more games require SSE2 chip instruction sets

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more games require SSE2 chip instruction sets

PostPosted by OldBoy2k » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:12 pm

After checking Dead Space system requirements,i found infos about SSE2 (Intel and AMD64bit CPU) requirements for playing the game.Sadly,one of my wanted-to-buy games won't find its way to my shelf.Also Alone in the Dark: Near Death Investigation requires SSE2 chip instruction sets to run :(.

statements about SSE2 in Dead Space:
http://forums.ea.com/mboards/thread.jsp ... 0&tstart=0

very interesting point from user "avk" about SSE2 in newer games:
http://forums.amd.com/forum/messageview ... did=105060

12/17/2008 04:16 AM


avk

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There are many gamers all over the world who have not so modern PCs (both desktops and notebooks) as they would like to. Those PCs are often built on AMD Socket 462 CPUs, which are not capable of SSE2, and/or on graphics cards like Radeon 9500-X850 and GeForce FX, which are not capable of SM3.

You see, there are several PC games has been released, which are required SSE2: Assassin's Creed, Lost Planet, GRID, Dead Space and so on. I think that PC with Athlon XP 3200+ 2.2GHz + AGP Radeon HD 3850 would run these PC games with more-less comfort, but they are just not run without SSE2! So I suggest AMD to persuade the developers/publishers of these games to release so named non-SSE2 game patches. I'm very doubtful about the real necessarity of SSE2-code in these games, and I hope game developers will compile SSE1-binaries of their games if AMD will ask them . Then these SSE1-binaries can be uploaded on AMD Game site.

Now, about non-SM3 graphics cards. I do really understand that it will be very difficult to adapt an paricular SM3-game to SM2/2.0b, but there are several attempts exist: Bioshock, SM2-HDR for Oblivion and so on.

What about an old good games ? Do you know about ENB series? This guy do experiments with old PC games making them look much more modern by adding bump-mapping, HDR and lots of other eye-candy video effects.
Another guy constantly improves the graphics renderers for Unreal Engine 1 based games: Unreal Tournament 1, Deus Ex 1, Rune.

I think that if AMD will reward some of these enthusiasts, they will do their job more fast and quality. What about giving them a modern graphics cards (of course, Radeon HD 48xx ) or even PC (of course, based on Phenom II)? I think that this gesture will help AMD to gain the gamers' confidence.


You are right! Almost . But let me ask you question: did you analyze the PC games' binaries? I did and I must to say that in most cases the SSE2 is used just in scalar mode! Do you understand what this does mean? I think that in most cases so named "SSE2-code path" is just a checked box inside their MS Visual Studio's projects, rather then real optimization, alas. And because there is no speed difference between scalar SSE2 and x87, why not to build non-SSE2 binaries? BTW, if you would begin to argue me that SSE2 is critically important to should say: CryEngine 2 (Crysis, Crysis: Warhead), Unreal Engine 3 (Unreal Tournament 3, Gears of War, Bioshock and lots of other titles based on) are works without SSE2 at all! I don't want to say that SSE2-3-4 are useless extensions, instead, they are really useful. I just want to say to game developers: please, remember to build a non-SSEx binaries, because the different PC users may have the different CPUs. The paragons I can name are the idTech4-based games (Doom 3, Quake 4, Prey, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars) and Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, because they dynamically recognize the CPU features and use an appropriate code path.

About prices. Yes, a contemporary PC hardware prices are extremely low and almost every PC user is able to buy a multi-core CPU and a graphics card with SM4.x, but please do not forget about those who have bought notebooks and netbooks. Do you know what kind of graphics cards are integrated in them? In most cases it's lame Intel integrated video with a buggy drivers and only SM2 support. Are they able to upgrade their PCs? AFAIK, mostly no. What about these PC gamers?


Edit: Just found this at a capcom forum: click: another good discusson on SSE2
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Re: more and more games require SSE2 chipsets

PostPosted by DosFreak » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:46 pm

They don't really have any valid points. Technology progresses. You cannot seriously expect these companies to support the massive amount of computer hardware out there. It's bad enough supporting "modern" PC hardware without still support 5 year old PC hardware.

If your a gamer today (and for the last few years), then you should be using a Core 2 Duo+. AMD has been dead in the gaming space for quite awhile. The only reason gamers still buy AMD chips is because of loyalty and ignorance (thinking AMD is cheaper, better, faster, etc).

Shader Model 3 was introduced in....2004? 2004! Think about that. It's 200 frickin 9. That's 5 years and we are already up to SM4.


If people think an Athlon XP 3200+ and an HD 3850 can seriously run these games the way they should be played then I'd seriously like a hit of whatever crap they are sniffing.

