Unreal for iGPU
Thursday June 25th 2020, 8:47 am
Filed under: Unreal

There are a lot of things that make Unreal appealing in an education environment—it’s free for most purposes, it’s open source, and it has great Linux support—but a common stumbling block is its performance out of the box on lower-end desktop systems with iGPUs, MacBooks in particular. Fortunately Unreal is perfectly capable of running smoothly on almost any 2010s machine if set up properly.

Step 1. If you’re starting from scratch, run the Epic Launcher and go to the Unreal Engine tab.

Step 2. Click Install Engine.

Step 3. Unreal is huge; the full install is about 30GB. If you need to save on disk space, click Options.

Step 4. Uncheck Android and iOS if you don’t need to build for those platforms.

Step 5. You’ve now cut the disk space usage nearly in half.

Step 6. Once Unreal is installed, it will start at this New Project Categories screen, which will take you through steps 7–9 one after the other. The project category determines what templates you’ll see—Games is the default category and is fine to start with.

Step 7. Here we’ve chosen a First Person template.

Step 8. Now here comes the important part: in the Project Settings, under Choose the performance characteristics…, choose Scalable 3D or 2D. This is the “low-end” graphics option.

Step 9. If you finish this tutorial and find Unreal is still running too slowly, repeat these steps with a new project and in the Project Settings, under Choose the closest equivalent target platform…, choose Mobile/Tablet. This will cause a noticeable further drop in graphics quality, so don’t use it on a desktop project unless you have to.

Step 10. As you develop your project, you can explore finer-grained control over the various quality settings. In the Modes pane under Visual Effects you’ll find the Post Process Volume object, which is a fairly friendly way to test out common rendering options.

Step 11. Once you begin working more in Unreal, you can go to Edit > Project Settings > Rendering and find all the rendering settings from the new project setup process listed individually.

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