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CPU Does hyperthreading help or hinder?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by terrorbyt, 19 Oct 2012.

  1. terrorbyt

    terrorbyt MultiModder

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    With regards to gaming, does hyperthreading improve framerate or make it worse? I've googled it a few times but can't really find a solid consensus over this. I've heard it's a hinderance on older games because they weren't designed to take advantage of the additional logical cores. But what about newer games such as Arma II? It seems agreed upon that HT gives a noticeable performance boost to video editing and the like, but makes no difference to minor day to day tasks.

    I ask primarily because at the moment I'm having to play DayZ mod with graphics set to very low to avoid my system from crashing and wonder if it may be my processor's fault. I'm specifically interested in dual core processors' (i3) ability to HT effectively in games btw. I've never switched HT off, but I am considering doing so whilst gaming as I've also heard that 2 strong cores is better than 4 weak ones.

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    Well my guess is and this really is a guess. That any game that is cpu dependant would benefit most from quad core over dual and hyperthreading probably doesn't do much for any game.
     
  3. terrorbyt

    terrorbyt MultiModder

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    I don't mind if multiple cores/HT doesn't do anything, I'm just worried that it may be making things worse in particular games :0
     
  4. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    Well its straight forward to turn it off and see. But what I meant was if it makes it worse it probably doesn't do so to a great extend and likewise if it made things better. I would add I'm still guessing my ass off here.
     
    Last edited: 19 Oct 2012
  5. Deders

    Deders Modder

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    I would say a dual core with hyperthreading potentially has better performance than a dual core without so long as the most demanding threads get assigned to the real cores, most games that use more than 2 cores tend to have 1 or 2 heavy cores and a couple of lighter ones.

    There are a few that do work best with 4 cores but most still run fine with 2.
     
  6. Lenderz

    Lenderz Minimodder

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    A hyperthreaded core isn't a "real" core and in some instances can cause slowdown in some games, some games are coded to take advantage of the technology, but when they're not using a hyperthreaded core can indeed cause lower performance in some games. This is on a game by game basis. Generally for pure gaming, if you have a decent CPU, hyperthreading off is the way to go in my opinion (formed a few years ago when I got my first i7 did some testing and read some analysis the situation may be different with more modern games.)
     
  7. j4mi3

    j4mi3 What's a Dremel?

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    how much performance increase did you notice when you turned it off?
     
  8. CrapBag

    CrapBag Multimodder

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    Well on BF3 it seems to have no effect at all

    Just glancing at some other search hits on google people seem to mention that turning off hyper-threading reduces stuttering but seeing as my cpu doesn't support hyper-threading I can't test that theory.
     
  9. j4mi3

    j4mi3 What's a Dremel?

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    that's remarkable. 1.3ghz clock speed made absolutely no difference to framerates
     
  10. Deders

    Deders Modder

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    That's because BF3 will skip all the hyperthreaded cores. It is also quite GPU bound.
     
  11. CrapBag

    CrapBag Multimodder

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    Yeh that's what it says at the bottom of the page I linked to.
     
  12. rollo

    rollo Modder

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    BF 3 is pure graphical hardware test

    Hawx 2 for example benifits alot from hyperthreading as its CPU bound.

    Never seen hyperthreading result in a performance penalty most games ignore it.
     
  13. terrorbyt

    terrorbyt MultiModder

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    So the only way to find out for sure is to do a benchmark with & without HT? hasn't someone, somewhere already done this?
     
  14. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    Is it really that hard for you to actually try it out for yourself? Also if your system is crashing I would think that you're having issues greater than simply your cpu being stressed. Can you get it to crash using Prime 95?
     
  15. rollo

    rollo Modder

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    Only in certain games has it been tested

    Wow Starcraft 2 which don't benefit
    Hawx 1-2 which does

    Most physics games well like hyperthreading
     
  16. terrorbyt

    terrorbyt MultiModder

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    Well I used to play DayZ fine (settings maxed out, 30 fps avg). However since last week when I have settings on high my computer either crashes to desktop or I green/blue screen which freezes the whole computer. My GPU temp is usually around 60 C when this happens and my CPU less than that. I clean it each month to avoid dust build up and I currently have four fans in the case so I know it isn't a overheating issue.

    I last about 2 mins of play time when I have settings on high but I never crash when I put the settings down to low/very low so it must me either my graphics card or CPU getting overloaded for some reason when the settings are pushed up.
     
  17. Deders

    Deders Modder

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    Could be Power supply or maybe ram? Try running windows memory diagnostic.
     
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  18. terrorbyt

    terrorbyt MultiModder

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    Ran the Windows Mem Diagnostic just now, no problems found... tried running crysis on very high and although I had >30fps and my temps were ok (CPU ~50, GPU <65C) it froze after 2 mins so had to reset my pc.

    Maybe its a driver issue?
     
  19. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    Run prime 95 then run a graphics benchmark like unigine heaven. You need to isolate the cpu from the gpu as much as possible in order to see if one in particular is causing the problem.
     
  20. Pete J

    Pete J Employed scum

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    I think hyperthreading hinders games in that disabling it allows a higher overclock!

    Though as others have said, it depends on how GPU dependent the game in question is.
     

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