Although ‘hyper threading’ is a technical or in other words a profound term, I am sure that the crazy gamers know it. Hyperthreading is quite a recent phenomenon in the computer processor world. But as I said, it has become an intriguing matter overnight for computer game-loving people. The question has been raised- is hyperthreading worth it when it comes to gaming? Or, this is all fiction that the technology helps improve gaming performance. Another group is even claiming that hyper-threading harms the gaming experience. Is the answer in favor of hyperthreading? A chunk of people believes that. Whether hyper-threading helps gaming or harms gaming- is a critical matter which needs to be analyzed and then concludes. We are going to do it in this article, so just keep reading.
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Do You Have a Clear Concept of Hyperthreading?
It is really important to possess an absolute clear concept about this modern technology called ‘hyper threading’ before concluding on the matter of its effectiveness in gaming. We all know that Central Processing Unit (CPU) distributes, manages, and controls workloads that it has been commanded by the users. When there are 4 cores instead of 2 cores of processors, naturally the former processor can be used more efficiently by the CPU to carry out the command or task. These are called physical cores. However, if hyperthreading is enabled on your processor, then every core is divided into two threads instead of one. Hence, suddenly the 4 cores processor turns into the 8 cores processor. Obviously, the extra 4 cores are not actual ones; these are called logical cores.
As a result, when it comes to scheduling and distributing work, our CPU finds 8 threads on a 4 cores (physical) processor and distributes the work uniformly. Thus, the processor carries out the tasks more efficiently requiring less time compared to the situation when the hyper-threading did not exist. That’s how hyper-threading can make your computer faster, smoother, and more efficient, especially during multi-tasking, gaming, video processing, etc.
How Does Hyper-Threading Affect Gaming?
Today’s computer games are far more advanced than games two or three decades earlier. The high-resolution games demand a lot of resources from the CPU and graphics unit. You have to have a high-end PC to play some of the modern games as such FIFA, PES, Battlefield, Resident Evil, Assassin’s Creed, Metro Exodus, etc.
Enabling hyperthreading does not mean increasing the resources of your PC. Rather, it only helps the CPU to manage the existing resources in a better way. So, if you do not have higher physical cores of the processor along with a good graphics card, then only enabling hyper-threading won’t do a lot of favor to enhance your gaming experience.
Intel Core i5 is a good enough processor for most modern-day games. The processor has 4 cores. If hyperthreading is enabled in this processor, then the CPU gets a total of 8 cores which are excellent for gaming. You cannot expect the same in the case of the Intel Core i3 processor because the physical core is not enough even though hyperthreading is enabled. In summary, hyper-threading cannot be the replacement of actual resources for better gaming performance.
The Positive Effect of Hyperthreading on Gaming
Hyperthreading increases ‘fps’ (i.e. frames per second) on most of the games. As a result, you will view a smoother screen without many lags, thus quickening the system. The statement may not be true all the time, but most of the time, fps increase.
Let’s take a look at a screenshot of the game screen, ‘Battlefield 1’, both the condition of hyperthreading on and off. When hyper-threading is on, the clarity of the scene is much more prominent compared to its counterpart.
As most of today’s games possess in-built hyper-threading technology, you have no other choice to enable it or buy the processor which supports hyper-threading technology. Even if it does not directly improve gaming, it will certainly improve multi-tasking especially, when you play games and hear music at the same time.
The Negative Effect of Hyperthreading on Gaming
The efficiency of GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is more when hyperthreading is turned off. Hyperthreading does not really have too much impact on the graphics of the system. Sometimes, hyper-threading may even slow the game because of the wrong distribution of workload among the physical and logical threads. Plus, hyper-threading consumes much power which adversely affects your gaming experience as well. Some games even show negative performance when hyperthreading is on.
So, Is Hyperthreading Helpful or Harmful for Gaming?
As we have discussed above, there is no straight answer to the question. But one thing is for sure, hyper-threading helps the CPU to manage the existing resources better, thus impacting positively when playing games even though the impact is tiny.
However, for some games, it can be harmful if the games were not incorporated hyperthreading technology. In this case, graphics and physical processors are the key drivers in improving gaming.
There are other games, for which hyperthreading shows neither positive effect nor negative effect. So, it does not matter whether you enable hyper-threading or not; the performance will be the same. Again, upgrading your system is a must to smoothly play these games.
I would recommend to general gamers to enable hyperthreading all the time as well as buying an AMD processor containing good graphics or at least an Intel core i5 or core i7 processor. It is less chance for hyperthreading to harm your gaming experience or even better it in a dramatic fashion. There is no alternative to buying physical components as I mentioned.