Calculating frame rates in games questions

By Leeky · 27 replies
Aug 9, 2010
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  1. As per title really.

    After my somewhat suprising Crysis experiement earlier, I'm curious to find out the most reliable way of finding out frame rates whilst its playing.

    Its basic I know - But prior to joining here in May (I think!) , I'd not touched a PC game in over 15 years... Your all slowly converting me! Pmsl. :D

    Also, what is the minimum playable frame rate? To me the game seems fine, even when everything is blowing up and happening at the same time - But is there like a minimum frame rate set for playability?

    Newbie questions!! :D
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    hi Leeky,
    you can use this utility to see what your running while playing, it hasa benchmark feature as well that will give you min/max/avg and record a log to your desltop. it depends on the type of game really. 30FPS is widely considered playable for semi smooth play. P(ersonally I think its at least 60FPS) for First person shooters 60fps is the goal for smooth, MMo's don't require that to play okay.The biggest issue is the minimum FPS. if it dips below 30 while you get to the 'action' portions, it gets really chunky looking. What was the "Crysis experiement" you were speaking of ?
    anyway download FRAPS and you can see where your at.:)
  3. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    Hey red. :)

    Thanks for the information, I'll download it now.

    It was an experiment for me really. I honestly didn't think my PC was capable of playing Crysis until the other day. Then I didn't think I'd like it, as not played a game in 15 years or so, but was curious how good it was.

    So I downloaded the demo earlier this morning, and proceeded to install it, and then play it.

    I started wiith letting it set optimum settings for me, which worked out 1280x800 pixels, and all the advanced settings on high. I then added 2x anti-aliasing to the mix, and then decided screw it, I'll try it at my native resolution - 1680x1050 pixels.

    I then played it for the best part of 3 hours solid, without a single hiccup (unless my very rusty keyboard skills for gaming count!). It didn't freeze once, or slow down at all. I was very suprised... But OMG how cool are the graphics!!! I love it so much I've ordered the full collection box (Crysis, Crysis Warlord and Crysis Wars), and I've ordered a 3 box set of STALKER as well (though not released yet). :D

    You lot are a bad influence, but I thank ya's! hehe.

    Getting back to the subject in hand, I just wanted to see how "playable" it really is; I've been out of games since Civilisation 2 (which ran through DOS!) so it might look cool to me, but it could well be unplayable to most people, and useless when I go online with it.

    Edit: OK, so it wasn't that good. How I had it set up I was barely getting 15-20 frames a sec. :D

    Backed off advanced settings to medium, and turned anti-alias off, and 1024x768 and its now sitting around 50-65, going down to about 40 minimum when all hell is breaking loose. lol.
  4. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    Don't worry about the numbers if it's playable for you. There are people who are spoiled by a certain type of performance, and others who can enjoy the game even without all of that.
  5. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    was that a shot?:p:haha: I believe you are the owner of a hyperclocked 5970 are you not LN?
  6. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    LOL. He has a point though. I thought it was perfectly playable... You'd have probably thrown my PC out the window! :p

    I prefered it when it was more detailed. That said, there is a huge difference between medium and high settings, but its definitely smoother when there is loads of action at once. I'd happily play it in high settings though. :)

    Speaking of which (@ both of you) would changing my GPU make much difference with my setup, or am I bottlenecked by the CPU/RAM?
  7. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    NO, no if its playable for you, more power to you, I just like hardware and pushing things. Just an area of interest for me.

    Your CPU will handle much more GPU if you decide to upgrade. :)
  8. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    Yeah I know, I was just jesting. :D

    I'm somewhat jealous of yours, but I consider myself lucky as I have several good computers, and they do everything I need from them. :D

    That's cool - I might just 'up' the card for now (and PSU as the Dell one will crap a brick if I did!) then. :) Will be a nice xmas pressie. :)
  9. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    Well I didn't say I wasn't one of the spoiled ones! I'm just used to a certain type of performance and if I don't get it I lose interest in playing the game. I got pretty decent performance in Crysis when I first got my GX2, but I only made it about 2 hours into the game with that card. Once I got my 5970 I finished the game and loved it the whole time. Now I'm doing the same thing with Dragon Age - 21 hours in 3 days. I'm addicted.

