The Difference between "Lag" and "Frame Rate"

Technical Support
I've been attempting to search these forums both via Google and the WoW site itself for technical discussion on certain issues, and time and time again I've come across threads that are complaining about "Lag" and then go on to talk about how their FPS is low, their CPU/RAM utilization levels, etc.

For the sake of everyone trying to get help on tech issues, PLEASE realize that "Lag" has nothing to do with your graphical performance. "Lag" (or latency) refers to Internet-related issues due to the time spent communicating from your computer -> your ISP -> the WoW servers and back again. This has NOTHING to do with your video card, CPU, RAM etc. and will NOT cause a drop in frame rate. If you ARE lagging from heavy downloads/poor ISP performance and you see characters teleport around the screen, this is because the game is trying to sync or "catch up" to what has happened since you received the last packet of information from the WoW servers.

HOWEVER, if you can tell that animations, or the camera or something similar is giving you low FPS, and you can see/tell it is your computer grinding away (RAM/system memory working overtime) or your video card or processor not being up to par, then that is a FRAME RATE issue, NOT a "Lag" issue.

I'm not writing this to be condescending or trying to talk down to anyone who has average technical knowledge and this is obvious, but it is very, very frustrating reading posts and not knowing what people are talking about because they are confusing the terms and complaining about something completely unrelated.


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