Why do people keep buying quad cores for gaming?

dssdghthd

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Anywhere you read, you'll find everyone is recommending quad cores for gaming, and they will always claim that dual core i3's will bottleneck. Even on the blizzard starcraft 2 forum the people who have "developer/programmer" under their username will keep repeating the same thing: "buy an i5-2500k, it will make all your problems go away"
But when I saw the real world benchmarks, an i3 with the same clock as a quad core i5 or i7 always performed exactly the same. I was disturbed with these results, so I tested it out myself with my i5-2500. I measured the average fps with these games at the lowest graphical settings to make sure my GTX 580 wasn't the limiting factor, only the CPU: starcraft 2, GTA 4, Skyrim. I then went into BIOS and disabled two cores, and then measured the fps in these 3 games again, and I actually got a higher average fps!(well it was mostly due to the fact that turboboost was going up to 3.6GHZ because two cores were disabled, while it only went up to 3.4 Ghz when all cores were enabled). So my own tests confirmed it, there's no such thing as a game that uses 4 cores, and added to that there never will be, cause games are more and more being developped for consoles and being ported to PC's, so quad core optimization will never happen in 99% of games anytime in the future.
So why's the internet so full of inaccurate information?
 

Soda-88

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Try loading a 4v4 replay in SC2, playing BF3 on 64 player maps, playing MMOs in crowded places...

Also there's no such thing as a PC just for gaming. You'll always want to do more with it, hence why you've bought a PC over a console in the first place.

Oh and 'lowest graphical settings' in SC2 would assume you downed physics, reflections and particles which are CPU bound which makes your benchmark irrelevant. I can play SC2 on my old Athlon 64 x2 4200+ at 720p and lowest settings at 60fps just fine as well...
 

dssdghthd

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I fail to see the first point. If I run the game without vsync and at lowest graphical settings the CPU will perform at the maximum for that game, so how is 4v4 replay or 64 player maps any different?
And you're assuming people never buy PC's only for gaming, which is horribly inaccurate.
 

Soda-88

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I edited my first post and to answer your question, more units = more processing power required. Then there's also a mothership cloaking that guts fps, even though not as bad as it used to.
 
Now open browser with 5 tabs (have youtube in one of them), skype and something else that you use. You'll see that performance will drop.

Such thing wouldn't happen with a quad core. You should also remember that overclocking on K-series CPUs increase performance tremendously. Dual cores don't have that privilege.

Anyway, I personally don't recommend quad cores unless the budget allows. For $600+ builds, it would be a shame to go with i3.
 

dssdghthd

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I specifically said I ran the game at lowest graphical settings, as in I left the "CPU intensive" marked setting at ultra.
You're still just writing stuff without proof. Mothership cloaking may be CPU intensive(It's a very nice fact to know), but how exactly does it have anything to do with quad cores being different than dual cores? You think the mothership can use another core by itself?
 

dssdghthd

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Whenever there's a recommendation on the internet here what is said:
"Get a dual core i5 if you want to play games, an i3 will bottleneck, an i5 will outperform it by a huge margin"
Here's what is not said:
"Even though dual cores will perform the same in games as quad cores and you only want to use it for gaming, you should get a quad core because it will really increase you non-gaming multitasking speed, like opening multiple tabs on your browser"
 
the fact that you got more fps when you disabled the 2 cores running at higher speeds tells you the cpu speed is a limiting factor for that game not the core count.
starcraft and many other games only use 2 threads so wouldnt show any difference in real world performance but switch to frostbite engine games and you will see your system choke while using a dual core.
it really does depend on the engine your cpu is running as to what effect it has on performance.
bfbc2 for instance will stutter badly on any dual core cpu and limit the gpu to 50% or less, bouncing from 45 fps down to 5 and back again constantly... switch to a slower cpu but with a higher core count and this issue disappears... why? threading... not all games use multiple threads but a lot of new 1s do... where this is showing up is in the fx cpu's they suffer a lot more with single threaded games than multi threaded because there single threaded performance is so poor. as time marches on more and more games will use the advantages that multithreading brings. so just because its not used by the majority of games, dont discount it as you will see more of it in the future.

if your gonna complain about something at least make sure you have the correct basic info...
and just for reference. games developed on pc as the primary platform will often perfom better on a quad. as oppsed to games developed for consoles then ported back to pc with most of the console optimizations still in place... this is lazy programming not a hardware issue.
your rite when you say the internet is full of wrong information, as you have just proven by your post...

 

dssdghthd

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Okay fine, so one game you mentioned does use 4 cores, but still most modern games don't, like the ones I tested that claim they use 4 cores but really don't. And most games today and in the future are being developped for consoles and merely being ported to PCs.
 


