How to get Age of empires III to use Hyper-threading capability of my dual Xeon processors system?

Posted on 2006-05-04
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
As the title!  Please tell me if AOE3 uses hyperthreading and please tell me if it does, how to enable that feature?  I have a Dual Xeon 1.8GHz system.  The ctrl-alt-del shows that I have 4 cpus.  I have enabled the hyper-threading in the Bios.  I have Windows XP professional.  The utility that came from Intel said I have only enabled the hyperthreading in the Bios but cannot detect it in the system.  I have no idea why.  Please suggest a way to tell if my system has hyper-threading capability or not under the windows XP environment.  My system uses 860 chipsets.
Question by:Lee-Office
    LVL 23

    Accepted Solution

    I think you have 2 issues here:
    1 - Hyperthreading refers to using a cpu to simulate multiple cpus.
    2- You also have a dual-processor system.

    Easy one first - number 2
    Applications have to be specifically written to use a dual processor.  This is expensive, and hence only corporate applications use it.  Of course, while a sinle processor app is running on one of your cpus, other separate parts of the OS can be on the other.
    If you run your game, then go to Task Manager, you will see one of the Performance Charts getting thrashed, while the other just ticks along.

    now for 1
    These are used on a much more specific basis, and you may get some benefit depending on the code executing at that time.  
    Easiest thing to do is to benchmark your game, then disable HT, and then benchmark again.  
    I think you'll see that it was marginally faster with the HT on, which shows it is working already.  

    More info

    Author Comment

    DanCh99, thank you for your detailed analysis.  I do have a dual-cpu system and I thought that each of the Xeon processors is capable of hyperthreading too.  This should make the OS sees there are 4 cpus, which is what appears in the CTRL-ALT-DEL menu.   I have since then discovered that I can assign many of the program threads to each of the four processes and have used that capability to offset running tasks to different cpus.  There remains only one question that Do Age of Empires III uses the hyperthreading capability of my Xeon processor to distribute the game's working load?  

    Thank you for your attention and points.
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    I would think that yes, it would use hyperthreading on its own, as far as possible.  Benchmarking the game, and then running with and without hyperthreading in the BIOS would confirm this.

    But the main question is -
    have you checked all possible bottlenecks on AoEIII on your system?  It may not be just the CPU at fault.  It's obviously graphically intensive - some related info here, including benchmarking:
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment


    Author Comment

    Thank you again for helping.  I have enabled taskmanager before I start AOE3 and played a little game and swapped to taskmanager to see the recorded cpu activities.  The result shows that at  small battle, only one of the 4 logical cpus are used.  When more objects are invovled, more logical cpus are used.  Sometimes the activity of the cpus are peaked out.  I guess that shows AOE3 uses hyperthreading and also uses multiple-cpus.  I will have to observe more to report.  

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