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In a bid to demonstrate advantages of multi-core processors designs to gamers and to attract attention of computer entertainment enthusiasts to the current processor lineup, Intel Corp. is sponsoring Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) World Tour Grand Finals in New York. The company not only provided computers with multi-core chips, but also revealed names of titles that take advantage of multi-threaded execution.

“We have spent the last year empowering more than 10 000 software developers with thousands of multi-core development platforms. We are now beginning to see the new threaded applications and multi-core platforms gamers have been waiting for,” said Bill Kirby, director of planning in Intel’s software and solutions group.

The ability to run different threads – or components – of the game in parallel can not only make the game run faster, but can also make it more engaging, however, the majority of games today do not take advantage of multi-core processors, but rely on high clock-speeds provided by single-core chips. However, there are several games that already benefit from added power of dual-core chips, such as AMD Athlon 64 X2 and Intel Pentium D processors.

“In Black & White 2, multi-core technology enabled our development team to move the entire physics engine – the component that makes game objects behave like real-life objects – to a separate thread. As a result, we have managed to run many more objects in the physics simulation so complex scenes appear much more realistic. We also utilized multi-core capabilities in our title The Movies and are excited about the future of multi-core processing,” said Tim Rance, chief technology officer of Lionhead studios.

According to Intel, there are several titles that do benefit from dual-core microprocessors, including such popular games as Call of Duty 2, City of Villains, F.E.A.R., World of Warcraft, Age of Empires III, Black & White 2, Peter Jackson’s King Kong, The Movies, Battlefield 2, Battlefield 2: Special Forces, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced, Warfighter, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3, Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland.

There are various dual-core processors available from Advanced Micro Devices and Intel Corp. today. AMD’s dual-core Athlon 64 X2 chips cost from $328 to $803 in 1000-unit quantities, whereas Intel Corp.’s Pentium D chips are priced from $241 to $530 in the same quantities. Intel’s highest-performance dual-core chips with the Hyper-Threading technology – Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 – costs $999 in business quantities.

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