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For gaming, how do I make the most out of a X2 CPU?

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November 2, 2006 8:45:53 PM

I have read some posts about setting the affinity of one CPU for a game and the other CPU for everything else? Is this BS? But if a game does not take atvantege of a dual core CPU, like NWN2, etc., is there a way to get more out of your system? I have the AMD drivers installed.

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November 2, 2006 9:43:02 PM

I'm not sure (but I bet someone else on this thread will be) but games/applications need to be created multithreaded to really take advantage of a dual-core processor. If not, just one core can be used to run the game (the other can run Skype or virus protection). Core 2 Duo processors have a shared L2 Cache rather than a dedicated cache like previous generations of dual-core processors. This shared cache can make single threaded games run great too.
November 2, 2006 9:43:50 PM

what about overclocking?
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November 2, 2006 10:19:18 PM

You've got a nice CPU and graphics card - is your setup struggling with NWN2?
November 2, 2006 10:20:59 PM

Even with single threaded games (and other apps), you will still see some benefit because your second core will be handling all of your other processing needs (e.g. OS, services, anti-virus etc).
November 2, 2006 10:30:21 PM

Quote:
Even with single threaded games (and other apps), you will still see some benefit because your second core will be handling all of your other processing needs (e.g. OS, services, anti-virus etc).


OK, but does it do this automatically?

And about NWN2, if it had come in the mail, I likely would not be posting this question. :)  While I wait, I am stuck either playing Titan Quest, tweaking/testing my system, or posting here.
November 2, 2006 10:31:06 PM

Quote:
I have read some posts about setting the affinity of one CPU for a game and the other CPU for everything else? Is this BS? But if a game does not take atvantege of a dual core CPU, like NWN2, etc., is there a way to get more out of your system? I have the AMD drivers installed.


There are several things you can do. Setting affinity only tells that app what CPU to use.

SLI or XFire would give you bette scores, but your clock seems to be at about 2.8GHz so you are at the limit of the CPU. Perhaps an X1950 or 7950GT OC would do well, but you may want to wait for 8800 and R600.

ANother idea maybe to go to X64 Pro, which is more efficient with memory (though the overhead is higher). It supports NUMA (non uniform memory access) which keeps the RAM data closer to the executing CPU.


A new GPU, though, is your best bet.
November 2, 2006 10:44:36 PM

I am not sure if you the second core will automatically be used for other processes. I assume that Windows would be smart enough to use the underutilized core when it needs processing power.
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