Wednesday, April 11, 2007

WoW at 150 fps

When I installed World of Warcraft on my brand new E6600 Intel core 2 duo, Geforce 8800 GTS computer, I was a bit disappointed of it showing a framerate of only 85 fps at 1600 x 1200 resolution with all graphics settings maxed out. After playing for some time and noticing that these 85 fps were pretty constant, and not fluctuating with what I saw on the screen as expected, I realized that I just had set the options wrong. "Vertical Sync" was checked, thus the framerate couldn't go faster than the screen refresh rate of 85 Hertz. Doh! I unchecked it and now the framerate is displayed at up to 150 fps.

Which of course is stupid. With the screen being refreshed only 85 times per second, having more than 85 fps simply does nothing. And World of Warcraft plays perfectly smoothly at half that framerate. Playing WoW at 150 fps is unnecessary overkill, and I just measure the framerate for bragging purposes.

But setting the Vertical Sync wrong, after years of experience with PC games, makes me wonder how many people actually understand all these setting you can find in a typical PC games video settings. Vertical sync, trilinear filtering, anisotropic filtering, mipmaps, vertex shaders, what does it all mean? Why does it feel as if I need a degree in computer engineering just to set the graphics settings for a game? I'd rather have an auto-detect routine that selects all this stuff automatically in function of the framerate.

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