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Dual processor games

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
What's the best way to tell if a game such as RTCW or Warcraft 3 is dual processor aware. I know that you can look at the processor view to tell but RTCW won't allow window view so that I can see both at once. Such specs don't seem readily availible on their web pages.

Cheers,
BVD
post #2 of 6
Games based on the Quake 3 engine are SMP enabled. They use both processors VERY well. RTCW is the same. I'm not sure know about WC3.

How can you tell?

In the game, bring down the console and enter the command:

/seta r_smp "0"

That will disable multiprocessor support. You'll have to relaunch the game for the change to take effect. Now, run a timedemo or play a game and note the framerate. If you don't already have the framerate counter on, enter this command:

/seta cg_drawfps "1"

When you've got an impression of how the speed is, enter this command to enable SMP support:

/seta r_smp "1"

Again, relaunch the game and play. On my Mac, I get nearly DOUBLE the framerates. Clearly the processor is the bottleneck with these types of games (at least, on my dual 500 it is).

edit: correction: RTCW seems to ignore the r_smp switch. This is unfortunate because in the demo and early betas, switching on SMP provided a significant boost in speed. There were bugs with navigating the menus when smp was on, though, but I would have thought that could be simple fix rather than crippling performance of the whole game to one processor. *sigh*

[ 08-28-2002: Message edited by: Brad ]</p>
post #3 of 6
Upon further investigation, I found the reason for this. The demo from id software was a cocoa app based on the Quake 3 engine Omni built. The final version is a cobbled-together Carbon app from the ancient CFM code that runs in both OSX and OS9. That much I already knew. Here's what I didn't "know" that Westlake had to say about this:
[quote]Currently, the SMP support has been disabled in the code of the game.
Now for the technical reasons, the game uses DrawSprocket to display
in full screen mode. However, there is a bug in the DrawSprocket that
will cause a kernel panic when the SMP option is turned on in Quake
III based games.

Also, the programmers noticed that the performance gain was modest
when the programmers were testing the SMP abilities on the game
before it would crash with a kernel panic.

Even with SMP support enabled, the program does not balance the load
properly betweent the processors. Most of the load is still placed on
one processor.<hr></blockquote>Lies.

With SMP enabled, Quake 3 based games regularly report 80-90% increased framerates on dual-processor Macs. Not only do I experience this boost, but also the hundreds of other folks who have posted about SMP in Q3 on X around the various BBSs over the past two years. Not once have I seen or ever read about SMP inducing kernel panics.

Bad move, Westlake. Bad. <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />
post #4 of 6
[quote]Originally posted by Brad:
<strong>However, there is a bug in the DrawSprocket that will cause a kernel panic when the SMP option is turned on in Quake III based games. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Perhaps they mean "there is a bug in our code that causes a kernel panic in DrawSprocket, and we don't know how to fix it, so we decided to cludge the whole issue and feed you some fresh BS"? <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

[ 08-28-2002: Message edited by: Overhope ]</p>
Whatever it is, it ain't rocket science
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Whatever it is, it ain't rocket science
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post #5 of 6
When I attended John Carmack's keynote at QuakeCon a couple weeks ago, Mr. Carmack said that, in the current version of the Mac Q3 code (probably the PC code as well), SMP doesn't provide nearly as much of a performance boost as it used to in earlier versions of Quake 3 because one of the later patches broke it (they have yet to determine what). So its very likely that SMP enabled in RTCW didn't actually provide that much of a performance gain due to it being based off of the broken SMP code from Q3.
post #6 of 6
On another engine: Giants: Citizen Kabuto is MP savvy on Mac OS X (but not on Windows), thanks to work done by Omni.

[ 08-30-2002: Message edited by: Amorph ]</p>
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"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
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