Are frames evenly spread out in games with a steady framerate?

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If a game has a consistent 30fps is it rendering a frame every 33 milliseconds or might it render a bunch of frames at the first half of the second and just wait the second half of it because it has finished for that second?

I imagine some frames must be more computationally complex to render then others so if it always allocates 33ms it seems like if some of the harder frames come up later in the second it’ll miss the 30fps mark for that second.

But if it renders frames as quickly as it can and then waits it seems like the game would stutter.

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Games do stutter when frame rates drop. A properly powerful graphics card could be tricked or programmed into cramming 30 frames into the first .5 second and only 1 frame in the second half of each second. The result would be *awful* to play.

Most games run the GPU as hard as possible up to a limit (usually 60 fps because that’s what most monitors are spec’d for), but if your GPU cannot maintain 60 during fast sequences (like combat), you’ll see stuttering as the GPU reduces frames to cope with the increased computing power needed to produce each frame. The GPU is still running at 100% in that case but producing less product.

If you don’t want to see stuttering, go into the settings and reduce the fps cap to the frame rate you’re seeing during action sequences. It won’t be as smooth out of combat, but you’ll maintain frames and avoid stutter when it matters.

To answer directly: if you tell the GPU to push X frames, then yes, they’re evenly distributed unless the GPU cannot keep up.

They generally try to spread the frames out evenly.

The issue is that when we say a game runs at a certain rate, there are actually two thinfs that have to run at that rate: simulation (the game logic: how things move and what they do) and rendering (how things look). Theae things generally have to be kept in sync and running as smoothly as possible. If the simulation gets out of time with the rendering, then either the rendering is drawing things that are out of date, or time slows down in the game as the simulation struggles to catch up. You may have seen this kind of slowdown on older consoles: this is one of the things that can cause it.

Time needs to run smoothly in games, so they try to spresd out the simulation frames. Since they spread out the simulation, the rendering has to stay close to that.