Archive for the ‘Windows XP’ 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

Testing With Different Versions Of IE

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Microsoft releases VPC versions of IE (6, 7 and 8 ) for testing.  Here is the link to the Official IE Blog

4 Gig, Windows XP and Too Many Windows

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

I have a Q6600 system (quad core) with 4 gig of memory (3.5 gig usable), Windows XP 32 bit and could not understand why I had trouble opening more than 10 or 20 IE windows without  weird issues in the desktop.  I’d be missing portions of the UI, couldn’t bring up windows and generally things slowed to a crawl. How could that be with lots of free VM as reported by the task manager?

Well the answer is a tuning parameter that limits how much memory a given desktop application can utilize. This blog post from 2004 describes the problem in detail and has the fix! Windows XP flakiness – solved

I set my SharedSection value to 8096 and I can now open 30 IE windows with no issues. This has bugged me for months and the problem was forming a proper Google search to find this post. Thank you Kevin Dente!