How many cores/threads does 'multicore' utilize?

Hi there, I can’t seem to find it anywhere on Google so I was wondering if anyone here knows how many threads the Source engine supports, I assume it’s not an infinite number.

The reason I ask is because I intend to purchase a new CPU, so I’m wondering whether it’d make more sense to go for a six core or a quad core processor. If the game only uses four cores there’s no sense in me getting a six core processor.


2, thus it should say dual-core but valve thinks they’re funny.

there is no use for more than 4 cores unless you do workstation style rendering like CAD or 3d scene rendering. 4 cores is nice in games that use 2 because you can still have your computer doing other things in the background without fail.

But yea, won’t see anything using more than 4 cores for probably 5 years in terms of games, it’s low priority and gabe newell has admitted in an interview he doesn’t know how to do multi-threaded programming.

You can force your games to use more than 2, though. Add -threads # to your shortcut/run options and it will use that number of cores. This may decrease stability, though (however, i’ve been running my gmod like this for a long time now just fine.) Keep in mind even though this will split up the physics, etc., lua is still only single-threaded so too much lua can still bring you down.

i found out that you need to enable it in video options. i’ve got a quad core, my fps doubled since turning it on. i have a quad core, gmod now utilizes all 4 instead of 1.

It’s not gmod that uses multicore, it’s the rendering that is multicore. Chances are, your graphics card was hampered by physics and rendering calculations, and by enabling multicore, you’re allowing more than one CPU core to take some strain off your GPU.

no, watch your task manager’s cpu report and do something physics heavy. note difference.

Pleas correct me if I am wrong in here…
Multi core replaces the old need for two or more cpu’s in a computer, starting with HT (Hyper threading) i believe introduces in the xeon family and advancing to core 2 duo (dual die dual core = 4 cores and core 3 extream and quad (dual die 4 core = 8 cores)(AMD has their own line too) but in reality as stated above a normal user will probably never use all 4 cores let alone 8. Having 8 cores is overkill in a sense unless your designing 3d animations or doing CAD or something. Most server emulators and source programs use one core at a time.
In a home computer multi core was utilized to smooth multitasking operations in windows, mac, and linux by sharing the load.
for the record just because you have 4 - 8 cores does not mean you have then in series. these processors run in parallel so you may have 4 - 8 2ghz cores and not one 8 - 16ghz processor, the heat would be outrageous.
Mose OS and video drivers support the core sharing ops but if a program like gmod does not then the drivers will default to one core. Its like this: the program says “nope I can’t multi thread so I need only one core”
Having a good video GPU helps the resource load though as it takes on most of the rendering where is if you have onboard graphics (most intel systems stock and all laptops) your bound to your system ram and whatever is built into the board for a gpu unless you upgrade to pci-e or AGP for older ones.
Reason I stopped buying expensive laptops and started buying netbooks and keeping my games on my desktop.

Multi-core rendering is for people with multi-core graphics cards, or cards in SLI/Crossfire.
That’s all; just rendering.
I’m pretty sure nobody out there has a quad core graphics card… so only 2 cores of your graphics card(s) will be used.

No. That’s not what it is at all. You don’t even know what you’re talking about. That isn’t even how graphics cards work. The CPU is important for rendering because it tells the graphics card what to render. That’s why a CPU can bottleneck high-end graphics cards.


The graphics card doesn’t even do physics calculations unless you’re using PhysX. Which source doesn’t.

Multithreading computers have hardware support to efficiently execute multiple threads. These are distinguished from multiprocessing systems (such as multi-core systems) in that the threads have to share the resources of a single core: the computing units, the CPU caches and the translation lookaside buffer (TLB). Where multiprocessing systems include multiple complete processing units, multithreading aims to increase utilization of a single core by leveraging thread-level as well as instruction-level parallelism. As the two techniques are complementary, they are sometimes combined in systems with multiple multithreading CPUs and in CPUs with multiple multithreading cores. <-- read it nooblets

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