    Oh yeah, and you could probably feed up to a 5850 without too much problem Leeky - I might even try a GTX460 if I were you. I'm thinking about putting one on my daughter's machine and she's running a Q8300.
  10. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Playing battlefield bad company 2 @ 1920x1200 with a lesser Q6600 @ 3Ghz(333Mhz) and a XFX 5850 @ 850/1200. Full details and 2xAA/4xAF, will check that though. Not the performance crusher that Crysis is, I have a copy of it so I'll maybe stick it on it and see how it fairs and report back. I'd definitely recommend a 5850, but the tessellation power of the GTX460 might be worth looking into too. Oh, and StarCraft2 runs without a single hiccup at max details @ 1920x1200 with AA forced on in the driver (10.7a).
  11. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    Thanks for the advice. :)

    Its comforting to know my current system has nice potential. I'd definitely need a new power supply before I even considered another card though.

    I have my eye on this PSU:

    It should have ample headroom for anything I plan in the next 3-4 years. I'm currently using a 400W PSU, supplied along with my Dell PC when I purchased it. :D

    I'll be looking at a maximum of £100 really for a new graphics card; I'm pretty sure 58xx Radeon's will be well out of my budget. lol. I could spend more, but I need a PSU too, so I need to consider the expense of that.

    I was thinking along the lines of these:
    Radeon HD 5770 1GB DDR5:
    Nvidia GTS250 1GB DDR3:

    I need to be spending a minimum of £150 in order to get a 4xx series Nvidia, which is out of my budget considering I need a new PSU before running it.

    Speaking of which, If I purchased another Radeon HD 4670, and a motherboard which allowed crossfire, would that be better for me than say one HD 5770? Or can I run both in crossfire (e.g. the 5770 and my current HD 4670) if I got another motherboard?
  12. steve mcqueen

    steve mcqueen TS Rookie

    whatever is comfortable for you.
  13. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Hmm.... You should be able to find someplace cheaper to get your computer stuff....

    I'm thinking the 5770 should be better than the GTS250.

    As for Xfire, you would save more money getting a PSU and a bigger graphics card for the cards you're suggesting. Running Xfire would need a new PSU anyway I reckon. At the very least, the power draw from 2 graphics cards would equal that of a bigger card, if not more.
  14. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    Oh I totally agree. I'll be purchasing a 650w cosair psu before I even fit another gpu.

    I've already realised that in the UK we pretty much pay in GBP, what everyone pays in USD. We pay a lot more! lol. I would find the cheapest place, but I've always used as well. there delivery and customer service is second to none.

    Thank you for your imput though. :)
  15. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    I used to use Komplett a lot but they shut down their UK division.

    Now I usually check prices at, and then sometimes the likes of dabs (but usually they have silly prices) and

    I'm currently running my 5850 off a 400w PSU (although its a quality one that came with my Shuttle barebones). If you aren't buying the most top end power hungry card on the market I'd be tempted to check out the Dell PSU and see how good (or bad) it is. have a 250GTS Value model for £82. Maybe worth checking out if you want to go with a lower end card.
    They also have 5850 for ~£200 mark. If you are even considering the 5770 at £130ish I'd then maybe it would be worth considering the Palit GTX460 768mb ( - £149.99 ). Seems to be the best performance for the money at the moment. TS reviewed the 1024mb one recently.
  16. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    Thanks Arris. :)

    I have recently bookmarked all of those sites, and when it comes down to purchasing them I'll be sure to consider them all. Ironically I did look at scan and OCUK as well - So its good to know I'm looking along the right lines.

    I think I'd like to spend a little bit more and go one up from the GTS250.

    How do the Radeon 5770 and GTX460's compare with one another? From reading, it seems the 460 is the better of the two cards, and quieter too.
  17. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    One of our other members recently pointed out to me how nice a package the GTX460 is. TechSpot give it a thumbs up too. And if you feel you could do with a little more performance it seems to have good headroom for overclocking.

    Scan used to get referred to as Scam by some as their prices often seemed a bit too inflated. Although they seem to be inline with everywhere else and the service is decent too. I find that if you take postage and packaging costs into consideration they can often be cheaper than overclockers. I have heard from a workmate that if you join the overclockers forum and post on occasion there is some deal with free postage for active forum members.
  18. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    I like the idea of going for something at the top of midrange, bottom of top end, purely because I can always add another later on in xfire/sli if needs be.

