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Decline why are so many games CPU bound?

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by cretin, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. cretin Learned

    cretin
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    I'm not a tech head. I dont understand why in 2020, we have these ridiculously powerful GPUs and yet the bottleneck for gaming in my experience, especially over the last decade, has been and is always your CPU. And yet the marketing is always driven towards GPUs. When it comes to improving performance, everyones first thought is "biggerer gpu" and secondly "more ram" with considerations to the CPU being a distant third.

    Whenever a game gains notoriety for performance problems, it always seems to be related to the CPU and almost never to the GPU. Telling someone their GPU is just too fuckin weak used to be really common but these days it seems like even people with a 4-5 year old mid range card are completely sufficient... but the CPU is the bottleneck.

    Nvidia writes a ball-slobbering piece here that basically makes it sound like GPUs are the bees knees and CPUs are some sort of redundant dingleberry hanger on https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2009/12/16/whats-the-difference-between-a-cpu-and-a-gpu/ . Of course, Nvidia is in the GPU business, so one takes this down with a fistful of salt. If the GPU is what makes my computer a SUPPAAAAHHCOMPUTAAAH, why do CUTTING EDGE GRAPHICS games almost always tax the everliving fuck out of my CPU and barely make my GPU break a sweat? Why offload everything onto the weaker slave?
     
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  2. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Codex 2014 Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    Shit programming
     
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  3. JDR13 Prophet

    JDR13
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    I've rarely experienced a modern game being held back by my CPU. In fact, in my experience, you can run most games just fine even with a mediocre CPU if your GPU is powerful enough.
     
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  4. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer

    J_C
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    It's actually the other way around. The only CPU bound games I've ever encountered are simulators like DCS. Other games are usually bottlenecked by GPU or RAM.
     
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  5. Deadman Arcane Patron

    Deadman
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    You get it all wrong. Majority of AAA games can run just fine on decade-old cpu.
    The only type of game where you might need to have a powerful cpu is 4x, but they are not cpu-bound, they just have long turn times if you have weak cpu.
     
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  6. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    Console master race

    Show Spoiler
    :troll:
     
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  7. abija Prophet

    abija
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    cretin Give some actual examples.

    Also, it's not quite so easy to identify where the bottleneck is. I was bottlenecked in wow raiding by video card even though all signs pointed to cpu (gpu usage less than 40%, no gains when going from 1080p to 720p and so on).
     
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  8. Nano Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Nano
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    Stop being poor.
     
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  9. Azdul Scholar

    Azdul
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    There are few ways that game can be bound by single core performance:

    1. Rendering thread. Modern graphics API (Direct X 11/12 or Vulkan) are not as CPU bound, but most developers don't want to exclude people with shitty graphics cards running on drivers that are barely stable when called from main application thread.

    2. Physics thread. If objects are moved in independent threads, they will occasionally intersect each other. NPC / players get stuck in dynamic objects or objects get mangled together. If physics runs in one thread, you can avoid most of those problems.

    3. Scripts thread. On one hand, gameplay scripts are written by 'game designers' fresh out of college, or modders, on the other - you don't want to restrict what scripts can or cannot do about game world. So you run them all in one thread, one by one, hoping for consistent, reproducible behavior.

    I recommend John Carmack speech from QuakeCon 2013 - how Wolfenstein 3D code gets complicated when using multiple threads / cores.
     
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  10. Urthor Liturgist Patron

    Urthor
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    OP do you actually play any video games? Name 1 CPU bound scenario you and your 720p monitor have
     
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  11. cretin Learned

    cretin
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    arma 3 :troll:
     
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  12. Bester ⚰️☠️⚱️ Patron Vatnik

    Bester
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    I bought my CPU back in 2013, while my GPU is RTX 2080. I get constant 60 fps at max settings in all games. Dumb thread, close it.
     
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  13. Clockwork Knight Arcane

    Clockwork Knight
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    Minecraft does this, I think.
     
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  14. cretin Learned

    cretin
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    i may have overstated the prevalence. It just seemed to me whenever a modern game has widespread performance problems (im thinking of insurgency sandstorm, which is a lot better now) people always say the problem is because of the game being CPU bound. I'll admit i dont have many current examples of games my GTX 1660 ti struggles with, but whenever its like "why the fuck isnt my GPU stomping the shit out of this ugly fucking game" some redditard always tells me its because the game is CPU bound. Ive seen redditards say this about GTA, PUBG, escape from tarkov, dayz etc.
     
