More To Come

While we were unable to complete our work with FCAT ahead of NVIDIA’s embargo, we wanted to provide an article that at least gives a brief overview of FCAT, as FCAT is in many ways itself part two of a process we started yesterday with our article and analysis of stuttering on AMD cards.

FCAT, we believe, is the next evolution of frame interval benchmarking. Where FRAPS' coarse nature does not suffice, FCAT provides a clear picture of what’s happening at the end of the rendering pipeline, giving us for the first time an automated, quantitative look at frame intervals, stuttering, and more. To be clear it is by no means a perfect tool, but as we have taken the time to lay out yesterday and today, compared to the beginning of the rendering pipeline, it is the end of the rendering pipeline that is more meaningful both for quantitative analysis, and ultimately for the users.

Speaking more directly however, FCAT is quite simply the frame interval analysis tool we have long wanted. It is the tool that will enable us to analyze stuttering, micro-stuttering, and more, in a manner consistent with our benchmarking methods and core beliefs in the scientific method. It’s exceedingly rare that we say this, but we haven’t been this excited by a new benchmarking tool in a very long time.

Wrapping things up, we will be following up this article next week with part 2 in our look at FCAT. In part 2 we will go into further detail about how to analyze the results FCAT generates, and what we’re finding across a range of video cards and games, both in single-GPU and multi-GPU configurations. So until then, stay tuned.

Enter FCAT
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  • Unwinder - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Thanks, Ryan. I've already received hex reference colors from NV. MSI Afterburner with FCAT overlay support (3.0.0 beta 8) is expected to be released on Monday, EVGA Precsion 4.1.0 with FCAT overlay support will be available on the next week too. Reply
  • wingless - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Battlefield 3
    Guide: How to Fix Low FPS - Stuttering - Lag
    http://battlelog.battlefield.com/bf3/forum/threadv...

    There is a well documented stuttering fix for both Nvidia and AMD users on multiple forums. I've tried this for my HD 4870 Crossfire setup and it works. This particular user from the above link has a NVIDIA GTX 470.

    5.Open notepad and paste this into it and save it as "user.cfg" inside your "program files/origingames/battlefield3" folder:

    RenderDevice.TripleBufferingEnable 0
    RenderDevice.ForceRenderAheadLimit 1
    WorldRender.SpotLightShadowmapResolution 256
    WorldRender.SpotlightShadowmapEnable 0
    Render.DrawFps 1

    With this applied to the game, are there any differences? Render Ahead seems to really affect these results and it would be nice if it were tested with FCAT.

    Thanks
    Reply
  • JeBarr - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Well.....at least now Ryan can keep his job :D

    A marriage of fraps/fcat will sure be convenient to have for all unqualified reviewers everywhere.
    Reply
  • bill4 - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    i dont like the spin, lots of sites were left flat footed by scott wasson's work, and this article tries to spin it like "well we always wanted to do this, but we never had a good enough tool, until now" how convenient. it reminds of countless corporate bs. when beaten to a trend, a corporation will usually say something like "well we always wanted to do what out wildly popular competitor did, but only NOW can it be done properly, by us, we're not copying guys, no really"

    Nonsense. You never cared (much) before, Wasson's work started exposing you, so you jumped on the bandwagon, late, like a lot of sites.

    Mind you I like Anandtech, and dont even really like Wasson lol, but a spade's a spade.

    and this fcat is probably a better tool, all that may be true. but again, call a spade a spade.
    Reply
  • Shark321 - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Amen brother! Reply
  • Panta - Saturday, March 30, 2013 - link

    Missing here is pcper Ryan Shrout contribution
    to the creation & the development of Fcat & a the new card testing methodology.
    he spent last 12months working hard on this with Nvidia.

    i think you should Credit him here.
    Reply
  • drpcusa - Saturday, March 30, 2013 - link

    Thank you for that article!
    <a href=”http://www.drpcusa.com” target=“_blank“>Computer Repair and IT Services in Thousand Oaks, CA</a>
    Reply
  • Samy0806 - Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - link

    Nice article, but i'm just a bit concerned about using another piece of hardware to get the results. What i also don't like is that the capture takes place at 60Hz. What about the ones that are "overclocking" their monitors (run them at more than the default 60 Hz refresh rate, for example my monitor now runs at 75 Hz) or the ones that have high refresh rate monitors, 120 Hz for example.
    Also what i would really really like to see is an in depth analysis of VirtuMVP. In theory it should generate a more responsive and/or smoother experience, but most of the games i've run with VitruMVP had, more or less, some form of stuttering.
    Reply
  • wingless - Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - link

    AMD systems feel 'smoother' than Intel systems: http://www.techpowerup.com/159270/Marketing-and-Pr...

    I feel the topic of the OP relates to all of this new frame time testing directly. AMD systems may in fact be SMOOTHER than Intel system. I have a Core i7 2600k/Z77 system running crossfire. I can play Battlefield 3 on High at 60 to 120fps....albeit with a ton of stutter/dropped frames/runt frames. My coworker has a measly AMD FX-4100, with the same HD 6850 crossfire on an AMD 970 chipset. His system allows for CrossfireX to be enabled (Crossfire through the chipset/PCIe AND Crossfire cable simultaneously). His system ran only between 30 and 65fps during gameplay but clearly had no stutter/dropped frames/runt frames. At a reported 35fps his system played smoother than mine at 75fps. His 970 chipset was also pushing 1 card at PCIe 2.0 16x and the other at 4x, yet he was still 'smoother'.

    This irked me... AMD systems may very well be smoother in Crossfire configurations given the added features that support crossfire on their chipsets. I urge Anandtech members to please write Techreport, Anandtech, and PCPer to do more testing with AMD systems vs. Intel systems. Reviewers tend to only use Intel systems when doing all testing, but this may not be showing the entire picture (literally). Also let's continue this discussion given this new frame time point of reference and get to the bottom of this.

    Thanks folks.
    Reply
  • Shark321 - Monday, April 08, 2013 - link

    What happened to part 2 of the analysis. What it not supposed to be released last week? Reply

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