As for laptops, these kinds of games have never been supported on laptops. This may change (NVIDIA has finally gotten around to releasing drivers on their website for laptop chipsets) but it's been the standard since basically forever that serious and even moderatly intensive graphical games are not supported or played on laptops. (Obviously there are fringe cases).
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Re: more and more games require SSE2 chipsets

PostPosted by OldBoy2k » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:01 am

Well, don't agree here in total.Since 64bit did not exceed total speed of AMD Athlon XPs but offers more through out performance in handling more processes,the software industry now hides lazy programming behind more cpu cores.Similar thing with SSE2.Like avk wrote,SSE2 was used for skaling but does not merely enhance cpu speed.The point i agree with avk is this:Look after still bought used old AMD boards which can be bought very cheap these days on ebay.They do not disappear from the surface just because 64bit is out.Okay,lot 64bit motherboards have been sold the last 1 1/2 years but most games would run on old SSE1 cpu supporting boards.Good example is Crysis Warhead where Crytek learned to optimize their games.More customers,more sold games...i would bet Doom 4 will come out with great graphics and will work on old SSE1 cpus.
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Re: more and more games require SSE2 chipsets

PostPosted by DosFreak » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:21 am

Yes but define "run". By "run" do you mean 640x480 or 800x600 with all graphics settings set to low? Is that really how you want to play your games?
If people are seriously doing this playing games on the PC then I'm sorry but they should just play the same games on the XBOX (if they have one).

This is 2009. People shouldn't be playing games at such low resolutions and graphics settings. Now someone will pop up and state that they are poor, computer parts are expensive etc etc.

Fine. Your poor. Computer parts are expensive. That's life. Publishers/Devs targer their games to the people they think will buy them. People running ancient ass hardware is not who they are targeting their game for and wasting time recoding their game to support these people is a waste of time.

This is why games like WOW, Counterstrike, other Valve games do so well. They cater to low end machines and people love them for it. (Their games still look like crap and it shows but hey the games work!)


As for Doom 3 I wouldn't hold it up as the most optimized game out there that runs on low end computers. If you go back to when it was released it ran slowly on the high-end computers of the time as well. The kick ass Athlon XP 2800+ I built back in 2002 (Yes XP's are really that old) can run it roughly around 30fps in 1024x768 res. (I think....I gave it to my brother last year so don't have the benchmarks with me). The ONLY reason it runs as well as it does is due to the fact that I have a decent graphics card in there (ATI X800). If I had some POS Intel graphics card in there it would be running around 10fps if that.

Not that around late 2002 to 2005 AMD held the crown for performance and the Athlon's were the best performing processors for gaming, so processors remained pretty static around that time until Intel finally got off their asses with the C2D series.


As for Doom 4 it looks like even though it will support DX9 and OpenGL it will be highly multithreaded: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id_Tech_5

Considering the game isn't expected to be released until Dec 2009 I highly doubt it will run on SSE1 only processors. Hopefully there won't be a bunch of people complaing about it either. If so then they better hope ID Software releases an XBOX port.


There are more than enough PC games out there for everyone, why people with old computers insist on new games beyond their system specs needing to work on their older computers is beyond me. The people complaning probably have no idea how many games there are for the PC that they could be playing for YEARS until they get around to building a faster machine and by the time they do so the games that they wanted to buy before will be so old they could pick them up for much cheaper! Stop being so impatient people!
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Re: more and more games require SSE2 chipsets

PostPosted by OldBoy2k » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:59 am

Okay,you win :D.

Though i ran a mobile XP OCed to 2.7GHz i could easily play these SSE2 games if those programmers would not be so unreasonable and use SSE2 chickset restrictions :lol: Looking at my shelf,....thats true...havent even yet finished 97% of the 45 games i bought :mrgreen:
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Re: more and more games require SSE2 chipsets

PostPosted by DosFreak » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:22 am

I'm the same. I have a ton of PC games and I don't even have a console. Last console I played heavily was NES/SNES.

Need to finish Fallout 3. Play Farcry 2. Play the 2 NWN2 expansions. Play the Witcher. Need to buy Crysis Warhead, Mirror's Edge, Dead Space, etc etc. and those are all new games. Have a ton of old games I need to play.

Downside of all this game compatibility testing I do. :(

The upside is that I'll be able to play any of my games when I want to since I know exactly which OS they run in and how to get them working.


My biggest fear is that I'll wait to play a game so long that I won't be able to play it! Vmware 6.5 finally has fairly decent D3D support and VirtualBox has OGL support but neither support those in a Windows 9x guest which is what some old those older games need. Sigh....
Last edited by DosFreak on Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: more and more games require SSE2 chipsets

PostPosted by JH2k » Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:33 am

The Half Life paragraph went directly to my heart and I can almost assure that you are a graphics lover only.

