Understanding and Optimizing Video Game Frame Rates

What Affects a Video Game’s Frame Rate?

  • The system hardware, such as the graphics card, motherboard, CPU, and memory, can impact a game’s frame rate (FPS).
  • Resolution and graphics options for the game.
  • How well the game’s programming has been created and optimised for graphics.
  • The graphics card and CPU are critical components affecting a game’s frame rate or FPS performance. The graphics card receives instructions from programmes sent by the computer’s CPU. The received instructions will then be processed by the graphics card (GPU), which will produce the image and send it to the monitor for display.
  • The performance of your graphics card is based on the CPU, and vice versa; therefore, there is a direct connection between the CPU and GPU. It makes no sense to upgrade to the newest graphics card if the CPU is inadequate because it won’t be able to exploit the card’s processing capacity fully.
  • There isn’t a set formula for choosing the optimal CPU/Graphics Card combination, but if the CPU was mid-to-low end 18 to 24 months ago, there’s a strong chance it already meets the bare minimum requirements. The secret is to strike the proper balance between the game’s resolution and graphic settings.

What Is Frame Rate for Video and Computer Games Acceptable?

Most modern video games are created to achieve a frame rate of 60 FPS, but any frame rate between 30 FPS and 60 FPS is acceptable. That’s not to suggest that games can’t go above 60 FPS; many do; however, anything below 30 FPS may cause animations to stutter and lack fluid motion.

The hardware you have and the game’s current state affect the actual FPS you experience. As far as hardware is concerned, your graphics card and CPU will impact the frames per second, but your monitor may also have an effect. Since many LCDs are set to a refresh rate of 60Hz, anything exceeding 60 frames per second won’t be displayed.

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Games like Doom 2016, Overwatch, Battlefield: 1942, and others with graphics-intensive action moments may influence the game’s frame rate due to numerous moving objects, in-game physics and calculations, 3D surroundings, and other factors when combined with your hardware. Higher versions of a DirectX shader model that a graphics card may support may be needed for newer games.
How to Improve Performance by Optimising Hardware or Game Settings
There are two crucial things you can do to enhance a game’s frame rate or the number of frames it renders per second:

Invest in new hardware.

Change the visual options for the game.
You might be able to install a new graphics card or upgrade your CPU depending on the type of your machine. Alternatively, you may buy a gaming PC or construct your gaming rig.

Today’s installed DirectX/OpenGL PC games come with at least six different graphics options that can be changed to increase FPS and hardware performance. Most games will automatically detect installed PC hardware during installation and configure the graphical settings for optimum performance. However, there are several things users may do to enhance performance in terms of frame rate further.

Typical Graphics Presets

Here is a list of typical graphical game settings that the player can manually adjust.

Antialiasing

Antialiasing, often known as AA, reduces the appearance of jagged or rough edges in graphics. It takes a sample of the pixels around each pixel on your screen and tries to blend them to make them look smoother. In many games, you can enable or disable AA and set the AA sample rate as 2x, 4x, 8x, and so forth. Setting AA in conjunction with your graphics/monitor resolution is recommended.

Lower resolutions may require it to be set at 8x to smooth things out, whilst higher resolutions may only require 2x AA for visuals to look smooth and operate effectively. Lowering or disabling AA ultimately should improve performance if that’s what you’re after.

Angular Filtering

In a 3D environment, distant objects will employ a lower-quality texture map that might appear blurry. Closer objects, however, use superior texture maps to add additional detail. Anisotropic Filtering, or AF, is a technique that can improve graphics performance by providing high-texture maps for all objects in a 3D environment.

AF sample rates can be increased from 1x to 16x, which can significantly enhance the performance of an older graphics card. Lowering the setting has drawbacks because a more significant portion of the view will utilise a texture of lesser quality, making nearby things appear blurry.

Draw the perspective distance.

What you see on the screen is determined by the draw distance (or view distance) and field of vision. First-person and third-person shooters will benefit the most from these settings. The draw distance parameter controls how far into the space you can see, whereas the field of vision describes the character’s side views. The graphics card has to work harder when the settings are higher. Lowering it, however, probably won’t have much of an impact on the frame rate.

Darkness and shadows

The shadows option in a game controls how intricate or realistic the lighting seems. Depending on the number of items and illumination in a scene, the effect can vary, but it can significantly impact performance. While shadows may enhance the visual appeal of a set, they are probably the first set to be reduced or disabled when using an older graphics card to improve performance.

Resolution

The game’s and your monitor’s capabilities determine the resolution options. The graphics will look better the higher the resolution. Higher resolutions do, however, come at a cost.

The graphics card has to work harder to render everything because more pixels are displayed on the screen, which can reduce performance. Increasing performance and frame rate in a game can be accomplished by lowering the resolution setting. Still, you might want to consider other options, such as disabling AA/AF or adjusting lighting/shadows, if you are used to playing at higher resolutions and seeing more detail.

Quality/Detail of Texture

In the simplest terms, textures can be compared to computer graphics’ equivalent of wallpaper. In pictures, they are images that are overlaid on models and objects. It is safe to set this setting higher than other settings like lighting/shadows or AA/AF because it typically does not affect a game’s frame rate.

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