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I was reading a book the other day and it said that the renderer for Red Faction was converted from C/C++ to assembly an achieved a performance increase of 2.5 times. Not that this would be practical, but out of curiosity, with assembly language being a lower level and generally much faster language, how much of an overall performance increase could you expect if you converted an entire game such as Doom 3, or Half-life 2 from their primary language to assembly?

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Languages generally aren't inherently fast or slow. The speed aspect comes out of how you actually use the language and how good your compiler/interpreter or whatever is. A modern compiler can do a rather good job of optimisation. In some areas (which you would identify with a profiler) you may be able to provide a speed-up by writing stuff in ASM but blindly converting your entire renderer to ASM is not that likely to give you a huge speed up.

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The performance increase from assembly comes from optimizing the bottlenecks by taking the ASM your compiler generates at said bottlenecks and tweaking them manually, that, and converting mass math operations such as matrix and quaternion multiplications to MMX,SSE,3DNow,SSE2 or 3dNow2.

So, What Monder said [smile]

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