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Rasterman.com

Wednesday, 3 August 2011GUI Slowness

Today someone made a nice comment today that made me think. They said: "there is no hardware video accel, so it's slow". Then someone's response was "slow is a relative term". Both of which are very true. What IS fast or slow in a GUI context? Do we have any real definitions? I keep seeing people trying to make their games run faster than 60FPS in an attempt to go on about how much better it is, when reality is, their eyes won't percieve more frames than that (we can debate center of vision vs peripheral if you want to get into details), but the point here is that in reality for most people ther *IS* something considered fast for a GUI,and then slow. This will vary from person to person, BUT there will be general ballparks.

So what are these ballparks. What is fast? What is Slow? So I propose the following standard (median framerate):

  • over 60FPS - Pointless
  • 60FPS - Fast
  • 50FPS - Good
  • 40FPS - Average
  • 30FPS - Bareable
  • 20FPS - Bad
  • 10FPS - Fail
  • under 10FPS - Don't even bother

I know this over simplified things. What is your screen refresh rate? Really humans see about 45-50FPS in the center of vision and maybe 75FPS in peripheral vision. You can get away With 50FPS being fast, if that is your screen refresh rate. But the point of this little ditty is, that we can get a common language for what Fast is when it comes to a GUI. One should always strive to try get "60FPS" (manage to render at refresh rate - if refresh rate is 50FPS like in PAL, then aim for 50FPS). Make sure you produce an updated frame regularly every refresh (if there is something to update).

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