibility and control over the various aspects of a given project, thus increasing the overall efficiency and a much smoother workflow.
The primary coding language that the software uses is the commonly used C++, which also benefits its performance, once the user has a hold over the language.
Things may seem a bit easier for extreme beginners with Unity, as the language it uses, C#, is a bit easier to learn. But professionals still prefer Unreal Engine for the usefulness it has over the other developing engines.
Minimum & Recommended Desktop Configurations for Unreal Engine 4
As per the official recommendations, you can use Unreal Engine 4 on your PC as long as it has a quad-core Intel or AMD CPU with a frequency of 2.5 GHz. You’d also need at least 8 GB of RAM, and a GPU compatible with DirectX 11 or DirectX 12.
But these specs often prove to be insufficient in reality, especially when working with heavier projects. Therefore, at least a 6 core CPU, with a 4 GB GPU and 8 GB or more RAM, or much better hardware is needed.
As a concrete suggestion, here’s what we think the kind of specs you should be keeping on your desktop for a comfortable experience in Unreal Engine 4.
Minimum System Requirements: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 or better processor │ NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti or better GPU │ 8 GB or more RAM │ 500 GB SSD or more storage
Recommended System Requirements: Ryzen 7 Pro 4750G or better Intel or AMD processor │ NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 or better GPU │ 32 GB RAM │ 1 TB SSD and additional secondary storage
5 Best Desktops for Unreal Engine 4 2021:
1. Dell Alienware Aurora R10 – Best Overall
Bottom Line: The Aurora R10 sits at the top, and has all the right reasons to be here. The latest specs, great connectivity, and the overall reliability of this desktop speak for themselves when its functionality in Unreal Engine 4 is in question.
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- RAM: 32 GB
- Storage: 1 TB SSD
- Unique design
- Highly customizable
- Supports overclocking
- Can be expensive
- Cooling can be an issue
- GPU upgrades are limited by small space inside the chassis
This desktop may not be as powerfully configured as the Omen, but it can be equipped with some solid hardware as well.
This variant of the Aurora R10 is meant for those who are looking for heavy usage of Unreal Engine 4.
The Aurora R10 also has the same design that Dell has used with some of the other models of the Aurora line-up, and it does help it stand out from the crowd.
The Alienware logo lights up when the PC is running, and this indicates that the PC is ready to provide you with some outstanding performance.
The variant we have chosen comes with an 8 core AMD Ryzen 7 processor, while there are other variants too with both AMD and Intel options available.
The RAM present is 32 GB, which can surely be upgraded, but the good thing is that with XMP, they offer high speeds without any tweaking on your part.
There is both an SSD installed and free bays for hard drives so that you are neither short on storage space nor responses.
The Auroras have been using a swing design with the PSU inside the chassis, which is a brilliant way to manage space. The unit, in this case, does allow you to use a better GPU, only if you can fit it inside.
The specs in the desktop make it an excellent machine for handling both CPU and GPU-intensive tasks.
2. CyberPowerPC Gamer Supreme SLC8260A4 – Runner up
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- RAM: 16 GB
- Storage: 1 TB SSD
- Attractive specs
- Good performance
- The case allows enough cooling
- Only dual-channel memory support
- Cable management could have been better
- Connectivity could have been improved
A great alternative to the Alienware for those of you who are fond of a more simplistic design can be this desktop from CyberPower, the PC Gamer Supreme.
This is the RTX version of the device, but you may also choose the AMD GPU-powered variant.
As for the specs, this is not very far behind the Aurora R10 in terms of performance, and the hardware is all that makes the difference.
This comes with a Ryzen 7 3800X processor, an RTX 3060 Ti GPU, a lower 16 GB of RAM, and the same 1 TB of SSD storage.
In terms of performance, the CyberPowerPC Gamer Supreme is a brilliant machine and has enough potential to handle the heaviest of projects in Unreal Engine 4.
The GPU may not be as good as an RTX 3080, but is still more than enough.
However, Connectivity is one of those things that could have been better, given that other options provide better WIFI and USB Type-C ports in this price range.
The specs are far from ideal, but yet, are surely close to it. That and the roomy case and decent pricing can be compelling reasons to buy it if you are interested in a plug-and-play desktop.
3. Skytech Blaze II – Value for Money
Bottom Line: This is the most pocket-friendly desktop on this list, but is capable of handling entry and mid-level projects. All you need is a RAM upgrade, and tasks on Unreal Engine 4 shouldn’t take too much time to finish up.
