Witness mankind's reach exceed its grasp as Counter-Strike hits over 4,000 fps

YouTuber 3kliksphilip, apparently mad with power, has bent one of the most absurd PC gaming components ever devised to a suitably deranged goal: ratcheting the framerate of the notoriously easy-to-run Counter-Strike: Global Offensive so high, the Source engine buckles under the weight.

CS:GO is built on practically the same 18-year-old tech as Half-Life 2. Its lightweight nature allows gamers to eke out maximal frame rates with minimal hardware, pushing past the classic 60 to achieve heights of 120, 144, or even 200 fps, all for maximal competitive advantage, however slight. Counter-Strike's built-in limit is an already absurdly high 400 fps.

In a time of skyrocketing energy costs and something not-great maybe happening to global ocean temperatures, Nvidia released an absolute monster brick of a graphics card in the 450 watt max TDP, $1,600 RTX 4090. 3kliksphilip commendably acknowledges the absurdity of such a product, while also pointing out some potentially more sane use cases for it, all before plunging into the abyss.

3kliksphilip started by removing every impediment to performance, including AI bot players and even the HUD and view models to steal precious frames. At this juncture, even the mighty Intel Core i9 13900K processor gets bottlenecked, with average frame rates of around 980 from 4k down to 720p. Pushing things to their absolute limit, just staring at a wall on a particularly uncomplicated map, 3kliksphilip was able to top out at over 4,400 fps, a truly ludicrous achievement.

Perhaps one day, an esports-centric society of future humans will develop monitors to render such performance, eyes to perceive it, and yes, even games to support it. But does 4,400fps produce a better K/D ratio? Turns out, once you surpass around 1,000 fps, Counter-Strike starts to bug out. Characters start to move slightly faster. This isn't unheard of in games: some older ones can't go past 60 or even 30 fps without glitches due to their internal logic being tied to a certain framerate, though it's funny to make them try.

A 4090 speed boost won't actually offer a tangible benefit in-game, as online servers will forcibly correct you to move at a normal play speed, which renders player-side as a jarring, constant stutter. Ultimately, 3kliksphilip readily acknowledges how silly an endeavor this was, even if it is very, very funny.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.