07-11-2005, 05:35 PM
I was wondering if the cost of a dual processor ie: AMD X2, is really worth the extra expense?
Would we really see a substantial performance increase playing a game like Vanguard or are these new processors best suited just for running multiple apps/programs?
I've read a few articles and reviews on THG but it's all very confusing lol.
07-11-2005, 06:43 PM
There are also good dual-core processor articles on these sites, if you want to read more...
Basically, in the simplest terms, the answer is no, dual-core processors don't provide a performance advantage in current games. But nothing is ever that simple. ;)
Right now, most games are not designed to take advantage of dual-core processors. So...in those cases where the game is running all by itself on the computer, a single-core processor at 2.4GHz (just an example) and a dual-core processor at 2.4GHz will perform exactly the same in games.
The thing is, a single game is almost never the only thing running on a computer. Most people have at the very least anti-virus software... and maybe some chat program, plus any other apps in the system tray, plus plus plus. You get the idea.
In those situations, a dual-core processor will perform better than a single-core at the same clock speed because the load of various background programs can be shared between the two cores (windows handles this automatically).
Then you come to a discussion of... THE FUTURE(tm). Most people buy a computer figuring it will last them a couple years at least. Games and other applications will begin to be written to take advantage of dual-core processors, and when that happens, dual-core should outperform a similarly clocked single-core by a good margin.
In short, it's all about the software, and how it utilizes the processor.
Is it worth the money? That's a tough question, and a personal one. Basically, you have to decide three things...
1)Do you have enough money for dual-core in the first place?
2)Are you going to be running things in the background of your games? (most people do...but some more than others)
3)Are you interested in the idea of being ready for multi-threaded games when they arrive? (keep in mind that single-core processors will still work for these new games, just slower)
The truth is, it's something you have to decide for yourself (dual-core or single-core). Either way you decide, I feel AMD processors are the better choice right now, especially if you pick dual-core and want to play games.
As far as Vanguard goes, we just don't know. It is possible that parts of Vanguard are being designed to take advantage of multi-threading to improve performance. We've heard a rumor that the animation system may do just that. Vanguard is based on the Unreal Engine 2.x, which is not multi-threaded...BUT... Sigil has heavily modified it, and we do know that the upcoming Unreal 3.0 Engine DOES utilize multi-threading for things like animation, AI, and physics.
Also, Sigil seems to be including systems designed by other companies (like Speedtree), and we don't know whether or not some of those systems may just come with multi-threading and plug right into the Vanguard engine. So... it is certainly possible that Vanguard may be one of the first games that really utilizes dual-core... or it may be one of the last that doesn't. Just something to keep in mind. ;)
07-11-2005, 10:40 PM
As always Fozzik, nice write up.
07-11-2005, 11:57 PM
Beauty! Thanks Fozzik, I'm feeling a bit more comfortable and confident with this new technology. :)
I don't mind paying a premium to base my next rig around an AMD dual processor, so long as I see a decent performance boost to my gaming experience to justify the costs. :) heh
As an aside, I've been a loyal Intel customer for over 10 years but my next build (in preperation for Vangaurd) will be an AMD.
Thanks again mate
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