Will games really use all 4 cores?

By | Jan 22, 2009

I have seen many debates about this issue in a number of forums in the past year.  I was interested which side of the argument was correct and started doing some research to find the answer. I decided to run a test myself with three popular games that are installed on my computer and see if games really can or will use 4 processing cores.  I am just a normal guy with a normal computer and wanted to see what real world results I would record.
I have seen gamers say “it is a complete waste to buy a Quad Core cpu, games can not even use 4 processing cores.”  I have even seen gamers also say “by the time games use 4 processing cores, the current quad core processors will already be outdated.”  If you have surfed any forums I am sure you have seen this debate also.  Let us see what happens…

The test was conducted under these conditions.

Computer: Asus P5N-E 650i / Intel Q9300 @ 2737 MHz / G-Skill 2x2GB @ 800 MHz / eVGA GTX 260 Core 216 Superclock edition / Antec Neo Power 650w / 2 Western Digital Cavair 160 GB / Samsung 22″ with 1680×1050 screen resolution

Software: My operating system is Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit.  During the test, I disabled everything except for Vista Sidebar, AVG anti virus and PC ProbeII.   I used Asus PC ProbeII version 1.04.19b for the CPU monitoring graphs.

The game line up included:  Brothers in Arms, Hell’s Highway / Call of Duty, World at War / Far Cry 2.  The games were ran with all graphics settings maxed in the options menu and in single player mode.

CPUZ
cpuz2

Call of Duty, World at War
callofdutyworldatwar-1

Far Cry 2
farcry2-1

Brothers in Arms, Hell’s Highway
brothersinarmshellshighway-1

As you will see in the test that I conducted, contrary to popular belief, these games will take advantage of all 4 processing cores. I actually was surprised because I have seen so many people say that games can’t use all 4 processing cores. If you are making a decision on a new processor, I hope my un-scientific home test will assist you. The future is here…Quad Core processors are going to be a necessity for games released in 2009.

I captured the pictures by pausing the game and hitting the Windows key. This would minimize the game. I used the “print screen” button on my keyboard and then pasted the captured picture in Microsoft paint. Then the pictures were cropped to increase size.
This thread can be discussed here.

7 Comments so far
  1. [...] stuff. And for those saying that Games and apps don’t use all four cores that has been disproven here by ScOut. __________________ Q6600 G0 SLACR………..MSI R4870 1g 3.6Mhz @ 1.275vid……..AC [...]

  2. New CPU May 19, 2009 11:12 am

    [...] clock speeds but Quads are the way to go. Here is a techzine article I wrote…check it out. http://www.techzine.com/2009/01/22/w…e-all-4-cores/ That’s even an older article…Try playing Empire: Total War or GTA IV with a dual core It almost [...]

  3. normal cpu usage when playing games October 24, 2009 2:49 am

    [...] I wrote about CPU usage while gaming. Like Damorian said…there are many calculations involved. http://www.techzine.com/2009/01/22/w…e-all-4-cores/ __________________ My Rig Coolermaster 690 / Nvidia Edition Seen Here Antec Neo Power 650w [...]

  4. [...] is a common misconception. here is an article on TechZine created by a member here (ScOuT) http://www.techzine.com/2009/01/22/w…e-all-4-cores/ __________________ My Rig CM Storm Scout – Asus P5N-E Sli – Pentium Dual Core E6300 @ 3.80Ghz – [...]

  5. [...] that "games are only just starting to take advantage of quadcores" please read this: http://www.techzine.com/2009/01/22/w…e-all-4-cores/ I also know for a fact that both current crysis games can scale up to 8 cores, newer games up to [...]

  6. [...] that "games are only just starting to take advantage of quadcores" please read this: http://www.techzine.com/2009/01/22/w…e-all-4-cores/ I also know for a fact that both current crysis games can scale up to 8 cores, newer games up to [...]

  7. CF Blog February 19, 2011 5:12 pm

    [...] it has gone stale. We need to get it going again. The reviews and blogs are linked back to CF http://www.techzine.com/2009/01/22/w…ores/#more-228 http://www.techzine.com/2009/01/03/c…view/#more-181 __________________ Sager 5760 Custom [...]

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