I don't want to hurt your feelings, but, do you play any game for anything beyond the graphics? (I don't intend to attack you, just was my impression from that paragraph ;-))

I don't care if the graphics are a crap, by the way, I don't understand why people say that HL2 graphics are a crap, they were awesome in 2004 and they are (were) still awesome in 2007 when episode 2 came out. Really, quality textures do more for graphical quality of a game (indeed, the textures aren't the best of the bests, but the overall result is really good), than tones of shadows, pixel shaders, vertex shaders and, indeed, SSE2 is not a very big advance in comparison to SSE (which was as MMX for Pentium 1).

Well, as I was saying (I'm missing the point), I don't care the graphics are a crap if the story is good or any other thing of the game satisfy you and, for this, there is no need of a huge hardware power.

I'm not saying that we don't need to advance in hardware, but, what the hell, lets use the current hardware for good instead convert in obsolete the latest hardware with crappy games.

It's only my opinion ;-)

(edited because I found I wrote episode 3 instead 2)
Last edited by JH2k on Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: more and more games require SSE2 chipsets

PostPosted by DosFreak » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:14 am

LOL, nope just a PC lover seeing developers not programming their games correctly for low-end and high-end hardware (Which ties into the SSE1\SSE2 thing).

My only concern with PC games is story, graphics are way down on the list but when you play a game that is touted for how great the graphics look and then you play the game for yourself and see that they dont even stand up to the competition well......it's pretty disappointing.

Note that I didn't play HL2 until the Orange Box because I despise activation. I waited for the Orange Box because all of the products would be bundled into one product, I could then install it, download the updates and then use a Steam emulator. Which is what I did and it works great.

So I realized that HL2 and Episode were old as dirt so I excused the graphics. Then I loaded up Episode 2. The textures had no excuse to be as terrible as they were. This a PC for crying out loud. There should be crap textures for low-end computers, decent textures for midrange computers and excellent textures for High-end computers. The textures left much to be desired. I don't give a crap about HDR which was hyped all to hell. I don't really give a crap about lyp syncing really since how often do you really care about lips syncing in an FPS? Nor do I give a crap about a ton of in-game cinematic....why the hell am I watching an in-game cinematic? and the linearity of the maps was pretty disappointing as well. They tried to give the appearance of freedom but frankly it's really no different than running down a corridor in Wolf3D. When an HL game starts integrating DeusEX\Thief levels of solving missions then I'll start to be happy and then mabye their in-game cinematics and lip syncing will actually mean something.

As for story there really wasn't one in HL2. The HL series never turned me on much. It's just another FPS in my opinion. HL1 was an excellent FPS that brought some much needed changes to FPS's but unfortunately HL2 didn't change much there.....unless you consider "EPISODIC" gaming a change....and considering they aren't episodic anyway then I guess it wasn't.
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Re: more and more games require SSE2 chipsets

PostPosted by OldBoy2k » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:26 pm

Lets look at some statistical facts http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/
-> 37%Single Core CPUs, estimated 13-15% of these are AMD Athlons XP's with SSE1.And an AMD Athlon 2500+ CPU with upgraded 2GB RAM and a strong AGP 7600GT,7900GT with 512MB DDR3 should be able to play most of the latest games at 1024x768 resolution by 2x Antiliasing and disabled shaders...
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Re: more and more games require SSE2 chipsets

PostPosted by DosFreak » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:14 am

It looks like in roughly a year and a half that single core cpu's will pretty much be nil for Steam users.

I couldn't imagine still using a single core cpu today. I noticed immediately going from my dual p3 1ghz to an Athlon XP how slow multitasking was. It was only until I had finally gotten an XP 2800+ with a new motherboard, ram, HD that I felt the system was as responsive as my P3 doing ordinary OS tasks.

I'd feel sorry for any developer that has to put up with a user base that wants todays games to work effeciently on a single core cpu.

Just recently I reinstalled Vista on the computer I gave my brother the Christmas before last. (Was a pre-sp1 Vista). Reinstalling Vista SP1 clean sped it up a little but you could tell it was a single core processor just by using it....along with the slow FSB/memory compared to modern processors/chipset. (And no let's not start a Vista bashing....even though it is a POS).
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Re: more and more games require SSE2 chipsets

PostPosted by OldCigarette » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:10 pm

SSE2 has been around over 7 years now. Eventually games must take use of new technology to improve. It would be nice if developers would add a SSE1 path as it's not all that different but maybe they figure that old of hardware won't play anyway. Adding another path would probably result in some loss of performance if previously the code was inlined, so that is working against you too.

btw 'chipset' should be 'instruction set'
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Re: more games require SSE2 chip instruction sets

PostPosted by avk » Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:46 am

Here I am :).

