Poll: In gaming, is FPS a measurement of performance of CPU & GPU, or measurement of performance of every component working together?

CPU & GPU
2 6.5%
Every component
27 87.1%
Other
2 6.5%

Status: Voting has ended

29 Total Votes

Poll Debate about definition of FPS (Frames Per Second) in gaming (Read 2025 times)

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Maybe I forgot to mention this because I thought it was fairly obvious from the context, but this debate was about FPS in games, and in gaming FPS is an indicator of game performance. We were talking about what upgrades might improve FPS in gaming. Also I never said FPS is an indicator of how much RAM you have, but it definitely contributes to it. Also it's not *just* RAM, it was merely an example from the very beginning.

My bad though, I missed the part where you said "if we're not talking about games", but still my point stands that this nothing to do with how well the game is coded (I'm sure almost every game could be optimized somehow). But yeah, this is exclusively about gaming performance, not generic definition of FPS.
Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 06:28:49 am by ramirez

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fps only measures you're monitor. most monitors can only do 60 fps.
I USE Q'S INSTEQD OF Q'S
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fps only measures you're monitor. most monitors can only do 60 fps.
:gwa:

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FPS is a measure of how well programmed the game is. The best made game runs at a higher framerate than any other game on that same machine.

Who would even care what a particular game's FPS was on a PC by PC basis? Your PC is going to run the game at the same FPS no matter what someone else's FPS is, so it doesn't make any sense to think of it like that.
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I somewhat answered that question, the only point is if you're running benchmarks to compare particular cpu's or gpu's, which would need to be in a controlled setting where RAM etc was the same between both scenarios, therefore becoming a null factor.
"the way you speak about rm2k3, like "modules, arrays, pointers" sounds like
you're some badass c++ programmer stuck in the past and only has rm2k3 to
work with"
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Quote
cpu's
Quote
gpu's

no-one on GW can use apostrophes.
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Blame the spell checker at uni, I was just right clicking everything with a red line and I guess it thought apostrophes would add some flare to my plurals.
"the way you speak about rm2k3, like "modules, arrays, pointers" sounds like
you're some badass c++ programmer stuck in the past and only has rm2k3 to
work with"
-Gutts
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Good way to remember it: when you say "Cpu's" you are effectively saying "Cpu IS".
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climbtree tried so hard to troll this topic :(
brian chemicals
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If you want more FPS you go and buy more RAM, right? 8-)

In most cases you get more FPS by upgrading CPU and/or GPU while RAM (and other storage) would affect the loading times. In my view, when the game begins loading the game is "paused" for that period, and thus not really affect your real FPS. A good example is a modern MMORPG where you have many zones, and when you walk over to the next one the game is "stuck" briefly in loading. Your FPS before this loading was 60 and is 60 after the loading, means your FPS still is 60. The game just stopped to empty some storage to get new stuff in.

In my view the total performance of a game is smoothness which FPS is part of. FPS being the part done by processors of the computer. Other parts contributing to the smoothness are loading and stuttering (or lack of it). It's RAM's (and other storages) job to keep the loading and stuttering at minimum. Of course processors and storages affect each other so they indirectly affect each other. But I would still not upgrade my RAM to get phat FPS.
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I don't think you guys understand how computers work.

How do you think stuff gets to your GPU?  The graphics driver has to pull whatever data it is sending from somewhere.  It pulls that data from RAM.  If you have SLOW RAM, this means data gets sent from the RAM across the bus to the GPU slower.  This means you render things slower.  If you really think that your GPU just magically gets its data out of the ether and can store the entire game's meshes and textures (not to mention off screen render targets, the frame buffer, the z-buffer, possibly a stencil buffer and who knows what else) you are just naive.  Not only this, but any game that has animated characters (Do any games NOT have animated characters) HAS to send data to the GPU each frame to update those characters.  If you have a slow bus, this will effect your FPS.  If you have limited RAM, and there are many characters on the screen, this will effect your FPS.

No one is arguing that the CPU and GPU would not give the biggest boost.  But your claim was no other part of the computer has any effect on FPS, which is just grossly incorrect.
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EDIT. Gatdam JC posted before me. :fogetangry: I dedicated my post explaining how the CPU/RAM work together, but things work more or less the same with GPU/VRAM, and other important factors like PCI-E frequency et cetera.

I'm gonna reply in parts to get this all straight.

If you want more FPS you go and buy more RAM, right? 8-)
Like I told you like 3 times, if your RAM is sufficient, then no you don't buy RAM to improve performance. If however your case is something like this:
Quote
All I know is that Oblivion runs shitloads faster now that I have 2gb of RAM rather than 512mb. 'Nuff said.
Then yes, you do go and buy more RAM to get better FPS. Just because CPU and GPU are the biggest factors in deciding game's FPS, doesn't mean you can just throw other factors out of the window.

