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Thread: So how's the game with Dual core?

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    MrWhereItsAt
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    So how's the game with Dual core?

    I'm hoping to get myself a new laptop in the coming months to update myself from an overweight underpowered overHEATED HP XP2400+. My current one can play cIV and the main issue is the useless integrated Vid card. With the next laptop I get this will not be an issue since I will ensure I have a graphics card that can at least do well enough with Doom 3, C&C3, UFO Afterlight and other such new and recentish graphics-heavy games.

    However, the main gaming use of this machine is for cIV (of course! ), and I have heard about some slowdown issues on large maps from people who claim to have recent PCs. So I am hoping to hear what people's experiences with cIV play are like using Dual Core systems, preferably laptops. Can cIV use the second processor core, and do you see much slow-down/jerkiness in the late game or with large maps?

    Cheers all.

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    Solver
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    It won't benefit from the dual core CPU per se. In fact, few games can really use both cores. Obviously, it's going to run well anyway, because all dual-core CPUs are fairly powerful, but there won't be any significant multithreading going on.
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    MrWhereItsAt
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    So then I can expect a single 1.66 or 2.00 GHz core of the dual-core laptop to generally be considerably better than the XP2400+ CPU I have now? I know the 2400+ is not the strict clockspeed (and besides I am aware that #s of GHz doesn't count for all that much anymore), but after all the number WAS used for comparison with the straight speed of Intel CPUs.

    It just seems to me that, architecture design aside, a 1.66GHz dual core machine doesn't sound that hot compared to a single 2.4GHz approximate equivalent CPU like the one I currently have, with a game like cIV that can't use the power of two processors.

    Am I provoking howls of laughter and derision? It's been a few years since I had to be up-to-date with the computer component technology needed to be able to play a civ game playably well, and it not longer is as simple as higher clockspeed = faster.

    At least graphics cards and RAM still mean the same, more or less.

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    Solver
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    A 2400 is what, 2 GHz ?

    Core Duo processors are currently the fastest ones out there. Despite their "lower" frequency, they have very good performance even when only one core is used. So indeed, it's not higher clock == more performance anymore.
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    LordShiva
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    Core 2 Duo processors, to be precise

    I guess the game could benefit even if it doesn't use both cores, as long as many of your background processes do. FWIW the game screams on my E6600.
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    MrWhereItsAt
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    Originally posted by LordShiva
    Core 2 Duo processors, to be precise

    I guess the game could benefit even if it doesn't use both cores, as long as many of your background processes do. FWIW the game screams on my E6600.
    Even into the late-game stage? On what sort of mapsize - even the large ones? I am mindful of late-game slowdowns in particular, especially with the next expansion focussing so heavily on this era.

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    Solver
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    Ultimately it all comes down to the question of how patient you are. Of course you won't get instantaneous turns in 1900 AD on the biggest maps. But I've never experienced any long waiting times, either.
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    MrWhereItsAt
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    That's good to know. Thanks for the assurances, guys.

    Hey! OMFG. You're looking at Poly's newest Deity.

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    proviisori
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    Originally posted by MrWhereItsAt
    That's good to know. Thanks for the assurances, guys.

    Hey! OMFG. You're looking at Poly's newest Deity.
    Cool!

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    Solver
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    Congrats on your, uhm, enthusiastic membership .
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    Robert Plomp
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    Civ runs very smoothly on my dual core. I don't know if one or two cores are being used though
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    Six Thousand Year Old Man
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    I still don't know what system bottleneck is with Civ4. I upgraded to a dual core, 3.4 GHz processor, and while the game loads faster and executes AI moves faster (not that that it was especially slow, anyway), I still get crashes on huge maps. 256 Mb video card, 1 GB RAM...
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    Krill
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    What graphics card?
    You just wasted six ... no, seven ... seconds of your life reading this sentence.

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    Krill
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    Though it is probably the RAM; 2 GB is preferable for huge maps.
    You just wasted six ... no, seven ... seconds of your life reading this sentence.

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    chuckdelicious
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    I just upgraded my pc to a core 2 duo 4300 (stock 1.8 GHz, running @ 3.3 GHz) with 2 GB of ram. CIV runs great. I agree with Krill, though, I believe it's more about the ram than anything.

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    Oldphart
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    The game works GREAT with my dual Opteron

    It is difficult to say if it is the big L2 cache of the Opteron 165 which makes it so fast, but civ has to sort through a lot of data.

    I also notice that other civilizations are doing things while I am directing my workers or cities - messages are popping up, so things are obviously happening in the background. It would, indeed, be very strange if modern games are not heavily multithreaded. Any game which works well on an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 will have to make use of the multikernel processors on those platforms, and then it makes very little sense to build a single-threaded PC version.

