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Any Reason to get more frames than your refresh rate?

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So, one thing to keep in mind about the way that I think about things is that I don't like replacing parts. If I can do anything to make my hardware last longer, I'll do it even if it means sacrificing performance.

In Guild Wars 2, there's an option to limit your framerate to 30fps. I use that setting for two reasons: 1, Guild Wars 2 isn't exactly a high intensity game that requires you to have a high framerate to make split second decisions, and 2, my video card doesn't need to render so often in the pipeline, and so heat production is reduced, and longevity is preserved.

In First Person Shooters, I prefer to have a framerate of about 60, to facilitate quick reactions to changing conditions. One thing I noticed while I was playing Minecraft though was that my card was producing a lot of heat and running hard for a game that shouldn't push your video card that hard. Turns out I was putting out 200+ fps, and my video card was running unthrottled to get as many frames as possible. I forced vSync for it, and all of a sudden the video card was quiet and running nice and cool, and I never noticed the difference.

From what I understand around the web, 60Hz is 60 refreshes per second, and so any framerate above that (theoretically) 60 refreshes per second is completely moot because you won't actually see it. Yet I hear from Counterstrike people all the time that they're really proud of getting 200 or 300 frames per second in their game.

If I had the money for a 120Hz monitor, and the beast of a card I would need to push that many frames, I would see what all the hype is about, but I don't, so I can't. Unfortunately, a lot of the discussion around the internet about frame rates above 60 is limited to "Oh, the eye can't see above 60 frames, so it's pointless" or "The eye can see well above 200, so a 120Hz monitor and getting 120 frames is like going from driving a Kia to a Cadillac".

Honestly, I don't see WHY you would want 120 frames when 60 frames is adequate for me doing better than a lot of other people. But like I've said, I don't have the money for a 120Hz monitor, and so I don't know what that's like. Maybe you guys know more.

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    Madmax (Grape)'s Avatar
    Speaking from experience as someone that until a few months ago used a 120Hz monitor and a rig good enough to maintain 120 FPS constant, its a world of difference from 60Hz and 60 FPS. Much smoother. It is hard to go back to 60Hz on the laptop I am now using.

    But to your question, some games limit the net settings based on your FPS. Such is the case in CSGO. So on a 128 tick server if I am only getting 60 FPS I am limited to 60 ticks per second. Not good.

    And as to what the human eye can see, it is my understanding that we do not see in frames per second at all.
    Imisnew2's Avatar
    The "frame rate" at which the eye can see is theoretically very big (like, millions of FPS). It's been proven we can see images (by the air force) displayed for 1/220th of a second. NVidia ran a study and found that the eye can perceive up to 200 frames per second (but didn't study higher fps within that study). However, as you said, the FPS is directly linked to the refresh rate of whatever your using (it's not necessarily equal to it, but these days, it's safe to say the refresh rate of computer monitors are generally equal to the FPS it's able to show).

    Whether you decide to invest in a 120Hz monitor or not is your decision, but I plan on at least trying one out in the near future.
    RhysJD3's Avatar
    There's also something for PC's that seems to be underneath it all. Whether it's visible on the screen or not, it's almost immaterial. You get more responsiveness the higher the FPS. You may not see it but the game plays more fluid for you. This is mostly your first person shooters but I've had it in other games. When you want to move 1/2th of a degree, you can do it.

    Also, sometimes it's less about the maximum fps rather than the minimum. If you can achieve a SOLID 60 or 120 fps, you're gaming experience should be pretty damn smooth.

    Getting 240 FPS but having major dips to sub 60 isn't going to do you much good.