By application of simple computer graphics techniques, the statistical performance of two Monte Carlo methods used in the simulation of rarefied gas flows are assessed. Specifically, two direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) methods developed by Bird and Nanbu are considered. The graphics techniques are found to be of great benefit in the reduction and interpretation of the large volume of data generated, thus enabling important conclusions to be drawn about the simulation results. Hence it is discovered that the method of Nanbu suffers from increased statistical fluctuations, thereby prohibiting its use in the solution of practical problems.

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