Benchmarking with FRAPS (more precision)
We've covered the basics of benchmarking Doom 3 with the built-in timedemo feature and the issues to watch out for but we can go one set further and use a very handy and popular Australian made program called FRAPS (download it here) to measure system performance.
FRAPS is a popular program used by ATI and nVidia and many gamers around the world to measure in detail the FPS of both DX and OpenGL games which don't have a timedemo feature. You can also capture screenshots and record a video of your game play to help improve your skills or just show your friends.
In our case, we'll be using FRAPS to provide a more precise idea of benchmarking with Doom 3 - in particular: minimum, maximum and average FPS scores. The built-in Doom 3 timedemo feature only gives you an average FPS score at the end. FRAPS is able to provide a whole bunch of information on the timedemo run. It's important we know the minimum and maximum FPS scores because even if you have an average FPS of say 50, you don't want to have too many areas where the FPS drops into the single digit range as it will make the game less enjoyable.
Before we get onto using FRAPS, it's important to note that you will still need to create a timedemo when using FRAPS. If not, you will be capped at 60 FPS and the results will not provide what we are looking for to the fullest extent.
Once you have downloaded and installed FRAPS from their website, open the program and click on the FPS tab at the top - this is the section we are most interested in today. By default, you press F11 in game to let FRAPS know that you want to begin testing. Once you press F11 the testing will begin and once you are finished you need to hit F11 again to stop it. You'll also want to click on the "Save detailed benchmark statistics" tick box to enable minimum and maximum FPS scores, as you can see below:
You can enable the FPS overlay display counter which will display in a yellow font in any corner of the screen you choose. This is not as important as you can just enable the Doom 3 FPS counter by pulling down the console and typing "com_showfps 1" - If you want to disable the FPS counter, just type in "com_showfps 0", without the speech marks each time.
Once the timedemo is finished, locate the folder where you installed FRAPS and open the benchmarks folder. This folder contains all of your detailed benchmark results.
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