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What FPS should I be aiming for? (1920x1080 60Hz)

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April 29, 2012 4:02:28 PM

I know the short answer is a constant 60FPS, but there are a few things I've read that make me think it's more complicated than that. For example I've read people saying that in a more behind the scenes coding sense the game runs better/faster at higher FPS, even if you can't actually see the difference. I've also read comments from people saying things like "50FPS sounds better than 30FPS in theory, but it actually looks worse when you play with it".

And is it possible to have too much FPS for my monitor?

Should I just ignore all of this and focus instead on simply building a system that will maintain a constant 60FPS for the best experience with my monitor? I doubt much more will matter for me, but reading comments like the one quoted above have made me hesitant for settle for a card that will be dipping down into the 50FPS range.

To that end, in order to be able to play games such as D3 and Tera Online at maximum settings with this monitor resolution, to ensure I never dip below 60FPS am I going to have to invest in one of the most expensive cards on the market? Or for 60FPS, rather than 120FPS, do I have some more affordable options?
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April 29, 2012 4:30:57 PM

The thing you want to consider is that when there is a lot of action and a lot of players all at once you don't want to have freezes and stuttering from all that action. You want a consistant smooth gameplay and that means to get a card or cards to give you high fps at 1920x1080 and max settings. Unless you have benchmarks to go by on all the games you intend on playing then you have to grab the most card or cards for your money.Right now there are a couple of games that will bring a video card to it's knees.
BF3 , Metro 2033 and Crysis 2 , any of the benchmarks you look at shows even the top cards struggling with those games.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-680-review/18

In Metro 2033 we have the 7970 at 44 fps and the 680 at 39 fps , never mind 60 fps these cards are stuggling with trying to get over 45 fps. To do that you will have to lower settings and/or resolution or get another card.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-680-review/21

In BF3 it's slightly better with both cards creeping over 45 fps but still not reaching 60 fps.
Now were talking about the top cards from Nvidia and AMD here so the lesser cards will struggle even more so and you end up playing at lower settings.
In your case you may want to look at the top three models from each company if you want to play at high resolutions and settings with no drop in fps no matter what is happening in the game. That means you may want a card that will give you 80 to 100 fps in the game so that when there is a lot going on you don't drop below 60 fps.
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April 29, 2012 4:46:06 PM

There are 2 aspects that are related to FPS that often get lumped together.

Smoothness and latency.

While constant 30 FPS is mostly smooth, unless you are playing a FPS game, 30 FPS usually has very noticeable latency. This latency causes some people serious nausea, and I'm one of them. 45 FPS is far more enjoyable to me as a result, and I personally don't find 30 FPS smoother than 45 FPS.

If you use v-sync to avoid screen tearing, the maximum FPS that matter is your monitors refresh rate, which is usually 60hz, but can be as high as 120hz if you have a 120hz monitor like myself.

Latency can continue to be reduced beyond your monitor's refresh rate, but only if you do not use v-sync. Rather than waiting on your monitors refresh rate to respond to your movements, it can keep updating as fast as it receives information for your mouse or keyboard, but this also means you need a mouse with a good polling rate as well and you'll also get screen tearing.
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April 29, 2012 6:46:18 PM

inzone said:
The thing you want to consider is that when there is a lot of action and a lot of players all at once you don't want to have freezes and stuttering from all that action. You want a consistant smooth gameplay and that means to get a card or cards to give you high fps at 1920x1080 and max settings. Unless you have benchmarks to go by on all the games you intend on playing then you have to grab the most card or cards for your money.Right now there are a couple of games that will bring a video card to it's knees.
BF3 , Metro 2033 and Crysis 2 , any of the benchmarks you look at shows even the top cards struggling with those games.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-680-review/18

In Metro 2033 we have the 7970 at 44 fps and the 680 at 39 fps , never mind 60 fps these cards are stuggling with trying to get over 45 fps. To do that you will have to lower settings and/or resolution or get another card.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-680-review/21

In BF3 it's slightly better with both cards creeping over 45 fps but still not reaching 60 fps.
Now were talking about the top cards from Nvidia and AMD here so the lesser cards will struggle even more so and you end up playing at lower settings.
In your case you may want to look at the top three models from each company if you want to play at high resolutions and settings with no drop in fps no matter what is happening in the game. That means you may want a card that will give you 80 to 100 fps in the game so that when there is a lot going on you don't drop below 60 fps.


