The age ol' debate: FPS or graphics?

#1
With the Steam Summer Sale in effect I picked up a handful of games. Two of them (Mafia 2 and Enslaved) I refunded because even on the lowest settings, they both ran at around 24 fps. Not unplayable but still less than optimal for sure.

I also picked up FEAR 2. If I turn the resolution down low enough I can get the glory of 60 FPS but holy shit those jaggies. If I bump up the res I get a steady 30 FPS but it looks less distracting. One more bump up hovers around 30 with occasional dips below 20.

So what do you do TNE? 60 FPS and the graphics be damned, or do you compromise to get a more balanced experience?


I guess I'll make this a double thread. Post steam summer sale pickups as well. Recommendations. Swap Steam user names to get games together.

I picked up Left 4 Dead 1 and 2 for co-op with local friends if anyone may be interested. Also, Crypt of the Necordancer makes me smile like a goon. Picked up the premium edition so I got the soundtrack and artwork

 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#2
I'm all about that stable frame rate over graphics.

Framerate has a direct impact on gameplay everything from slowdowns in the action, to actual lag which is for me a lot more detrimental for myself as a gamer.

I've played bad looking games before, so I can always go back to "lesser" looking games, but I can not go back to games that studded on frame rate.
 

Koenig

The Architect
#3
I vote stability; find a frame rate that is consistent and go with that; the higher you can hold that stably the better. Graphics are a moot point in this consideration.
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#4
Depending on how I'm playing a game, I may or may not compromise. If I'm trying to play an FPS online against other people, the priority is first the framerate, then the lighting, then anti-aliasing. If I'm playing a single player game, I'll usually turn up the graphic portions, including AA, as long as my framerate remains above 30. I rarely, if ever, play games under 30 fps.
 

GamingFreak1988

The Platformer Guru
#5
I prefer fps over graphics, only time i'll crank up graphics when i know it runs bad is for screen shot purposes. Though now I also strongly prefer running games at native res unless the game supports window mode. Due to modern displays not liking lower than native res content unless it can be upscaled evenly.
 

BobSilencieux

Well-Known Member
#6
Is this an age old debate?! I thought the question was going to be graphics or gameplay, not graphics or framerate!

Well anyway, I give slight precedence to FPS but honestly, as long as it's rock-solid 30 or above, I don't really mind. [Obviously some games do better with a rock-solid 60.]

*Obviously not a PC gamer*
 
#7
Is this an age old debate?! I thought the question was going to be graphics or gameplay, not graphics or framerate!

Well anyway, I give slight precedence to FPS but honestly, as long as it's rock-solid 30 or above, I don't really mind. [Obviously some games do better with a rock-solid 60.]

*Obviously not a PC gamer*
I've heard people talk about this on other sites and such so I would say this is something some people debate over
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#9
I've heard people talk about this on other sites and such so I would say this is something some people debate over
It is. It's really a sort of observation people have been making on games for many years: "so did the developer care more about eye candy or stability?"

'Cause that's what it's about. Detail vs. stability. And more often than not devs choose the former, despite most games classified as genuine classics being playable to this day because of the latter. But that's the easy answer: "Of course I'd rather have a stable framerate, because the framerate will always be stable while beauty is in the eye of the beholder and beholden to the technology of the day." It's more difficult than that, though. What was Ocarina of Time? 18-20 fps? And you can argue that it's most influential piece of 3D game design. At that point in time, it was important for that game to look as good as it could, 30 fps be damned. And history makes it hard to argue with that.

So anyways...it's always been a balancing act, but it's a balance I prefer to tilt towards stability. That doesn't mean "60 fps or eff off," though. I'm replaying Twilight Princess right now, and it's just fine at 30 fps, because it isn't generally a quick, twitchy game.
 
#11
It is. It's really a sort of observation people have been making on games for many years: "so did the developer care more about eye candy or stability?"

'Cause that's what it's about. Detail vs. stability. And more often than not devs choose the former, despite most games classified as genuine classics being playable to this day because of the latter. But that's the easy answer: "Of course I'd rather have a stable framerate, because the framerate will always be stable while beauty is in the eye of the beholder and beholden to the technology of the day." It's more difficult than that, though. What was Ocarina of Time? 18-20 fps? And you can argue that it's most influential piece of 3D game design. At that point in time, it was important for that game to look as good as it could, 30 fps be damned. And history makes it hard to argue with that.

So anyways...it's always been a balancing act, but it's a balance I prefer to tilt towards stability. That doesn't mean "60 fps or eff off," though. I'm replaying Twilight Princess right now, and it's just fine at 30 fps, because it isn't generally a quick, twitchy game.
Yeah Ocarina was 20 I believe. F Zero ran at 60 but they had to tone down the graphics a lot for it. In the case of F Zero, I think it was the smart choice. For Zelda, 20 fps was fine enough. I recently replayed it with zero issues.

But for a game like Mafia 2 and Enslaved, it just wouldn't feel right playing those games with the lowest graphical settings AND sub 30 fps.

I think it's a case by case basis really. In a perfect world all games would be 60 fps with the best graphics, but that's not feasible when companies push graphics as hard as they do these days. A game like F Zero needs that 60 though, where as a Zelda is more than playable at 30

The age ol' debate: fps or graphics, or graphics vs gameplay?
I've heard people arguing over both.


I'm thinking people may be looking to much into my title.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
#12
Depends on the genre. Some games are fine with a solid 30fps, and others play much nicer at 60fps. I think stable is the most important. A 60fps target that constantly dips could be worse than a locked 30fps.

I would always choose high framerate in competative shooters, but action adventure games are fine at 30, so crank the settings on those.

