Nvidia’s new GeForce driver includes highly-requested max frame rate feature

erek

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I enjoy new drivers, just feels good installing them

“Alongside the frame rate limit, this driver also includes Variable Rate Super Sampling (VRSS). This improves image quality in VR games by separating shading rate and resolution to improve different parts of the frame that you’re focused on in VR. Nvidia is also including eight more G-Sync compatible displays to bring the total number of displays supported up to 90.”


https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2020/1/6/21051382/nvidia-geforce-game-ready-driver-update-max-frame-rate-feature-ces-2020
 

PhaseNoise

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I do some form of that now by having a "1GHz" profile in afterburner I use for low-demand games (I have a blower-1080ti, I'd prefer the hairdryer is not on when not really needed).

Might be cool to have something more integrated, but this solution does work well too.
 

dgz

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This is good. Games that allow you to limit your FPS are very, very rare. Quake 3 (com_maxfps for the win, baby) did it literally 20 years ago and I've used it ever since, for various reasons, including the fact that it eliminates tearing. Who needs vsync? Not me. Never have. Never will
 

Archaea

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This is good. Games that allow you to limit your FPS are very, very rare. Quake 3 (com_maxfps for the win, baby) did it literally 20 years ago and I've used it ever since, for various reasons, including the fact that it eliminates tearing. Who needs vsync? Not me. Never have. Never will
VRR isn't just about frame tearing...

The best attribute is the smoothness feel
The second best attribute is not having to buy the absolute newest hardware to pin your FPS to cap and it still feeling perfectly smooth in game when your FPS dip down to the 40s and 50s on occassion.
Third best attribute is eliminating screen tear.

but I like the idea of this driver fps cap, absent vsync, to save a couple frames of frame buffer that V-sync requires. This is good to eliminate that wee bit of mouse delay/lag that vsync introduces.
 

tangoseal

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This is good. Games that allow you to limit your FPS are very, very rare. Quake 3 (com_maxfps for the win, baby) did it literally 20 years ago and I've used it ever since, for various reasons, including the fact that it eliminates tearing. Who needs vsync? Not me. Never have. Never will
No mans sky and Elite Dangerous allow you to set a frame cap as well.
 
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PhaseNoise

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so is this just a frame rate limiter like amd has had for ages?
Yes. The drivers themselves have had this capability for a long time, and you could use NVProfileInspector to control it. They just added it to the normal control panel.
Why didn't they add it before? I couldn't say, but usually just go with "fear of support related issues". <shrug>

It's nothing amazing, just another thing they added.
 

cyclone3d

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This is good. Games that allow you to limit your FPS are very, very rare. Quake 3 (com_maxfps for the win, baby) did it literally 20 years ago and I've used it ever since, for various reasons, including the fact that it eliminates tearing. Who needs vsync? Not me. Never have. Never will
Frame rate limiting does NOT eliminate tearing. You can still get tearing when frames are drawn that are not in sync with the monitor's sync rate.

Sure there is less tearing than when vsync is just disabled with no frame rate limit, but the tearing is still there.

Also... maybe games of yor were not too likely to have fps limiters, but they are quite common now.

A lot of old games also had config file options or console options to limit fps even if there was no option in the config menu.
 

sharknice

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This is good. Games that allow you to limit your FPS are very, very rare. Quake 3 (com_maxfps for the win, baby) did it literally 20 years ago and I've used it ever since, for various reasons, including the fact that it eliminates tearing. Who needs vsync? Not me. Never have. Never will
Every game using Unreal Engine 3 or UE4 can which is a hell of a lot of games. But most don't have a UI for it so it has to be done with a console command or by editing a config file.
 
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Parja

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I've been using RTSS for years to limit the framerate, but it's nice to see a control panel option.
Has anyone done any testing of the new feature against RTSS to compare input lag? RTSS has long been the best option out there for frame limiting due to its very low impact on input lag compared to other options.
 

pendragon1

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Has anyone done any testing of the new feature against RTSS to compare input lag? RTSS has long been the best option out there for frame limiting due to its very low impact on input lag compared to other options.
i thought limiting frames reduced lag not introduced it...
 

