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Star Citizen Now Requires AVX Support, Killing off Intel Pentium Platforms

(Image credit: Cloud Imperium Games)

Starting with the new Alpha 3.11 patch, Star Citizen officially requires AVX instruction support if you want to play the game. This means all CPUs predating Sandy Bridge and AMD's Bulldozer architecture are no longer supported. Even worse, all of Intel's modern Celeron and Pentium CPUs (including the latest generation) can't run the game as they do not support AVX instructions, either. 

That's a problem that's artificially created by Intel's segmentation practices. There's very little reason not to include AVX instruction support on these budget chips as AVX has become more popular since its creation. However, that should change in the future as Intel is adding support for AVX to its forthcoming low-power chips

In a Spectrum post from CIG explaining the new AVX requirement, many people were very disappointed. Apparently, there's a decently large player base that runs Star Citizen on lower-end hardware, from Core 2 Quads and first-gen Core i7s to modern-day Pentiums and Celerons. These people will have no choice but to upgrade to modern hardware if they want to continue to play the game. 

But this shouldn't be a big surprise: The scope and scale of Star Citizen are utterly gigantic, and the game is incredibly CPU-intensive in it's busiest areas. Adding AVX instructions to the engine is probably a good move by CIG to help increase CPU performance. 

For now, there's no word from CIG on creating an SSE compatibility layer for AVX instructions on older CPUs, but the chances of that are probably nill. There's little incentive for CIG to implement a compatibility layer as the game requires high-performance systems in the first place to run the game at playable frame rates (and all of today's CPUs that qualify support AVX instructions). Plus, the player base that runs the game on 10-year-old hardware is very small and will get smaller as time goes on.

  • nofanneeded
    Chris Roberts should use this game Engine for a new Wing Commander game .. maybe the start of the universe when the Kilrathy Attacked the Human race ... or Just Wing Commander triology remake ...
    Reply
  • Thomas Wells
    nofanneeded said:
    Chris Roberts should use this game Engine for a new Wing Commander game .. maybe the start of the universe when the Kilrathy Attacked the Human race ... or Just Wing Commander triology remake ...
    Lol and get $200 million more and never actually finish the game.
    Reply
  • derekullo
    Thomas Wells said:
    Lol and get $200 million more and never actually finish the game.
    xdMYrnYxhD4:115View: https://youtu.be/xdMYrnYxhD4?t=115
    Chris Roberts made a few other games too...
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    Thomas Wells said:
    Lol and get $200 million more and never actually finish the game.

    Wing Commander game can be done easy and very fast unlike open online gaming .. and the engine is ready for it . and this time would be cheaper to make, no more real Acting and hiring expensive paid actors/actresses . 3D animation is even better and can do impossible cutscenes

    The Original Wing Command lacked online story mode , where your wings men help you in battle ...

    Also , I find Wing Commander story interesting. and the beginning of the story can make a cool trilogy .
    Reply
  • jkflipflop98
    That's basically what Squadron31 is. It's the new Wing Commander.
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    I mean, many 2020 releases won't run well on a dual core anyhow...
    Reply
  • jamezdclark
    I would love to see SC running on any Pentium cpu. FFS. No one is doing that. This is not news.
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    I dont get it , why GPUs dont have any Vector units ?
    Reply
  • CerianK
    I likely won't be playing Star Citizen, but I get where some of the disappointment in the forums is coming from... my old workstation that I turned into a gaming rig runs an OC'd Xeon W3690 with no AVX. I doubt it would struggle with SC, but I am assuming that there are few other non-AVX CPUs available (still in common use) that are in its performance class.

    Regardless, it may not be horribly difficult to create/maintain a parallel non-AVX code-path, depending on how extensively they have implemented AVX. Personally, I hate writing AVX code (using C with GCC in Linux), and cannot easily read my own AVX code for debugging once it it written (though I'm not very good with C, in general anyway).
    Reply
  • Darkbreeze
    Star citizen was never going to be playable with any of those CPUs anyhow. Not really.
    Reply