Framerate

The importance of framerate.

I created this graph for one my videos. I think it does a good job of conveying relationship between framerate and the user’s subjective experience:

Graph showing that slow framerates are painful!

The graph is for general desktop graphics and scientific visualization. Competitive games and VR have more stringent framerate requirements.

For general desktop use though, this graph shows that framerates faster than 60Hz do not add much value, and most importantly it shows how quickly things fall apart when the framerate falls below 10Hz.

In computer graphics it’s often better to think of milliseconds per frame instead of framerate. In those terms the graph shows latencies of more than 100ms are very painful, which make intuitive sense, and it shows if the latency is around 16ms making it faster might not be noticed. Again for general desktop use, not games or VR.

This idea of whether its better to think of a value or its inverse comes up in other places. See this article Why We Should Measure by Gallons per Mile, Not Miles per Gallon.