- Processor: Ryzen 5 3600
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- RAM: 8 GB
- Storage: 500 GB
- Decent specs
- Affordable price tag
- Easy upgrades
- RAM and storage might be cutting it too close
- Some better connectivity could have been provided
- Fans can get loud
The final option in our collection here is an excellent choice for developers in their early stages, or who are concerned with their budget.
There are very few pre-built options like it, and this is also a reason why the SkyTech Blaze II is a part of this list dedicated to finding the best desktops for Unreal Engine 4.
This has got a 3rd gen Ryzen 5 processor, one with 6 cores, 12 threads, and a maximum clock rate of 4.2 GHz. Now, this may not have the most cores or the fastest frequency, but one doesn’t need these for lightweight projects either.
For graphics, you get a GTX 1660 Ti video card. Now we would have preferred if it was at least an RTX 2060, but given the price tag, we can’t complain.
There is 8 GB of RAM and a 500 GB SSD in this, and we believe both of these would need upgrades very soon. The good thing is you can easily make these upgrades, along with some others throughout the lifetime of the desktop.
There is enough space inside the case, so you’ll be able to easily fit a triple-fan GPU as well, as long as you also upgrade the PSU (in the case the new GPU draws more power). Check out SkyTech Blaze II Review.
4. HP Omen 30L – 4K Rendering Made Easy
Bottom Line: This variant of the OMEN 30L might feel overkill for many, but surely isn’t so for the 4K enthusiasts. Be it scrubbing through 4K footage or utilizing ray-tracing for better details on Unreal Engine 4, this desktop doesn’t let you down.
- Processor: Intel Core i9-10850K
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- RAM: 32 GB
- Storage: 1 TB SSD
- Variety of customizations
- Excellent performance
- Good connectivity features
- Higher variants can be very pricey
- Can be loud under a workload
- Annoying bloatware
To introduce our viewers to the premium desktop world, we have the mighty Omen 30L Gaming desktop that can be your go-to if you’re looking for a serious desktop for developing on Unreal Engine 4.
The variant here is one of the high-end ones, with a Core i9-10850K processor, the beastly RTX 3090 GPU with over 10,000 CUDA cores, 32 gigs of RAM, and 1 TB of SSD storage.
The processor itself has got 10 cores and 20 threads, smoothening your workflow and rendering heavy projects quickly.
So, you realize that the desktop is built to handle even the toughest processing needs, and would let you work on 4K projects seamlessly. Good luck trying to crash this desktop, since it is built for handling an enormous workload.
Moreover, the latest connectivity and tool-free access to the internal components make it an offer too good to refuse if you are willing to pay the hefty price tag that some of its variants (like this one) come with. Check out HP Omen 30L Review.
5. CUK Mantis Custom – Big on RAM and Storage
Bottom Line: If you require a good desktop that can handle heavy usage on Unreal Engine 4, then this is also a great choice. The CPU coupled with a solid GPU and ample RAM can do wonders in the software.
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 4750G
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- RAM: 32 GB
- Storage: 512 GB SSD + 2 TB HDD
- Good configuration
- Enough scope for future expansion
- Extended Warranty makes it all the more worth it
- Not a very compact system
- Some aspects of the hardware could have been better
- Only 2 RAM slots
This custom gaming PC from CUK is the next desktop on this list that you may consider. It is a tower all right, but the chassis design is different than the other typical ones.
The specs in this variant are quite good, with the 8 core Ryzen 7 APU being used. It is one of the best APUs as of today, and the performance is similar to that of a Core i7-10700K.
Working on Unreal Engine 4 requires a lot of RAM, and also a good GPU, depending on the kind of project.
This PC has you covered in all these aspects with 32 GB of RAM and an RTX 3060 Video Card.
The 12 GB VRAM present in this boosts the overall potential of the desktop largely. And there’s enough storage too, so you shouldn’t have to worry about expansions any time soon.
It has been designed in such a way that you shouldn’t have any trouble with heat dissipation, as there is enough space inside for good airflow.
The major components get ample cooling, by the fans present at the front and back.
Not only that but there is also a glass panel on its side, to show the internals. Check out CUK Mantis Custom PC Review.
How to Choose Best Desktops for Unreal Engine 4?
As a developer, you do not always have to buy a PC with the latest or high-end configuration that can cost you a lot of money.
Many professional game creators work with a mid-range desktop or a laptop, not just because the budget is a factor.
The good thing about Unreal Engine 4 is that it makes things very easier for beginners, and you wouldn’t even require coding.
But after a certain point, after you have mastered the necessary skills, you’d need your computer configured in a certain way so that it can handle whatever you throw at it.
While the debate of whether Unreal Engine 4 is better than Unity is up for another day, know that the former can handle some more extensive graphical projects than the other.
