The Bloatware Co-Processor

Once upon a time PCs were terrible gaming platforms. *gasp* Why, you ask? Well, beside the obvious lack of horsepower or gaming-centric graphics accelerators, the CPUs were simply not capable of processing in hardware the necessary floating-point math required for today’s games.   Starting with the 80386, consumer desktop PCs were the first to benefit from a symbiotic, pseudo dual-core technology that included a second processor for handling these math-intensive calculations. While this processor could not stand on its own or even allow the system to perform multi-threaded instructions, it did intercept floating point instructions and could decode them in hardware.   And boy-oh-boy did video games get a boost. Eventually the x87 floating point co-processor went the way of the dodo when its function was integrated in the 486 processor, although stripped down versions of the CPU did not include the FP unit. Anyone who owned an Intel processor with the SX designation knows it was the Celeron of the day.   Now it’s all about the multi-threaded, multi-core architecture. Both Intel and AMD have made tremendous efforts in delivering unheard of performance on the desktop by incorporating multiple CPUs into a single processor package at a very affordable price point.   This really opens up the possibilities to software designers both in and out of the gaming realm to expand physics calculations, artificial intelligence, and keep games running smoothly without hitches or lag. Of course, you need to make sure your system is running lean and mean with no extra software chugging your system down and wasting the time of the second processor.    But let me tell you why the multinational Tier 1s benefit from dual-core processing technology more than their customers.   It’s quite simple. They load down their systems with extraneous software that you do not need and only chew up clock cycles. Microsoft has dubbed this bloatware “craplets,” and they’re worried it’s going to ruin Vista’s reception by the public. These craplets of course are revenue streams for the Tier 1s. In fact, with the razor thin margins in this industry, the kickbacks they get may mean the only margin they get! So who’s the real customer at this point? Back to my point…   Bloatware and craplets bog down system performance and make your system less responsive. Dual core technology makes this less obtrusive to the end user as a second processing core can be occupied with the all the pop-ups, advertisements, and “free” offers while you are able to get your work done on the other. And the faster PCs get, the more bloatware they can install.   You didn’t buy a bloatware co-processor, you bought a dual-core processor that is supposed to speed up video encoding, digital imaging, and make for a smoother gaming experience. Right?   Not according to those other guys.    Who do you think loads the most “bloatware” on their PCs? I would love to hear about it.   Chris Morley is the Director of Product Development for Velocity Micro

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.


Mercedes wants to turn your car into a comfortable shopping mall on wheels

Mercedes-Benz designed its MBUX infotainment system with e-commerce in mind. Motorists can upgrade compatible cars via an over-the-air software updating system, but the brand wants to take this technology to the next level.

How to get the most out of agent builds and specializations in The Division 2

The Division 2 has an intricate loot system to let you fine tune your agent to fit your play style. In our builds and specializations guide, we'll walk you through all of the stats you should pay attention to when tinkering with gear.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?

EA is losing out on the true potential of Titanfall studio with ‘Apex Legends’

Apex Legends is a solid battle royale game, but one can’t shake the feeling that its creation was dictated by Respawn’s new owners: Electronic Arts. In the process, the studio’s soul could be lost.

The 'Anthem' demo's crash landing raises more questions than answers

Bioware bravely allowed gamers to see a large chunk of 'Anthem' over two demo weekends, but it backfired. Lackluster missions, performance issues, and muddled messaging over micro-transactions leaves the game with an uphill battle.

In the age of Alexa and Siri, Cortana’s halo has grown dim

In a sea of voice assistants, Cortana has become almost irrelevant. The nearly five-year-old voice assistant is seeing little love from consumers, and here’s why it is dead.

Apex Legends proves battle royale is no fad. In fact, it’s just getting started

Apex Legends came out of nowhere to take the top spot as battle royale in 2019, and it now looks as if it'll be the biggest game of the year. Its sudden success proves the battle royale fad still has plenty of life left in it.
Home Theater

Apple is arming up to redefine TV just like it did the phone

Curious about what Apple's answer to Netflix will be? Us too. So we combed through some patents, and looked at the landscape, to come up with a bold prediction: Apple's streaming service will be way bigger than anyone thinks.
Home Theater

How the headphone jack helps Samsung out-Apple the king

Samsung’s latest flagship phones and wearables unveiled at the Galaxy Unpacked event had plenty of exciting new tech. But one of the most useful features Samsung revealed is also the oldest: The mighty headphone jack.

Age of Empires II thrives 20 years later. Here's what Anthem could learn from it

Age Of Empires II is approaching its 20th birthday. It has a loyal following that has grown over the past five years. New always-online games like Anthem would love to remain relevant for so long, but they have a problem. They're just not…

Devil May Cry is Fantastic, but I still want a DmC: Devil May Cry sequel

Capcom's Devil May Cry 5 is one of the best games of 2019 and a welcome return for the series, but its success should not discount just how wonderful Ninja Theory's DmC: Devil May Cry really was.
Smart Home

Alexa may be everywhere, but it’s Google’s Assistant I want in my home. Here’s why

The Amazon Alexa may have the Google Home beat in quantity of skills and compatibility with other products, but does that really matter when Alexa falls flat for day-to-day conversation?

DMC 5’s greatness is a reminder of all the open world games that wasted my time

Devil May Cry 5 modernizes the stylish action combat while retaining its storied PS2 roots. More so, though, it reminded me that we could sure use more linear, single player games to combat the sea of open world games.