What is Frames Per Second (FPS)?

If you are a gamer, especially a PC gamer, you may have came across the term FPS (Frames Per Second). This term is becoming increasingly common within gaming though what exactly is FPS?

In it’s simplest form, frames per second (also known as frame rate) is how many images (frames) can be produced on the screen every second. While the term is commonly used in gaming, frames per second is also used in computer animation, videos and more. As a general rule of thumb, the more frames per second the smoother your game will appear.

When playing a game smooth video is essential. If the game had a low frame rate, it would be harder to control and be less appealing to the player. Primarily the computers hardware affects the frames per second. For example, one computer may have hardware which can produce 30FPS in one game, but another computer can produce 60FPS in the same game. Many different components can affect the frames per second in a game though the component with the biggest impact is the graphics card. If you are finding that a game does not play very smoothly on your computer, upgrading your graphics card is likely to increase the frame rate. Increasing your frame rate can also be achieved by reducing graphical settings in 3D games.

A higher frames per second may be better however, not all monitors are able to output the same amount. Many monitors are locked to a particular refresh rate, such as 60Hz. This means that the monitor can only refresh 60 frames every second. If your computer was producing 70FPS, it would not appear any smoother than 60FPS on a 60Hz monitor.

You can monitor your frames per second in games using software such as Fraps or MSI Afterburner.

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