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Tech Stuff – Physic Engine Rates

Tech Stuff – Physic Engine Rates

Here’s something for the tech heads among us, especially those interested in physics. There’s always discussion about the physics in every sim and every mod but not much is known about the engines working on the physics.

The following data has been posted by RSC user Bob Smith, listing the physic engine rates of various simulations. While a higher rate does not automaticly mean better physics, it shows how much power under the virtual hood can theoretically be used:

  • rFactor – 400 Hz
  • Test Drive Unlimited – 100 Hz (collision detection) / 1000 Hz (vehicle dynamics)
  • netKar Pro – 333 Hz [posted by Kunos on RSC]
  • Forza Motorsport 2 – 360 Hz [from wikipedia article]
  • Ferrari Challenge: Trofeo Pirelli – 60 Hz
  • iRacing – 360 Hz [from AutoSimSport]
  • Live For Speed – 100 Hz (general) / 2000 Hz (tyre rotation) [posted by Scawen on lfsforum]
  • NASCAR Racing 2003 Season – 288 Hz (possibly)
  • Grand Prix Legends – 288 Hz
  • Sports Car GT – 50 Hz [from Blackhole Motorsports article]

These figures are quite interesting, especially looking at the quantum leap from ISI’s first SCGT simulation to rFactor. And who would have thought that Forza Motorsport 2 is powered by a equally fast physics engine than the praised iRacing? Sadly, there is no data on Gran Turismo or the Simbin titles, they should be somewhere around rFactor’s specs though.

  • scca1981


  • DW

    “there is no data on Gran Turismo or the Simbin titles”
    As you suggested, Simbin titles run at 400 Hz, same as rFactor.

    It is interesting that most sims, even the latest have adopted similar frequencies. Of course, this is only one element of the physics engine and doesn’t tell you how complex the calculations are in each cycle.

  • hornet

    – agree with dw. Stating that forza2 has a “faster” physics engine is pure nonsense as it implies that it’s faster at doing the same job.
    (oh, and seeing as they both run at 360Hz, the statement is rubbish to begin with 🙂 )

  • dora9

    I would like to see how high the AI physics rates when compared to the player’s. ISI engine always has weakness in that point IMO.