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Re: [vox] forget my previous post (why it's better to have a high fps)
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Re: [vox] forget my previous post (why it's better to have a high fps)

hi mark,

i was going to say something when joe posted his absurd message (we
don't really believe he refrained from fps schlong swinging during
the nvidia-3dfx vox-wars.  but i was too lazy to dig up his messages
from my personal vox archives, so i decided to shut up instead of
put up).  anyway, since now i'm now talking to a techie, i'll explain
here what i didn't say before.  :)

there's a difference between rendering an image and displaying an image.

sometimes the rendering engine is taxed more than others.  in quake3, when
you first start out mono-et-mono in a rather large area with broad
textures, it's really not much of a challange for the graphics engine.

mind you, the game is still unplayable without hardware acceleration (except
on my new computer, guffaw guffaw).  it's just that any self-respecting
graphics card with mesa support could do the rendering with two pipelines
tied behind its back.

yet when there's 5 people in close quarters, and rockets are flying, and
people are jumping and bombs are exploding and textures vary rapidly, things
get considerably more difficult for the graphics engine.  it isn't able to
render the page at quite the same rate as it did in the mono-et-mono

so the graphics engine has two options.

1. don't sync on every frame (equivalent to "dropping frames" in playing
  video).  meaning, the video card gives up on rendering all the frames that go
  into the animation.  this can lead to extremely jerky animation.

2. painfully slow frame rate

this is where high fps helps.  by having a faster video system, you don't
have to start dropping frames when the going gets tough.  the graphics
system is able to render pages at a faster rate, thereby making them
available for display.

obviously, nobody REALLY cares if they get 1100 fps on gears.  as you point
out, we can't really see beyond 80 or 90 fps.  but what people DO care about
is getting smooth, non-jerky graphics when they play games that tax their
video subsystem.

and that's precisely where an absurdly high frame rate translates into
something that's useful.

and btw, the same is also true for video players like xanime and oms,
although they can't use hardware acceleration, they still benefit from a fast
video system.

this is why it's much better to have a frame rate much higher than your
monitor refresh rate and even the max "scan rate" of the human eye.

of course, my argument breaks down if you don't care about gaming and video.


begin: Mark K. Kim <markslist@cbreak.org> quote
> On Mon, 24 Sep 2001, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> > i'm basically running at an order of magnitude faster than my voodoo5.
> Let's see... your monitor refresh rate couldn't be more than 90Hz, or 90
> draws per second.  So if you're getting 800 to 1000 fps, you're only
> seeing an order of magnitude less frames than it is actually rendering
> internally (if it *is* rendering them at all! -- part of the
> "acceleration" technique could be that it doesn't render what won't be
> shown on the screen!)
> -Mark (will say anything when jealous)
> --
> Mark K. Kim
> http://www.cbreak.org/mark/
> PGP key available upon request.

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