Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

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Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby infiniteclouds » 2018-12-06 @ 22:30

Windows XP spans such a wide timeline of games -- are there any well known instances where a (XP) game doesn't play well with anything but single-core?
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby dionb » 2018-12-06 @ 22:44

A second CPU (or core) marginally increases scheduler overhead, so if you have a strictly single-threaded game and the PC is doing nothing else besides running it, it will be very slightly faster on the single core/CPU system.
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby Koltoroc » 2018-12-06 @ 22:44

I would say no. There are games that don't respond well to being shuffled between cores, but the solution is to either set core affinity in the task manager or use one of those ancient tools that do it for you.

I would not trade the benefit of a MUCH more responsive system when using at least a dual core for having to play around with settings and tools for the few games that don't like multi core CPUs, but your mileage may vary
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby Baoran » 2018-12-06 @ 22:45

I haven't seen any game like that. It is generally OS that handles running multiple threads either on single core or on multiple cores. Not saying it is impossible to have such a bug, but I don't know how I could make something like that happen
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby canthearu » 2018-12-06 @ 22:59

Also, the first very common dual core was the core 2 duo, which, even if running only one core, would run circles around anything older than it.

So no real advantage to using one of the older processors for windows XP, unless you are explicitly trying to hit a lower performance target.
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby canthearu » 2018-12-06 @ 23:01

Baoran wrote:I haven't seen any game like that. It is generally OS that handles running multiple threads either on single core or on multiple cores. Not saying it is impossible to have such a bug, but I don't know how I could make something like that happen


Fallout 3 didn't like running on my quad core system until I set the affinity to 2 cores only for it.
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby gerwin » 2018-12-06 @ 23:06

Games based on the Allegro 4 game programming library and its GUI routines have problems with multi-threading of any kind. The mouse cursor drawing code can start drawing to the screen at times when it is not allowed to: crash. Cannot fix it with core affinity, but hacking the dll to force it to directdraw emulation mode seems to work pretty well.
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby BeginnerGuy » 2018-12-07 @ 03:02

I'd still wager that the vast majority of single threaded applications (but not all) should not have problems running on a dual core system. Outside of what's listed, I would still make my selection based on the performance needs. For a system running games for 2005 or earlier, the fastest P4 or Athlon 64 is all you need anyway and you shouldn't have any problems running any 32 bit win9x/2000/xp code. Outside of multitasking in the OS, I can't think of any games during this time period that used parallel processing yet.

The single core can have an advantage if it has the higher clock speed / IPC e.g., a Pentium 4 HT 3.8ghz will get higher frame rates in most time period games than a Pentium D 645 3.4ghz dual core. Tack on a few compatibility issues with multi-cores and you have your advantages.

When we look at 2007 and beyond (Crysis...), the dual core really becomes a necessity for good performance anyway, and any benefit of the single core (compatibility) will be lost in performance on newer software.

So one could argue that for absolute compatibility and 'advantages' in XP, you would have to break it apart into two machines. For MOST realistic use, a dual core pc is fine for anything windows XP has to offer. I actually use a Core 2 Quad Q9400 with triple boot Win XP x86, Win7 x64, Debian 64 bit and I'm happy as a clam, I play Redneck Rampage on it one minute and the next I'm browsing, chatting, and doing my programming projects on the latest Debian.
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby Baoran » 2018-12-07 @ 03:51

I don't know about xp, but fallout 3 worked fine in win7 and quad core system.
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby Koltoroc » 2018-12-07 @ 05:14

Baoran wrote:I don't know about xp, but fallout 3 worked fine in win7 and quad core system.


I'm not aware that fallout 3 had issues with more than 2 cores either. That being said nowadays it has a whole zoo of other problems. At least the steam version does, the GOG version runs out of the box.
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby xjas » 2018-12-07 @ 05:40

I had to disable the second core in the BIOS to get Prince of Persia: Warrior Within running on a Dell D630 laptop (C2D) a few years ago. I thought it was a pretty new game (2004) to be exhibiting that issue. No idea if that holds true for all machines.
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby BeginnerGuy » 2018-12-07 @ 05:46

xjas wrote:I had to disable the second core in the BIOS to get Prince of Persia: Warrior Within running on a Dell D630 laptop (C2D) a few years ago. I thought it was a pretty new game (2004) to be exhibiting that issue. No idea if that holds true for all machines.


I played that not too long ago on my i7-4790k. I didn't finish it but it ran fine throughout. I have the steam version, not sure what kind of patch history that game has.
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby xjas » 2018-12-07 @ 05:48

Yeah I was running the completely un-patched original DVD release. It was on a work trip in the boonies & I had no internet. :P
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby canthearu » 2018-12-07 @ 06:25

Koltoroc wrote:
Baoran wrote:I don't know about xp, but fallout 3 worked fine in win7 and quad core system.


I'm not aware that fallout 3 had issues with more than 2 cores either. That being said nowadays it has a whole zoo of other problems. At least the steam version does, the GOG version runs out of the box.


Certainly could have just been my experience..... Blame Bethesda :)
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby infiniteclouds » 2018-12-07 @ 07:10

gerwin wrote:Games based on the Allegro 4 game programming library and its GUI routines have problems with multi-threading of any kind. The mouse cursor drawing code can start drawing to the screen at times when it is not allowed to: crash. Cannot fix it with core affinity, but hacking the dll to force it to directdraw emulation mode seems to work pretty well.


What are some examples of these games?



My current system from 2014 is an Ivy-E... 4802K/760 GTX... but unfortunately this motherboard has no PCI slots and without EAX there's little point to me even bothering trying to install XP on here. I would say that compatibility is probably a greater concern than speed just because there are so many games with no advantage to running in XP over 7. Is any card that is fully supported by XP (including older titles) going to run Crysis at max settings,AA/1080p? I wouldn't try to do it just to say I did. I would say whatever the most demanding game that supports EAX is would be my goalpost for the top end.
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby RandomStranger » 2018-12-07 @ 09:31

Baoran wrote:I don't know about xp, but fallout 3 worked fine in win7 and quad core system.

I had issues with Fallout 3 on Phenom X6 and Windows 7.
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby gerwin » 2018-12-07 @ 14:39

infiniteclouds wrote:
gerwin wrote:Games based on the Allegro 4 game programming library and its GUI routines have problems with multi-threading of any kind. The mouse cursor drawing code can start drawing to the screen at times when it is not allowed to: crash. Cannot fix it with core affinity, but hacking the dll to force it to directdraw emulation mode seems to work pretty well.

What are some examples of these games?


Mostly free games from hobby programmers:
https://www.allegro.cc/depot/index/rate
I used Allegro 4 to make a game called Heroquest and a game map editor/viewer called TFDtool. And they both had the mentioned multi-threading issues. The developers acknowledged it as well, but since allegro 5 is out nobody feels like fixing up v4. Allegro 5 has no GUI routines etc. So one cannot simply compile software written for v4 to use v5.
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Re: Is there any advantage to a single-core XP sytem?

Postby Crank9000 » 2018-12-07 @ 15:27

I remember Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic started having trouble when I upgraded from single core Athlon XP to Intel Q9550 quad core, had to make the game run on one core to fix it. I think that has been the only game I've played that didn't like multi core cpu at all.

That was with retail copy and Windows XP. Modern operating systems might not have similar problems, and also GOG version doesn't care how many cores you have and presumably neither does Steam version.
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