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Question about frame rates...

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I thought I'd ask this here because I'm pretty sure this question would get me laughed out of most corners of the internet.

 

Why do people care about their frame rate past like 40-45 frames per second?

 

I read discussions on games, and I fee like I must belong to some other species whose eyes are either vastly inferior or superior (depending on how you look at it), because for me, I stop being able to notice the frames (As in, the game becomes smooth) at about 25 frames per second. Get up to 30 or 35, and the game will tend never to drop into the point where I can actually tell I am watching a very fast slide show.

 

Now, I do like to push the graphics as far as they will go while still not getting visible frames (or in the case of GTA 4, a hair over that line during some of the better police chases), so maybe I just got used to low frame rates. Mostly I am just wondering if there is some magical world of gaming I have yet to experience because I've never seen a movie or game at anything above 60fps, or if other people are just obsessing over numbers that have no practical value.

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It's something you need to really experience before you notice the difference. I can live with 30fps or so but after you've seen the game at 60fps you notice the difference. Just looks so much smoother. Anything over 60fps is somewhat wasted due to the majority of monitors/TVs only outputting at 60Hz.

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It's something you need to really experience before you notice the difference. I can live with 30fps or so but after you've seen the game at 60fps you notice the difference. Just looks so much smoother. Anything over 60fps is somewhat wasted due to the majority of monitors/TVs only outputting at 60Hz.

 

This basically. But there are some games where having higher FPS gives you a bit of an advantage, such as Quake 3 iirc and Call of Duty. For example in Cod, the FPS sweetspots are 125, 250 and 333, which would allow you to run a bit faster, jump higher and longer, etc (Due to the Quake engine the series is built upon).

 

For other games, it might not be as important. But in my opinion, above 60 at least is a must.



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In that case, I think I'll stick my frame rate, at least for now. I get more out of the massive draw distances and nice textures and effects than I do out of a smoother game, so if I want to run at 60+ fps I need a computer that can do it at the games highest settings. In the mean time, I'm just happy that my computer can still max or nearly max many games out, even if it is at a frame rate that seems to make other people pull their hair out.

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Things aren't really black and white. For certain games, such as those using an overhead point of view (e.g. Diablo 3) 30 FPS will be more than enough. However, for stuff like first person shooters, I find that looking around inexplicably feels very "jerky" when you're running at just 30 FPS. Then there's Skyrim, which has severe frame-drops in certain indoor locations for me, and even though FRAPS reports frame rates of around 25, the game feels like it's playing at single digit FPS and actively looking around in those conditions causes motion sickness more quickly than I'd like.

 

I think that in the end, it mostly comes down to how responsive a game feels. If you're running at 30 FPS, I think that the minimum response time of the game will be 1/30 of a second. Similarly, at 60 FPS, it'll be 1/60 of a second. Anything higher is probably wasted, since your monitor can't draw frames fast enough anyway. So, if you're watching somebody else play a game, you might not notice 30 FPS vs 60 FPS, but when playing the game yourself, it might be very noticeable, especially if you're sensitive to response times or if the game simply has issues with responsiveness (e.g. Skyrim, in my case, and reportedly Far Cry 3 suffers from the same thing).

 

Even when just watching things, I can actually see it. Certain Starcraft 2 tournaments have experimented with 60 FPS streams in the past, and my first reaction will be like "hey, this stream feels smoother than usual". But once the novelty wears off, I kind of stop caring, so I'd say they're mostly wasting their bandwidth.

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I would suggest reading this article.

 

Especially the section entitled "Maximum FPS". You will find a nice description (along with a demonstration) why video games actually look better on a higher frame rate. Of course, if using motion blur and/or film grain, even framerates of around 30 FPS may look completely natural.

 

As a laptop user, I am stuck with frame rates up to 60 FPS (higher ones just waste (heat) the GPU). Most of the time, I find frame rates acceptable from high teens (18+), although in some games a natural feel starts at 25 or more. Typically, a stable frame rate of 40+ is enough to have a smooth gameplay.


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An interesting read, though I did know most of that. My question, or at least the intent behind it was based in my puzzlement at people who would rather turn the graphics down so low that Crysis looks like minecraft to achieve their 45 or 90 fps, than deal with a game on the very edge of being a slideshow, where I am perfectly willing to run a game hard enough that it occasionally stutters into visible range, or isn't totally smooth if I turn really fast.

 

I think the final verdict, at least to me, was that it does make the game look nicer, but I'll probably stick with making skyrim look as pretty as possible while still maintaining the illusion of movement.

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I can notice a difference between using a 60Hz and 75Hz screen, iunno if that relates.

 

But yes in COD you do get a slight advantage due to the Quake engine it runs on (As Leik suggests).

 

I also am not sure why but anything below 50FPS just gets too jerky and unbearable for me.


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...But there are some games where having higher FPS gives you a bit of an advantage, such as Quake 3 iirc and Call of Duty. For example in Cod, the FPS sweetspots are 125, 250 and 333, which would allow you to run a bit faster, jump higher and longer, etc (Due to the Quake engine the series is built upon).

 

Going way back, Counter-strike 1.6 (built on GoldSRC, a heavily modded quake engine) also was benifited by this. I can't speak for movement speed, but the high FPS did indeed effect your recoil in this game, which was substantial. A higher FPS meant your crosshairs "reset" more quickly and thus gave you the ability to shoot more quickly / accurately... even if only by a few MS, in a game like that it made all the difference.

 

And as for the refreshrate being capped at 60 or 85 on your monitor, the point is moot, because when your monitor DOES refresh, it is getting the most 'recent' data from your GPU. Even if its not processing half the frames being spit out, when it does, it's give you the freshest version if that makes sense. On fast paced games, that can also make a quite a difference if your in the competitive section of gaming.


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