Hardware Guide - Identifying your Frames Per Second
Contributors: Yamadron, Felix

How To Identify Your Frames Per Second

What is FPS? - FPS is short for Frames Per Second. It is the number of consecutive images produced onto the monitor/screen each second. [Note: In gaming FPS is also short for First Person Shooter. We are talking about Frames Per Second here]

How many FPS do I need for my games? - It is not known exactly how many FPS the human eye/brain can process, but it is fair to say that it could be around 200. The number of FPS that is acceptable for gaming though is far lower. From 25 FPS up to the limit of your screen* would usually be considered acceptable. If the FPS drop below 25, you are likely to notice considerable lag. The game type can also have a factor on what you feel is acceptable. Fast-twitch first person shooters may require around 50 FPS to make them enjoyable whereas a slow scrolling strategy like CIV V may be entirely playable at just 25 FPS. As you will know there is an element of personal preference.

*What is the limit of my screen? - Your monitor screen also has a maximum FPS that can be displayed. It is called monitor Refresh Rate or monitor Frequency Rate and is measured in Hertz. If the FPS produced by your Graphics Card is more than your Screen can display you will experience a problem while gaming, which is called Graphic Shuttering or *Screen Tearing.

*What is Screen Tearing? - Graphic Shuttering or Screen Tearing is a visual artifact that happens when 2 or more different frames are shown on the screen in a single draw. Most of the games have a graphical setting called *Vsync which fixes the problem.

*What is Vsync? - Vsync refers to Vertical Synchronos. It basically forces your Graphics card to wait for the screen until all the Frames on the screen are displayed and the monitor is ready to accept the incoming packet of frames. The monitor and graphics card output become synchronised.

HOW TO RECORD MY GAMES FPS - To help us here we will need to run the free and simple to use Fraps program. If you don't have Fraps installed yet then grab the tiny file from our Tools page.
[Note: you can upgrade your version of Fraps for more features but we will only focus on the free version here]

Below we have included an image displaying the Fraps control screen once you have installed the Fraps.exe file
Click on the image below to zoom in.

how to identify your Frames Per Second image 1

Now click on the 99 FPS button at the top of the screen. You can now configure where you want to display the FPS counter. (The FPS counter is a number that will appear in the corner of your screen when you game telling you the current FPS)
Click on the image below to zoom in

how to identify your Frames Per Second image 2

Finally when you run a game you will see the following Frames Per Second number displayed in the corner of the screen you selected
Click on the image below to zoom in

how to identify your Frames Per Second image 3

The number of times this hardware guide has helped people