What exactly does 'CPU-bound' mean? (How will the switch of focus to GPU affect PCs)
Sorry for my ignorance but does that mean when the game is optimised I could actually see worse performance? (mine is pretty good right now as my cpu is good, but my gpu is probably weaker in ratio)
Or is it just a case of those with powerful gpus seeing much better performance as the game is optimised? I’m just worried the change of focus from CPU to GPU could actually worsen some pc’s performances?
Basically, I’m quite pleased with how the game currently runs on my laptop (My Desktop could be better but its decent and will obviously improve) so I’m just hoping it will stay as good.
(My specs: Intel i5 460m, 4GB Ram, Mobility Radeon 5470, 1366x768. My graphics card is quite weak, whereas my CPU is good for a laptop, so I'm just hoping the switch to GPU focus won't make the performance I'm seeing now worse).
What? It's no use have a mega GPU if your CPU is bad since it will bottleneck it.
What he means is that on face value, a GPU can do more operations per second than a CPU. However, the issue with using this as some sort of measurement lies in the fact that CPU's are designed to excel in a huge range of tasks while GPU's have traditionally been focused towards one specific area and thus have been extremely optimised. As of the past few years though, things like CUDA have allowed us to use the GPU's for more than their original intent, and many supercomputer arrays use GPU's for heavy calculations as they truly excel at floating point calculations.
This is a null point though. Basically, being "CPU Bound" means that your CPU is a bottleneck, in that the GPU is waiting for the CPU to send it new data to process. The reasons for this can vary, but it's generally that the AI or physics, both of which are often quite heavy on a CPU, are what the CPU is calculating, while also sending data that the GPU can use (shaders, particles and such). These days, there's been a lot more offloading to the GPU, but there's still only certain types of data that a GPU can understand. If you can translate the data via a software layer, and write a driver to leverage the power of the GPU, then by all means you can use the GPU for all sorts calculations with only minimal CPU overhead.
Physics and AI are somewhat linked to graphics in that in order for something to "have physics", it must be animated. This animation is calculated by the CPU, but processed and displayed by the GPU, except in cases where the physics is specifically offloaded to the GPU (such as with "PhysX" technology). As such, there's going to be a bottleneck here, which is further compacted as more information is being sent through the CPU (one such example is comparing idle in the barrens, to Ultraxion 25).
I didn't get into GW2 beta, so i don't know how it runs personally, but if they're doing what other MMO's do, then the game will still be CPU-bound, but even moreso it'll be network-bound (as latency across the internet is TRILLIONS of times greater than the latency between the CPU and GPU, or RAM and CPU).
Thanks very much for the replies, very informative and helpful
So I think I'm right in saying that the switch from CPU focus to GPU won't lessen any performance in anyway (no matter the PC) because currently the GPU is still having to do all the work. It's just that at the moment the game can only run as well as the CPU can transfer info to the GPU; therefore rigs with amazing GPUs are only as good as the speed of their CPU.
So I guess that means my laptop's graphics card is somehow powerful enough to play the game (I wasn't expecting it to even be playable yet alone medium+ settings).