What is "enough" FPS?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by TallManNY, May 12, 2011.

  1. TallManNY macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    I was wondering what type of FPS do gamers feel is enough? I've never had a machine that I could just set all settings to high and sit back and watch FPS be in the 80s or higher. I've always had to trade FPS for detail and quality. Generally, I think I'm okay as long as FPS is in the mid 30s. I've played sometimes in the mid-20s. Anything less and the game in unplayable to me. But I'm sure others would find the 20s terrible. Do people feel like gaming is a better experience at higher FPS? Do you like to push it to 60 and at that point you can't notice any difference? Does anyone turn down quality settings in order to go above 60?
  2. ghostlyorb macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    I'm no expert on gaming. But with my quad core MBP.. I get about 60FPS+ on Portal. It looks amazing with all the settings turned on high. I love High definition, so that's just me.
  3. ghostlyorb macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    I checked the FPS on Portal again.. and BOY was I wrong.. I get 110-130 FPS... and that's with EVERYTHING on high.
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    60 FPS is generally considered as optimal. While 30 FPS may look the same, you want the FPS to be high since the situations in games change all the time. For example in first person shooter, you get 30 FPS when walking and everything looks fine. However, when you start shooting or running or something explodes, the FPS will drop and sometimes it can go below 20 FPS which isn't that comfortable anymore. With 60 FPS, the gameplay will be smooth even when there is more action going on.

    In the end, the only thing that matters is what you find good. Some people sacrifice graphics for FPS while some people do the vice versa.
  5. TallManNY thread starter macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    I'm looking at benchmarks that are showing the lowest level iMac getting 50 FPS at high settings on games, so that seems pretty close to optimal. Interesting that the 6970M is probably overkill on some games and also somewhat taxed just to run the higher resolution. No value in getting FPS up to over 100 which you see whenever some runs a test with these new iMacs on an old game like Portal or TF2.
  6. MacAndMic macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2009
    I really only play FPS games online so my "requirements" may seem on the steep side but when playing online, 60 FPS in intense situations is the lowest I want to see. Anything less and I become bait against better players.

    Solo, 30 FPS in intense situations is very acceptable. When playing solo it's more about the eye candy than the game to me.

    I run a 27" 2010 i7 and can play all of my games at native resolution locally and they look amazing but when I go online I back it down to 1920 x 1050 for speed.
  7. superericla macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2010
    I prefer a game's minimum fps to be 24. It may have to be upwards of 60 fps in most parts of the game to achieve this.
  8. 0098386 Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Depends on the game.

    60fps is great for action games, and that's pretty much all I play. I'll lower the resolution and settings to get that 60fps (though anything between 30-60 is good for me).

    That said I once made an action game and used copious amounts of object motion blur, forced AA and lens-emulation effects to produce a quite cinematic looking arcade game. The problem with low frame rates is how it all glues together - if you throw in effects to make it look like a TV show or film then you can get away with it.
  9. Hastings101 macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2010
    60 is what most "hardcore" gamers think is the best FPS, and even then some say 60 isn't enough (I have no idea why, they must have some superhuman eyes I guess). For me, depending on screen size, a game doesn't feel any more fluid to me after 40-50 FPS.
  10. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    Some humans (not all) can identify objects within 1/220th of a second... so in theory 220FPS is the ideal upper limit. That said, 99 out of 100 people who claim they're able to see this fast - well, likely cant. ;)
  11. vincenz, May 12, 2011
    Last edited: May 17, 2011

    vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    I love games that run at 60+ fps, but anything 30ish is fine too.
  12. Sol macrumors 68000


    Jan 14, 2003
    On a CRT television, 6o fps seems perfect because the frame-rate matches the actual refresh rate of the screen. Motion is smooth and graphics have a vibrancy that is lost in a lower frame-rate.

    Computer monitors and flat-screen TVs have higher resolutions and higher refresh rates so differences between 60 fps and 120 fps are noticeable. I think that the higher the resolution, the higher the frame-rate should be to avoid what looks like stepping in the motion (graphics looking like a fast slide-show instead of a smooth motion).

    Subtle effects like motion-blur are needed to simulate the way our sight works, otherwise graphics look too sterile and artificial. Analogue video can look smooth on a CRT television because these subtle effects compensate for the relatively low frame-rate.

    In short, whatever frame-rate matches the refresh-rate of your monitor is ideal.
  13. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    60 fps minimum.

    STuff in the 30 fps range is too slow.

    But depends on what you're playing too. I'm talking mulitplayer fps games.

    For sp games a lower frame rate is more acceptable.
  14. archurban macrumors 6502a


    Aug 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    if you have more than 30fps, then you are fine. normally, 30fps is optimal. but it is all standard for console box. for PC, 45-60fps might be optimal fps. 90 or even 120 more than that is too faster. you don't even recognize the difference. oh, this is different story. but if some of you play games on windows mode, try out 'section 8 prejudice'. it's really good first person shooter. sci-fi shooter meets battlefield, crysis, halo, mass effect. I have enjoyed it nowadays. it's only $15. it was out just last week.
  15. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    With the refresh rate of 60Hz of most LCDs you will either have a fluid stream of 60, 30, 20, 15, etc FPS.

