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Multi vs single thread for gaming...running 4 games at the same time

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August 29, 2012 12:01:42 AM

i read on this site that multi thread has very little impact on gaming vs single thread. my dilemna is i will be using 2 monitors. each monitor will be running 2 games each at the same time. would multi-thread be very beneficial?

my potential build includes

i5-3570k
z77 mobo
hd 7850
psu corsair 850w modular
128g ssd (will only have a couple games that i play, others will be on a hdd)
ram corsair vengence 4x4g


please advise, the game is not graphics intensive, but i typically run at least 2 clients at the same time for any game i play. would like to be able to have 4 going at once, even if at lower settings, and be able to have just 1 client open-only 1 monitor when i want to max settings. games like WoW, Asheron's Call, Rift, SWTOR, DAOC, and recently GW2.


was on newegg checkout when it hit me "multi-thread is only good if utilizing multiple "windows"

thank you
if i should go with a different set-up any and all suggestions are more than welcomed.
a c 101 à CPUs
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August 29, 2012 2:54:07 AM

Well, each instance of the game has its own completely independent set of threads so the OS scheduler will simply spread the load across all available logical/physical cores available even if individual games are not particularly well threaded.

Multi-core usually scales very well with multi-tasking and running multiple game clients is effectively multitasking. The i5 should be able to handle this fairly well.
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August 29, 2012 3:00:24 AM

stonewarden said:
i read on this site that multi thread has very little impact on gaming vs single thread. my dilemna is i will be using 2 monitors. each monitor will be running 2 games each at the same time. would multi-thread be very beneficial?

I think it's hyperthreading you're referring to. That's simply a way for a single CPU core to have two threads of tasks going at the same time; if it runs out of data to process on one thread, it can swap to the other and keep working while it's waiting for more data to arrive from memory or the hard drive for the first thread.

Hyperthreading has very little impact on gaming; most games see no more than a few percent better performance with hyperthreading than without it. Fortunately for you, the Core i5-3570k doesn't have hyperthreading.

Running multiple games would put the four cores of the processor to good use. I don't know what game we're talking here, so depending on how demanding it is a Core i5-3570k may or may not be capable of handling that workload. But I do know that upgrading to a Core i7-3770k wouldn't help all that much, because one of the biggest differences between those two processors is hyperthreading. The Core i7-3930k etc. would be a more substantial improvement since they have 6 physical cores, but then those processors are also way more expensive.
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a c 101 à CPUs
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August 29, 2012 3:12:56 AM

Sakkura said:
I don't know what game we're talking here, so depending on how demanding it is a Core i5-3570k may or may not be capable of handling that workload. But I do know that upgrading to a Core i7-3770k wouldn't help all that much, because one of the biggest differences between those two processors is hyperthreading.

Since the OP wants to run four games at once (two monitors, two game clients each), HT would likely be put to fairly good use in this case to reduce the amount of context-switching. There would likely be enough side-threads between four games to keep i7's logical cores busy to leverage most of HT's ~30% higher total throughput.
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August 31, 2012 10:59:41 AM

i5 would be enough, You can always OC the heck out of it as well to compensate not having HT like the i7, HT isn't vary noticeable in performance and sometimes even has poor performance with HT enabled in games such as ArmA 2.

Depends on how much you want to spend, If you want to spend more for the i7, then thats the better buy, but costs more for next to no performance increase over the i5, Unless you get the i7 3930k or so. Or if your on a budget the i5 will handle your needs and then some, If you want even more OC the i5 to beyond 4ghz, Remember the i7 OCs vary good as well.

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a c 101 à CPUs
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August 31, 2012 12:06:24 PM
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Viking2121 said:
HT isn't vary noticeable in performance and sometimes even has poor performance with HT enabled in games such as ArmA 2.

The reason why HT "isn't very noticeable" in most games is because most people only run one game at a time without any major background tasks running.

Someone running FOUR games at the same time would have the 'real' cores loaded to ~100% by each of the four instances and most of the logical cores loaded with the games' other threads and the system's background activity. Single-game benchmarks are irrelevant here. If there were game benchmarks with multiple other game clients (or other compute-intensive threaded background tasks) loaded at the same time, HT would certainly come out on top.
September 7, 2012 7:03:20 AM

Best answer selected by stonewarden.
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September 7, 2012 7:12:36 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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