crookedvulture writes: "A revolution is unfolding in the world of game benchmarking. Instead of using FPS averages that obscure brief but perceptible moments of stuttering, reviewers are increasingly moving to more representative metrics based on frame times. Their efforts are being bolstered by Nvidia, which has developed a suite of tools that allows for a deep analysis of the contents of the individual frames sent to the display. These "FCAT" tools will be freely distributable and modifiable, and some portions will be open-source. Examining the data they generate has produced new insight into how modern graphics cards really perform in games. The display output analysis made possible by the FCAT tools exposes "runt frames" that can make up only tiny slivers of the screen, rendering FPS averages especially meaningless. It also suggests that disruptions in smoothness can be measured both early in the pipeline, using Fraps, and later on, where FCAT takes into account frame metering technologies that can massage the flow of frames to the display."
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