What does the game frame rate estimate represent?

The frame rate estimate represents the average frame rate in frames per second (FPS) you can expect with the game in a typical gameplay scenario. The frame rate is an estimate rather than an exact guarantee of performance.  

This guide has a page for each of the games we test. Each page includes a brief description of the game, the scenario we used for testing, and the settings used for medium and ultra visual quality.

Why not measure and report the lowest frame rate in the game?

Games can drop single frames or have very short periods of slow frame updates on some hardware. These drops do not represent the typical gameplay experience. What's more, there can be a large variance in the lowest frame rate recorded during gameplay, and it is hard to measure these drops consistently and repeatably across multiple systems.

How accurate are the game performance estimates?

Game performance is a complex topic, especially when distilling performance down to a single metric. Frame rates can vary within a game depending on the level or mode. Player actions, especially in multi-player games, can result in frame rate variance. There can be noticeable performance differences between different versions of a game. Driver updates and operating system updates may also affect performance.

In short, there are many sources of variance and the accuracy of the estimates varies by game.

The good news is that our component performance estimates are based on large amounts of 3DMark data, and our game performance estimates are based on a wide sample of component configurations. Together with our statistical model, this eliminates the random variance you get with spot testing.

While there is plenty of variance in the real world, our method produces consistent, reliable estimations of game performance with ±15% accuracy.

Why do some games run equally well on different graphics cards?

The performance of a game is typically limited by either the CPU or the GPU. Older games are often limited by the CPU, especially at lower resolutions. When a game is limited by the CPU, upgrading the graphics card no longer improves the frame rate.

Why does this game not run faster even after upgrading all PC components?

Some games have a built-in frame rate limit. When this limit cannot be disabled in the game settings, we estimate the performance of the game with the limit applied. 

For games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, where the frame rate limit cannot be removed from the game's UI settings but can be removed with a widely known console command, we offer the option to show the frame rate estimate with or without the limit.

Do you retest games?

Yes. We retest games and rebuild our models whenever a game update, OS update or driver update significantly affects performance.