Armenius

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Oh, one thing that has been missed in this conversation is VRSS. This was a highly anticipated feature when Turing was launched a year and a quarter ago, and for a time people were constantly asking where it was. Welp, better late than never, I guess? Wondering if we'll see any kind of review from the fine folks at The FPS Review.
 

IdiotInCharge

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i thought limiting frames reduced lag not introduced it...
You may be thinking of 'prerendered frames' and how that might mess with frametimes.

Limiting the output of frames is always going to introduce some level of latency. Uncapped is always going to be the fastest, but you also have to deal with potentially unwanted visual artifacts depending on the attached display's capabilities.
Agreed -- I believe it's recommended to cap framerates within a few frames at most of the maximum refresh rate.
 

doubletake

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This is good. Games that allow you to limit your FPS are very, very rare.
No, that trend stopped about 2 or so years ago. Most new games nowadays have in-game FPS limiters. The real problem is that too many only feature them in 30FPS increments. Very few games allow setting custom values in the interface and require config editing instead.
 

pendragon1

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No, that trend stopped about 2 or so years ago. Most new games nowadays have in-game FPS limiters. The real problem is that too many only feature them in 30FPS increments. Very few games allow setting custom values in the interface and require config editing instead.
that is true. its usually 30, 60, unlimited.
 

dgz

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No, that trend stopped about 2 or so years ago. Most new games nowadays have in-game FPS limiters. The real problem is that too many only feature them in 30FPS increments. Very few games allow setting custom values in the interface and require config editing instead.
Thanks. I am don't exactly buy many new games.

Still though, implementing an FPS limiter is trivial at best. Guess "no one cared".
 

IdiotInCharge

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No, that trend stopped about 2 or so years ago. Most new games nowadays have in-game FPS limiters. The real problem is that too many only feature them in 30FPS increments. Very few games allow setting custom values in the interface and require config editing instead.
Ah, running the original Mass Effect at 165FPS... and then turning Mass Effect 3 down to 93FPS because higher framerates broke the cover system :D

Sad part is they're both Unreal Engine, which has solid performance options for the PC available. Really looking forward to developers dual-tracking releases so that console-specific development doesn't negatively hamper the PC version.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Thanks. I am don't exactly buy many new games.

Still though, implementing an FPS limiter is trivial at best. Guess "no one cared".
I see two related issues that push for frame limiters -- the first is that when games age, there are very few benefits to letting them run at 300FPS+, and following from that, with more thermally limited platforms like laptops and SFFs (or just your occasional loud GPU blower ;) ), there is a benefit to reducing performance needed as it lowers power draw, heat generation, and noise generation overall.
 

Domingo

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This is very cool. A lot of games from around 2010'ish tend to have stuttering issues that can be fixed with limiters in RTSS, D3DOptimizer and such. While I haven't had much issue with newer games, it can be a major headache in older ones.
 

dgz

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Frame rate limiting does NOT eliminate tearing. You can still get tearing when frames are drawn that are not in sync with the monitor's sync rate.

Sure there is less tearing than when vsync is just disabled with no frame rate limit, but the tearing is still there.

Also... maybe games of yor were not too likely to have fps limiters, but they are quite common now.

A lot of old games also had config file options or console options to limit fps even if there was no option in the config menu.
Nah, we've had this conversation before. Just how much tearing would one have if game is set to render no more than the monitor's refresh rate? Not a lot.

ps. Quake 3 didn't have a GUI option for it, either
 

PhaseNoise

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Thanks. I am don't exactly buy many new games.

Still though, implementing an FPS limiter is trivial at best. Guess "no one cared".
Well, yes and no. There are a lot of details about when and how you stall / pace which are important for overall smoothness and lag.
To whit: RTSS is still smoother and better in my completely subjective testing for a little bit today. This matches with my earlier experience using the NVidiaInspector which also did it at the driver level.

