A New Frontier
Console game performance has always been an area that we've been interested in here at PC Perspective but has been mostly out of our reach to evaluate with any kind of scientific tilt. Our Frame Rating methodology for PC-based game analysis relies on having an overlay application during screen capture which is later analyzed by a series of scripts. Obviously, we can not take this approach with consoles as we cannot install our own code on the consoles to run that overlay.
A few other publications such as Eurogamer with their Digital Foundry subsite have done fantastic work developing their internal toolsets for evaluating console games, but this type of technology has mostly remained out of reach of the everyman.
Recently, we came across an open source project which aims to address this. Trdrop is an open source software built upon OpenCV, a stalwart library in the world of computer vision. Using OpenCV, trdrop can analyze the frames of ordinary gameplay (without an overlay), detecting if there are differences between two frames, looking for dropped frames and tears to come up with a real-time frame rate.
This means that trdrop can analyze gameplay footage from any source, be it console, PC, or anything in-between from which you can get a direct video capture feed. Now that PC capture cards capable of 1080p60, and even 4K60p are coming down in price, software like this is allowing more gamers to peek at the performance of their games, which we think is always a good thing.
It's worth noting that trdrop is still listed as "alpha" software on it's GitHub repo, but we have found the software to be very stable and flexible in the current iteration.
|Xbox One S||Xbox One X||PS4||PS4 Pro|
|GPU CU||12x GCN
|1.4 TF||6.0 TF||1.84 TF||4.2 TF|
|Memory||8 GB DDR3
|12 GB GDDR5||8 GB GDDR5||8 GB GDDR5|
Now that the Xbox One X is out, we figured it would be a good time to take a look at the current generation of consoles and their performance in a few games as a way to get our feet wet with this new software and method. We are only testing 1080p here, but we now have our hands on a 4K HDMI capture card capable of 60Hz for some future testing! (More on that soon.)