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Time to go Quad/Nehalem?

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August 3, 2009 5:16:48 PM

According to this link Resident Evil 5 recommends a Quad Core processor. I know that for now most games do very well on a Dual Core but is this an early sign of what's to come?

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a c 83 à CPUs
August 3, 2009 5:39:08 PM

A number of game engines already out benefit from quad core, and most console ports will probably support quad core as consoles are multithreaded.
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August 3, 2009 5:51:28 PM

Well from now on most games that use a modern engine will benefit from 4 or more cores, but some developers started making their games years ago and probably started with an engine that would only use 1 or 2 cores so some new games (using older engines) may not benefit from quad-core.
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a c 102 à CPUs
August 3, 2009 6:16:38 PM

vizering said:
According to this link Resident Evil 5 recommends a Quad Core processor. I know that for now most games do very well on a Dual Core but is this an early sign of what's to come?


I would say it is a sign of what's to come. Back in the day, CPUs got more powerful over time mostly by just increasing the clock speed. That led to the big "MHz race" in the '90s when CPUs went from about 33 MHz in 1990 to 1.5 GHz in 2000. Yeah, you would see CPUs get more powerful on occasion by improving the number of instructions the CPU could execute per clock cycle, but that generally only happened when a new CPU architecture debuted every five years or so. But most of the performance came from the clock speed boosts given by shrinking the transistors. That worked fine and dandy until clock speeds got high enough that the CPUs suddenly started to dissipate north of 100 watts and were difficult to cool. Clock speeds became stagnant and CPU makers went to work in increasing the number of instructions a CPU could execute per clock cycle to increase performance without needing to increase clock speeds very much. The easiest way to increase the number of instructions a CPU can execute per clock cycle is to increase the number of CPUs, so dual-core and now 4- and 6-core CPUs were born. We are still very much limited by thermal issues, so clock speeds will just inch up like they have been for the past several years while the number of cores will keep increasing. I think a good sign of this is the fact that AMD is going to debut a 12-core CPU in about six months.
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August 3, 2009 6:26:05 PM

MU_Engineer said:
I would say it is a sign of what's to come. Back in the day, CPUs got more powerful over time mostly by just increasing the clock speed. That led to the big "MHz race" in the '90s when CPUs went from about 33 MHz in 1990 to 1.5 GHz in 2000. Yeah, you would see CPUs get more powerful on occasion by improving the number of instructions the CPU could execute per clock cycle, but that generally only happened when a new CPU architecture debuted every five years or so. But most of the performance came from the clock speed boosts given by shrinking the transistors. That worked fine and dandy until clock speeds got high enough that the CPUs suddenly started to dissipate north of 100 watts and were difficult to cool. Clock speeds became stagnant and CPU makers went to work in increasing the number of instructions a CPU could execute per clock cycle to increase performance without needing to increase clock speeds very much. The easiest way to increase the number of instructions a CPU can execute per clock cycle is to increase the number of CPUs, so dual-core and now 4- and 6-core CPUs were born. We are still very much limited by thermal issues, so clock speeds will just inch up like they have been for the past several years while the number of cores will keep increasing. I think a good sign of this is the fact that AMD is going to debut a 12-core CPU in about six months.


I get the idea. So it games ready for release in 2010 were in development years ago, wouldn't going Quad Core be jumping the gun? Doesn't sound like it is too popular just yet.
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August 3, 2009 6:53:10 PM

Vizering....There are games that already know tri or quad core. Are almost 3 years since the first quad core so it's normal to have more and more games that know quad.
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August 3, 2009 7:10:14 PM

and quite a few games have patches so that they can use Quad cores.

infact, FSX went a few steps further and can now support 256 cores/threads.
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August 3, 2009 7:25:38 PM

Which games support Quad Core?
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August 3, 2009 7:42:47 PM

If I remember correctly Supreme Commander, Company of Heroes, Fear, Unreal T 3, GTA 4, Crysis, Hellgate: London,etc
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August 3, 2009 9:07:11 PM

That's quite a few more than I had thought. I'm really surprised to see Hellgate on that list.
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