Game developers offer dual-core, 64-bit patches
If you've been watching intently, you may have seen a number of game updates released recently that should warm hearts at AMD and Intel. AMDZone has been tracking these developments intently, and today they have some performance numbers from the Call of Duty 2 patch with dual-core support. Frame rates at low resolutions are increased a bit on an Athlon 64 X2, although the gains are fairly modest. This patch comes along in the wake of a similar update for Quake 4 that includes multiprocessor support.
In other news, Valve has delivered to the world 64-bit versions of Half-Life 2 and Lost Coast via its Steam content delivery system. This development is obviously prompted by AMD, whose Athlon 64 FX processors are pimped in the press release. Add these games to the list of 64-bit entertainments, which now include Far Cry, The Chronicles of Riddick, and (in a rather muted release) Unreal Tournament 2004.
Of course, we’ve also seen the release of dual-core and 64-bit video drivers from ATI and NVIDIA. The CPUs to benefit most from all of these updates may be Intel's 64-bit Pentiums, because they are currently a little bit lackluster in gaming performance. The Netburst microarchitecture does relatively better with code generated by newer compilers, struggles with x87 floating-point math (which is exchanged for SSE in 64-bit Windows binaries), and can take advantage of multithreading with even a single core thanks to Hyper-Threading. Interesting times, these are.