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Author Topic: Question  (Read 1473 times)

prplhazed

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Question
« on: October 24, 2007, 02:00:33 AM »

Sooo, iv had an interest lately in PC hardware. Iv worked my way up past just reviews and benchmarks to articles talking about CPU architecture that i really dont quite get yet (but im workin on it)

Something thats often talked about is that even the so called "next-gen" games utilizing DX10 etc, dont make good use of multi core processing and multi threaded-ness

So to the people that do some game development...why is this so (how are the games better using single core/threaded processors?) what would theoretically work to use it better, and what could you see realistically being done soon (even if not by you atm :) )

as pretty much all new PCs use multi core technology, as people upgrade, single core CPU users will become a minority, how do game designers move forward with the hardware


again, i dont even have enough understanding yet to know how complicated/simple these questions might be, but any light some software people could shed would be apreciated
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vloktboky

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Re: Question
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2007, 02:16:06 AM »

Simple. Just as our parents were probably reluctant to move away from letters and phone calls to e-mail many years back, so are we to move from the single-line-of-execution mentality to that of the multi-line. The thinking style, theories and design patterns, and our tools (especially for debugging) are all based around the knowledge that execution can only occur in a linear fashion. Multi-threading breaks this rule, and as such requires redefinitions of many of the basis behind these very things. You have to watch out for such things as race conditions and deadlocks, which are elementary to multi-line. And in some design patterns, the overhead of handling such things actually deters any performance increase that is obtainable, resulting in a necessity of redefining or scrapping the design pattern all together.

It's not that the technology is bad. Quite the opposite. But we have to adjust to it before we can dive right in to it. It's happening, but it'll take time. There is an excellent C library out there which is open sourced but I cannot recall its name at this time. It actually handles many of the fundamentals with working in a multi-threaded environment for you, assigning tasks to threads balanced for the processing capabilities of the machine executing the code, all while allowing you to think more single-line.

You can probably find many good articles on the subject if you snoop around Gamasutra a little.

Edit: I just noticed your last question: "how do game designers move forward with the hardware". Pal, we're the Gaming Industry. We're the ones responsible for pushing any new hardware into the mainstream. :)
« Last Edit: October 24, 2007, 02:23:20 AM by vloktboky »
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prplhazed

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Re: Question
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2007, 02:24:10 AM »

Edit: I just noticed your last question: "how do game designers move forward with the hardware". Pal, we're the Gaming Industry. We're the ones responsible for pushing any new hardware into the mainstream. :)

lol, true
although, with regards to CPUs in particular, multitasking is useful for businesses, and if it can increase profit, theyl be adopted
and with gfx cards becoming more and more powerful and widespread (thanks to vista imo at least) theyr becoming more important to game performace

thanks for your thoughts though

(whats gamasutra *googles*)
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vloktboky

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Re: Question
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2007, 02:29:11 AM »

I won't comment on the Vista discussion. It's too much to get in to here.

(whats gamasutra *googles*)

One of the main arteries of our industry.
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