Does the amount of frames per second relate to the severity of screen tearing?

TTD187

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Aug 22, 2014
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I'm currently playing Dead Space 3 and have found no fix for v-sync meaning I either play at 30 fps or without v-sync on. I usually get around 100 fps, but it drops down to around 60-75 if I limit my CPU clock speed using the power options in windows. Would I be right in thinking that the lower FPS would mean less screen tearing or would it be the same?

I'm currently using a Lenovo Y50 using the i7-4710 and GTX 860M 4GB.

Thanks.
 

chris987

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Jun 10, 2013
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Does the amount of frames per second relate to the severity of screen tearing?
yes, most certainly! all the extra frames will be stuffed between the actual frames your monitors can draw. however, since dead space 3 is just a console port with a locked engine at 30fps, the actual problem gets even bigger as the actual outcome is like you have been playing at a 30hz monitor. thats why vsync locks at 30. so even you adjust performace at 60fps you still get tearing. i suggest you keep vsync on.
 

Deus Gladiorum

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Jun 29, 2013
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You're kind of right, but it might not be as helpful as you think. Having V-Sync disabled will result in your laptop rendering as many frames as possible, and if you're rendering significantly more than your refresh rate, you're right in thinking that this significantly increases the chances that you'll render 2 or even 3 frames in between refreshes and thus increase perceptible screen tearing.

However, if you lock your frame rate to 60 fps, for example, it doesn't guarantee you'll suddenly have less perceivable tearing, but might actually increase the perceptible screen tearing. This is because, at 60 fps, unless every single frame is sent to the display at the exact moment necessary to coincide with a refresh, all you're doing is guaranteeing that you'll render at most 1 new frame before or during each refresh, so it's more likely that locking it to something like 60 fps will result in screen tearing happening at the exact same place on screen for every single frame, thus making it a lot more annoying unless you luck out and it happens to be at the very bottom of your screen or something.

So what can you do? Well, the way screen tearing works varies between each engine, so you could get something like MSI Afterburner and use the included RivaTuner Statistics Server tool to lock your frame rate to test it out anyway. Locking it to 60 fps might make screen tearing worse, but 59 fps might make it almost negligible, or 58 fps might, or 57, etc. -- it really depends. So you could try that and just experiment. Of course, the better option, though it might not be available to you due to it being a laptop, is to go into the Nvidia Control Panel and force V-Sync or Adaptive V-Sync on for Dead Space 3. If you don't have that option (my laptop doesn't support adaptive V-Sync, unfortunately, so I'm not sure if yours would) then yeah, play around with locking your fps, or get used to 30 fps. 30 fps for a game like Dead Space 3 sucks at first, but it's easy to get used to after 5 minutes or so.

Hope that helps!
 

chris987

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Jun 10, 2013
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Does the amount of frames per second relate to the severity of screen tearing?
yes, most certainly! all the extra frames will be stuffed between the actual frames your monitors can draw. however, since dead space 3 is just a console port with a locked engine at 30fps, the actual problem gets even bigger as the actual outcome is like you have been playing at a 30hz monitor. thats why vsync locks at 30. so even you adjust performace at 60fps you still get tearing. i suggest you keep vsync on.
 

TTD187

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Aug 22, 2014
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Ended up doing that as the screen tearing was just pissing me off too much. It's a shame as on my desktop, I was able to use adaptive V-sync which kept it at 60 fps without any tearing.
 
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