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How many Cores do games nowadays perform well with?

ok i know its been answered numerous times already but i have to ask how many cores do games nowadays use to perform at optimum levels? Single, Dual or Quad?

the reason i asked is that he newer AMD 890 chipsets have it in the BIOS to Unlock Cores but this function also seems to allow cores to be LOCKED, in my case i was able to lock 3 Cores of my X4 955 and i had 1 Core(Core unlock requires 1 core to be left unlocked since the system needs it to run)

so will game perform better if i LOCK cores then overclock the core i wana use and what would be better Dual core or only One core active? or will leaving all 4 cores unlocked be better for games?
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about cores games nowadays perform with
  1. It depends on the game.

    Dual core is an absolute minimum.
    FSX, GTA4, and some newer game will prefer a quad core, but the vast majority of games will run better on a higher clocked CPU regardless of the number of cores.

    I would always suggest getting a quad core and OCing if needed. Look to the future!
  2. Best answer
    Uh, Mi1ez, he's already got a quad core and is asking if turning some cores off will make games run better. :)

    @xtian63 - no, turning off cores will not make any game run faster. Unless heat is your limiting factor on your CPU overclock, the chance of turning off a core improving your overclock is virtually nil. Nearly every modern game needs a dual core at least, and in a recent Toms test, most benefitted from a third core too. If you're running your quad with all four cores active then the game can use 2/3 and that leaves 1/2 to do background stuff so your FPS won't be hurt when your anti-virus or Windows decides it needs to do something.

    If CPU temperature is your limiting factor on your overclock, then possibly disabling a core might gain you a slightly higher stable overclock, but only trying it on your system will tell you if that extra few MHz is worth the loss of a core on that particular game. My money would be on "no", but each system overclocks differently and each game requires different things from a CPU, so the only way to test this is to try it.

    All that said, for 99% of games on 99% of systems the limiting factor is the graphics card - are you running dual 5970's or something similar? If not, your CPU will not be limiting you outside of (possibly) FSX.

    My advice - leave all 4 cores active, overclock them as much as you can if CPU power is holding you back, and enjoy your system! :)
  3. Most new games are using at least 4 cores now. [Dragon Age, Bad Company 2, GTA 4, etc)
  4. I agree with confused stu, leave them all unlocked and overclock them if you need more power. If heat is a problem look into getting a good heat sink, they make a difference.
  5. Best answer selected by xtian63.
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