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Multi-cores, multi-threading and the future of gaming

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  • Games
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April 28, 2012 6:49:07 PM

Question: Are programmers going to continue to develop games that use multi cores and threading?

I don't know what I am talking about and I am looking to learn more. So please feel free to post some links that can help out. I have been learning that programmers are starting to integrate the use of more cores in their games. They make it sound like it's difficult to program a game to use hyper-threading. I am assuming that multi-core and hyper-threading are two different things. I know that some games use hyper-threading like Dirt III. As you can read here, I am confused. I would like to know if you guys have some insight as to what the future is going to be as far as gaming is concerned.

Thanks in advance,

Jim

More about : multi cores multi threading future gaming

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April 28, 2012 7:30:28 PM

Only one game is known to actually perform better with more cores (battlefield 3) however, games are becoming more and more gpu dependent. So developers will focus on developing their games to be more optimized on either nvidia or amd's graphics architectures.
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April 28, 2012 8:13:03 PM

This is how it goes with gaming a lot: Every year new games require more CPU power, but most CPUs can already handle the load if you buy a modern CPU. Games are really focusing on the graphics though, so if you buy a good quad core (I would suggest an ivy bridge i5 because so are right around the corner) and then just upgrade the graphics card you should be fine. The current line of Sandy Bridge CPUs are great and will last years to come because games just don't need all the power they provide. If you are looking for an upgrade and already have a decent CPU the graphics is where you should be looking. :) 
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April 28, 2012 9:55:49 PM

The vast majority of games still only use two cores. The number of games that can use more than two core will be rather small in comparison.

Still a quad core CPU can benefit games that only use 2 or 3 cores since the background processes can make use of the free core(s). It also allows you to multi-task while playing a game, like encoding a video.
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April 29, 2012 5:46:39 PM

So does anyone know, or can they know, if game developers are going to start using multi-threading in their future games?
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April 29, 2012 6:16:09 PM

voodooking said:
So does anyone know, or can they know, if game developers are going to start using multi-threading in their future games?


yes and no. while new consoles are rumored to have six core CPUs, they will be provided by IBM (as are current xbox/PS consoles). consoles use low powered PSU so the CPUs also need to be very efficient. CPUs like the i3-2100 will still be viable as gaming CPUs even with these new consoles.
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April 29, 2012 7:37:00 PM

Does anyone know the costs involved in taking a game and reprogramming it with Hyper-threading? Of course reasoning that if the costs are too high then it won't be worth reprogamming the games.
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a c 146 à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
April 29, 2012 7:55:13 PM

voodooking said:
Does anyone know the costs involved in taking a game and reprogramming it with Hyper-threading?

The main choke point for games is the control loop that manage user interactions. Since almost everything in the game depends on the outcome of user interactions and calculating those outcomes may have multiple inter-dependencies, trying to multi-thread that code would result in multiple threads being stalled on mutexes most of the time, little to no net gain and much higher potential for bugs to creep up.
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April 29, 2012 8:03:38 PM

Best answer selected by voodooking.
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