Frame rate

A recurring issue in Pc gaming is the stuttering of some video games. Your game either feels smooth or it doesn’t. This difference is determined by your frame rate. The higher the frame rate the smoother your gameplay. The only exception here is that a highly variable frame rate can also feel like stuttering.

Frame rate and delay

As a rule of thumb your game will be smooth at 60 fps (frames per second) for a shooter. In more static games, such as real time strategy or racing, you can get away with 30 fps.

This can be explained by the following table

fps delay (ms)
15 66,67
30 33,33
45 22,22
60 16,67
90 11,11
120 8,33

At 15 fps there will be 66ms between every frame. Meaning that if you move your mouse it will take 66ms before this action is reflected on your screen. This excludes additional latencies such as input lag and lag introduced by the game.

How to measure your frame rate

A lot of games have options to display your frame rate in-game. Unfortunately you will often need to know the appropriate commands. Therefore it is much easier to use a tool that works in any game.

For this purpose we will use MSI afterburner. It is free software distributed by MSI (although originally developed for EVGA). It’s official purpose is to overclock your graphics card. However it supports a wide range of monitoring functions, including the ability to publish them in an “on screen” overlay.


Will be released in the future.

Step 1 Download MSI Afterburner

Download the latest MSI Afterburner (3.0.1). The MSI Afterburner installation archive (.zip) is about 28 MB.

how-to-check-your-framerate-in-any-game-download msi-afterburner

Step 2 Install MSI Afterbruner

Extract the zip file and run the included setup. Make sure you leave the RivaTuner Statistics Server enabled. After that just keep pressing next until installation is complete.


Step 3  Configure MSI Afterburner – Go to settings

Click the settings button in the bottom right corner of MSI Afterburner.

how-to-check-your-framerate-in-any-game-afterburner- settings

Step 4 Select the monitoring tab

how-to-check-your-framerate-in-any-game-select-monitoring tab

Step 5: Find and enable Framerate

In the list of “Active hardware monitoring graphs” find Framerate.



Now make sure there is a checkmark in front of it.

Step 6: Enable On-Screen Display

Now also make sure the checkbox “Show in On-Screen Display” is selected.


Optional – repeat step 6 for GPU usage and additional values

I personally recommend also tracking and enabling of “in OSD” for:

  • GPU usage
  • Fan speed
  • Memory usage

Step 7: Test it!

Now you are done. Simply start a game and the top left corner will show the values selected for “in OSD”!


In this example I am running Anno 1404 Venice in windowed mode. The OSD shows:

  • 57% GPU usage
  • 792 MB of gpu memory
  • 59.8 FPS


Feel free to ask for additional information in the comments!

GameplayInside recommends gaming on:


  • Yofiel Malachi Yacov

    msi ab is causing my games to microstutter and I don’t know how to fix it. If I don’t start ab before my games, games run smooth. However if I start ab to monitor my cpu temps, the frame rate starts dipping

    • Sebastiaan de Kooter

      That does not make a lot of sense since monitoring requires insignificant amounts of cpu resources. Are you experiencing the problems with the OSD (on screen display) enabled or disabled or both?

      • Yofiel Malachi Yacov

        I’m experiencing it while the osd is active only on origin. I searched the bowels of the internet for a solution. Nothing.

        On steam games, it runs flawless in enabled. In titanfall and battlefield 4 stutters. I cannot monitor my temps and frame rate. Every 12 secs or so a stutter drops to anywhere from 24fps to 40 fps drops. I’m currently on a 720 display maxed out on a 970

        • Sebastiaan de Kooter

          The RivaTuner statistics server used by MSI Afterburner does collide with some other Overlays such as Nvidia’s Shadowplay. However framedrops are usually result of stuff like vram memory swapping.

          Personally I have also found a direct relation between stuttering in Titanfall and having a browser open with youtube (or other flash video). You might want to tripple check if you can really 100% link the framedrops with the OSD. If so I recommend posting a message on their support forum.

          • Yofiel Malachi Yacov

            OK will do that ks for the advice.

            I have a i7 4790k stock no overclocking. 8gb crucial ballistic. Steam games run smooth but so far only origin has this problem if I use riva tuner osd

            I’ll post over there and see what they say. I’d like to monitor my temps. I was hitting 84c on battlefield before I got an aftermarket cooler.

            Thanks for the responses back I really appreciate it. Consulted many forums and not a response.

          • Sebastiaan de Kooter


            If you didn’t know already; you can check if you get framedrops without the OSD by using the ingame fps tools.
            For battlefield4 open the console and write: perfoverlay.drawfps 1

            For Titanfall Open Origin > Go to My Games > Right-click Titanfall > select Game Properties > Under “Command Line Options” enter +cl_showfps 1

          • Yofiel Malachi Yacov

            Thanks I’ll check that as well. Currently not in possession of my 970. Had to RMA it for bad coil whine. I’ll post on the forum and also try this quick tip. Thanks again