We will look on the following pages into Frame Experience Analysis with a benchmark technology called FCAT. Basically with the charts shown we are trying to show you graphics anomalies like stutters and glitches in a plotted chart. Lately there has been a new measurement introduced, latency measurements. Basically it is the opposite of FPS.
FPS mostly measures performance, the number of frames rendered per passing second.
Frametime aka Frame Experience recordings mostly measures and exposes anomalies - here we look at how long it takes to render one frame. Measure that chronologically and you can see anomalies like peaks and dips in a plotted chart, indicating something could be off.
Frame time in milliseconds
We have a detailed article (read here) on the new FCAT methodology used, and it also explains why we do not use FRAPS anymore.
Frametime - Basically the time it takes to render one frame can be monitored and tagged with a number, this is latency. One frame can take say 17 ms. Higher latency can indicate a slow framerate, and weird latency spikes indicate a stutter, jitter, twitches basically anomalies that are visible on your monitor.
What Do These Measurements Show?
But basically what these measurements show are anomalies like small glitches and stutters that you can sometimes (and please do read that well, sometimes) see on screen. Below I like to run through a couple of titles with you. Mind you that Average FPS matters more than frametime measurements. It's just an additional page or two of information that from now on we'll be serving you.
Tomb Raider Frame Experience Analysis
Above a percentile chart of the 30 seconds @ 2560x1440. Here we plot FPS and place it in relation to percentiles. This methodology could be used to determine average FPS as well.
Check the 50% marker:
R7-260X does roughly 29 FPS on average in this scene sequence
GTX 780 SLI does roughly 160 FPS on average in this scene sequence
R9-290X does roughly 155 FPS on average in this scene sequence
But now lets look at the important stuff, frame latency.
Above is the card tested at a monitor resolution of 2560x1440 (WQHD). You'll notice that here frametime scaling in milliseconds is higher for the slower cards, and lower for the fast cards. Low latency means a graphics card can squeeze more frames into one second. As you can see for all cards tested there are a few spikes in there, but not noticeable on screen at all as it is just too fast to see.
With this chart, lower = better. Spikes above 40 ms - 50 ms can be considered visible a problem like a stutter or indicate a low framerate. Spikes that drop down can be dropped frames.
Remember the 295x2 is single card, yet setup in Crossfire. A year ago this chart would have been a mess, AMD has really worked hard on their frame pacing algorithm. This is looking really good.
And here the FPS plot for today's tested card, this shows the framerate for 28 seconds in the timedemo. There is no discoloration on the blue line, so that is picture perfect rendering for your eyes.
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