Quote
In most cases you get more FPS by upgrading CPU and/or GPU while RAM (and other storage) would affect the loading times.
Absolutely, in most cases you get more FPS by upgrading CPU and GPU. But it isn't in all cases. The flaw in your argument is that this whole time your argument has been based on a fact that you have enough RAM and it's fast enough for that CPU upgrade, but you don't really understand how the big picture works. You just think everything works independent of each other. If your RAM can't keep up with your CPU when it's necessary, that precious CPU upgrade of yours can end up being useless. Let me tell you why (again):

1. Let's say you have 512 megs of RAM. Now let's say that an application requires 2 gigs (or 1, anything more than what you have available really, the bigger the difference, the bigger the following effect will be). This is what will happen. When your operating system notices that your memory doesn't have enough space to store all the data that the application requires, it'll start using your HDD as memory to compensate for that. This is what we call "virtual memory". The process of the system transferring data from or to virtual memory, is called swapping (or paging). Swapping is slower than reading the data from the RAM's storage. Much slower. What this means to you is that your brand new CPU will sit there and do nothing (i.e. idle) while it waits for your system to read or write the virtual memory. If you notice that your system does excessive swapping, your first priority is to get more RAM. Not upgrade your CPU or GPU.

2. Another big factor is the RAM frequency. I'm gonna make this example pretty exaggerated so you'll get it. Don't pay attention to whether a mother board exists that these parts would be compatible with in the first place; It's not the point here. Let's say you got 2 gigs of DDR2-400 (PC2-3200), now let's say that you just upgraded your CPU from some old single core CPU to a Core 2 Duo E8400. You will notice a performance improvement, but you're still severely limited by your shitty RAM. Let me tell you why! With DDR2-400, your memory's bus speed (i.e. DRAM frequency) is 200 MHz. E8400 FSB (non-rated) is 333 MHz. When you want your CPU to performance to its specs, you want to make sure that your FS​RAM frequency is 1:1 or something near (note! this is about DDR2, DDR3 works differently). In this case the situation is the exact opponent. Your DRAM frequency is a lot slower than your processor's FSB. What this means that applications that require high memory bandwidth will have a noticeable performance hit, because your memory bandwidth is so much behind what your system could handle, thus once again making your system idle unnecessarily. By upgrading this RAM to something like DDR2-667 or better, you should notice a noticeable FPS increase in games and applications that require high memory bandwidth. Don't belittle the memory's influence on your overall game performance. Just because you happen to have fast enough memory and enough of it you make these groundless statements without really understanding how the system works.

Quote
In my view, when the game begins loading the game is "paused" for that period, and thus not really affect your real FPS. A good example is a modern MMORPG where you have many zones, and when you walk over to the next one the game is "stuck" briefly in loading. Your FPS before this loading was 60 and is 60 after the loading, means your FPS still is 60. The game just stopped to empty some storage to get new stuff in.
We're not even talking about loading time FPS! Why did you even mention this? This is so obviously irrelevant to the debate at hand that I don't even bother commenting it any more than this.

Quote
In my view the total performance of a game is smoothness which FPS is part of. FPS being the part done by processors of the computer.
Well as you can see from the poll right here, your view is quite off, and FPS is not used as measurement for processing power. That's what we got flops and mips and et cetera for. Those are exclusively for that purpose. FPS means how many frames you see on your monitor per second. The term is so self-obvious that it's beyond my understanding how you can even get it this wrong. Also I remember you mentioning on IRC that you've noticed stuttering etc. without FPS drop. There are various possible causes for this. The first thing is that FPS as a measurement unit is pretty bad as it is. It's not very accurate, because it doesn't account to fluctuations that occur during small time frame, time frame that human eye can see though. For example when stuttering happens, it can happen excessively for like 1/8 sec (which would be very noticeable by human eye), but have a very small impact on the FPS, because 1/8 isn't much in second's time frame. There are also times when things happen that make stuttering appear, that the game's FPS counter can't simply detect. For example, a bad cable or bad scaling on your monitor are possible causes for this. There's no way for software to account for these kinds of things in the code that keeps track of the FPS.

Quote
It's RAM's (and other storages) job to keep the loading and stuttering at minimum.
Wrong. First of all, stuttering can be caused by a lot of things. Yes, too little or slow RAM is one of them. Other reasons include, but are not limited to: overheating, too low voltage, monitor / GPU sucking at scaling if not running native resolution. You can't just say that "hey this is the memory's job" and completely overrule all other factors. Computers aren't that simple. And as I previously stated, FPS isn't very accurate unit of measurement. Just because it's hard (or even impossible) to see the change in the FPS for the reason I explained previously, it doesn't mean the cause is completely irrelevant to the factors that also relate to the FPS, as your logic seems to be.

Also you said on IRC that if you wanted to fasten loading times, you'd get more RAM. It's not that simple, everything comes into play, even for things like that. Buying more or faster RAM doesn't equal faster loading times. Even if your DRAM bus was very fast, it doesn't do much good if your CPU bus doesn't keep up (when loading, the data isn't just magically transferred from HDD to RAM, a CPU plays an important part too; for example it does unpacking).

