Carmack on multi-threading in id Tech 5

Carmack on multi-threading in id Tech 5

John Carmack spoke about multi-threading support in the new id Tech 5 engine during Renee James' software keynote at IDF.

Along with the joint InTru 3D announcement with DreamWorks, one of the big focuses for Intel software chief Renee James’ keynote was future developer support for multi- and many-core products that Intel will deliver to market soon.

James invited John Carmack onto stage to talk about visual computing and he bought along what looked to be the same id Tech 5 Rage demo he showed at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference a while back.

While the demo was playing, Carmack spent some time talking about multi-threaded aspects of id Tech 5, where the entire rendering system is offloaded onto one core. he said this was a “natural progression” from the multi-core support it had included in previous generation titles. “That balances pretty nicely for most games, where you can run your game logic and simulation in one thread, and your rendering system in another thread,” he explained.

He explained that there was much more than just this going on in id Tech 5 though. He said that there’s a separate thread devoted entirely to “running analysis over what’s being rendered, managing the streaming of information from DVDs and hard drives, decompressing all of it, transcoding the formats that are useful for GPUs, and so on.

That sucks up a pretty good amount of processing power just to do that, but that's one of the key things that lets us do this level of detail that really is beyond anything that you've seen before,” he added.

Carmack on multi-threading in id Tech 5 Carmack on multi-threading in id Tech 5 Carmack on multi-threading in id Tech 5
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We also have additional threads running. The high-level AI determinations that go on in the game logic runs asynchronously with the sort of tick-based stuff that handles the moving and bouncing into things on the game logic. Collision detection is also pulled off into a more fine-grain system that can handle offline contingent stuff going on separate from the main game frames analysis.

It’s the first time I’ve seen it on a big screen and I have to say was impressed – the graphics look crisp, with notable mentions going to the lighting and particle effects in particular. Carmack didn’t give a release timeframe for Rage, so I guess we’ll have to wait for further announcements from id Software.

Are you looking forward to Rage? Tell us in the forums.


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Cinnander 22nd August 2008, 00:53 Quote
Looks pretty sweet - the technology seems very cool too, but I have a feeling that "Minimum Requirements" are going to start listing a number of cores. Dual core is fine and dandy, but from the sound of it Rage is going to want 4 to really feel at home. Graphics and Physics aside, there's still an awful lot to be done by the other threads.
bowman 22nd August 2008, 01:12 Quote
Given that the game is designed to run on a console with three in-order dual-issue SMT cores at 3.2GHz (yes that's about the equivalent of three Intel Atoms at 3.2GHz, instruction set being different and all it's not an entirely valid comparison, but still) I doubt it'll need more than a C2D to run just fine. Port be damned, PCs are so far ahead of the toys now that any decent dualcore machine can run them all without a hitch.
roshan 23rd August 2008, 08:38 Quote
Doom 3 ,Started well.finishes bad.Id tech 4 was dark. You can just tell the name of the engine just by looking at the monitor.when i played Prey i immidiately recognizied it was doom 3 engine.But engine was a mega hit for the gaming world at that time.
I hope id tech 5 would live up to the standards.Mega textures,multi theading ,but what we want is extreamly good game play with better graphics. kind of a unreal engine 3 like stuff from id,to use the engine for dozen other games.
Bladestorm 23rd August 2008, 11:15 Quote
James invited John Carmack onto stage to talk about visual computing and he bought along


And hey, developers starting to get a good handle on how to use multi-core is cool. :)
Hamish 23rd August 2008, 11:22 Quote
Originally Posted by roshan
Id tech 4 was dark.
no, Doom3 was dark
ET: Quake Wars was ID tech4, its certainly not dark
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