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What depicts whether a game is CPU or GPU based?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 17, 2013 4:17:19 AM

I hear a lot about how games like FSX, KSP and LoL are CPU based but games like Far Cry 3, Crysis 3 and ArmA III are GPU based/dependent.
What depicts whether a game relies on CPU or CPU more?
Please explain like I'm five lol
August 17, 2013 4:22:48 AM

You can't often tell whether a game relies on the CPU or GPU more, but most games tend to prefer the GPU. Usually MMOs and RTS type games are more stressing on the CPU, so games with very large maps or with a lot of character models on the screen at once.

I'd count ARMA as a CPU based game as well, Crysis on the other hand is just killer for both CPU and GPU.
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August 17, 2013 4:35:31 AM

The designers ..... some are both.... that is a game may be limited by GFX card in single player mode but limited by CPU in multi player mode.
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August 17, 2013 4:48:59 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
The designers ..... some are both.... that is a game may be limited by GFX card in single player mode but limited by CPU in multi player mode.


I guess I mean... Which 'Aspects' of a game effect it.
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August 17, 2013 4:53:36 AM

Games with more models on screen or more expansive game play (like real time strategy, MMO's) generally are CPU bound because they have more work to do in the scene before they send the scene over to your video card.

Games that are more simple scenes or that use less models and less need of large scale AI but have lots of high res textures and visual effects tend to be more GPU bound since the CPU doesn't need to spend time processing the scene data but the video card has to process all the textures and effects.

In a good number of cases console port style games where they take a fairly simple game and throw a nice texture pack on it and then release it on PC become reliant on video cards more than processors because the game is designed to run on low powered consoles anyway and just has some flashy graphics slapped on top to make a PC version. That's not always the case, but seems to be a general trend.

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August 17, 2013 4:57:39 AM

kaio37k said:
JackNaylorPE said:
The designers ..... some are both.... that is a game may be limited by GFX card in single player mode but limited by CPU in multi player mode.


I guess I mean... Which 'Aspects' of a game effect it.


Large environments, high polygon count models, large number of models, real time physics simulations all put increased stress on the CPU. Some games such as these are very well optimized for multi-threading, some are not. This is what makes all the difference in the end whether a game will be CPU based or not.

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August 17, 2013 5:02:44 AM

hizodge said:
kaio37k said:
JackNaylorPE said:
The designers ..... some are both.... that is a game may be limited by GFX card in single player mode but limited by CPU in multi player mode.


I guess I mean... Which 'Aspects' of a game effect it.


Large environments, high polygon count models, large number of models, real time physics simulations all put increased stress on the CPU. Some games such as these are very well optimized for multi-threading, some are not. This is what makes all the difference in the end whether a game will be CPU based or not.



You've got an answer for all my questions :D  Thanks again!
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