Quote
Of course processors and storages affect each other so they indirectly affect each other.
No, they affect each other directly. There's nothing indirect about how they interact.
Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 11:15:21 pm by ramirez

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EDIT. Gatdam JC posted before me. :fogetangry: I dedicated my post explaining how the CPU/RAM work together, but things work more or less the same with GPU/VRAM, and other important factors like PCI-E frequency et cetera.

 :fogetlaugh:
Yea, but your post is a lot better.
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man i dont even get how someone can see something where 25 people are against them in a factual matter, ONE agrees with them and is probably fakeposting, and two say OTHER and don't post, and still think YEP IM RIGHT.

fuck I dont know half the shit rami wrote but even I know frames per second is dependent on more than two processors.
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Well churning out mad FPS is not what RAM really does. RAM just indirectly affects the FPS but is it not it's true job.
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This isn't about what component provides the greatest FPS boost, get that already. We all know that CPU and GPU are the biggest factors. Let me put it this way so you might understand. Let's say that p is the potential performance of your system and r is the real performance of your system. If your components work well with each other, and there are no limiting factors, you'll get a real-life performance near to p,  that is r ~= p. In this case, even if you upgraded RAM, it wouldn't make much (if any) difference at all, but upgrading CPU or GPU could give you a notable boost (i.e. p = old_p + n, where n is the performance boost obtained by the upgrade). You have stubbornly limited your argument to this optimal scenario.

But if your RAM, or some other important component, can't keep up with the system, your real-life performance will be further and further away from the potential performance, that is r = p - l, where l is the performance loss caused by the bottleneck. So basically, even though you don't get better RAM to boost your FPS in optimal scenario where RAM can already provide enough storage and is fast enough for your needs, it can still give a notable boost in the case where RAM is the bottleneck, and prevents the CPU, and other components, from performing to their fullest. So basically to put it super simply, you don't get better RAM for the sake of the RAM itself being faster or there being more of it, you get it so that the components that plays the biggest part in deciding your performance can perform even better!

I am sure that you know the ABC of upgrading your computer. You don't just get better CPU and GPU everytime, first you make sure that there aren't other bottlenecks preventing your system from performing as well as it could.
Last Edit: October 16, 2008, 09:39:21 am by ramirez

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Well I never said that only processors affect FPS and nothing else affects it all. My argument is that processors' job is to draw the frames while RAM is the place where the data is stored, and which the processors access. RAM's job is to feed the processors the needed data, but at the same time it can indirectly affect the FPS if the processor(s) are not getting the needed data fast enough or if they have to wait (pause processing) for new data to load.
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Quote
but at the same time it can indirectly affect the FPS if the processor(s) are not getting the needed data fast enough or if they have to wait (pause processing) for new data to load.

Elaborate how this is indirect as opposed to direct.

"Directly" is when something is affected by something else. "Indirectly" is when something is affected by something else that isn't related at all.

Crappy Example: If I sold you a cup of coffee, I'm directly affecting you in how you obtain your coffee. If you're waiting in line and I first sold coffee to someone else in line, I'm indirectly affecting you in how you obtain your coffee (you wait longer, but that's not my intention and my job would be to just sell people coffee).
Last Edit: October 17, 2008, 01:28:58 am by King Arthur
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Man, PCs make things so much more complex.  On a NES, the amount of frames per second is always exactly 60.09982293844223, except when the CPU is unable to keep up with the instructions it needs to process, at which point it begins spreading the calculations over several frames, causing "frozen" frames.

PCs aren't that robust.  Every single part can cause a slowdown.  Even if you have a monstrous gaming machine, your screen might still be frozen by some external hard drive that decides to wake up from sleep.  Or your GPU might start to stutter as it does anisotropic filtering for an large map that you've entered for the first time.  Or your internal hard drive (or your RAM, for that matter) might cause lag while it fetches the high-quality versions of the textures as you walk through the map.  Or your CPU might cause lag because it's overheating, causing it to underclock itself to prevent freezing or resetting.

IT COULD BE ANYTHING!!
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Elaborate how this is indirect as opposed to direct.

"Directly" is when something is affected by something else. "Indirectly" is when something is affected by something else that isn't related at all.

Crappy Example: If I sold you a cup of coffee, I'm directly affecting you in how you obtain your coffee. If you're waiting in line and I first sold coffee to someone else in line, I'm indirectly affecting you in how you obtain your coffee (you wait longer, but that's not my intention and my job would be to just sell people coffee).

Indirectly, since RAM does not process the frames, but the processor which does, usually needs something from the RAM. The processor might work at 100% capacity but if you suddenly need to get in new textures or something the processor has to wait for the RAM to finish the loading before it can continue processing the frames. Your FPS goes lower only because the game is loading/"paused", not because you have insufficient processing power.
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