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Feature: 'The Top 10 Myths Of Video Game Optimization'

Game industry veteran Eric Preisz separates fallacy from fact as he rounds up his top 10 myths of video game optimization -- from premature optimization to multi-threading and assembly, Preisz says what are often disguised as helpful 'insider tips' can ac
Game industry veteran Eric Preisz warns that blanket generalizations, disguised as "tips" or "insider info", can make the learning curve of those practicing video game optimization pretty steep. Preisz calls out ten of the most popular VGO myths in his experience, hitting essential programming topics such as multi-threading, assembly, and the eternal 'premature optimization' question. Preisz points out that the real pitfall isn't in premature system and app-level optimizations; rather, the "root of all evil" lies in jumping the gun on the micro level, as he explains in this excerpt: "There are more flavors of PC configurations then there are of Linux operating systems. System level and application level optimizations are more likely to “rise the tide” of frame rates across combinations of AMD, Intel, Nvidia, CPUs and GPUs. Micro optimizations tend to vary across different configurations more than the system or application levels." Think that every optimization yields performance boosts? Not always, cautions Preisz: "A dealer splits a deck of cards in half and hands them to Jack and Jill. The dealer then asks the participants to sort the deck by red and black. Assume for our purposes that Jill is much faster than Jack, and finishes her half of the deck in 45 seconds. Jack, who is slower, finishes in 60 seconds. The entire process, since Jack and Jill operate in parallel, is equal to the slowest participant- in this example, Jack. Therefore, the entire process takes 60 seconds. Now - assume we optimize Jill’s performance so that she is now able to sort the deck 15 seconds faster. If we run the experiment again, we can clearly see that our bottle neck, Jack, is still causing our experiment to take 60 seconds. We have optimized Jill by 15 seconds but noticed no increase in the overall performance. Any time we fail to optimize the slowest core or parallel GPU kernel we have the potential for a zero percent frame rate increase. This sort of optimization, especially if it requires two or more weeks of work, does not impress management." You can now read the full feature, which details Preisz complete top 10 myths -- and his advice for how to focus on facts (no reg. required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).

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