Sent from my SM-G360V using Tapatalk
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
#13
One of the big positives with PC that I am looking forward to is being able to make this decision for myself. After countless subpar Wii U ports, where I would have gladly scaled some things back for better performance, it will be nice to no longer be at the mercy of the developer.

Sent from my SM-G360V using Tapatalk
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
#14
Genre specific, I think. While I think most will agree that 60fps is the de facto standard for performance, that's not to say that 30fps is a horrible idea in favor of prettier graphics. My issue is people put way too much emphasis on framerate when all I truly care about is consistent performance, whether it be 60fps, or 30. I've mentioned this before, and I'll utter it again. If I had a choice between a varying framerate-never reaching 60, or a locked 30-I'll opt for the 30fps.

In other words, framerate comes first. Graphics are second in this situation.
 

FriedShoes

MLG
Moderator
#15
People say this about dips, but thats pretty much how every high-action game runs. Like Bayonetta, like Bayonetta 2, like Ninja Gaiden, like MGR, like Vanquish, like even some fighting games. If you develop it right, and it doesnt actually dip that low or screen tear, its perfectly fine and plays leagues better than any locked-30 game, which is hardly ever locked.

Not saying I wouldnt or havent played 30fps games, I own quite a few, but goddamn how I'd rather have them run at 60fps. It looks better and, in some cases, plays better. If the NX version of Zelda does not run at a faster framerate or a locked one, its a waste.
The scary thing I've heard recently justifying 30fps games is that it makes the game "feel more cinematic". Horrific.

Needless to say that framerate matters more, no matter what the speeed (though I obviously prefer higher numbers).

I will say this about VR, even though I wish it to fail, it might be the savior of high framerate priority.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
#16
People say this about dips, but thats pretty much how every high-action game runs. Like Bayonetta, like Bayonetta 2, like Ninja Gaiden, like MGR, like Vanquish, like even some fighting games. If you develop it right, and it doesnt actually dip that low or screen tear, its perfectly fine and plays leagues better than any locked-30 game, which is hardly ever locked.

Not saying I wouldnt or havent played 30fps games, I own quite a few, but goddamn how I'd rather have them run at 60fps. It looks better and, in some cases, plays better. If the NX version of Zelda does not run at a faster framerate or a locked one, its a waste.
The scary thing I've heard recently justifying 30fps games is that it makes the game "feel more cinematic". Horrific.

Needless to say that framerate matters more, no matter what the speeed (though I obviously prefer higher numbers).

I will say this about VR, even though I wish it to fail, it might be the savior of high framerate priority.
Yes, and it's always a complaint. Bayonetta doesn't dip very much, or very often, but unfortunately Bayonetta 2 does have larger dips and more frequent. Frame pacing is very important. It's when your suddenly going from 60 to 40, back to 60, and then back in the 40s. If the game were to just stay in the 40s it would actually feel smoother. I agree with your sentiment that most people prefer Bayonetta 60fps with some dips rather than a locked 30, but these games do nit the target a good portion of the time.

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simplyTravis

"A nice guy, but looks like a f'n Jedi!"
#18
If its an RPG where I'm not having to react quickly then I am fine with gorgeous graphics and 30fps.

Nearly anything else I need that 60 fps.

That is the most frustrating thing about PC gaming because I really want to click ULTRA UBER COMPUTER PRETTY SPACE HEATER setting when gaming and as time goes on you have to really focus on what is right for your rig. Then you just feel really left out like you are missing what the game really should be.
 

Superfakerbros

ECE 2018
Moderator
#19
It depends on the game for me, really. Personally, I don't care too much, provided that frame-rate is consistent and there's no screen tearing or anything like that, for most games. Like Zelda, for instance, I'd prefer it to be locked at 30 FPS and with better visuals over 60 FPS. But, if it's a fighter, platformer, shooter, or really any game that requires you to have sharp reflexes, 60 FPS is a requirement
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
#20
I'm learning things about myself now that I have been PC gaming for the past week. Giving me a bunch of different settings drives me to doing far more tinkering than is healthy. LOL Seriously though, its the perk and curse all at the same time. On one hand, I am in control of my gameplay (mostly) because I can get the framerate I want by tuning the options, but this can also be a time sink in trying to come up with the "perfect" settings. There is no question PC games are not as refined as console. I was playing Batman Arkham Asylum 1080p 60fps when and suddenly came across a room in the game where it slowed to 10fps. There are instances where the game just runs like crap, and settings be damned. If your PC is fast enough, you can probably muscle your way though these performance sink holes, but if your on a budget gaming PC like me, then these performance issues can pop up out of no where. I have tried capping the framerate to 30fps, and this does make it more stable, but there are still dips. Outside of setting everything to low, its not easy getting a 100% stable 60fps in Batman AA. Using fraps, I was able to average about 50fps, and I do honestly prefer that to the 30fps, even if 30fps is a bit more consistent.

Half Life 2 has its own issues with getting a flawless 60fps. If I don't have Vsync on, the game will run at 300fps, but then also dip as low as 150fps. So it should run 60fps with Vsync no problem right? Wrong, with Vsync on, the game dips at times to the mid 40's. Its not that its bad, but I shouldn't have any dips at all. I think these games exibit sporadic frame rendering times. For example, when unlocked churning them out as fast as possible, the game may be be rendering frames at very unevenly. For example, it may take most frames only 5ms to render, but then a coding gremlin strikes and it goes over the 16ms time threshold to maintain 60fps.

I still want a solid high framerate, but I haven't been as quick to lower settings as I might have thought I would. It can become a rabbit hole. What sacrafices do you want to make, and more importantly, which ones will actually make the difference.
 
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