Why is it so hard to actually hit 144fps in most games
Trying to break the 60fps habit is hard work.
This is the holy grail of current gaming PCs: 144fps. You’ve bought a great gaming monitor and paired it with the fastest CPU and one of the best graphics cards money can buy. It’s so smooth and responsive, you’re ready to use your prowess to dominate your opponents — or at least your higher refresh rate. There is only one problem. Achieving 144fps (or higher) in many games is difficult, sometimes completely impossible. What is given?
It starts with the core design and functionality of the game. Don’t overshadow consoles (I’m totally overshadowing consoles anyway), but when the current few gaming rigs can’t output above 60Hz, it’s natural to play games on them that don’t go out of date They’re way over 60fps, and in some cases over 30fps. When a game developer starts from this angle, it can be difficult to correct. We’ve seen games like Fallout 4 tie physics, movement speed, etc. to framerate, but often with poor results.
However, it’s not just for 30 or 60fps. Game complexity keeps increasing, and complexity means doing more calculations. Single player games are often a different experience than multiplayer games. The latter are inherently more competitive, meaning higher fps may be more beneficial to top players, and they often overlook something that can increase frame times.
Competitive multiplayer gaming is the perfect place for a 144Hz monitor.
For example, think about games like Counter-Strike, Overwatch, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Fortnite. Very little AI or NPC logic needs to happen. Most of the world is static, with only players running around, which means far less overhead and the potential for higher frame rates in the end.
Mainly single-player is another story. Check out the environments of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Monster Hunter World and Hitman 2. There may be hundreds of mobs, NPCs, and other entities to deal with, each with different animations, sounds, and other effects. This bogs down even the fastest CPUs because most of the processing happens on those CPUs.
Yes, it’s the CPU and not the GPU. While the GPU is often considered the bottleneck for gaming performance, it’s mostly about choosing the right resolution and graphics quality. Turn the settings and/or resolution down enough for the CPU to be the limiting factor. In complex games, this CPU limit can easily fall below 144fps. While a fast graphics card is usually required to hit 144fps, an equally fast CPU may also be required.
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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey can almost hit 144fps…with an RTX 2080 Ti.
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Hitman 2 suffered a CPU bottleneck of about 122fps.
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Monster Hunter World also struggles to get above 120fps.
Check out the CPU benchmarks in Assassin’s Creed, Monster Hunter and Killer. Running at 1080p and low or medium quality has excellent scalability in terms of CPU performance, but 144fps remains a formidable hurdle. What’s more, the scaling comes mostly from clock speed, core and thread counts are not a factor – especially with processors over 6 cores. That’s because most games are still dominated by a single thread that does a lot of work.
Flip things over and consider each frame in milliseconds. For a steady 60fps, there is a maximum of 16.7ms of graphics and processing time per frame.Jump to 144fps and only 6.9ms per frame can get everything fully. But how much time does it actually take to render each part of the current frame? The answer is that it will be different, which leads to a discussion of Amdahl’s Law.
The point of Amdahl’s law is that there will always be parts of the code that cannot be parallelized. Imagine a hypothetical game where a single 4.0GHz Intel core takes 50ms to process all computations per frame. That game will be limited to 20fps. If 75% of the game code can be split into subtasks that run concurrently, but 25% are executed on a single thread, then the best performance on a 4.0GHz Intel CPU is still only 80fps no matter how many CPU cores are available. I did some Quick and dirty napkin math to illustrate:
Not real napkins because my handwriting sucks.
Rewriting the game code so that only 12.5% of the code executes on a single thread, maybe even 5%, would help. Then 160fps or even 400fps is possible, but that requires developer time that is probably best spent elsewhere – of course CPUs don’t have an infinite number of cores and threads. The point is that there is a finite amount of time to process user input, game state, network code, graphics, sound, artificial intelligence, all processing, and more complex games themselves require more time.
Even with 4GHz and faster CPUs working in tandem with thousands of GPU cores, 6.9ms passes quickly, and if you’re looking at a 240Hz monitor running the game at 240fps, it’s only 4.2ms per frame. If you run into problems along the way – for example, the game needs to load some objects or textures from storage, which can take anywhere from a few milliseconds on a fast SSD to maybe tens of milliseconds on a hard drive – the game will seriously Caton. This is the world we live in.
Lara is not happy with performance below 144fps.
Let’s do it another way.Modern PCs may pass billions It is calculated every second, but every calculation is very simple: eg A + B. Processing logic updates for a single entity can take thousands or tens of thousands of instructions, and all these AI and entity updates are still only a small part of what has to happen every frame. Game developers need to balance everything to achieve an acceptable level of performance, and on PC, that could mean being able to run on everything from an old 4-core Core 2 Quad or Athlon X4 to a modern Ryzen or 9th Gen Core CPU , and GPUs ranging from Intel integrated graphics to GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.
It is possible to create games that can run at extremely high frame rates. We know this because they already exist. But these games are often not state-of-the-art in graphics, artificial intelligence and other elements. They are fundamentally simpler in sometimes less obvious ways. Even reducing the complexity of the game and graphics can only do so much. The seven-year-old CS:GO topped out at about 300fps (3.3ms per frame) at 1080p and an overclocked 5GHz Core i7-8700K, while the stuttering bottom fps dropped to about half. You can run CS:GO at 270-300fps on everything from a GTX 1050 to a Titan RTX, as the CPU is the main limiting factor.
In short, hitting 144fps isn’t just a hardware issue. It’s about software and game design, and sometimes you have to let it go. If you’re confident in 144fps gaming, the best advice I can give is to remember that frame rate (or frame time, if you will) isn’t everything. For competitive multiplayer games where all possible latency advantages can help, keep the settings to a minimum and see how the game runs, possibly increasing some settings if there is wiggle room.
Even if you can’t maintain 144fps or higher, the 144Hz refresh rate is still great – I can feel the difference in interacting with the Windows desktop. Higher-quality 144Hz monitors also support G-Sync and FreeSync, which helps avoid noticeable stuttering and tearing below 144fps. A perfectly smooth frame rate would be nice, but that alone doesn’t make the game great. So no matter what your hardware or frame rate is, you can relax and enjoy the ride to the fullest.
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