Saturday, October 07, 2006

INQ thinks Quad cores too many cores for games.

After speaking to "many developers including some big names", the Inquirer said that you should forget quad core CPU's for games!

What a load of rubbish. Plenty of games impress me that who ever built the game is obviously a gifted programmer. The following narrow minded statement, if it did come from real games programmers, does makes me wonder.
You can keep one core busy with the physics and collision detection, second core will have to wait for the score to move on with the Artificial intelligence while the third core could possible calculate the graphic data. In this best case scenario you have to realise that the core number two and three would always have to wait for the core number one to finish its job and pass the job to the cores two and three. In this concept there is absolutely no place for quad core as games are non parallel applications

Most games I play, I am not the only one playing. If it is not another human or humans, then you play against several computer 'AI' characters. The whole idea the each section of the game is bound to a particular core just stinks of a bad programming model. Maybe they have never heard of threading (or just scared of it). To say that "game are non parallel applications", is just grossly incorrect.

Lets take an old favorites like Galaga. Very simple... There is my spaceship at the bottom of the screen. It can fire several missiles at about 20 enemy spaceships. Now if you treat my space ship, the missiles, and the enemy space ships as different objects and assign at least one thread to each. You end up with a very parallel application, where the more cores the merrier.

Is it a case of gaming programmers still using 1980's programming tools/models, or is it just another bad INQ article. I am sure it is the later.


Brendan said...

Remarkable - I guess whoever made that comment skipped multithreaded programming class at University.

Anonymous said...

Theres alot of games developers who only know whats in the books they have learnt from, and multithreaded is not in it! Most of these guys probably never did Computer Science, if they have degrees, so have no idea what there talking about.

This is the problem, there are too many vocal game devs mouthing off about how bad multithreaded apps are to scare the rest off. There going to have to learn, and its not that hard, if not they will be replaced by others from out side the game dev area.