MechWarrior Online Beta Performance Analysis



Product: MechWarrior Online Beta
Company: Infinite Game Publishing
Author: Sean Ridgeley
Editor: Eric Amidon
Date: January 10th, 2013

Frame time test, 99th/99.9th percentile test, conclusion

Frame time test

As mentioned, framerate reports alone only tell part of the story with the performance of any given game. To offer a deeper insight into how a game performs, testing frame time how long it takes for the GPU to deliver each frame is critical. To this end, FRAFS Bench Viewer software is used in conjunction with FRAPS for this test and the one following.

What you want in a graph like this is an end result that's mostly even and short in height across the board, thus indicating tight, consistent performance. Spikes are expected and do little to noticeably impact the player experience if they occur rarely. Long, chunky, block-shaped sections, however, depict major stuttering and uneven performance that does noticeably hinder the experience.

The graph shows MWO fits into the former category, and offers acceptably good, consistent performance, perfectly in line with my personal experience. While the odd spike is above 60ms (around the point at which can be distracting), indicating occasional small stutters, most are not. From this it can be concluded that while raw framerates may not be always be extremely high, they are almost always delivered when they should be, and that combined with a relatively high average framerate means you get relatively smooth gameplay.

99th / 99.9th percentile frame time test

Exploring frame time further, the 99th percentile test depicts the figure (in ms) at which 99% of frames were rendered. What you're looking for here is a consistent line that deviates only at the last 1% section of the graph, indicating consistent, low-latency frames.

The graph is in line with the frame time test, showcasing consistent results, though a less than desirable 99th percentile frame time figure of 33.20, meaning 99% of all frames are rendered at 33.20ms or below, or roughly 30 frames per second; 60% of all frames are rendered at a much more desirable 21.11ms or below, or roughly 47 frames per second.

The 99.9th percentile frame, meanwhile, depicts the figure (in ms) at which all but 0.1% of frames were rendered faster than. Because the 99th and 99.9% figures are somewhat far apart with respect to minimum frames per second, it can concluded stuttering is not isolated, nor does it occur in very short bursts in MechWarrior Online. This is not to say it ruins the experience; as mentioned, it's mostly smooth, just not as much as it could be.

Conclusion

As far as betas go, MWO is in respectable shape, and players on high-end rigs at least should find the performance enjoyable enough for rigorous play. Minimum, average, and maximum framerates, slightly noticeable stuttering, and bugs like degradation mean there's still work to be done (at least some of which is confirmed as in progress), but for the time being, this will do just fine. If you experienced significant issues before or haven't yet played at all, now is a good time to hop back in. Some maps may still prove troublesome, though, in which case soon to come patches should fix you up good.