It would be a pretty fair thing to say that the difference (in terms of the desktop market share) really started to open up between Intel and AMD when the latter decided to concentrate more on adding cores to their processor designs rather than concentrating on outright single-core performance. It gave Intel the basis for being the dominant platform in gaming which they have held since.
While AMD has significantly improved upon that with the release of their Ryzen processors back in 2017, it seems that in a report via PCGamesN, Intel still wants to remind people that more cores don’t necessarily mean better performance.
Intel’s chief performance strategist, Ryan Shrout, has written a post on his Medium account which, if we’re being honest, is advertising under the guise of independent journalism. If we wrote an article saying that eTeknix is the best tech website in the world, we wouldn’t expect you to take our word for it!
Using a Core i9 9900K processor, however, he tested various games limiting the core output and comparing the results. As you might expect, while more cores did help, of the 8 games tested 3 showed no benefit from single to multi-core use at all. This isn’t exactly news to most people who know processors.
His concluding comments, however, certainly take a pretty hefty shot at AMD. Particularly as they prepare to launch their 16 core 3950X processor. A release that is, incidentally, set to represent Team Red’s new gaming flagship release.
“Adding core-count just because you can… doesn’t result in better performance.
For gaming, 8-cores is the optimal spot for performance scaling in modern PC gaming and at 8-cores we get the best frequency scaling out of our Coffee Lake products and 14nm process technology today. And clock speed is what feeds the hungry primary threads of game engines today!”
The criticism of core count is somewhat surprising given that Intel has in recent years decided themselves to move towards higher numbers. It’s hardly any surprise that Intel in this instance has stated that 8-cores is the sweet spot. A comment that, I daresay, doesn’t include the AMD 8350.
While single-core performance will always be a major factor in gaming, there are, in the modern market, two key factors to consider. Firstly, more game developers are looking to fully optimize the potential of multi-core processors. Something that wasn’t done for many years!
Secondly, gaming these days isn’t just about gaming. If you’re a streamer, then you (may) need a processor with the outright grunt to handle the video processing alongside it.
In short, these comments were certainly relevant 10 years ago, but not really anymore and certainly not moving into the future. Like it not Intel, more cores are useful! That’s why you’re doing it now!
What do you think? How many cores does your processor have? – Let us know in the comments!
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