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So what's that special thing I gotta do...


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From what I've read, you stand to get maybe 25% or so better performance with today's software, which usually isn't written with multi-threading code. You do get better performance while running several applications, each being a separate thread, but until software is written to support multi-threading within an application, you won't get much for your money. When multiple threads are present, the operating system can assign them to different processors in a multi-processor environment, thus improving overall performance.


It isn't too hard to implement. Music can run in a thread, the sound effects mixer can run in a thread, server and client code can be separate threads, networking can be a thread, input device handling can be a thread, file system management can be a thread, and so on. It requires more advanced programming, and probably compilers, but it'll become standard now that multi-processor systems are becoming more and more popular. Any developer who doesn't code for multi-threading will be yesterday's news.


Valve is setting a good example that other game developers would be wise to follow. The Source engine is already well-written and nicely optimized, yet the creators are going the extra mile to support modern hardware. If all goes well in 2007, I'll be playing HL2:Episode 2 on a quad-core AMD system.

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