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Thresh's comments in BLACK
Kenn's comments in BLUE
Can't we all just get along?
For over four years now, I find myself every so often getting embroiled in a long-winded, self-imposed debate with someone about exactly "how many frames per second the human eye can see." Each time, the numbers are always different. "The human eye can only see 24 frames per second." "The human eye can only see 30 fps." Be it 30, 60, 100, or so on, folks have always had an inclination to tag an arbitrary number on what we can physically perceive, whether it's from an overheard reference to film or NTSC framerate. After all, if TV looks smooth at 30fps, then that must be a hard-coded, physiological limit, doesn't it?
Guilty as charged. Way back in the day, I've always just listened to what everyone around me was saying, and I took it for granted. I remember that the only time I really took the "greater than 35fps" idea seriously was back when the original 3Dfx Voodoo1 came out, and every single person who had one was posting numbers like 50, 60, and even 70 frames per second! Around that time I stopped thinking "75 fps is way too fast to be playable" and started thinking "faster framerates make the game a whole lot smoother."
Ah, an unbeliever sees the light! It's refreshing to know that those fast reflexes aren't inversely proportional to logic. I've always maintained that there is no physical limit to what we as humans can perceive. In my humble opinion, like everything else, the ability to perceive such differences comes directly from experience. Once you've had a chance to spend some time with 90fps, going down to 40 or 50 fps will be an appreciable difference.
The point is, nowadays just about everyone's had a taste of greater-than-30 fps performance. It's common knowledge that there's no 30fps limit on what the eye can see anymore. Also, most people know that 90 frames per second doesn't a set number of 30fps frames shoot by at 1/3 of a second. The computer renders frames dynamically, so everything runs at the same speed, but more frames are packed into each timeframe (hence the literal term "ninety frames per second").
Let's not get into that just yet, eager beaver. It's a whole new can of worms and we're getting way ahead of ourselves. Let us first tackle the biggest question, "what is the minimum fps needed to enjoy a first-person-shooter game?