Why are there no process intensive games for ARM architecture despite being pretty powerful.


For example, the recent Apple M1 chip outperforms many x86 processors, but the only games that take advantage of the new CPUs are mostly mobile games.Only some PC games seems to have native ARM support, but they aren’t process demanding anyways.

In: Technology

Because most PC gamers play on windows with a handful on linux with x86 processors. Why would you bother writing a game for ARM if the majority them play on x86 PCs, Xbox series x or PS5 which are also x86 based?

To understand why this is the case you need to look at the difference between X86 and ARM processors. ARM processors have reduced functions, and are limited to basic operations. X86 processors have very extensive functions.

This does not mean ARM cannot do the same tasks as x86. Everything the x86 can do can be replicated by the ARM by using a combination of multiple operations. However doing so results in it being a lot slower for these cases, as it needs multiple instructions instead of a single one.

Most games are written for x86, as it has more functions and is the majority of the PC market. Moving these games to an ARM system would be possible with some effort, but would result in a significant performance loss, as advanced instructions need to be replicated.

ARM chips outside of mobile devices only came up recently, so the Companies have bot adapted to it yet.

This is not very ELI5 but I couldn’t come up with an easier explanation

It’s only relatively recently that ARM-based home computers are showing up with performance comparable to the x86 family of CPUs. For a long time ARM has been the top of the heap when it comes to offering the best tradeoff between fast computing and low power consumption, which is why it’s been the go-to chip for mobile phone and tablet makers.

But non-casual gamers have never really cared that much about low power consumption, they just want high performance (edit: and for most of pc gaming history, that’s meant fast performance on one, or only a few, cpu threads. Games which make good use of massively-parallel computing are coming but aren’t quite here yet, and that’s another area where ARM shines.) I expect that ARM will make up a bigger and bigger share of high-performance desktop computing in the years to come, and it will become more common for game developers to target ARM systems.