Do Uncapped Framerates inherently have Microstutter to some degree? (Capped VS Uncapped FPS)

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by BlindBison, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. BlindBison

    BlindBison Master Guru

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    I noticed that certain games I play have clear microstutter if their fps is left uncapped (The Witcher 3 / Arkham Knight for example -- simply panning the camera around in the Witcher 3 with an uncapped fps results in visible microstutter -- unless you cap the framerate in my tests -- this is with an 8700K + 1080 Ti @ stock clocks with G-Sync).

    I've also heard in passing from channels like Digital Foundry that they cap their fps/use traditional V-Sync to prevent microstutter and to get the smoothest looking image quality.

    My question is this then:

    1) Do all games suffer from microstutter/bad framepacing to some extent with uncapped fps? In certain titles like Overwatch or DOOM 2016, I don't notice any microstutter with uncapped fps, but those games are at such high framerates (120+ more or less the majority of the time -- even at 1440p) that perhaps that's why it's not discernible to me.

    2) For the "smoothest" / best frame pacing experience then, does capping fps to what is consistently achievable net you the best result?

    My understanding is that uncapped FPS, particularly without G-Sync I expect, can be desirable since it keeps tearing as small as possible at all times and makes tearing less discernible since the tear will be constantly moving erratically instead of appearing in the same position over and over. iirc uncapped fps will also usually provide the lowest input lag, though variable input lag, but I could be missing something there.

    In any case, it's been my experience that some titles just don't play nice with uncapped fps and have more discernible microstutter than others.

    Thanks for your time, I appreciate it.
     
  2. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    I've had the same with Homeworld 2 (Original) when the framerate went above 200fps, and I know GTAV does to.
     
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  3. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    The mismatch between rendered fps and displayed fps will generate artefacts which look like stuttering.
    You will get the same kind of problem using 60fps vsync and rendering at lower fps.
    The analogy is a bit different because one is synced, the other not, but it has a similar effect on our vision.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
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