Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

Quad Core Processors and Games

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

After listening to Leo Laporte’s UGM (ultimate gaming machine) discussion on TwitLive last night, I pondered the question of best choice for a new UGM.  I am running an Intel Q6600 (quad core 2.4 ghz) processor and have been pleased with it’s performance.

There was a spirited discussion on the show of which would be better – a Q9770 ($1400 3.2 ghz quad) or an  E8500 ($277 3.16 ghz dual core).  There was a common opinion that current games don’t make use of a Quad – that quads are for the future.  However, I experimented around Christmas time with this very issue and found that both Supreme Commander and Crysis did make use of 4 cores.  I posted in the chat room that Crysis did max out 4 cores (as I remembered) but after trying this out again – I was wrong. However, Crysis does make use of 4 cores and I do get a satisfying frame rate on my Q6600/8800GT combo.


Here is what my Q6600 utilization is while running Crysis at 1280×1024.  Not maxing out, but more than 2 cores are used. The third and fourth cores seem to get active when guns are fired – tracers, etc. Here is a post on the subject : Intel and Crysis Developers comments on Quad Core – Toms Hardware.


Supreme Commander

This is one of the first games to support a quad core processor. In the following run – I had 2 monitors displaying 1280×1024 and a very large scenario (8 players – 1000 units per). Notice that the four cores are not maxed out, but they are definitely in use. The second core is less loaded than the others but is still in use.



Games that Support Quad Core

Here is the list I found of current games that support a quad core:

Games and Dual/Quad Core Support

From the list:

Games that take advantage of Quad Core:
Alan Wake
Company of Heroes
Far Cry 2
Half-life 2: Episode 2
Hellgate: London
Lost Planet
Microsft Flight Sim X
Rainbow Six Vegas
Source Engine
Splinter Cell Double Agent
Supreme Commander
Unreal Engine 3
Unreal Tournament 3