I don't intend to play any FPS games, which seem to be the most taxing, but I will be playing the newer MMORPGs and if a lot of players/actions will be severely bringing down my GPU performance then this is certainly an important factor for me. The two games I'm interested in right now are Diablo 3 and Tera Online, neither of which have been fully released yet so I don't know if there are any benchmarks available to work with. I may have to wait until the end of May to know for sure which card I want to invest in to get the most bang for my buck. I'm on an okay budget, a little over $1100 at the moment for a whole new tower, so I'm hoping to be able to pick up a card good enough to achieve consistent 60+FPS on my 1080p 60Hz monitor with at least those two games in mind running at max settings. If I won't be able to afford a good enough card to achieve this on that budget, I'll save up until I can afford what I need. I'd rather do that than rush into buying a system that doesn't perform as well as I want it to.
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April 29, 2012 6:49:36 PM

Diablo 3 had an open beta last weekend, so a lot of us got to play it only a month prior to release, so there likely won't be a lot of changes. What was found was that even a 9800gt could max out Diablo 3 with pretty good frames. With my 680, I was pretty much pinned at 120 FPS with v-sync on. You don't need much for that one.

I don't know about Tera, but I will say that MMO's often are CPU bottlenecked when there are a lot of players and action.
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April 29, 2012 6:50:43 PM

Quote:
You will need 2 570's in SLi minimum to be over 60fps in BF3 with details cranked.


Fortunately I'm not planning to play BF3, or any of those FPSes with brutal requirements.

I just want a card (preferably nVidia) that will achieve flawless consistency with 60+FPS for this year's MMORPGs like Diablo 3, GW2, and Tera Online, at maximum settings on 1920x1080p 60Hz. Is that both doable and affordable?
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April 29, 2012 6:52:38 PM

bystander said:
Diablo 3 had an open beta last weekend, so a lot of us got to play it only a month prior to release, so there likely won't be a lot of changes. What was found was that even a 9800gt could max out Diablo 3 with pretty good frames. With my 680, I was pretty much pinned at 120 FPS with v-sync on. You don't need much for that one.

I don't know about Tera, but I will say that MMO's often are CPU bottlenecked when there are a lot of players and action.


To alleviate that CPU bottlenecking, do I need something better than an OC'd i5 2500k in the 4.0GHz+ range?

I played it with a 5450HD and wasn't satisfied with my performance, is the 9800GT significantly better than that?
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April 29, 2012 7:29:15 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

This is a chart from here at Tomshardware that gets updated once a month and it shows the ranking of the video cards and chips from highest to lowest.
With the games you intend on playing you can use the 2500k or the Ivy bridge or the Sandy Bridge-E , quad core or six core as long as it's over 3.0ghz and overclocked is better still. You would also want some good ram , 8gb of 1866mhz or 1600 mhz , a SSD for the operating system and a GTX 680. You can also use a GTX 580 since the price of those has fallen recently and it is still a powerful card.
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April 29, 2012 7:39:14 PM

AntaresX said:
To alleviate that CPU bottlenecking, do I need something better than an OC'd i5 2500k in the 4.0GHz+ range?

I played it with a 5450HD and wasn't satisfied with my performance, is the 9800GT significantly better than that?


There won't be much you can do about a CPU bottleneck when it comes to MMO's. You have about the best setup you can get for it. Assuming it's like other MMO's, you'll be doing better than others.

And ya, the 5450HD is MUCH weaker than a 9800GT. I'd definitely look at a better GPU and you can do better than a 9800GT too.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

According to that chart, it's over 10 tiers below the 9800GT. The 5450 was never meant to be a gaming card.
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April 29, 2012 7:42:01 PM

inzone said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

This is a chart from here at Tomshardware that gets updated once a month and it shows the ranking of the video cards and chips from highest to lowest.
With the games you intend on playing you can use the 2500k or the Ivy bridge or the Sandy Bridge-E , quad core or six core as long as it's over 3.0ghz and overclocked is better still. You would also want some good ram , 8gb of 1866mhz or 1600 mhz , a SSD for the operating system and a GTX 680. You can also use a GTX 580 since the price of those has fallen recently and it is still a powerful card.


Since I am planning to overclock, and I can't afford any of those fancy cooling systems, I'm probably going to stick with the i5 2500k unless the i5 3750k proves to be a huge upgrade and I can overclock it comfortably to better efficiency with a good quality cheap aftermarket cooler. This is going to be strictly a gaming PC so I don't think I'll need 6 core. I had planned to include 8GB 1600MHz RAM and a 120GB SSD in my build to keep my OS and games.

So for my monitor resolution/Hz, if I'm going to stick with nVidia, the only two single card setups that will reliably keep me above 60FPS even during things like intense multiplayer boss fights are the GTX580 or GTX680?
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April 29, 2012 7:52:04 PM

bystander said:
There won't be much you can do about a CPU bottleneck when it comes to MMO's. You have about the best setup you can get for it. Assuming it's like other MMO's, you'll be doing better than others.

