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Video Game Optimization by Ben Garney, Eric Preisz

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Chapter 6. CPU Bound: Memory

Computers operate in time and space. In this metaphor, instructions represent time and memory is space.

In the real world, factories optimize their space. Parts must flow from one place to another for maximum efficiency. If distances are too great, time becomes a factor. If the space is not laid out well, workers cannot complete their tasks efficiently.

Inside CPUs, transistors switch ever faster. However, the speed of light imposes hard limits. A chip—a single computational unit—cannot be the size of a room. It must fit into a small footprint. Electrons have to transfer charges from one part of the machine to another for work to be done, and while transistors are orders of magnitude faster than they were a few decades ...

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