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The truth about your FPS (it's not what you think!)

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the_soup avatar the_soup
Retired Moderator
Level 72 : Legendary Button Pusher
I posted a forum post about this, but I feel that the topic needs a blog post as well.

Do you think you're getting 100+ FPS while playing Minecraft? Well think again!

You're only getting about 60 FPS. Really. Even if your Minecraft is running at a higher FPS than that, your screen is only displaying around 60 FPS. Why? well it has to do with something called a refresh rate.

So what is a refresh rate? And how does that affect my FPS?

All monitors work by displaying individual frames at a fast rate, giving the illusion of movement. Computers, TVs, even the big screens at movie theaters. On computer monitors, that frame rate is called the refresh rate. It's measured in Hertz (Hz). The conversion between Hz and FPS is 1:1, so a screen running at a refresh rate of 50Hz will be displaying 50 FPS. Easy, right?

Now here's the important part. No matter how high a FPS your Minecraft is running on, the highest FPS that your screen can display is your screen's refresh rate. So let's say your screen has a refresh rate of 75Hz. If your Minecraft is running at 30 FPS, you'll be seeing 30 FPS. If it's running at 75 FPS, you'll be seeing 75 FPS. But if it's running at at 200 FPS, you'll still only be seeing 75 FPS. Your monitor is physically incapable of displaying a higher FPS than its refresh rate.

So you know those people who brag about their super-high FPS? They're not seeing it. Their high FPS isn't actually being displayed. Those people who spend tons of money so they can run games at 500 FPS? Wasted. They're not going to see even close to 500 FPS, because their monitor cannot display it.

But what if my monitor has a really high refresh rate? That's possible, right?

Sadly, nope. Most screens are, by default, set at displaying at 60Hz. Some are a bit higher at 75Hz. There are special 'gaming' monitors that display higher still, but it's still not in the hundreds. Asus is marketing a monitor they're calling the 'fastest' gaming monitor which runs at a refresh rate of 144Hz. But, as you know, that's only 144 FPS. No where near the hundreds-high FPS rate many people claim to be running at.

So, in conclusion...

You're not getting an FPS rate in the hundreds. Not even close. Your Minecraft may be able to run at that speed, but your monitor is only displaying somewhere around 60 FPS. Those people who swear they can see the difference between 200 and 400 FPS are experiencing something called the 'placebo effect', where the mind makes you think you've seen something it believes to be true.

When you see someone bragging about their super-high FPS, well, that's all they're really doing: bragging. They don't understand that they're just wasting computing power by running Minecraft at 400 FPS when in reality they're not seeing anywhere near that. And, for the amount of research people put into their computers, I'm always amazed by how many people don't know what a refresh rate even is.

So, when you see someone acting superior to others because their FPS is higher, link them this blog. While they're busy showing off their worthless FPS, you can be busy playing Minecraft (at probably around the same FPS they are!).

If you liked this blog or learned something new, please leave me a comment, sub, favorite or diamond! Thanks!

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04/05/2019 6:20 am
Level 1 : New Miner
esofaqs avatar
Pretty much been saying the same thing for years.. High FPS in games like MC are silly.