    Does 100 FPS help on LCDs? No, refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, thus not capable of showing more than 60 FPS. BUT! A game running at 100FPS will usually not get slowed to less than 60FPS. If you run normally at 60, you will get slowdowns from time to time to less than 60 fps.

    Is 45 fps better than 30 fps? No, not really. Since the screen refreshes 60 times a second 45 fps will have some frames aligning to the refresh rate and some not, thus giving a mix of 60 and 30 fps.

    60 FPS: 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
    30 FPS: 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
    45 FPS: 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0
    1 means there will be a new frame on the "Hz" screen refresh, 0 means there won't. The difference between.

    If you drop below 30 fps the things are gonna get ugly with 60Hz screen.

    So what matters to you?
    The human eye is very adoptable. If you are used to 30 FPS while playing you have no problems playing very well at 30 fps. The hugest impact on aim is human reaction and latency and the difference between 30 and 60 fps is minuscule. (difference between a second frame in 60 fps and 30 fps is 16ms, every other frame will be 16 ms slower on 30 fps).

    If you are playing games like Dragon Age, WoW you can come a very long way with 30 FPS or even 20.

    The only problem with a game that runs in 20/30 FPS normally will have dps dives under graphic heavy sequences/areas.
    Like my MBP that can do almost 100 FPS most places still did drop down to like 20 FPS at first boss in ICC25 and I know people that had machines that normally did 20 FPS that crashed or lagged out the same place.
  16. TallManNY thread starter macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    That is pretty interesting. Next time I play WoW, I will turn my settings down to try to get the FPS up closer to 60. I generally run at 30-35, but I know I get slow down once the fights start.

    Though I'm also upgrading soon, and if I go for the high end iMac with the 6790M I will be able to leave the settings on high and still achieve that FPS.
  17. peskaa macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2008
    London, UK
    I stick with 30 being the minimum I'll accept, though most games will go higher than that for most of the time. I turn V-Sync on to prevent any tearing, which locks the FPS to either 30 or 60.
  18. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    I cap my fps to 30 just because I am using a Mini and I don't want to fry anything. Supposedly around 50+ is where our brains start to conceive the flashing images as real time.
  19. Sol macrumors 68000


    Jan 14, 2003
    You are being cautious for nothing. Your Mac Mini and your brain will not get fried if your games are running over 60 fps.
  20. FroMann macrumors 6502


    Mar 26, 2011
    North Carolina, USA.
  21. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    There is a reason why all movies are shot in 23.976 or simply 24fps - All human beings, no matter what they tell you, can't notice the lag starting from 23.976fps. Fact: All movies and YouTube videos are displayed at 24fps and 30fps respectively.
    Therefore, all games, in order to look smooth, must have at least 24fps. This is the VERY MINIMUM for all human beings. If someone can "tell" the difference between 24fps and 120fps, then that person has been brainwashed with the idea of "higher the numbers, better the computer", which is totally false.

    Most monitors refresh at 60Hz, or 60fps. That DOES NOT MEAN everything has to be 60fps; it looks the same as 120fps or 24fps. NO ONE, NOT EVEN HARDCORE GAMERS, CAN TELL THE DIFFERENCE!

    That being said, it is best for games to display at this rate:
    NEVER dips below 24
    Average anywhere between 24 and 60
    DOES NOT GO ABOVE 60, because at that point your GPU could display more stuff at a reasonable FPS. Ignore this if all settings are on extreme.
  22. PowerGamerX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2009
    I try and keep things at least at 45fps on faster games. I cap the FPS at 30 sometimes though. Just depends on the game. Never below 30 though.
  23. 0098386 Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    You're sort of right.

    The human eye sees around 24FPS but monitors aren't synched to those frames. 60fps is just a nice easy number for monitors to run at (similar to electric currents in most countries, I believe?). But having seen games running at 120fps on really, just amazing displays, you do see a difference. It's much more natural.

    24fps would be fine if ALL games had maxed out AA, object motion blur and other lens emulation techniques. Until we get to that you can compensate by having 30-200fps games. (just be sure to have a display that supports 60+hz).
  24. TallManNY thread starter macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    I wonder if the hardcore gamer who says that they can see the difference is really picking up small variations in frame rate that probably happen throughout even a second of display time. While our FPS trackers display a number, that must be some sort of aggregate average number and there might be fluctuations throughout and our vary sensitive eyes are able to pick it up or at least notice that something is "wrong".

    I'm going to try to push to get my settings at 50 fps and see how that goes. I'm definitely convinced after talking to everyone that there is not much value to pushing beyond 60. Better, as one poster said, to ratchet up a setting or two for more eye candy.
  25. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    How do you check your FPS? On the PC side, I use FRAPS.

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