View Full Version : Multicore processors and upgrading to Vista.

16th February 2007, 16:07
How many of you already have a PC with a multicore CPU, such as an Athlon X2 or a Pentium D or Core Duo?

Also do you really think you are currently gaining much from having an extra processing core in your PC? Do you actually take advantage of the extra core for multitasking?

I am currently still using a single core Athlon 64 CPU and for most tasks I never experience any slowdown or a need to wait around for something to catch up. Also all current games also run perfectly, so I see little reason to spend money to currently upgrade to a multicore CPU while my current system can process and handle most things I throw at it without a problem.

There are obviously certain tasks that I could benefit from having a dual or quad core system, but none of these are gaming related. Photoshop, Video editing and 3D rendering programs are really the only applications I would benefit from having a multicore CPU for.

But I do know that within the coming year this is going to change. Dual Core processors are now becoming the standard, and the number of single core processors being sold is slowly being phased out. Windows Vista also has much improved multicore management compared to XP and is much better at load balancing and managing the memory between multiple cores. For this reason many more applications and eventually games will be taking advantage of the fact most new systems running Vista will by multicore, and so they will be building this support in as standard.

For these reasons my next system will be a multicore system because basically by the time I need to build a new PC, all processors will be dual core as standard and I am going to tie in the building of a multicore system when I finally decide to purchase Windows Vista so I can take the most advantage of both the new OS and the multicores.

But, I will be waiting a bit longer for a couple of reasons. Windows Vista is currently very new and inevital bugs need to be ironed out and discovered before a move to the OS is a good idea. It has also now been discovered that many DirectX9 games are now being found to not run well under Vista, or not run at all, or they are running slower than they so do running on XP. Obviously dual booting between the two OSs would solve this, but dual booting is never as nice as just having the best OS and everything working.

One reason for this is the greater overheads Vista needs compared to XP, so more resources and background tasks are hitting the system and using ram at the same time as a game. Also changes in the was DirectX 10 works compared to DirectX 9 has made many games fall over and not work. This can be fixed in a lot of cases by telling the game to run in XP SP2 compatibility mode, but even then some are not running at all. And worst than this, certain installers are currently refusing to run under Vista so you cannot install games using certain makes of installer script. Hopefully this cause of this will be fixed soon so these games will work again.

Another current problem is sound. Microsoft have removed the HAL (Hardware Extraction Layer) from Direct X 10. Many older games rely on this to run their audio and communicate correctly with the sound card. With this gone the audio output from these games is reduced to 2 channel stereo, or no sound at all. This makes the expensive gaming sound cards pointless if they rely on HAL to work.

At the moment only Creative have come up with a fix for this and only then if you are running an XFI soundcard. Everyone else is currently stuck with no audio support for games that require HAL to work correctly.

So, if you are a gamer I recommend holding off on the upgrade to Vista until they find a solution to this problem, and also the games running slower in Vista compared to XP isn't just the extra overheads of the new OS making an impact, it is also due to the graphics drivers for Vista being very new and not fully developed. Once ATi and nVidia get their Vista drivers out of their beta and into a very release revisions things should improve, and also Direct X 10 is taking developers of the drivers time to get their heads around.

16th February 2007, 16:17
I've got an X2 3800, and I don't think I've ever had it chugging away other than when a programme crashes and hogs all the the CPU, as is their wont.

I probably don't use it to it's full power. All I use my PC for at the moment is web browsing, torrenting and the occasional CD/DVD burning.

So, for those reasons I'm really not too fussed about Vista right now. It looks nice and shiny and neat, but I've always been a late adopter with windows - I hated XP when it first came out but that was partially due to my experience being tarnished by the POS computers that my uni had foolishly decided to 'upgrade' to XP.

16th February 2007, 21:21
Meh, I probably wont upgrade to Vista, will have to see. I dont need it, I dont play many games these days anyway

16th February 2007, 23:31
No, I don't plan to get Vista or a multicore system anytime soon. I'm like you, I'll probably get that when I build my next system. Which will be next year at the earliest. Probably the year after that.

And I knew the old games would run poorer under Vista, simply because Vista demands more resources and so there's less left for the game to run on. But I did not know it would have this many compatibility issues. That's really bad news. I guess that means we're probably going to need a WinNT/32 emulator one day same as we use DOSbox today.

And another thing, I ran that applet from Microsoft that checks if your machine is ready for Vista. And according to it, mine is. Except for Deliplayer. It promised me that Deliplayer simply wouldn't work anymore after upgrading. So there's another reason, can't live without the Deliplayer. ;)

Demon Cleaner
20th February 2007, 05:45
No, I don't plan to get Vista or a multicore system anytime soon. I'm like you, I'll probably get that when I build my next system. Which will be next year at the earliest. Probably the year after that.Exactly the same here. I'm never using newer systems, as long as the old ones run fine. My XP is running like a charm, and I will not buy a new PC the next 2 years, unless something happens to my hardware.

You should make a poll, easier to see how many people will switch to the new OS.