In a recent blog post by AMD, the company announced that Epic Game's Unreal Engine 5, which is now in early access mode and will power a new generation of games, is now fully optimized for compilation work with Ryzen Threadripper CPUs. Epic Games VP Nick Penwarden notes that using Threadripper CPUs has allowed developers to compile code in Unreal Engine 5 much quicker than ever before.
"Using Threadripper CPUs, we're able to compile the engine much more quickly than we could previously. That's a huge efficiency boost for all the engineers on the team. The less time they're spending compiling code, the more time they can spend actually developing features, testing functionality, and improving Unreal Engine 5.” - Nick Penwarden, VP of Engineering at Epic Games.
It's good to remember that Epic refers to compilation performance alone, which is completely different from actual core utilization in real gameplay. For example, Unreal Engine 4 can already utilize far more than 8-12 cores for compilation tasks, but most games running on Unreal Engine 4 can only use eight cores when it comes to actual gameplay performance.
AMD is a direct partner with Epic Games, so it isn't surprising that the company has helped enable the full Ryzen Threadripper optimizations for Unreal Engine 5 code compilation tasks. These optimizations could include CCX awareness or spanning processor groups with the Threadripper 3990X, the latter of which has caused quite the challenge with existing software that doesn't fully utilize all 64 threads.
Perhaps we could even see Unreal Engine 5 supporting core counts a full 64 cores for real gameplay. For instance, space sim Star Citizen is already being developed to utilize more than eight CPU cores. The developers of Star Citizen, CIG, have stated that the game will utilize “all available cores” once the game has been updated to a new render engine (codenamed ‘Gen12’) and swapped to the Vulkan API. The game already utilizes eight cores to the max in certain areas (on the rather old DX11 API).
In conjunction with lower-level APIs such as DX12 and Vulkan becoming widely adopted, there is a lot of opportunity for higher core count support in real gameplay. Still, AMD and Epic haven't shared that level of detail about the new engine yet.