And ya, the 5450HD is MUCH weaker than a 9800GT. I'd definitely look at a better GPU and you can do better than a 9800GT too.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

According to that chart, it's over 10 tiers below the 9800GT. The 5450 was never meant to be a gaming card.


That's regrettable about CPU bottlenecking, but I'll be satisfied as long as I'm doing the best I can be. Hopefully newer MMOs aren't anywhere near as restricting as WoW 25man raids.

Wow, I'm always blown away by how bad my graphics card is. A friend recommended this pre-built rig as a worthwhile investment/upgrade over my previous ancient system which was running a single core 2.4GHz intel CPU and an ATI X800 Pro. It was an upgrade, but it wasn't worth the money, and if I knew then what I know now I'd have laughed at the suggestion. Glad I started doing my own research, and glad I found this site. Never doing pre-built again.
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April 29, 2012 7:54:17 PM

Your old ATI x800 Pro was two tiers above that HD5450.
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April 29, 2012 7:59:02 PM

Building your own is the only way to go unless you go with a company like Falcon Nothwest , that custom builds outstanding expensive gaming computers.
As far as just going with Nvidia the 580 and 680 would be giving you reliable fps and with the 570 you would have to look at some benchmarks to see if that card can keep up , I know they make a 2.5gb ram model that could give you good performance.
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April 29, 2012 8:26:35 PM

bystander said:
Your old ATI x800 Pro was two tiers above that HD5450.


Well now I know never to trust that friend again...

On the bright side this all makes me even more excited to be building a new rig, can't wait to see the difference in performance. I've never had a quality gaming PC before, and I don't think I've ever gotten more than 30ish FPS in any game.
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April 29, 2012 8:33:30 PM

inzone said:
Building your own is the only way to go unless you go with a company like Falcon Nothwest , that custom builds outstanding expensive gaming computers.
As far as just going with Nvidia the 580 and 680 would be giving you reliable fps and with the 570 you would have to look at some benchmarks to see if that card can keep up , I know they make a 2.5gb ram model that could give you good performance.


I don't want to take any chances. If it's possible the 570 won't provide the performance I desire, I'll save up for the 580 or 680. I've heard AMD get a pretty bad rap for their driver problems among other things, so I thought it would be safer to stick with nVidia since more people seem to vouch for it. Should I even consider a high tier 78xx/79xx HD card for my purposes? They look a bit more affordable, but if that savings comes with the price of trouble down the line I don't think it's worth it.
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April 29, 2012 8:37:52 PM

AntaresX said:
Well now I know never to trust that friend again...

On the bright side this all makes me even more excited to be building a new rig, can't wait to see the difference in performance. I've never had a quality gaming PC before, and I don't think I've ever gotten more than 30ish FPS in any game.


I don't know what you had, but it's possible you had a good PC other than a horrible graphics card, but ya, you definitely weren't well equipped for gaming with that GPU.
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April 29, 2012 9:24:13 PM

The 7970 or 7950 would be the only video cards I would consider from AMD and I did hear there were some issues with the 7850. Waiting is always a good thing because Nvidia like to stagger thier relaeses and 6 months from now there could be some interesting cards released.
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April 29, 2012 9:56:55 PM

In a graphic intensive game if u just stand and stare at empty wall u will get a good frame rate. But if u r in a scene in which too much action is going on with so many particle / volumetric effects (like fire fogs explosions rains etc) with many characters running around , u will get a low frame rate. That is why a good average frame rate is necessary.
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April 29, 2012 10:11:11 PM

inzone said:
The 7970 or 7950 would be the only video cards I would consider from AMD and I did hear there were some issues with the 7850. Waiting is always a good thing because Nvidia like to stagger thier relaeses and 6 months from now there could be some interesting cards released.


As far as waiting goes, the longest I'm going to be able to hold out is until maybe the middle-end of June. Is it looking like there are going to be any significant nVidia releases before that time, or maybe price drops with the GTX580/GTX680? I'm at least hoping the 680 will stop being out of stock by then.
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April 29, 2012 10:18:21 PM

With two 6970s in crossfire I get about 80fps average in BF3 (1080p/Ultra).

When I turn the resolution down to 1280x1024 the Hz on my monitor goes up to 75, and it does seem a tad smoother.

For me, 60fps is the sweet spot. I wouldn't dream of playing any game at less than 50fps. And anything under 40fps is IMHO unplayable.

