Writing well-performing parallel programs is challenging in the multi-core processor era. In addition to achieving good per-thread performance, which in itself is a balancing act between instruction-level parallelism, pipeline effects and good memory performance, multi-threaded programs complicate matters even further. These programs require synchronization, and are affected by the interactions between threads through sharing of both processor resources and the cache hierarchy. At the Intel Exascience Lab, we are developing an architectural simulator called Sniper for simulating future exascale-era multi-core processors. Its goal is twofold: Sniper should assist hardware designers to make design decisions, while simultaneously providing software designers with a tool to gain insight into the behavior of their algorithms and allow for optimization. By taking architectural features into account, our simulator can provide more insight into parallel programs than what can be obtained from existing performance analysis tools. This unique combination of hardware simulator and software performance analysis tool makes Sniper a useful tool for a simultaneous exploration of the hardware and software design space for future high-performance multi-core systems.