What games use multi core best


Jul 3, 2011
I noticed that Tom's normally dedicates part of each game perf review to CPU performance. Typically what they show is something like BF3's where you want at least dual core and probably 2.5GhZ or so...Anything beyond that typically makes little difference.

What games has anyone seen benchmarked that actually benefits from a core count beyond 2.

The main one that I know of is Civ5 for the time it takes between player turns and this was also a factor of map size. I have seen reviews that said it made the between turn go faster and have experienced it first hand when I went from an Athlon X2 to a phenom II X3 in that in late game situations it went through turns much faster (although still not fast).

I imagine that it is typically only Strategy games (turn and real time) that use lots of cores effectively as they really have a lot more things to control. However, I don't think TW: shogun 2 is impacted as much but I think that is because it barely supports dual.

Anyhow just wondering what games have actually been coded to allow people to take advantage of 4 or 6 cores for more then just a 1 or 2% gain.


Jul 3, 2011

I did a bit of searching and although a lot of games suggest you have 4 cores that is not always very helpful. benchmarks I read could be interpreted as follows (mainly from old Tom's articles)

BF3 -2 core
Skyrim - 2 core
Rage - 2 core
Deus Ex - 4 core
Duke Nukem - 3 core
Witcher 2 - 4+ core
Crysis 2 Ultra settings - 3 fast cores
Bulletstrorm - 3 core

The other thing about most of these tests is they were at 1280 by 1024 and I imagine the impact might be less significant at 1920 by 1080 but I suppose there is still an inherent right amount of cores.

This does not really seem like 4 core is king (then again 3 core chips are a super small minority so anything beyond 2 should probably be considered 4)...still seems like 2 core for about half, but none really showing benefit of 6.


Aug 3, 2011
oh i thought most uses 4, didnt know that, i suppose most games use 2 then

i know MW3 uses 4 though ;) I expected more then 2 cores from BF3
all your looking at is minimum requirements most of them games actually use 2-4 threads so can be run in theory on a dual core but. if you run them on a quad they will run better. hyper threading will allow 2 threads to run on 1 core but its never gonna be as good or as fast as running each thread on a dedicated core.
bf3 and skyrim both prefer 4 cores but will work on 2 most new games for the last year and a half have required a real minimum of 3 cores, yes they will run on 2 but prefer 3 to run smoothly...

im not sure what your getting at with your post but i can tell you for certain its better to have a quad core and run a game on it that only requires a dual. than to have a dual core and find out that the game would run better on a quad...

as for speed the minimum recommended is 2.4 for intel and 2.6 for amd if you can get 3.0 or more you will see a marked improvement in some games in the overall smoothness of animation and flow. using slower cpus will result in audio De-syncing frame skipping and juddered movement of on screen animation.
gfx still have to be processed by the cpu b4 they are passed on to the gpu and this is why you need a fast as you can get cpu... yes there is diminishing returns but not until you get past 3.2-3.6 ghz depending on the game... also the faster the cpu can go the more bandwidth it will allow b4 it bottlenecks. so its always better to have a fast cpu even if its a dual core...

currently there are about 3 games that can run on more than 4 cores but they are very specific in what they use the extra cores 4. most will use at least 1 extra for sound and another to run something like a havoc physics engine... when they are limited to a dual or quad the game will turn these features off and just rely on onboard sound or reduced physics effects... frostbite engine may when its fully developed dedicate more than a single core to physics same with cryengine... both games use cpu to do physics because there not constrained to x86 code like nvidia physx is. this is why physx has pretty much hit a brick wall while other engines pore it on with mass destruction...
physics is a cloth and dirt engine while frostbite, havok, cryengine can crumple buildings. for such a high profile api it really has been limited by nvidias refusal to move away from the limits x86 imposes...


I'd really love to know where you got your info from
just going off what i have found to be true, by actually playing games. games that are cpu bound prefer faster cores as for the nvidia stuff... its on the web... and in games that use physx... batman is the latest. wheres the destruction ... nope thats rite its all about the flow of his cape while in frostbite they blow up entire buildings.