Dual CPUs and Gaming?!?!

By Simon_Gold
Jul 8, 2003
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  1. I am considering building a new PC. What I want to know is whether or not a dual cpu system (I am thinking of Tyan Tiger MoBo and 2 Athlon MP 2200's) will be suitable for gaming? A friend said most games don't support dual cpu's, is this true of all games, or just old ones? i.e. Will the likes of half-life 2 support 2 cpu's(obviously I don't expect anyone to know this, I am just wondering whether SMP is becoming commonplace enough for Games manufacturers to start supporting it. Kind of future-proofing in a way). I would appreciate any help anyne could offer on the subject.

    P.S. I am also going to buy LOADS of neon lights for my case! I want all the whistles and bells available! How sad am I?!?!?!??
  2. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,199

    If this dual CPU system is ONLY for gaming, I would say to opt out and get a single CPU system. Especially if this machine isn't going to be a heavy-load server of some sort.
    I know Quake 3 supports SMP, but I'm not sure on other games.

    But, I'll leave this question up to the people I know who have experience with SMP...Soul Harvester and LNCPapa....
  3. Justin

    Justin Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,595

    I can't go into a lot of detail now due to dialup, but tonight I will return and give you a good laydown.

    For now, it is suffice to say if you are getting this machine for only gaming, don't bother with SMP. SMP is intended for heavy-load machines or high multi-tasking in which you do not want interruption or slowdown. I found SMP quite useful when I needed to compress or encode very large files but still wanted to use my machine normally... on one CPU I encoded in real time and the other was left to run my other apps. Just one example.

    I'll come back later tonight and give you my personal experience over five different SMP motherboards.
  4. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,271   +257

    If gaming has some importance to you then don't do Dual CPUs. I have 3 duallies (P!!! 733, P!!! 933, Xeon 2.8) and I still do the majority of my gaming on my Athlon XP 2600+. I would take the extra money you were going to use to build the duallie and just upgrade your CPU and video card. Games that do take advantage of dual CPUs (Quake III, UT2K3 - to some extent) don't really show any improved performance in my experience. Quake III frame rates stayed almost the same within about 2 or 3 frames per second when I enabled SMP - but stability of the game went WAY down. UT2K3 will only use the second CPU to process sound - if you have an Audigy or Audigy 2 then this is worthless to you as well because those cards offload so much work from your CPU and handle it themselves. So in the end - don't do Dual CPUs unless you are going to:
    1.) Do 3D Rendering (lots of it)
    2.) Do Video editing with some decent software (lots of it)
    3.) NEED to be able to use your computer while it's doing other CPU intensive tasks
    4.) ABSOLUTELY want the bragging rights.

    LNCPapa
  5. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,382   +15

    LNC just gave you the laydown, and hes absolutly right :) Unless its video editing or 3D rendering as he said, Dual CPUs just arnt worth your while.
  6. Justin

    Justin Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,595

    SMP has a *lot* more practical use then just 3d rendering or video editing.

    LNC and I agree though - For gaming it is not an ideal setup, you would do much better getting a single, faster CPU.
  7. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,382   +15

    well yeah im sure, but those we're two biggies I listed. Shouldnt of worded it like that, sorry Soul.
  8. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

    Quake 3, Dynamix Starsiege, Falcon 4, Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, those are some games that are multithreaded.
  9. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 Newcomer, in training Posts: 6,504

    If you want to go dual (for whatever reason) then we've had several tyan boards here at work, and they've all been fine.
  10. Simon_Gold

    Simon_Gold Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Well I am kind of new to this sort of thing, and I have some spare cash and free time, so I am just building a PC for games really, and thought that dual cpu's sounded interesting even though I have read a few articles saying that it won't really improve games performance compared with a single cpu system. Also I just want the bragging rights (even though I only 1 other person that plays PC games!)!!!

    But if it's not really feesible, I shall just have to build a regular PC, but I will have lots of bright neon lights etc!!!
  11. Simon_Gold

    Simon_Gold Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    haha! And I could maybe glue a Playstation to the top of it aswell!
     
  12. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,382   +15

    Awe cooooool!!! Do it, do it, do it! I'd love some pix of that. Have the PS2's cdrom come out of the cases top 5 1/2' bay :cool:
  13. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 Newcomer, in training Posts: 6,504

    Apparently, the PS3 is going to have a chipset with 72 CPU cores on it!
  14. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,382   +15

    Thats called rumor Phanty ;) Trust me, every year I read, theres always all these specs, "bla bla bla", that they assume...I dont take anything for real until the console actually comes out, because its always soo diffrent to what I had read before. PS3's CPU is called the "Cell" Processor, apparently it can play PS2 games, all in cell shading, and has the power of 12 PS2's (from memory).
  15. XtR-X

    XtR-X Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,040

    You can get a really awesome system for gaming out of a single processor system. But, if you "ABSOLUTELY want the bragging rights", go for dualie.
  16. Justin

    Justin Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,595



    Not meaning to be rude and/or offensive, but do you base ANY of your replies off of actual technical knowledge or any amount of experience, or are you just spouting something just to spout it? If you'd read what about four other people parotted on page 1, we all do not agree with dual cpus for gaming.

    The reason I ask, and no I am not trying to be critical, but it seems to me you are posting just to post, ala "filler", rather then researching beforehand. It's rather annoying and hurts more then it helps.
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