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  15. what am i doing Prophet

    what am i doing
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    Most games are not CPU bound. But, in the few cases where they are, the reason is that for a long time now, due to constant hardware advancements, programmers have been becoming lazier (and in games this also extends to designers to an extent, ie a lot of Stellaris's performance problems are due to foolish design elements rather than directly by poor programming) and programming ideals have moved away from efficiency to ease of production, ease of maintenance, ease of avoiding errors - because hardware would advance and take care of increasingly slow and inefficient code. Which is why computers often don't feel like they're getting faster, because as hardware advances, software gets shittier (from a performance standpoint), and balance is maintained. You feel advances in some areas like disk writing speed, or game loading times, because those aspects of performance generally rely more on software where quality is still valued (drivers and such) rather than the end-user applications that call up those drivers, so hardware improvements don't get bogged down by bad software. Due to heat and physical size difficulties CPUs aren't really getting faster as quickly as they used to, and it's moved to multithreading. The fast languages (like C++) that are used for game engines are still working on getting safe and easy multithreading support together (right now concurrency is still tricky in those languages) and when they do get the creases ironed out, and programmers get more experience and become better at taking advantage of multiple cores, we'll see things balance out some more.
     
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  16. Dedicated_Dark Savant

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    I'm running an i7 3770, the only game I had trouble with interms of CPU is AC Odyssey. And even that was probably due to Denuvo.
     
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  17. Gerrard Arcane

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    Shit devs.
     
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  18. Deadman Arcane Patron

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    Below 100 fps is subpar performance at best with 60fps being barely tolerable.
     
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  19. Bester ⚰️☠️⚱️ Patron Vatnik

    Bester
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    I turn vsync on.
     
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  20. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

    DalekFlay
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    Once you get a 144hz monitor with g-sync it'll change your life.

    Ubisoft games like Assassin's Creed are also pretty CPU intensive, and a lot of modern games want more than 4 cores to keep 1% lows up, buy yeah overall the GPU is still the biggest aspect by far.
     
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  21. CyberWhale Arcane

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    Truth be told, some newer games seem to perform better on more cores, so CPUs can indeed become a bottleneck if you have a 4 core processor.
    Time to switch to 6 minimum or 8 preferably and you will decrease the chance of having issues, especially in the future.

    4-5-year-old mid-range cards are completely sufficient because the original 8th generation consoles are still the base for developing games, the PRO/X series are simply there to push 4k.
    Because of the letter, I think many people playing on 1080p won't need an upgrade, especially if they stick with mid settings and no ray-tracing.



    The biggest difference seems to be between 4 and 6 (not surprising, since consoles despite having 8 cores have at least one saved for the OS), but even 8 seems to be beneficial in Ubisoft tower exploring games.
    Yes, I know, the video doesn't state the architecture or frequency, but still.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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  22. Chippy Arcane

    Chippy
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    I'm still running an old i7 920 @ 2.67GHZ with a budget 2GB Nvidia card, and 12 GB of Ram. And I could play Witcher 3 on low settings without any issues when I had a Radeon 5870 1GB card.

    I remember the 5Lives devs telling someone with a better rig than me that their problem was CPU bound for Satellite Reign in the Unity engine.

    I should probably play that game after I upgrade my PC properly. I only played it for a bit when it came out in the winter, and I used my PC to heat up my flat.
     
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  23. Gerrard Arcane

    Gerrard
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    Witcher 3 is actually a perfect example of a CPU bound game.

    JDR13 You have the proof 2 posts above mine, retard.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
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  24. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    because it's cheaper to tell people to buy better hardware than to pay the salary of good programmers
     
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  25. CyberWhale Arcane

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    Pretty much. 4 cores run just fine in the wilderness in both TW3 and KC, but FPS plummets inside cities (NPCs, assets, AI) when using only 4 cores. 6 runs 50% better while 8 cores don't seem to offer much ATM.

    One of the reasons why I would rather go with 1600AF instead of 3400G for a future proof low budget option. Sure, most current games run better on the latter because of single-core performance, but that is slowly changing as well.
     
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