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New to PC gaming, how to test what FPS is playable?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 31, 2012 6:01:05 AM

I'm currently planning my first desktop build as I switch from my Xbox 360 to PC for gaming. Choosing the GPU is giving me trouble though. From reading benchmarks online I can see what FPS a given GPU will produce. However, I don't know what FPS will be good enough. Obviously, directly playing the PC games I'm looking for at various FPS would allow me to directly test it. I don't have a gaming PC to do that, unfortunately. Also, my budget for a GPU is flexible, but I don't want to drop $400 (GTX 670) if a $250 (Radeon 7850) card is good enough.

On my 360, I've played Halo Reach a lot. I believe it runs at 30 FPS right? I've also played Ninja Gaiden 2. I'm not sure if it runs at 30 or 60 FPS. They both seemed pretty smooth to me. I don't think I've ever actually seen video at better than 30 FPS at 720P :ouch: 

My laptop's lcd is 60 Hz @ 720p. Does someone have any videos of a first person shooter (Bioshock, Portal, etc.) running at various FPS like 15, 30, and 60 FPS that I can download? Also, if I play the videos with VLC will the videos actually play at the correct FPS? I know that Youtube for example only plays at 30 FPS. How do I know that my laptop is even able to play the video at the correct FPS? I know it can't push 1080p on an external monitor at watchable frame rate. :pfff: 

The laptop's specs are as follows: Intel Core 2 Duo T5550 @1.83 GHz, Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset Family.

If there's some way to see what a frame rate drop from 30 to 15 FPS in a single video looks like that would be awesome too!

Thanks in advance!
a b U Graphics card
May 31, 2012 6:11:56 AM

You want 50FPS minimum if you can afford, if not 40FPS, but no lower. The reason is that frame rate's go up and down depending on how well the engine is coded and your PC. Dropping from 50 to 30 is noticeable and bad enough but 30 to 15 is unplayable. Any PC gamer can tell that smooth feeling you get with higher FPS's. I would not go lower than a 7870 or equivalent if I was looking at a new card @ 1080p. 30FPS isn't smooth, not even close. Don't even get me started on the rubbish low blurry res textures and low draw distance on consoles combined with a lack of detail and depth in any console game. Your typical smart phone has more grunt than consoles by now . . . .
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a c 109 U Graphics card
May 31, 2012 6:20:22 AM

Once you have experienced 60+ FPS on your favorite game, anything below for that will seem sluggish!
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a b U Graphics card
May 31, 2012 6:22:11 AM

I actually think 30 FPS is quite playable. Depends entirely on the game, however. With First Person Shooters, you need a 40+ or so so that the game is quite playable.
I'd say, below 20-25 can be considered as 'unplayable'.
A HD 7850 and up, should be enough for 1080p. The bare minimum I could say, for full HD gaming, would be a HD 6850/70 and not lower than that.

It's hard to describe or show a video, in which the FPS goes down from 30 to 15. You'll definitely be able to notice it. It's like a quick stutter, that lasts for just a second or two.

Here's a little video which I found as being a little interesting.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIsr1R1qy1Y
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June 10, 2012 1:22:22 AM

Best answer selected by Dr Orgo.
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a b U Graphics card
June 10, 2012 10:48:43 AM

Thanks for the Best Answer. :) 
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