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    Willem
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    Originally posted by Six Thousand Year Old Man
    256 Mb video card, 1 GB RAM...
    256 meg means nothing if the processor itself is crappy. And yes, 2 gig would be much better for huge maps. My processor isn't much better than yours, but I have 2 gig of RAM and a decent video card so I have no problems at all with Huge maps. And that's with high resolution graphics.

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    meriadoc
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    Sick

    I agree. Civ 4 itself may not be able to use more than one core, but having multiple cores will allow Windows and other applications, like AIM, to use one core, and leave the other one free for Civ. Considering that most of us have something else running in the background, and Windows XP itself is a resource hog, having multiple CPUs is a definite help in running the game smoothly.
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    LDiCesare
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    I'm personnally buying a new laptop with core 2 duo 2Ghz, 2GRAM, and a 512MRAM vid card to replace the current one (Pentium 4, 1.8GHz, 256MRAM, 32MRAM vid card). I'm pretty sure the dual core will let me play maps bigger than small without huge delays now.
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    Kuciwalker
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    I'm pretty sure dual core will do jack **** for the map size you can play, given that none of Civ IV's game logic is multithreaded or parallelized. Rather, it'll run better because one core of a 2GHz Core 2 is much faster than a P4 @ 1.8 GHz.

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    LDiCesare
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    Exactly. The fact it's dual core doesn't matter in my case, unless I run in windows mode and run something in the background in the meantime. That and a vid card which the game doesn't complain it's too bad for it even though it can run the game.
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    Take a look at Task Manager and see how many processes are running at all times and tell me it doesn't help to have multiple cores. Civ4 runs much faster on a Core2Duo 6600 than on a P4 3.2ghz machine. I run at 1900x1200 and don't really suffer from lag in the late game but I do only play on regular size maps. 2 gig of ram really helps too.

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    Kuciwalker
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    Originally posted by Crossfire
    Take a look at Task Manager and see how many processes are running at all times and tell me it doesn't help to have multiple cores.


    It doesn't help to have multiple cores.

    Civ4 runs much faster on a Core2Duo 6600 than on a P4 3.2ghz machine.


    That's because one core of an E6600 is much faster than a 3.2 GHz P4.

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    Originally posted by Crossfire
    Take a look at Task Manager and see how many processes are running at all times and tell me it doesn't help to have multiple cores. Civ4 runs much faster on a Core2Duo 6600 than on a P4 3.2ghz machine. I run at 1900x1200 and don't really suffer from lag in the late game but I do only play on regular size maps. 2 gig of ram really helps too.
    Also note that all those processes use 0% cpu power and civ 99%.

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    snoopy369
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    RAM is the main bottleneck. I've never seen someone with a halfway decent system and 2GB RAM complain about slowdowns, and I've seen plenty of amazing systems with 1GB RAM complain. So buy 2 GB
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    Oldphart
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    Originally posted by snoopy369
    RAM is the main bottleneck. I've never seen someone with a halfway decent system and 2GB RAM complain about slowdowns, and I've seen plenty of amazing systems with 1GB RAM complain. So buy 2 GB
    32-bit Windows XP can use 3GB, and 2GB is not really enough for really huge (bigger than the standard game) maps. On the other hand, 64-bit Windows still does not work too well and needs more ram for the same performance, so I doubt 4GB will be an improvement.

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    Willem
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    Originally posted by Oldphart


    32-bit Windows XP can use 3GB...
    It can use a bit more than that. I had 4 gig installed awhile back and I was getting about 3.6 showing up in the system.

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    snoopy369
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    IIRC you can use 3GB at higher speeds and 4GB at lower speeds.
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    LDiCesare
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    Of the 4GB, by default only 2 are addressable by programs and 2 for the OS. But then this can be configured to reduce OS part to only 1G.
    Thus your computer may use up to 4GB RAM, but the OS is using 1 of these. So if you used 3.6GB, the OS was using between 0.6 and 1GB for its own purpose, which is huge.
    I think it may be possible to go beyond 3GB but I'm not sure, as it depends on the OS quite a lot, and the solution to that memory limitation is to use 64bits OS instead of 32.
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    Oldphart
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    Originally posted by LDiCesare
    ... So if you used 3.6GB, the OS was using between 0.6 and 1GB for its own purpose, which is huge.
    I suspect that he used about 3600 million bytes, and 3GiB is 3221225472. This means XP used about 370 megabytes. It is a lot, but most of it is probably buffers and very rarely used routines.

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