That said, I still want a new console gaming monitor for lols.
12/25/2017 8:27 am
Level 38 : Artisan Warrior
TBlazeWarriorT avatar
Thankfully, now he have 240hz monitors. Well, except that I didn't buy one. Cause those are expensive AF and 10x more expensive after shipping to where I am. But that's not the point.
12/16/2015 10:13 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
Xellie Two
Xellie Two avatar
But bigger numbers are better amirite
06/19/2015 9:08 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
iiJamesBond avatar
Well for everyone saying they can see tell the diff between 60hz and 120 to be honest with theres something called placebos which your mind is being made to believe something that is not real so youre really not seeing anything higher than 60-30 fps and this is basically how alot of companies get money it all in the brain
03/27/2015 10:38 pm
Level 19 : Journeyman Strawberry
Alycie avatar
Wow, this is extremely useful blog... I've never really needed one this badly... thank you so much!!!
10/24/2014 10:48 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
pi6286 avatar
Technically you would still be getting a high FPS even if your monitor couldn't display it, as FPS stands for the amount of frames that your video card can draw or render in a single second. Yes, if your monitor has a lower refresh rate, you wouldn't be able to see those extra frames (and experience screen tearing as well) but there are other advantages to a high refresh rates including lowered response time.
Personally, I could see a benefit of having up to 300 fps (and potentially more) on vanilla Minecraft on an average newly generated world. This is because there are several different factors that can lower it. Let's say I want to play on a giant city map with some friends using several large mods and maybe a 128x texture pack. If I got 60 fps in the first scenario the second would be almost impossible. Once you begin to factor in shaders, explosions, and running your own servers it gets even worse.
This is why it makes sense to brag about fps over 60. They can do more stuff with Minecraft. If you only get 60 fps then you won't be able to fight of hordes of thousands of zombies in an enormous arena with your companions because your computer simply won't be able to handle it. Trust me. I have tried.
09/18/2014 6:41 pm
Level 5 : Apprentice Network
Flaming Apple
Flaming Apple avatar
So technically my awful home computer isn't a waste even if it only get 35-40 FPS? :D I knew gaming setups weren't worth that much. (I don't mean that money wise) Plus where would I get the space to do that anyway,and after all I don't want to have to get technical. That may sound stupid,but I don't honestly care tbh. Un-like most people I don't complain about lag since my frames stay in the same general area most of the time.
09/04/2014 5:06 pm
Level 41 : Master Toast
Xyifer12 avatar
"Those people who spend tons of money so they can run games at 500 FPS? Wasted."
The point is to have a computer powerful enough to handle games that well, not to actually see 500 FPS. The money was not wasted if the computer is powerful enough to have an FPS rate that high.
"While they're busy showing off their worthless FPS, you can be busy playing Minecraft (at probably around the same FPS they are!). "
Again, not worthless.
It is a measure of computer power.
The higher the FPS rating in minecraft, the  more powerful the computer is. The more powerful the computer is, the more games it can run with max settings without lag.
08/28/2014 1:43 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
3D64R45 avatar
Haha :D Thats Right but youre off :) human can see only 30 FPS(now i gonna get raped by those who sayes- YOU CAN SEE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 60Hz AND 200Hz)So yeah, you see if you have better PC (about 300 FPS like i do)You will not get FPS dropped to 60 FPS and There is some stuff that affects FPS that actually FPS meter doesnt Show, but thats just game problems:) So yeah Thx Anyone who readed this :)
08/11/2014 3:46 pm
Level 4 : Apprentice Miner
Craftalot avatar
"Special gaming monitors"

Mostly manafactured by BenQ, Eizo and ASUS and are for the competitive scene and those who can read actual-facts about FPS and monitors. There are gaming monitors from Eizo which I think are on 200hz and going off-topic here talking about those who can't see over 60 FPS. You can defiantly see betwhen 60, 75, 120 and 144hz. If you're playing on 120hz you never want to go back to 60hz.

You can overclock 60hz to 75hz on most monitors because they're capped at 60hz which defiantly improves the smoothness of the game. Being a semi-competitive CS player I can tell you that having a higherf refresh rate is much smoother and improves the movement and overall look of the game.

And for those who are saying that you can't see over 30 FPS are wrong; you want to know why movies have so low FPS, it's because of use of motion blur and smear that is hiding the stuttering and choppiness that brings with 30 fps. This post is mostly right but is not very informative and brings barely any facts.

Check out http://www.blurbusters.com/ formore information higher refresh rate improves gameplay by removing the amount of motion blur and smear for example turning quickly which helps in FPS games and other quick-paced games.

Example of games that this is beneficial is Counter Strike which is tactical and skill-required and Quake or some other arena-based game.

Otherwise having higher FPS which you are saying is worthless can with a better computer will help you run more mods, shaders or run with higher render distance through different settings. :)
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