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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2018, 17:37 
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Joined: 13 Oct 2003, 05:00
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Pulling the data from my review of the NVIDIA GeForce 9800GX2, I set out to determine the impact that a Widescreen or Surround Gaming aspect ratio have on frame rates.

We all know that increasing resolution decreases FPS. But, what if that wasn't always the case? What if 1280x1024 performed better, due to its smaller FOV? What if Surround takes a major hit, even at low resolutions, due to its increased FOV? And if these are true (find out below), where does widescreen fall? I ran a series of benchmarks at twelve common resolutions for my review of the NVIDIA GeForce 9800GX2. Analyzing that data, I've been able to determine the impact of FOV on fps.

As of now, my rig stands at:

  • GeForce 9800GX2 Reference Board from NVIDIA at 600MHz Core and 2000MHz Memory
  • P5N32-SLI Premium/WiFi-AP
  • Intel E6700 Core2Duo at 2x2.667GHz
  • 4GB XMS2 Corsair RAM
  • 2x Samsung 320GB T-Series HDD (one for the OS and games; one for swap file and FRAPS)
  • LiteOn SATA Optical Drive
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro
  • Enermax Infiniti 720W
  • Lian-Li Black PC-777
  • Dell 3007WFP
  • Matrox Digital TripleHead2Go
  • 3x HP LP1965
  • Logitch G15 Keyboard & G5 Mouse

The Benchmarks

Seven games, in twelve resolutions, for each of two video cards. That's a lot of time, and a lot of frames.

Bioshock Bioshock Bioshock Bioshock Bioshock Bioshock Bioshock

The Effect of Aspect Ratio

We all know that the number of pixels effects fps (frames per second). But, how does the aspect ratio effect fps? Increasing the resolution adds detail to the on-screen objects, but increasing the aspect ratio (the FOV) adds objects to the game "window." Does FOV have an additional (or superseding) effect on fps, than does simple increases in resolution? To help answer this question, I benchmarked every game at every common resolution. I covered everything from 5:4 (the narrowest FOV), to 16:4 (3x4:3 Surround Gaming). The short answer is yes. Aspect Ratio has a major impact on fps; and it often has a greater (and superseding) impact over increased resolution.

Here is a table that outlines the Aspect Ratios covered in my testing:

Aspect Ratio 5:4 4:3 16:10 15:9 16:9 15:4 16:4
Common Resolutions  
Field of View 100 103.6 113.5 115.6 118.9 148.7 150.6
Increase from 4:3 -3.47% --- 9.56% 11.6% 14.8% 43.5% 45.4%


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