Correct me if I'm wrong People Who Know More, but what I've seen in order of best to worst:
1) Inside the game
2) In RTSS
3) At the driver level

I realize 2 and 3 are counter intuitive, but that's what I've found. This is on an NV card, I cannot speak if AMD is different currently.
 

dgz

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VRR isn't just about frame tearing...

The best attribute is the smoothness feel
The second best attribute is not having to buy the absolute newest hardware to pin your FPS to cap and it still feeling perfectly smooth in game when your FPS dip down to the 40s and 50s on occassion.
Third best attribute is eliminating screen tear.

but I like the idea of this driver fps cap, absent vsync, to save a couple frames of frame buffer that V-sync requires. This is good to eliminate that wee bit of mouse delay/lag that vsync introduces.
What did I say about VRR again? I hope you're not implying attacks on the horrible abomination that is vsync somehow apply to VRR.

vsync introduced latency is hardly a "little bit"
 

IdiotInCharge

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Nah, we've had this conversation before. Just how much tearing would one have if game is set to render no more than the monitor's refresh rate? Not a lot.
There are two possibilities here: either this functions the same as V-Sync, so you're not just limiting framerates (really frametimes), but also syncs to the refresh rate, or it doesn't sync to the refresh rate and you can still have tearing every frame proportional to viewport movement.
 

Delicieuxz

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Nice! I think that feature is long overdue.

No, that trend stopped about 2 or so years ago. Most new games nowadays have in-game FPS limiters. The real problem is that too many only feature them in 30FPS increments. Very few games allow setting custom values in the interface and require config editing instead.
While that's good for new games, it doesn't help with the thousands of older games that people still love to play. Also, in-game implementation of a FPS limiter is often not very accommodating, providing options for only set intervals. Sometimes there will be an option for 60 FPS or 90 FPS or 120 FPS. Since I have a 75 hz monitor, this doesn't help me out that much.
 

dgz

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Well, yes and no. There are a lot of details about when and how you stall / pace which are important for overall smoothness and lag.
To whit: RTSS is still smoother and better in my completely subjective testing for a little bit today. This matches with my earlier experience using the NVidiaInspector which also did it at the driver level.

Correct me if I'm wrong People Who Know More, but what I've seen in order of best to worst:
1) Inside the game
2) In RTSS
3) At the driver level

I realize 2 and 3 are counter intuitive, but that's what I've found. This is on an NV card, I cannot speak if AMD is different currently.
How would you implement a limiter in a game? I would just skip the rendering until the time is right. But you're right, this might introduce some lag.
 

Ricky T

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Nah, we've had this conversation before. Just how much tearing would one have if game is set to render no more than the monitor's refresh rate? Not a lot.

ps. Quake 3 didn't have a GUI option for it, either
Tearing can vary greatly from game to game and you can have ass loads of tearing in some games well below the refresh rate. In fact tearing is typically more noticeable at lower frame rates as it's more persistent on the screen even though there is technically less tearing going on. So basically the higher the framerate the less tearing that is actually noticeable. It's hard to believe that this still has to be debated after all these years. But then again there are people out there that actually believe no tearing occurs at all below refresh rate which is mind-boggling.
 

dgz

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I see two related issues that push for frame limiters -- the first is that when games age, there are very few benefits to letting them run at 300FPS+, and following from that, with more thermally limited platforms like laptops and SFFs (or just your occasional loud GPU blower ;) ), there is a benefit to reducing performance needed as it lowers power draw, heat generation, and noise generation overall.
Oh, I have some first-hand experience with those exact problems. A few years ago I worked on a web game (don't laugh) and at some point I rewrote all major parts from DOM to WebGL. Performance was great but nobody cared until my boss started complaining his laptop was about to take off. What did young dgz do? Frame cap :D

Also, back when StarCraft 2 was released, the game menus did not have a cap and were basically the most stressful for the GPUs. They patched it soon enough. It's also a good idea to limit fps while displaying menus an such. Depending on how things work, you could have a very slow menu, gameplay, or both when both are active at the same time.
 