I disagree. The PC has begun getting more popular compared to the last few years.

http://www.gamefront.com/is-pc-gaming-making-a-comeback/

 
lol there are a lot more than just 1 game... every frostbite engined game needs a quad...
thats bfbc2, bf3, moh and they are jut the 1s from dice. crysis 2 works better on a quad but that uses 3 threads and 1 of them is audio (notice in the options it has a high and low quality audio) so no its not just 1 game there are many. more and more in fact... just because there not usable on every game it doesn't mean there not needed as for the rest of your argument its flawed. all games are written on pc. then ported to console then some are ported back to pc with console code left over... this is what causes the porting issues. purley lazy programming on the publishers part... so in this case particualrly i want more cpu than i can use just in case i need it...

as the saying goes. its better to have and not need than to need and not have.
i would much rather have a quad and only use 3 threads than have a dual and try to run a game that needs 4 threads.

if you want to save money and risk bottlenecking then thats your choice. but people like me that know that building a balanced pc is a much better option for longer gaming life. just look at the reality of this forum. you dont see me asking why am i getting low fps on this or that game. while many who have much newer hardware are. reason. i built a balance pc when they didnt...
its not just because i know more... its because i put into practice what i know...
i wouldnt pair up a i3 2120 with a gtx 680 because i know sooner or later i would run into issues... this is called experiance, something you cant read on a website but have to learn for your self by doing...
 


^ +1
 


"On the Internet it's said". This sentence is flawed is so many ways I don't even know where to start.

Let's do it like this: find one of my posts where I say i3 will bottleneck appropriately priced GPU (up to HD 7870/GTX 660).
 

TheGhxst

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Where can I find the "high five" button?
+1


Game technology will constantly evolve just like it always has. The number of threads we will use will increase, just like it has. People want bigger, faster more shiny and pretty things, and so it is done.
 

radium69

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Imho, the stubborn OP misinterprets a lot of posts and feels "attacked" and moves in defensive position...

Also with PC gaming in general, a lot of titles are console ports anyway, which are very much CPU bound.
The numbers keep increasing so it is wise to choose a quadcore when gaming.

For example Borderlands II,
I have a laptop with an i5 460m and Radeon 5870m (which should handle everything at 1440x900)

So I was playing borderlands but everything seemed to be in slow motion, stuttering and especially when effects would come into play...

So i kept an eye on my CPU and noticed it was 100% in use all the time when playing. (even on lowest graphics! and resolution)
Swapped it out for an i7 840QM and voila, Turned every setting back to max and CPU had more room to breath due to 4 cores and 8 threads. And the games performance FPS tripled and was much stabler overal.

Also FPS benchmarks tend to be run when the computer is IDLE and nothing else is on in the background.
While an average user has a Anti Virus running, internet explorer, media player, widgets and a crapload of programs...
They all eat CPU cycles... but you don't see that in benchmarks ;)

Balance is the key when building PC's.
For example,

My desktop consists of an i5 2500k heavily overclocked to 4,8ghz and two Geforce GTX670. Primary use: gaming, multitasking, video editing, and browsing.

My HTPC: i3 2225 (HD4000 graphics for XMBC)

You have to find the right balance for your workload.
And with quadcore optimized programs such as video editing software, games, and other software in general it's wise to go quadcore, especially when looking at long term usage. :hello:
 

darth pravus

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It's people like you who say "we'll never use that" that hold us back.

Quad cores are becoming the norm meaning more games will develop for them.

In answer to your console port argument. What about the next gen? They are looking at APU's and the like which rely on heavily threaded gameplay.
 
+1 to mi1ez. And don't forget Crysis 3. I know it's not out yet but there are alpha benchmarks out (give it a Googling) and i5/i7 do perform significantly better. i3 is a genuinely good processor though and I wouldn't mind having one at all if I was on a limited budget.
 

bemused_fred

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Not sure if OP is trolling or just stupid.

Many sites, including this, repeatedly show that quad-core CPUs give better gaming performance that dual ones, especially at higher settings.

Not sure what the problem is.
 



+1

But especially, STREAMING. Try streaming with a dual core any game that actually needs CPU to work, and then see how choppy your stream will become.

Sure, mostly dual cores are ok for gaming, but there are notable exceptions. If you dont see them, good for you.
 

bryjoered

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You're essentially future proofing your system a little bit by going for the extra cores. There was a time when PC games didn't even utilize one core, now most utilize two, but very few utilize four. In the next couple years more and more will start to use four cores. Some games are very reliant on good processors, such as WoW. Most games heavily rely on the CPU for producing long draw distances as well.

It's also worth to mention that the Processor market moves a great deal slower than the graphics card market. A high end card one year going for 1k, goes for 500 the next year. So, dropping a chunk of change on a good processor will actually turn out to be less money over time than an expensive GPU.

We all know that when the new systems come out (most likely next fall) the PC graphics will make a leap as well, would you rather have the 1k GTX 690 when that happens or the i7 hex core processor? I'd take the hex core anyday, considering a 300 dollar GPU can obliterate any game on the market at 1080p. (GTX 660ti)