I just installed AoE 4 (Steam version) on my fairly new (definitely not old) PC;
‘Kaby Lake’ Pentium G4600 CPU (year 2017), GeForce GTX 1650 GPU (year 2019), 16 GB RAM, Windows 10 O.S. …
…only to get the pop-up: “Your CPU needs to support AVX instructions to run this game”. This situation is leniently ABSURD in my opinion.
Having used multiple CPUs in my life - from Pentium II (MMX era) to the current one - and having successfully played hundreds of video games… this is the first time in my life, a game turns down my CPU for not supporting an instruction set architecture.
AoE 4 development team accomplished the impossible.
Yes, I know that among the 7th generation ‘Kaby Lake’ processors, the ‘Core’ branded processors support the AVX2 instruction set, and the Celeron and Pentium-branded ones support only SSE 4.1/4.2. But, I also know what’s the most controversial to me, between having a fairly modern CPU that supports only SSE, and having a video game that turns down a modern CPU, because development team decided not to utilize SSE.
Assuming this writeup is accurate (hardware development really isn’t my strong point), games were starting to requires SSE some years after it was pioneered. AVX has now been out for years, and a game is requiring it.
Don’t most games have a spec sheet so people can look and see what the minimum requirements are? The answer is yes, and it literally says exactly your issue if you look up the specs on Google (see below)
OS: Windows 10 64 bit, or Windows 11.
Processor: Intel Core i5-6300U or AMD Ryzen 5 2400G.
I know beforehand about the system requirements. As I have already mentioned, my CPU is not a piece of retro technology that belongs to a museum. It’s faster and newer than the minimum required CPU… my whole system is multiple times faster than the minimum requirements of GPU, and of RAM.
I directly question the developer decision to turn down every CPU (modern or old) that doesn’t support AVX, from being able to run the game. In my opinion it’s controversial to completely lock outside a part of the processor market of the same era.
Not to mention that, as far as I know, all the commands of these instruction sets, can run without the requested instruction set. They will just be implemented more slowly.
There were a couple of threads about it in the closed beta period.
I’m not sure what’s the point of weighting in the age of the processor. It doesn’t matter. Its power and purpose matter.
Without checking in, isn’t G4600 a low-end product, dedicated for very basic gaming? Seems to be a machine of this type. 1650 is a very low-end graphics card. And that’s fine, and PCs are flexible but owning a low-end config doesn’t entitle to be able to play 100% of titles on the market. There will always be exceptions. These days as few as ever, outside of just sheer power requirements.
AoE IV might not look like an industry-changing, advanced title, but it’s not a light, small game. Certainly not one designed with netbooks and low-end spectrum in mind.
According to Steam, 96% of machines support AVX, which is even more than I thought considering how many extremely old, poor and busted machines have Steam client installed.
What exactly? Only a very small selection of products on the market doesn’t support AVX, and it lines up with other factors that exclude these machines from even trying to play bigger titles.
There are millions of possible configurations of PC machines, and it’s possible to always make sure they all can be supported in an equal and sufficient manner.
I didn’t notice that specific AVX requirement, because… who the **** checks about instruction set architectures, really! This is only in AoE 4 system requirements, literally. And that’s I’m trying to explain.
I don’t know how good it is or how good it might perform in practice, but if it can handle the game then it’s in an unfortunate spot where it’s not supported. There’s not a lot to say about it, as I’ve said it’s impossible to make sure 100% of hardware on the market is supported, and from the little of research I’ve done in closed beta period, models that don’t support (old or new) are usually in categories not meant for ‘normal’ gaming, often models designed with office work in mind, things like that.
Power, theoretical since it obviously can’t run it, doesn’t change anything. The same it didn’t when people couldn’t run games or their beefy PCs because of DirectX or Windows version requirements, or some technology for graphics cards like PixelShaders back in the day.
I’m not a software engineer, but I doubt it will change even if could be somehow reversed. With this one, I remember maybe 3-4 threads about it in total. Two guys from Brazil, someone else I don’t know from where… It’s clearly not an issue big enough for team to do anything, if anything can be done.
Probably nobody, because people, and again 96% of them, have it and it doesn’t cross their minds.
I bet a lot of games require it, but it’s not an issue to the point it’s not talked about at all.
Some thread from Google search:
Look like many big titles use is, but I don’t recall anyone talking about that.
This CPU from what I know is in a family below i3 level. Like it or not AoEIV is an AAA (at least priced) title. There’s no way around it - from what I can see Intel G series is created for office work, web browsing, very light games.
CPU capabilities are not determined by speed and new-ness alone. The architecturer, the cache sizings, the timings . . . these are all important. SSE vs. AVX also seems to be important (as per my link).
