64 Bit Gaming

Discussion in 'Games' started by nlf1187, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. nlf1187 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Will 64 bit processors enhance pc gaming to a new level, or will it be the same as using a 32 bit processor? If so, what will change (graphics, a.i., scope, etc..)?
     
  2. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #2
    how long is a piece of string?

    time will tell
     
  3. Mavimao macrumors 6502a

    Mavimao

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    #3
    The Nintendo 64 was 64 bits. The Gamecube was 32.

    From what I see, the number of "bits" a processor has won't make too large a difference of what you see. It's a lot of other things such as RAM, Harddrive speed, GPUs etc etc.
     
  4. benpatient macrumors 68000

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    #4
    it is all in the usage. 64 bit processing for games hasn't been necessary up to this point because games quite simply don't need more than 4gb of memory to address at one point in time. The only thing that actually can take advantage of that much address space is, I believe, the graphics card, but only then on an internal level. That's why you see graphics cards (all high-end modern graphics cards) with a 256 bit memory bus.
     
  5. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

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    #5
    There are 64-bit versions of a few games, and the are aupposed to run better compared to their 32-bit bretherin, but it's not noticable at this stage
     
  6. Soulstorm macrumors 68000

    Soulstorm

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    #6
    A good example of 64-bit games is Far Cry (64-bit version). You will be able to see much more detail using a 64-bit version of a game.

    But it's all in the usage. 64-bit is not about speed, just bigger storage for operations and memory allocations. Why some 64-bit programs are faster thatn 32-bit? Because they allow more information to be stored into a single cycle, so the number of operations done to process all the data needed are fewer - and that results in greater speeds (I stated that without all the technical details).

    If a game is written to take advantage of 64-bit processors, you will certainly notice optical and performance imrovements.
     
  7. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #7
    Probably the best feature of 64-bit gaming or any other 3D presentation will be the lack of problems because they don't have to devise a way of handling large amounts of data past the 32-bit memory barrier.

    If you'd used an x86 PC with DOS in the old days, you'll remember the fight between low memory, high memory, expanded, extended, conventional, and virtual memory. Once linear address space became available to the developers, it was easier to work on the game since they didn't have to work around the other game--the memory game.

    I expect more detailed graphics and possibly better sound to come out of it. Extra speed? No, but perhaps, less of a slowdown because they can load more scenes at once.
     
  8. Palad1 macrumors 6502a

    Palad1

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    #8
    You had Virtual Memory under DOS? :eek:

    I'm curious, which TSR did you use?

    Cheers,
    Palad1
     
  9. Haoshiro macrumors 68000

    Haoshiro

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    #9
    Well this isn't entirely accurate. There are 32, 64, and 128-bit components in both N64 and GameCube. Usually the systems get there bit titles based on their graphics processing units, N64 had 64-bit hardware for this and GameCube had 128-bit hardware.

    As for whether it will make a difference in games, that really depends on the skill of the developers. Every developer I've heard talk on the subject says there are very big performance gains in switching to 64-bit.

    Since this really has to do with how much data can be transfered at once, and how much memory can be addressed (as 32-bit limited how much RAM a system could access) then a well coded application could get large performance boosts. But again, that depends on the developers as well as the project.

    I would imagine AI specifically would benefit from the extra ram access, as would physics... but we likely aren't going to see a lot of that for many many years, will just get boosts in our fps!
     
  10. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #10
    the N64 had a 32 bit cpu, it was just based on a 64-bit design, sans the extra registers, it's a common myth that it used a 64-bit cpu.
     
  11. Haoshiro macrumors 68000

    Haoshiro

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    #11
    The RCP used for graphics, however, was 64-bit.
     
  12. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #12
    yeah i know, it's just people who say the gamecube was two steps forward one back are silly, the N64 had a 32bit cpu 64bit gpu and the gamecube had a 32 bit cpu and a 128 bit gpu.
     
  13. Haoshiro macrumors 68000

    Haoshiro

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    #13
    Am I reading these specs on wiki wrong or did the GameCube CPU have both 32-bit (integer/address space), and 64-bit (fp/data bus) support? Is that not enough to qualify the CPU as 64-bit?
     
  14. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #14
    that would be like saying the G4 is a 128 bit cpu because it has a 128 bit vector unit, unless the whole lot is 64-bit it's not, it's just a modified G3.
     
  15. Mavimao macrumors 6502a

    Mavimao

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    #15

    Thanks for the explanation - I stand corrected.

    I'm just glad that console makers are not fighting over how many "bits" their machines are anymore. Such deceiving numbers.
     
  16. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

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    #16
    Instead they're pushing for how many "cores" they have (as far as I remember, the SIMDs on the PS3 aren't actually cores, although they tout them as such)
     
  17. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #17
    Cores are the new bits.

    I always get annoyed when I get people asking me if the new systems are 256-bit, like it matters.
     
  18. Haoshiro macrumors 68000

    Haoshiro

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    #18
    But I wouldn't say it didn't matter at all, especially in the earlier years (8-bit was quite limiting compared to 16-bit). And cores, well, they really matter as well... just look at anandtech's review of Mac Pro, software that takes advantage of multiple cores really benefit a lot.
     
  19. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #19
    Maybe I should say then that cores are the new MHz.

    MHz matters, but not all MHz are equal.

    In the same way, PS3 has nine cores to the XBox 360's three, but not all cores are equal.
     
  20. iJed macrumors 6502

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    #20

    What you are seeing with Far Cry is the difference between 64 and 32-bit x86 processors: an increased number of registers. This really has little to do with the increased address bus width and more to do with design changes AMD made to the x86 architecture when they created AMD64.

    On PPC 64 vs 32 the performance gain would probably be so small it would be unnoticeable. It could even be detrimental! This is due to the PPC design being rather cleaner and more modern than x86.

    Generally a 64-bit CPU usually means that it theoretically has a 64-bit wide address bus (although often not really in practise) and can therefore address 2^64 bytes of RAM.
     
  21. exabytes18 macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I believe the 256 bit memory bus helps with bandwidth rather than helping it access more RAM.

    32 bit is limited to 4 gigabytes.
    64 bit is limited to 16 exabytes.
    256 bit would be limited to ~ 9 × 10^52 yottabytes.
     

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