With the rise of gaming in Europe, games are not only keeping gamers busy in the comfort of their own homes, but developers are also busy creating these worlds from the comfort of their own homes. However, productivity is at stake when the pandemic forces developers and engineers to work remotely rather than centrally and collaboratively within the company. Due to the limitations of the computer hardware most often used at home, teams often have less time to create and test new features. This requires more powerful technology that can keep up with the demands so that teams are able to focus their time and talent on more creative, higher value work and not just sit idly by while compiling or encoding.
AMD has announced a new case study with Epic Games – the company behind Fortnite as well as the Unreal Engine 4 used in The Mandalorian, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, HBO’s Game of Thrones and Westworld. Ultimately, staying at the forefront of the game development industry requires a combination of creative flair and strategic implementation of technology that helps teams embrace remote work. This is exactly what Epic wanted to achieve with AMD and has.
Epic Games needed to allow engineers to work quickly and effectively from home, and began using Threadripper and Threadripper PRO workstations. The new Threadripper CPUs have many cores / threads and offer so much speed that the engineers and developers of the team could work on multiple projects at the same time – unlike before.
“While users in the office could save 10 to 15 minutes,” said Pat Swanson, an IT engineer at Epic Games, “users at home could save hours. After that, many users were so excited about the numbers their peers were getting that they went out and bought their own Threadripper CPUs for their setups at home.”
The Epic team reports that the move to Threadripper CPUs has created a lot of buzz. “There’s nothing else that compares to what the Threadripper 3990X CPU does at any price point,” Swanson says. “I could ask another manufacturer to send me a $20,000 chip and the Threadripper will still match or beat it. It’s not that money is a constraint here, but the value for money is skewed. It’s a no-brainer.”
Speeding up workflows Epic
Games needed to streamline the code compilation process and achieve faster iteration and shading times. The ability to compile and iterate code quickly was critical to quality, but the team simply couldn’t find a solution that offered both a high clock rate and high parallelism.
Replacing the previous workstation CPUs with AMD Ryzen Threadripper was “a game changer.” In an internal engine build test of software executables for the Unreal Engine, competing CPUs took 46 minutes and 43 seconds, while a 32-core Threadripper 3970X took just 15 minutes and 12 seconds – less than a third of the time.
“With Threadripper, we’re able to compile the engine much faster than before,” said Nick Penwarden, VP of Engineering at Epic Games. “This is a huge efficiency boost for all the engineers on the team. The less time they have to spend compiling code, the more time they can spend actually developing features, testing functionality, and working to improve the Unreal Engine.”epic-games
Source: AMD / Epic Games