Why frame rate and resolution matter: A graphics primer

"But what do they even mean? What's the difference between 720p and 1080p, or between 30 frames per second and 60 frames per second — and is it an academic distinction, or a meaningful one? In other words, why should you care?"

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corvusmd1478d ago (Edited 1478d ago )

It is a good read, but it's an odd title when the two guys they talk to say things like:

"Stratton told Polygon that his personal bare minimum is 720p at 30 fps, since "anything below those levels is actively unpleasant." However, he continued, "anything higher isn't necessarily a clear improvement." Asked to choose one or the other, he said he'd probably prefer a higher resolution than a higher frame rate, since he "[doesn't] personally place much value on frame rates above 30 fps."


"Both Thoman and Stratton agreed that people argue over the importance of frame rate and resolution partly because they're trying to justify their investment in a particular console."


"In a side-by-side comparison, I don’t believe the average consumer can tell the difference between 720p and 1080p," said Barry Sandrew, PhD, a digital imaging expert who is the founder, chief technology officer and chief creative officer of Legend3D, a well-known stereoscopic 3D and visual effects firm. "If you get into the higher resolutions like 4K or 8K, there is an obvious difference, but the difference is best appreciated when sitting close to the screen and the TV is larger than 55 inches."

It's kinda like what most of us have been saying, Resolution and Framerate are important to a degree, but not if they subtract from other aspects of gaming. Having a higher res or FR don't mean the game looks better, or that you can even tell a difference's mostly about fanboy-war bait.

At the level we are at in gaming these days, it seems to make less of a difference than ever because other graphical enhancements have trumped these differences. In the past comparison videos were just side by side gameplay and differences were clear, but now we zoom in, slow down, and even compare different in-game times and locations to try and notice a difference. In true side by side videos, differences are almost never noticeable in any significant form.

While it's nice to have every game 1080p/60fps, it seems like it's more about the warm-fuzzy feeling than any actual gameplay difference. As gamers we really are getting spoiled, because there hasn't been a single game this new gen that looks even remotely bad.

xander707691478d ago

"having a higher res or FR don't mean the game looks better, or that you can even tell a difference's mostly about fanboy-war bait."

EXACTLY. This 1080p/60fps is just the ammunition for the fanboy-war. I don't mind 30fps at all. I would much, MUCH rather have a rock steady 30fps with Vsync than a fluctuating 60fps with lots of screen tearing. But as long as fanboys will talk about how amazing 60fps is that's what devs may end up doing.

To me 1080p/60fps should be lower priority, rather than the immediate and sole talking point of every new game. There are far more important technical aspects, IMO.

Neonridr1478d ago

Agreed. I never downplay graphics as they are an important piece of telling the overall story. But that's where it ends, because if the game has a bad story or terrible gameplay, then no amount of shiny 1080p graphics can save it from itself..

darthv721478d ago (Edited 1478d ago )

As with any console generation. it is more about what can be done with the hardware (despite any limitations) more than what can't be done.

There are some very impressive 240p/24fps (+/-) games from the 16bit days that still hold up well to this day.

sonypsnow1478d ago

Next Gen Nintendo Console, would have 2 SKUs

1. $199 Portable 3D Gaming Console
2. $499 Portable Gaming System + External Radeon R9 290X GPU.

Next-Gen Nintendo Games would get 2 resolution setting. 540p when mobile, 1080p 60fps with external GPU.

UltraNova1477d ago (Edited 1477d ago )

All I see and hear is the media and us the players squabble over the possibility of the now obsolete holy grail of graphics standard, 1080p/60fps, on hardware that probably wont achieve that for the duration of their cycle (at least in AAA releases).

I believe its solely Nintendo's, MS's and Sony's fault we have to deal with such issues today that we've come to expect more, for they chose to go cost efficient on our asses and release hardware incapable of running full-on AAA games at 1080p/60fps.

PS: In all fairness, since the PS4 has the extra grunt they might be able to pull it off some time in but, as with everything its another wait and see situation.

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Foxhound9221478d ago (Edited 1478d ago )

They mattered last gen, and the generations before that. Granted, resolution and fps aren't everything, but of course it matters.

SixtyNine1478d ago

Is this what this gen is going to be about? damn

BlackTar1871478d ago

are you saying this wasn't what xbox fans were all about last gen?

thereapersson1478d ago

Funny how when something's turned around on someone, they quickly change their tune. It's just how the pendulum swings.

Imalwaysright1478d ago (Edited 1478d ago )

I've never seen console gamers reducing games to their resolution like they're doing now so to answear your question, no. That was usually a PC elitist thing. Xbox fanboys did talk about performance quite often though but weren't as obssessed about it like the Sony fanboys are with resolution now, not even close.

BlackTar1871478d ago


Yea resolution/missing grass or a shadow.

Which is more pathetic.

When this gen spawns 100 different comparison sites then get back to us.

LordMaim1478d ago (Edited 1478d ago )

@Imalwaysright (really?)

It wasn't that long ago, and you can see the evidence on this very site.

There were literally hundreds of these exact type of articles in which PS3 owners were marginalized by overzealous Xbox 360 owners who wanted to champion their brand of choice.

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iDadio1478d ago

Of course it matters, with or without rose tinted glasses on.

No_Limit1478d ago (Edited 1478d ago )

Doesn't matter, enjoying the 720p version of Mario Kart 8.

Seriously, before the digital foundry articles that confirmed Mario Kart 8 is 720p, everyone thought it was 1080p 60fps because it looks great. I have no problem with resolution at all because anything at 720p and above will look good on a 1080p monitor.. Sure 1080 will look a bit cleaner up close, but it is not night and day like 480p or 560p to 720p for instance. It is stuff like frame rate and screen tearing that bothers me more.

Ghost_Nappa1478d ago

Yeah, screen tearing can be painful to watch.

Software_Lover1478d ago

I remember there was even an article touting how Mario Kart 8 justifies the graphical powers of the Wii-U............ or something like that lol. Everyone thought the game looked great and was 1080p. Now that certain people know the resolution isn't 1080p, they $h!t all over the game.

WTF has gaming come to?

uth111478d ago

Same with Watch Dogs, when it was announced that the console versions were 792p - 900p. Some people turned on the game.

It's sad.

Imalwaysright1478d ago

I don't even understand those so called gamers. You would think that being able to play a great game was more than enough but no, they reduce the quality of games to their technical aspects. Sad really.

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