OldCigarette: The main difference between SSE2 and SSE1 is a support of the double precision floats (64 bits vs. 32 bits). Yes, a double precision support is very useful for a calculations, but PC and console games are not really need it, because they (games) are happy even with a single precision floats (32 bits). Most state-of-art game engines works perfectly without SSE2: CryEngine 2 (Crysis, Crysis: Warhead), Unreal Engine 3 (Gears of War, Unreal Tournament 3, Bioshock, Turok, Stranglehold and lots of other), idTech 4 (Doom 3, Quake 4, Prey, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars), GameBryo (TES 4: Oblivion, Fallout 3), Jupiter EX (F.E.A.R. 1 & 2, Condemned 1). Why? Because their programmers are the true professionals who understand that the PC CPUs have the different capabilities. And those programmers, who don't (want to) understand this, are not, IMHO.
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Re: more games require SSE2 chip instruction sets

PostPosted by DosFreak » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:07 pm

or the developers use old ass engines.....

You do realize that like only 3 games out of your list have been released in the last year right? and that they are using the same engine as the prior games?


Fallout 3, uses same old shitty engine as Oblivion released back in 2006
Fear 2 - Same Engine as Fear 1 released back in 2005
Crysis Warhead - Same engine as Crysis released back in 2007.



Developers know exactly what they support. They chose not to support SSE1 processors. That's their right to do so. They most likely have done the research and didn't what to have to support people with old ass computers. Makes perfect sense.

Has nothing to do with how "professional" they are. Gimme a break.



Crysis - Nov 13, 2007
Crysis Warhead - Sept 12, 2008
Gears of War - Nov 6, 2007
Unreal Tournament 3 - Nov 19, 2007
BioShock - August 21, 2007
Stranglehold - September 7, 2007
Doom 3 - August 3, 2004
Quake 4 - October 18, 2005
Prey - July 11, 2006
Quake Wars - September 28, 2007
Elder Scrolls Oblivion - March 20, 2006
Fallout 3 - October 28, 2008
Fear 1 - October 17, 2005
Fear 2 - Feb 10, 2009
Condemned - April 11, 2006




SSE1 is dead. Move on with your life. Towards the middle of the Windows 7 lifespan 32bit will very rare on home computers (and the next OS after won't even support 32bit). What will you do then? Whine at MS for not supporting 32bit processors? Upgrade your ****.
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Re: more games require SSE2 chip instruction sets

PostPosted by avk » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:33 pm

or the developers use old ass engines.....
Well, if you think that those game engines I have mentioned are "old ass", so please name which are not.

Developers know exactly what they support.
Maybe, but I think they do it very seldom. The main goal of nowaday game developers is to release their games on the consoles and to forget about PC at all:
"What? The publisher wants to release our game on PC? Is he completely nuts? Ok boss, we'll try. Hey John, what about to compile the Windows build of the game? Could you cope with it this evening? Nice! Well guys, now it's time to drink our beer? Who's with me?"
Of course, I do exaggerate, but let me to assure you: they (game developers) don't care about PC at all, they just do compile a Windows builds, often forgetting: to adopt gamepad controls to keyboard and mouse, to include into the Options some simple video features like an AF and FSAA. And when they do compile a Windows builds of their games, they just do forget about "SSE2" checkbox in the Visual Studio's project, leaving it enabled. That's all. You can ask me: how do you know? Well, I have analyzed some of this SSE2-binaries and you know what? They use SSE2 in the scalar mode. Do you know what is mean? A scalar SSE2- (and SSE1-) code have no speed boost against an x87 one. At all.

SSE1 is dead.
Please try to tell it to the engine creators. I think that some of them don't think that :).

Towards the middle of the Windows 7 lifespan 32bit will very rare on home computers
Microsoft again makes a mistake: Not Vista, nor 7 should not exist in 32 bits. It is hard enough to support both 32- and 64-bit versions of a game for their developers, so I think that they will choose 32 bits. Both Vista and 7 are privide almost all 32-bit address space (from 3.5 to 4 GB) for any 32-bit process, and I think that this size is large enough (for games) for the next five years.

Upgrade your ****
Thanks :). I've already made it: Phenom X3 8450 @ 2.1 GHz, 2 GB of DDR2-800 RAM, GeForce 9800GT 512 MB. Not so fast as you can see, but I'm alright.
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Re: more games require SSE2 chip instruction sets

PostPosted by OldCigarette » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:49 pm

avk wrote:You can ask me: how do you know? Well, I have analyzed some of this SSE2-binaries and you know what? They use SSE2 in the scalar mode. Do you know what is mean? A scalar SSE2- (and SSE1-) code have no speed boost against an x87 one. At all.


That is disappointing if true. It sounds like most of the SSE2 instructions are coming from stuff like
Code: Select all
float newfloat = 1.0 / myfloat;

where they forget the f on the 1.0. Is that thinking correct? Or are they truly using double for calculations?
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