Being so, if you are an upper-end developer, choosing a better GPU has to be of priority.
Hence, we decided to consolidate certain important things in this one place so that you don’t have to wander from one website to the other.
Give this guide a read, and you’d understand what you should be looking for, and why.
But before we talk about hardware, it is necessary that you also fixate on a budget and make the choice of the Operating System of this new desktop you’re looking for.
The budget part we’ll be coming to later, but first, which OS should you be preferring?
Now apart from your convenience and comfort, in things like game development, your target audience, and the platform for which you make games matter.
For example, games for the Mac OS are better built on the same, and this is true for Windows too.
As for the Mac OS, it is quick, efficient and given the same underlying hardware, a desktop using Mac as the primary OS would render projects faster than Windows.
However, the Mac version of Unreal Engine 4 misses some features of the Windows counterpart. Also, iMacs or MacBooks tend to be costly and less upgradeable than a typical Windows desktop or laptop, which can be an issue.
While mainstream users usually do not prefer it, there is a good chance that as a developer you must know coding, and hence Linux can be a viable option for you.
But that is not a very good idea if your audience belongs mostly to other operating interfaces, so it is more of a personal decision.
Windows does seem to be the better choice by the look of things. A majority of the developers use it as well since a vast number of gamers also have it as their main OS.
With this comes the easy upgrades and cost-effectiveness that the Mac environment fails to offer.
The next thing to worry about is budget since the components that you buy are going to determine how heavy a workload your PC would be able to bear.
For someone who is a beginner, or develops games as a hobby, or has relatively lighter projects, a mid-range system should be great for the present and foreseeable future.
On the flip side, for those who have intense renderings, complex graphics, and such to work on, the right budget becomes extremely important.
A slightly wrong choice may not be non-rectifiable, but it can cost you several hundred bucks.
For an average developer, a budget of $1500 can get you a good system, and building a desktop for Unreal Engine 4 in this budget would provide you even better value.
Upwards to this, well there can be no such limit, but if you are tight on expenses or need lighter specs, then at least an $800-1000 budget would be fair.
In the hardware department, you’ll have to consider a CPU first, as developing a game or any other kind of project includes many related things that rely on the CPU’s processing strength.
These can be the things you do on the Engine itself, coding, and the other software like Visual Studios that you’ll have to use for marketing, and others as well.
Unreal Engine works similar to the other developing engines, which means that there are a large number of things that would work better with a faster clock rate and more cores on the CPU.
But that is up to a limit, and you wouldn’t need an extreme kind of processor for better performance.
Rendering shaders with 16 cores, for example, is about 30% faster than that with 8 cores, but there are other factors too that determine this.
While the least number of cores that one must be having in the CPU of their desktop for the given purpose is 4, that won’t be enough once you hit a certain size or complexity on your projects.
For those on a budget, you may consider getting a Hexa-core processor for the best results.
From here on, anything within 16 cores is still worth it, given that you have such heavy projects or need that much speed when working on Unreal Engine 4.
The best would be to go with 6-12 cores and choose Ryzen instead of a Core processor, but we wouldn’t suggest keeping Intel options entirely out of consideration either.
The CPU frequency also matters here, and Intel is a leg ahead of AMD because their CPUs have faster frequencies.
Some of the 10th and 11th gen CPUs from the brand are truly worth the price tag with their maximum clock rates above 5.0 GHz, before overclocking that is.
But Intel CPUs do have a fundamental problem that AMD has solved long ago. Intel tends to change the supported sockets with their new launches, while AMD uses the same AM4 socket for mainstream processors.
This means that buying an expensive motherboard, with plans of upgrading or overclocking the processor, is worth it with AMD.
But things are not the same with Intel, and upgrading to the latest Intel CPU would require a motherboard replacement as well, with the need to pay more for one that supports overclocking.
The Ryzen 5000s especially should be your top priority if you’re looking for the maximum performance, without paying too much.
With record-breaking single-core performances and lower prices than the Intel competition, these can be of great use to you.
One of the reasons why developers are so fond of Unreal Engine 4 is its capability to handle an extensive graphical workload.
It is used for Realistic rendering, 3D, VR, and everything of the sort. Therefore, if you too have needs for such heavy graphics, then a good GPU is most important.
But not everyone has to create a complete 3D visualization of a vehicle so that the client can get the full experience without even leaving the room, right? Absolutely, and it’s totally fine if you are an indie developer trying out small-scale projects.
For most of you here, we would suggest a 4-6 GB GPU, irrespective of the brand.