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Delicieuxz

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There are two possibilities here: either this functions the same as V-Sync, so you're not just limiting framerates (really frametimes), but also syncs to the refresh rate, or it doesn't sync to the refresh rate and you can still have tearing every frame proportional to viewport movement.
There is already the option to set global v-sync parameters in the Nvidia drivers. This new feature should be independent of v-sync.

I think it's mainly intended for people who have g-sync and freesync monitors who want the FPS to not exceed their monitors' async-computer limit (which would cause tearing), without them having to enable v-sync (which creates input lag).
 

dgz

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Tearing can vary greatly from game to game and you can have ass loads of tearing in some games well below the refresh rate. In fact tearing is typically more noticeable at lower frame rates as it's more persistent on the screen even though there is technically less tearing going on. So basically the higher the framerate the less tearing that is actually noticeable. It's hard to believe that this still has to be debated after all these years. But then again there are people out there that actually believe no tearing occurs at all below refresh rate which is mind-boggling.
Are you disagreeing with me? Cause I think you're right
 

sharknice

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Limiting the output of frames is always going to introduce some level of latency. Uncapped is always going to be the fastest, but you also have to deal with potentially unwanted visual artifacts depending on the attached display's capabilities.
Actually limiting fps will have less input lag than if you're maxing out your gpu running an uncapped frame rate.

There's a sweet spot for gpu usage and if you go higher the input lag actually gets worse.
 

PhaseNoise

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How would you implement a limiter in a game? I would just skip the rendering until the time is right. But you're right, this might introduce some lag.
If you do limiting inside the game, you know ahead of time you're pacing at a certain level, and can therefore do work while waiting for the frame render to complete. For example, AI, gamestate, and even the next frame rendering work can begin early.

At the driver level, you know nothing. All you can do is stall until the time delta from the last render is what your desired FPS should be. At that point, you're not overlapping any work.

So to answer your question, yes, I'd stall presentation of the frame to the next quanta, but I'd get a head start on game state and pre-rendering the next in that time.
 

pendragon1

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Actually limiting fps will have less input lag than if you're maxing out your gpu running an uncapped frame rate.

There's a sweet spot for gpu usage and if you go higher the input lag actually gets worse.
thats what i thought too...
 

IdiotInCharge

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There is already the option to set global v-sync parameters in the Nvidia drivers. This new feature should be independent of v-sync.
I think we're aware, thanks...

I think it's mainly intended for people who have g-sync and freesync monitors who want the FPS to not exceed their monitors' async-computer limit (which would cause tearing), without them having to enable v-sync (which creates input lag).
...which is exactly what I'd use it for, and currently use RTSS for. Now I don't have to use RTSS.
 

PhaseNoise

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Oh, I have some first-hand experience with those exact problems. A few years ago I worked on a web game (don't laugh) and at some point I rewrote all major parts from DOM to WebGL. Performance was great but nobody cared until my boss started complaining his laptop was about to take off. What did young dgz do? Frame cap :D
And that's a great solution from a young dgz! Hurry-up-and-wait is actually a solid design for most modern CPUs and GPUs. They will go to sleep or interleave other work as is available.
 

dgz

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And that's a great solution from a young dgz! Hurry-up-and-wait is actually a solid design for most modern CPUs and GPUs. They will go to sleep or interleave other work as is available.
Oh, do go on :)

It works but now that I think about it, one shouldn't let the state go un-rendered for too long. Otherwise we go back to square one: not enough frames, latency, bad
 

doubletake

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Also, in-game implementation of a FPS limiter is often not very accommodating, providing options for only set intervals. Sometimes there will be an option for 60 FPS or 90 FPS or 120 FPS. Since I have a 75 hz monitor, this doesn't help me out that much.
Same here running a 100hz monitor. I almost always have to use RTSS for my 97FPS cap, though occasionally I'll settle for an in-game 90 option if it's not a fast-paced game. The only game in recent memory that supports custom values is Far Cry 5.
 
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