What is this about games being single threaded???


Mar 4, 2008
Everybody talks about games being silglethreaded and not being able to use more than 1 or 2 cores.

I have a Athlon X2 processor and if game would use only one core I would expect high usage on one core and low on second. But they are similary utilized when gaming. What's more even on my friends Q6600 all 4 cores are evenly used while I would expect 1 or 2 cores to be heavily loaded and rest near iddling.

So I opened Task manager and added column to show threads for processes and started firing off some games. What I saw is 24- 34 threads depending on game. Games tested include: Flatout 2, Grid, NFS Pro Street, MoH Airbourne, Crysis. Even Windows Minesweeper showed 8 threads.

So why higher clocked dual cores are doing better in games than quads. I could understand that one of those game threads are requiring lot of processing and rest just a little. But then I would still see one core at 100% or near and rest with low usage on others.

The only thing that comes in to mind is that windows is not keeping threads on the same core all the time but swapping them around all the time and lot of time is lost on jumping from core to core. And on dual core less jumping is required and happens faster because of higher clock. In which case option to manually assign threads to cores would be nice to keep them from jumping.

Please help me understand this! Any comments welcome.


Apr 9, 2008

It is my God given right, my Cynical agenda.

On a more serious note. Have been largely discussed in this forums that vista doesn a diferent management from XP on multi-core CPUS. That might cause to you to see 8 threads.

But the performance bump given by Vista alone its worthless. Like 64 bits compiled games, parallel computing is still a bit far from being mainstream. It might run, it might even look like its filling all the gaps, but it is not optimized for it. I think you better dig up a bit more. Check the CPU forums for posts on multi-threading. you will find plenty of info.

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