My Dell LCD e197fpf 19" 75Hz monitor is not outputting the full framerate it is capable of when put at resolutions above 1024x768.

I expect my monitor to output the framerate given by the GPU up to the maximum that the monitor can display. However, if I take a computer game which I know doesn't tax my GPU or CPU, eg. Counter Strike: Global Offensive, especially on low settings, and I set my resolution to 1280x1024 or higher then it caps my framerate at about 40fps. I deduce this lower framerate by eye from decades of gaming experience but I cannot quantify the lower rate exactly.

The moment I set the game to 1024x768 or lower it suddenly seems to unlock to 60fps. Indeed when I get the game to show me the framerate the GPU is outputting at 1280x1024 or higher res then it's over 100 (both with and without vsync), but the monitor only renders 60fps when I have a resolution of 1024x768 or lower. I have tested with horizontally wider and vertically narrower resolutions such as 1280x720 and they give the same frame rate locking problem.

Because I know the monitor can do 60fps since I get it at lower resolutions. I thought it was the GPU's job to just output pixels to the monitor, and there's no computation done between the GPU and the screen, so why is the res capping the framerate?


Looking by eye is never a good way to know for sure.

The most probable cause is that VSync is enabled, which locks the FPS to 60hz, not 40. In order to know for sure, either use a program such as FRAPS that uses overlay to display the FPS or search for the console command to show the fps, such as c_drawfps 1

If your game truly only shows around 40 FPS, then it simply can't show better. The best way to check this, is by looking at the ground so thats the only thing you see. FPS should generally jump to the max as it has little to render.

Remember, graphics are very high taxing on GPU's and the better your card is and the faster your pc is the higher resolution you can use to get decent framerate. 40FPS on a high resolution is not that bad.

So basically your GPU just can't render screens that fast and thus the FPS is lower. When you see the FPS as a counter that updates per frame, you can really see how much fluctuation it does while looking at different surfaces.

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