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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.

Video

Will be released in the future.

Step 1 Download MSI Afterburner

Download the latest MSI Afterburner (4.4.2 at the time of writing). The MSI Afterburner installation archive (.zip) is about 36 MB and it includes the RivaTuner Statistics Server.

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.

how-to-check-your-framerate-in-any-game-include-rivatuner-statistics-server

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.

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

 

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.

how-to-check-your-framerate-in-any-game-msi-afterburner-show-osd

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”!

how-to-check-your-framerate-in-any-game-osd-example

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

Questions?

Feel free to ask for additional information in the comments!

Updated 1/9/2018 with the latest download url

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