Visualizing PC Gaming Performance

Framerate Predictions for Any Gaming Rig from Amdahl Cube

PC gaming performance can be tough to understand for anyone not steeped in the hardware. What’s the right GPU and CPU for me? Why does this reviewer recommend a Core i7 and that one recommends and R5 1500X?

When I was at Intel, answering this question either involved a series of questions about what you want to do with it or simply telling you to buy a Core i5 because it was best suited to most applications. With Amdahl Cube, I want to give you better tools into how to think about performance.

We did that first with color tiers, but we wanted to go farther and give you data-based framerate predictions before you buy. Our health bar concept is now an official feature of the Cube.

Try it for yourself at

How It Works

Here, we are selecting a purple CPU — purple indicating it is suitable for 4K gaming at 60 frames per second. Using our existing tools, you could just match purples with purples and know you’re getting a 4k60 system. But why do some parts of the same color tier cost more than others? To answer that, we are adding the health bar appears, which now appears when you select a component. The health bar is displaying framerates. The maximum capacity of the health bar is driven by the processor.

Expanding the health bar offers more details about system you are looking at and its projected performance. In our example’s case, we see that the average framerate for the Core i7–7700k in a first-person shooter is 141 fps.

We have the option to change the resolution, but note nothing really happens when just a CPU is selected. That’s because the work the CPU does is independent of the resolution.

Changing the type of game has a big impact on the CPU performance. Games that require more simulation work strain the CPU more. Therefore, our Open World bar is smaller than our First-person Shooter bar.

Of note, we have selected the most demanding games for our examples here. The First-Person shooter data is based on Battlefield 1 at Ultra settings. The Open World data is based on Watch Dogs 2 at Very High settings. We looked at more recent FPS and Open World games that launched, but on the same hardware, the newer games consistently achieved higher framerates. We wanted to offer the most conservative view of framerate performance — if you hit high framerates in these games, you will hit high framerates in the other AAA titles out now.

Now we are selecting a GPU rated for 1440p resolution at 60 frames per second. When we select a GPU, we see the bar fills up. Now we have an actual framerate prediction.

Here you can see how the system bottlenecks under different types of games. In an Open World game, the GPU is struggling to keep up. In a First-person Shooter, the CPU is actually the bottleneck.

Here, we are just changing the resolution. Again, the CPU framerate stays constant but the GPU’s performance is very dependent on resolution.

Finally, when you expand the health bar, you get a detailed report of where each configuration is landing and where the bottleneck exists. Every system will have a bottleneck, it only matters if it happens beyond the point you care about.

Is this a helpful feature for you? Let us know in the comments or with a recommend.

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