As we have already demonstrated in our previous articles, contemporary games are not the tasks that would benefit greatly from SMP support. Nevertheless, we couldn’t disregard this part of our test session and suggest taking a look at the results in order to resolve all doubts in this respect.
Even the games that are formally optimized for multi-threading, such as Quake 4 and Supreme Commander, run relatively slow on a dual-processor system with quad-core Xeon X5365 processors. The thing is that despite optimizations these games can form a limited number of threads. Namely, Quake 4 creates only two threads, and Supreme Commander – four. This doesn’t allow Intel V8 system to show its real advantage, while the memory subsystem with higher latency aggravates the result even more.
A totally different picture can be witnessed in a chess game. The computational algorithm in this ancient strategy can be split into parallel threads easily, which immediately affects the results. The eight-core Intel V8 is far ahead of the quad-core platforms here.
However, upcoming games are more likely to have better implemented multi-threading support, so things will definitely get better. It is definitely so, judging by the results of a benchmark measuring the performance of the upcoming Source engine during environmental physics calculations.