But some AMD GPUs do have some issues at times with UE4, so make sure you’re aware of the performance of your GPU in the software before buying it.
Also, ray-tracing (that works better on NVIDIA GPUs currently), is something that you can use in Unreal Engine 4 to add details and definition to your projects.
The RTX GPUs perform significantly better than non-RTX ones (with the same amount of VRAM), which has to be considered here.
So, let’s keep things simple here. With the simplest needs, you can opt for a GTX 1050 Ti or 1650, or any other AMD alternative in this range.
Better options are the GTX 1660 Ti or 1660 Super, both being excellent options for those looking for lightweight, mid-range video cards.
Our suggestion would be to go with an RTX 3060, which is quite effective and yet a less expensive RTX video card.
In the top-end, there are multiple options currently, and the RTX 3000 series is a better choice than RTX 2000s and even some of the Quadro cards.
AMD line-up in this segment is mostly limited, but the Radeon RX 5700XT and the RX 580 are very cost-effective GPUs currently if more video memory is what you need at a lower price.
Do not make the mistake of spending all your money on the CPU, GPU, and motherboard since you have a few more important things left. The RAM, for example, is one of these things that you have to keep in abundance in your computer.
Unreal Engine 4 uses all of the available cores on the CPU if necessary, so the processor needs to have a high amount of memory available.
Not only that, your desktop would be needing RAM in everything you do, from renderings, multi-tasking, using any other software alongside UE4, and so on.
So, while in this case there cannot be something like “too much RAM”, we are pretty sure that an average developer does not have more than 16-32 GB of memory on their systems.
You too must be somewhere in between to avoid the risk of running out of RAM while working on a sensitive project.
The amount of RAM taken up by Unreal Engine would be different for every user since the kind of work they do and the other applications running at the same time play active roles.
However, it does benefit from things like quad-channel memory and higher RAM frequency, so keep this in mind if you’re hoping for the absolute best performance from your desktop.
When working with Unreal Engine 4, both speed and space are necessary since the projects can get very large, and you wouldn’t like it if your desktop takes up too much time to access them.
There is thus no way either one of an SSD or a Hard Drive is worth it, so you’ll have to keep both.
The SSD would be used for keeping the OS and relevant software data which requires speed, while the hard drive is for everything else.
As for the size of these drives, it would depend on how big your projects are usually.
The best would be to use a 256-512 GB SSD, combined with a hard drive with above 1.5 TB of space in it. These should suffice, but you might need external drives at some point too.
Good connectivity is the next important thing that you must ensure in the desktop that you intend to use for Unreal Engine 4.
We are talking about a software here that has a variety of plug-ins, blueprints, large assets, and other things that have to be downloaded.
Therefore, the right means to connect with other devices and the Internet are extremely important here.
Unreal Engine gives you full access to all the features once you have downloaded the necessary stuff, so you have the full freedom of working offline as well.
But even then, a high bandwidth internet connection is extremely important for any developer, and the same goes for you.
This is why you’d need Ethernet connectivity as well, and it’s all the better if you have both WIFI and this, so that you can work with peace of mind.
The choice of accessories may seem insignificant, but it is very important in reality. Developing is not just visuals, it requires hours of coding and staring at a screen which can be uncomfortable.
Therefore, a good keyboard and mouse and anti-glare properties on the monitor(s) are necessities for any developer using Unreal Engine 4.
And surely, keep aside a portion of your overall budget for high-frequency monitors, since a single screen won’t be enough.
A dual, or even triple-monitor setup can be very productive when working on both coding and visual software, and it goes without mentioning that multi-tasking is going to be ever comfortable as well.
What kind of a computer do I need for Unreal Engine 4?
The type of computer that you’d need for working on Unreal Engine 4 would depend on the preferences you have regarding performance, budget, and the size of the projects you work with. Following are some of the options that you may consider:
Is 16GB RAM enough for Unreal Engine 4?
With 16 GB of RAM present on your desktop, you can easily run projects on Unreal Engine 4, but if your workload is likely to increase, then you’d need more RAM, and your desktop should have the provisions that allow you to add more memory.
How many GB is Unreal Engine 4?
The latest iteration of Unreal Engine 4 takes about 20 GB of space on your storage drive to install, but that would increase with the addition of tools, blueprints, and such. Also, when you first compile a project using these, expect a 20+ GB increase to the file size.
Any video game or any visual project as such is only as good as its creator’s imagination, and certain other skills. But other than personal attributes, one also needs a good system to work on their projects, one that doesn’t hold them back.
We hope you find such a desktop that suits your usage in Unreal Engine 4 from the ones mentioned here, and if not, the guide is available at your disposal.