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E8400 (or any dual core) and number of threads (multi threading)

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by MaxAwesome, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. MaxAwesome

    MaxAwesome

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    I'm the proud owner of an intel E8400, and as it has 2 cores, it can run 2 simultaneous threads (Core architecture does not have hyperthreading as you know).

    I'm not very worried about this CPU performing well in future games, because I honestely believe this CPU can stand its own for at least another couple of years.

    Still, I have a question: When games come that use 2+ threads (there are probably a few out there), how well will this CPU handle them? Let's suppose you run a game that spawns 4 threads: Of course a Quad will perform better because it can dedicate each of its cores to each thread, but would a dual perfom badly? Would it be overwhelmed, or despite the fact the it has 2 cores, could it handle 4 threads reasonably? (of course I don't expect it to be on Quad level).

    despite of having 2 cores, could this CPU's speed sort of make up for handling 4 threads and still mantain an acceptable level of perfomance?

    PS: I once posted a question in this forum asking for opinions on this particular CPU, and its ability to handle games until 2011, and the general consensus was that it would, but at the time I didn't ask specifically about the number of threads a game spawns and how that can have an impact on perfomance.

    And yeah, I know I shoudln't be worried, because this CPU still has at the very least 2 years of gaming power in it. E8400 may be one of the best Intel chips ever!
     
  2. Kursah

    Kursah

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    I wouldn't worry too much about it, sure more games are coming out that support SMP/multithread, which is fine, but if it detects only 2 CPU's it should only allow 2 threads. So while you might not have that "extra" performance, don't expect to completely lose out either. Also on performance, that will come down to if it's a port, how well it's been coded, how well it is supported by things like your VGA drivers, how much RAM you have I feel is more important...4GB is the standard way to go anymore...when someone talks about building a gaming rig, I always recommend 4GB of DDR2 800-1066, really you don't need faster that 800 CL4 for gaming, but some like the higher numbers...usually OC-ers like myself :p !

    What about the rest of your system? A cpu is important while gaming sure, but a GPU is more important and having enough RAM to keep things going at full speed is definately important. I recommend you fill out your system specs in User CP, at the top it will have an option to allow to show system specs or not, make sure you change it as it defaults to not showing.

    :toast:
     
  3. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Yes, a dual-core chip will handle 4 threads reasonably well. Especially, a high clocked dual-core chip. However, once games start to use 4 major work threads, a quad will definitely crush a dual core, even a highly clocked one.

    The same concerns were raised when the first dual core processors started hitting the shelves, people with single core processors wanted to know if they would handle games. Well look at the situation now; I wouldn't want to play any modern game on a single core processor, but that doesn't mean modern games aren't at least playable on some of the higher end single core processors.

    I think the gaming industry is going to move very quickly into the quad-core era over the next 2 years. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't start seeing games that pretty much require a quad core to run by the end of the year. Especially with gamers wanting and expecting more realism, particularly physic. (hell GTA:IV is already pretty much there, but that is a special case)

    Generally, just as a rule of thumb for myself, I look at a big name title. I look at the recommended specs for that game, and assume that those will be the required specs a year from when it was released. I know that is probably overkill, but that is just what I do to judge.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
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  4. crazy pyro

    crazy pyro New Member

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    Not a bad way to judge though Newtekie.
     
  5. MaxAwesome

    MaxAwesome

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    A CPU generation usually lasts over its successor's generation, right?

    Examples: Pentium D still plays games, even though its successor, the Core2 family, is now at the end of it's cycle.

    So, given that I have much more things to put my money on, than constant computer upgrades, I expect my E8400 to at least keep me gaming through the Core i7/5 genaration, and in 2 or 3 years i will jump on the new bandwagon.

    Seems reasonable, no?

    I highly doubt a solid core 2 Duo liike the E8400 will lose its gaming juice in the next 2 years. Of course it will be a bit far from being the top performer, but by 2011 I'll still see this baby kicking!

    PS: the only logical step in the next 3 years for me, would be to keep upgrading the GPU and RAM accordingly. But this CPU is gonna have to last 3 years one way or another lol :) I simply don't feel the necessity to waste money on complete system overhauls every year.
     
  6. Kursah

    Kursah

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    Really I wouldn't worry too much about CPU utilization, sure games will always want and take more every year, but a solid e8400 running at an easy 3.6GHz on 400FSB with less than 1.30v (every e8400 I've OC'd in builds) is plenty for modern day gaming with enough oommph for the future. When it's not enough, you'll know.

    Plus in 2-3 years, I7 and i5 stuff will be well tuned, bugs will be fixed, better revisions out, better prices, more choices, etc...it's a good way to go!

    :toast:
     
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  7. Katanai

    Katanai

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