…I pass on some of the top phrases & comments, which I consider to be applicable to AoE 4 case as well:
Star Citizen now requires AVX support, killing off Intel Pentium platforms (1)
With the new alpha patch, Star Citizen officially requires AVX instruction support. All CPUs predating Intel’s Sandy Bridge (2011) and AMD’s Bulldozer (2011) architectures are no longer supported. Even worse, all of Intel’s modern Celeron and Pentium CPUs (including the latest generation) can’t run the game
A problem that’s artificially created by Intel’s segmentation practices. There’s very little reason not to include AVX instruction support on these budget chips
There’s no word from Star Citizen development on creating an SSE compatibility layer for AVX instructions
It may not be horribly difficult to create/maintain a parallel non-AVX code-path, depending on how extensively devs have implemented AVX
This probably would have went over much better had Star Citizen development explained exactly why AVX extensions are required and what they’re actually doing with it
(1) A quick summary of these Intel Pentium platforms:
7th generation Pentium processors (Kaby Lake): launch date Q1 2017
8th generation Pentium processors (Coffee Lake): launch date Q2 2018
9th generation Pentium processors (Coffee Lake Refresh): launch date Q2 2019
10th generation Pentium processors (Comet Lake): launch date Q2 2020
10th generation Pentium processors (Comet Lake Refresh): launch date Q1 2021
Note: I have excluded any low/medium power, and non-desktop processor platforms.
You’re just . . . quoting random comments on the article that you agree with? Alrighty-then.
I’ve tried to inform you about SSE vs. AVX, but it seems like you just want to rant about this decision which you’re informed about upfront when checking the game’s system requirements. So let’s trawl the comments from that article:
The last generation of processors that would have been sold under a gaming system moniker without AVX would have been somewhere around a 900 series I7. I ran a 920 and a 960 for a very long time. They were great processors and still held their own 3 years ago when I had to replace the 960 running a 970 video card due to hardware failure (SATA controller). Driver support was becoming a problem, mainly because vendors were not maintaining them, or keeping them available on their websites anymore. It was a real nightmare every time I had to reload the OS. This was due to age, not AVX. The current generation SKUs that do not support AVX are at the very bottom end. These processors certainly are not gaming class, and while there are some very specific case uses for these processors (that they shine in) purchasing one to play video games is going to be pretty disappointing compared with anything in the Core lineup. That is especially true if you try to play Star Citizen on one.
Also, it looks like later generations of the same chipsets are getting / have gotten AVX2 support:
So the issue is you’re literally just on an older chipset that doesn’t support something that’s been a standard for however many years. If you want to criticise Intel for segmenting their marketing offerings? Go for it.
If you want to spend your time continuing to complain about why Age IV requires it, you’re probably not going to get a lot of sympathy.
I’m not quoting random comments. I’m quoting selected parts of the article & comments, that I agree with indeed. By that, I show that opposite arguments exist.
I know that Intel’s latest Celeron and Pentium CPUs finally got AVX support. That’s the 11th generation (Tiger lake), and is about One and Only, and mobile, Pentium processor (and one mobile Celeron).
The aforementioned catalog of mine (generations 7 to 10), is about a bunch of Twenty Four (24) Pentium desktop processors (And I’m not including Celeron; Celeron chips have only 2 threads).
Intel’s practices are obviously condemned by me, but this is unrelated to this forum.
It’s a shame that AoE 4 is in that tiny list (fact) of video-game titles, that do not support non-AVX processors, and which would otherwise run the game decently.
(I’m convinced about the “decently”, though open to any “de facto” refute).
That’s my opinion.
PS1: In your selected quotes, don’t include info about “aged” systems (the whole 1st half of it), because it’s misleading. My thread is clearly focusing on the modern Pentium chips. PS2: I’m on an “older chip” you say; This does not mean I’m on an old chip, I point out. PS3: I do not seek sympathy. Nor patch out, because I have already uninstalled the game. I end up expressing a fair criticism.
I mean, not explicitly until the context was provided (and uh not by you). But as we are now discussing the modern Pentium chips, it again falls on Intel for taking so long to add AVX2 support. Not on a game requiring it (and clearly putting it on the system requirements).
A fair criticism would start with assuming or at least considering reasonable motive for this requirement; perhaps even actually discussing it (if any of us were able to). This is just venting. Which everyone needs to do from time to time, so long as you recognise that’s what it is.
Citation needed, etc.
It’s one thing to object to the requirement. To claim it a poor business move or whatever. But it’s another to say “this thing that is generally established to have evidenced benefits over SSE has no benefit for a modern video game released in 2021”.