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The future of hyper threading

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January 23, 2013 11:39:43 AM

Since Xbox 720 spec were just leaked and are rumored to include an 8 core cpu does that mean owners of hyper threading enabled processors like the 3770k my finally see an advantage in gaming performance or am I not understanding something.

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January 23, 2013 11:58:13 AM

hel1011 said:
Since Xbox 720 spec were just leaked and are rumored to include an 8 core cpu does that mean owners of hyper threading enabled processors like the 3770k my finally see an advantage in gaming performance or am I not understanding something.


If games start to support hyper threading then yes. But nothing has been "leaked" just only rumors. Not much games that I know of are being designed to use hyper threading. And the rumors are that its releasing with 8 core CPU that are all physical and not 4 physical 4 virtual.
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January 23, 2013 2:22:55 PM

The problem with hyper-threading or additional core support is the fact that they are very hard to program for. Right now most multi-threaded games are broken down to support three threads. One for the physics, one for graphics and the last one for the sound; after that it becomes much harder to figure out how to break the program up to be run on additional cores.
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January 23, 2013 2:28:40 PM

That's the main reason for I7 to be an overkill for gaming. You just can't utilize the potential of 8 threads (god forbid 6 cored I7 :D  ).
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January 23, 2013 2:28:58 PM

By the time most games support hyperthreading there will be a new, faster, cheaper processor. Just get what you can get today and upgrade in a few years if needed.
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January 23, 2013 2:56:46 PM

First off, HTT is a VERY weak form of SMT; only about 20% performance gains, but at a very low die cost (EG: Cheap to implement).

The main problem is that while it is easy to make reasonably independent threads (games generally have 50+ going at one time), only a handful (3-4) are going to do any meaningful amount of work. As a result, 2-3 cores end up doing the vast amount of processing, while the others handle the lower-volume threads. Hence why getting more then a quad is a questionable purchasing decision.
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January 23, 2013 3:22:21 PM

Having used an i7(Nehalem) for a number of years and more recently an i5(Ivy), there is a definite advantage under moderate to heavy multitasking to have HT. It's easier to bog down an i5 than an i7. The GUI remains more responsive with an i7.

The higher memory bandwidth of the older i7 probably has something to do with that. Triple channel vs Dual channel.
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January 23, 2013 6:42:58 PM

^^ Which makes sense, as you can dispatch the I/O tasks to the unused cores, thus removing some latency on processing I/O. Its not a high usage task by any means, but it shows up in "smoothness".
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