I think you should shoot for 60fps. Now, you may be able to achieve a constant 60fps with most games at 1080p with a 560/6870, but there are still going to be a few games where that won't happen. With that said, I wouldn't go with anything less than a single 7970 if you want consistently high detail settings and a constant 60fps with modern games.
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April 30, 2012 2:50:17 AM

PCgamer81 said:
With two 6970s in crossfire I get about 80fps average in BF3 (1080p/Ultra).

When I turn the resolution down to 1280x1024 the Hz on my monitor goes up to 75, and it does seem a tad smoother.

For me, 60fps is the sweet spot. I wouldn't dream of playing any game at less than 50fps. And anything under 40fps is IMHO unplayable.

I think you should shoot for 60fps. Now, you may be able to achieve a constant 60fps with most games at 1080p with a 560/6870, but there are still going to be a few games where that won't happen. With that said, I wouldn't go with anything less than a single 7970 if you want consistently high detail settings and a constant 60fps with modern games.


You say you wouldn't go with anything less than 1 7970, on the graphics card hierarchy chart it lists the GTX580 as being one tier below that. So you don't feel it's adequate?
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April 30, 2012 3:03:51 AM

AntaresX said:
You say you wouldn't go with anything less than 1 7970, on the graphics card hierarchy chart it lists the GTX580 as being one tier below that. So you don't feel it's adequate?


Even a 560ti would be leaps and bounds above anything you've used before. You'd likely be jumping up and down with a 580. The thing is, a lot of us here have learned to appreciate 60+ FPS, but a few years ago, we used to get by on 30-40 FPS.

When I did use 30-40 FPS, I used to think it was normal to get a bit nauseated when playing first person games. Now that I play at 60+ FPS, I have learned that low FPS is what caused my nausea. That or it's possibly high latency that does it, which high FPS helps correct. This is sometimes called simulator sickness and different people get different symptoms. Some get headaches, I get nausea. As a result, I won't play a game at less than 50 FPS, but 80 FPS is about where the nausea stops for me (I do have a 120hz monitor).

EDIT: I'd also like to point out that most games which a 580 can't play well at Ultra will most likely still look very good at reduced settings. I was just playing Metro 2033 in Dx9 at normal settings, and it still looks great. With 3D Vision it looked incredible, but even in 2D, Dx9 on normal still looks better than most games on Ultra.
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April 30, 2012 3:40:13 AM

bystander said:
Even a 560ti would be leaps and bounds above anything you've used before. You'd likely be jumping up and down with a 580. The thing is, a lot of us here have learned to appreciate 60+ FPS, but a few years ago, we used to get by on 30-40 FPS.

When I did use 30-40 FPS, I used to think it was normal to get a bit nauseated when playing first person games. Now that I play at 60+ FPS, I have learned that low FPS is what caused my nausea. That or it's possibly high latency that does it, which high FPS helps correct. This is sometimes called simulator sickness and different people get different symptoms. Some get headaches, I get nausea. As a result, I won't play a game at less than 50 FPS, but 80 FPS is about where the nausea stops for me (I do have a 120hz monitor).

EDIT: I'd also like to point out that most games which a 580 can't play well at Ultra will most likely still look very good at reduced settings. I was just playing Metro 2033 in Dx9 at normal settings, and it still looks great. With 3D Vision it looked incredible, but even in 2D, Dx9 on normal still looks better than most games on Ultra.


Thank you for being so helpful over the course of this thread, I really appreciate your knowledge and I love to learn about this stuff.

I think you're right, probably whatever high end card I choose is going to be such an upgrade I'll be very satisfied with it. Worst case scenario, if my budget is too tight, I can always get the best I can and come back later for an upgrade.

I'm one of those who suffers from headaches. Nausea sounds terrible, sorry to hear that you've had to suffer through that. Glad you were able to find your cure.

I'm going to assume that Diablo 3 and Tera probably aren't going to be on the list of games that a 580 can't play well at Ultra, but if it comes down to it I'll be willing to sacrifice the fanciest shadows and reflections for the most fluid possible gameplay.
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April 30, 2012 3:51:59 AM

The good thing about games is the fact that you can adjust the settings and they do give you a variety of chopices . There are some that you really don't need and they just eat up resources so you can end up reducing those and as a result increase your performance (fps). Some actually make only neglegable improvements and you really don't miss them if they are shut off or reduced.
Nvidia is releasing the 690 and it looks like it will be a beast of a card. Wow a $1000 video card , OMG. I'll take two please.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-690-gk1...
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April 30, 2012 5:19:50 AM

Oh, I know. The 690 is just...

*censored*

Let's just say I'm in love.
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April 30, 2012 8:01:11 PM

Best answer selected by AntaresX.
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April 30, 2012 8:53:26 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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