    The same is true of the Corsair 650w PSU; Its more than enough for now (too much I think!), but in a year or so if I decide to go the i5 750/i7 route, I have a good GPU and PSU, and along with my disks (SSD and 1TB drive), all I need is a decent case, CPU, RAM and motherboard and I'm away. I'm sure it would adequately power all that, and even a second GTX460 if needed as well.

    So ultimately, whatever PSU I choose needs to support my current setup, plus the possibilty of a i5/i7, SLI GTX460's, or x/fire 5770's. (or whatever I end up purchasing)

    Whichever I choose, my next motherboard purchase will be one that supports 2x/3x GPU's, purely so I can purchase another one to run alongside it, and save myself a wedge of money over getting something at the very top of high end. I'll never need a top end GPU, but the future expansion possiblity of adding another of the same type makes sense to me finanically. I prefer to evolve my PCs, not replace them entirely every year.
  19. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Completely with you on the evolving thing. Usually I go through 2-3 GPUs and a few CPUs upgrades before I switch plaform/motherboard. But this Q6600 has just been such a great CPU that I've not needed to update it. Might have some funds for a new platform in a few months, and due to no longer having the PC as a HTPC/Gaming one in my living room under the TV might move from Shuttle/MiniATX to midi tower.

    Good luck wtih whatever path you take Leeky. Let us know how you get on with the GTX460 that I think you'll end up buying :p
  20. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    A 650W PSU from a good brand such as Corsair, will support just about anything. Might not support dual high-end GPUs, but will power everything else....

    Dual GTX460s might be a little on the "might-or might-not" category. Maybe go for a 750W if you're sure you will be going that way.

    You'll have to choose between an i5 or i7 now, because most i7's use the LGA1366, while all i5's use the LGA1156. There is a couple of i7's which use the LGA1156.

    Personally don't think you'd notice much difference though, unless you got alot of CPU intensive stuff happening.
  21. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    I'm sure I will keep everyone informed. :) Thanks for your help and feedback.

    I'm definitely sure if I needed more GPU power I'd run in pairs, but I'll be looking to do that on my next motherboard purchase.

    I might do it earlier, it all depends on how Crysis handles a GTX460 I suppose. Mine is adequate, but the game is definitely better with sharper graphics and higher settings.

    If a 750w is more whats needed to run a pair of 5770/GTX460's, then I'll have to go for it. I really want to run a pair of them now - As I can really see myself getting into gaming on the PC... :D

    I think (and given comments previously) that my Q8200 is more than OK for my future plans. Its just hard to consider purchasing a new motherboard for an old technology (in the sense that 1156/1366 chipsets are here now) really.

    If I was told my Q8200 would do everything I need of it for gaming and still allow the full potential of twin 5770's/460's then I wouldn't even consider upgrading the cpu. I'd just get a motherboard to suit the current one, and for whatever gpu option I decide on. Its pointless having something for the sake of it, when the majority of what I have now is fit for purpose.
  22. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    Great to see you getting into PC gaming Leeky =D, not much I can add as you seem to have everything sorted out. But I do have a question for you. Where did you order the box set of STALKER from? I'm a STALKER fan myself and have both Shadows of Chernobyl and Clear Sky, but would love to have a box set of all three together.
  23. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

  24. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    Thanks Leeky, ya that's only CS & CoP which isn't too bad since I have SoC & CS. If I find a copy for a good price I might get it. Since you're just getting back into PC gaming you looking for more game recommendations or happy with those FPS games? They will keep you busy for some time that's for sure. I would recommend playing the Complete mods for STALKER as they really enhance the game. Not sure if CoP has one yet but both SoC & CP do.
  25. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    No worries Relic.

    I think Stalker, and Crysis will keep me busy for a little while. I much prefer those sorts of games though. I'm quite slow and tactical with them which is kinda ironic as my brother is the complete opposite! He just wages in there and shoots everything in sight... I'm more of a sneak up and take a head shot at 1 metre away kinda guy. :D

    I spent over 4 hours just playing the Crysis demo! LOL. So yeah, I'll be busy with these for a bit yet. hehe.

    I'm gonna get the psu and new graphics card as early christmas presents, then I can push the settings some more as I must admit I did enjoy the game I played more with higher details and resolution. :)

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