On topic, I was playing Dirt2 last night and noticed that it ran like crap when other cars were involved, whilst the solo rally stages ran super-smooth at the same settings. It was really really distracting to the point that I lowered the screen resolution to 720p but it made no difference; this was AI routines using up CPU power - I had to turn down geometry to get it running smoothly.
This is a 2.83GHz Q9550, so whilst it's getting a little old it's still a potent CPU, and would have been considered decent when Dirt2 was released.
Curious, I fired up FRAPS and put everything back on max detail. About 70 fps on solo rally stages and about 55fps on levels with AI drivers.
Proof, in my mind, that average FPS is meaningless - because what forced me to drop detail was not the 55fps, but the occasional hitches where the illusion of motion failed. Minimum FPS is by far the most important metric for any gaming processor, and the 99th percentile result shows us just how often games are running at those minimum speeds.
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