Weird "estimate refresh rate" when running 30fps games on Dolphin

When i run 30fps games on dolphin (Zelda, Mario Sunshine) the frame rate is very stuttery and uneven. I noticed that the “estimated refresh rate” value when i run these games is anywhere from 38hz to 54hz but never 60.

When i run 60fps games (Metroid, Mario Kart) the frame rate is smooth without any stutters and the estimated refresh rate value is correct, at 60hz.

I tried every single synchronization option and different graphics drivers to no avail. 30fps games are very uneven with random stutters and small spikes but 60fps games are correct.

Forgive the possibly dumb question but i never used dolphin : maybe the core doesn’t send the proper timings to retroarch ? What does “FPS” say when you enable “Settings > User Interface > On-Screen Notifications > Notification Visibility > Display Statistics” ?

FPS say 59.94, which is essentially 60fps. Refresh rate says 60. Internal frame rate says 30. And the frame times… i don’t know, it’s not a stable number and changes rapidly.

Hmmm, well, it’s not entirely impossible that the core is duplicating frames internally and setting 60fps in timings, which would not be an incorrect way to handle this. You might want to inquire about this on the github repo ?

I had the same issue with 30fps games such as Wind Waker. Apparently, this also happens(or happened in past versions) in Dolphin standalone,

There is a fix however: In the core’s options make sure ‘Skip Presenting Duplicate Frames’ is turned off/disabled. This fixed the weird frame pacing issue in 30pfs games for me.

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@Broski86 So by disabling that setting, all frames are shown twice and the game run at a stable 60 fps as a result ?

Well, games like Wind Waker will still run/be capped at 30fps. Disabling the option for those 30fps games will simply get rid of the weird stutter and uneven frame rate mentioned in the original post.

This old Dolphin progress report from 2020 goes into more details on how it works

By disabling it it does fix it for me but it introduces another issue. Now the stutters appear every 20 or 30 seconds in steady intervals and last a few seconds.

Better but still not smooth.