Intel has posted a video on its YouTube channel that attempts to demonstrate the advantages of the multi-threading improvements in Windows 7 compared against Windows Vista.  If you remember with the launch of Nehalem some time ago, Intel re-introduced HyperThreading to double the number of concurrent threads that could be run on a processor with X number of cores.  Intel also claimed to have worked diligently with Microsoft to fix issues with the Windows operating system so that it took better advantage of HyperThreading as opposed to multi-core processing – the differences of which are fairly important from a programming and CPU resource management perspective. 

A demo that Intel showed recently used a version of Intel’s “Smoke” multi-threaded gaming and physics engine and a real-time simulation of horses to put in perspective how these changes made in Windows 7 could affect gaming.  Since the engine attempts to maintain a fixed frame rate (rather than a fixed horse / AI count), the number of horses will vary depending on the performance of the overall system.  Intel claims that with Windows 7 the system sees anywhere from 10-20% more “horses on the screen” – which is going to become my new favorite performance metric.

One caveat I’ll note though – when watching the screen it looks like the Windows 7 system actually has some hard stutters going on – so while there might be more horses, would the theoretical gaming experience be any better?

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