G-SYNC 101: External FPS Limiter HOWTO


In-game vs. External Framerate Limiters*

*As of Nvidia driver version 441.87, Nvidia has made an official framerate limiting method available in the NVCP; labeled “Max Frame Rate,” it is a CPU-level FPS limiter, and as such, is comparable to the RTSS framerate limiter in both frametime performance and added delay. The “Nvidia Inspector: 2> Frame Delay” setup detailed further below is legacy, and does not apply to the “Max Frame Rate” limiter, the setup of which is also now detailed below it.

As described in G-SYNC 101: In-game vs. External FPS Limiters, In-game framerate limiters, being at the game’s engine-level, are almost always free of additional latency, as they can regulate frames at the source. External framerate limiters, on the other hand, must intercept frames further down the rendering chain, which can result in delayed frame delivery and additional input lag; how much depends on the limiter and its implementation.

In-game framerate limiters, however, aren’t available in every game, and while they aren’t required for games where the framerate can’t meet or exceed the maximum refresh rate, if the system can sustain the framerate above the refresh rate, and a said option isn’t present, an external framerate limiter must be used with G-SYNC to prevent V-SYNC-level input lag instead.

RTSS is a CPU-level FPS limiter, and introduces up to 1 frame of delay, whereas Nvidia Inspector uses a driver-level FPS limiter, which introduces 2 or more frames of delay. See G-SYNC 101: In-game vs. External FPS Limiters for complete details, along with input latency tests comparing the two external solutions against an in-game limiter.

RivaTuner Statistic Server: <1 Frame Delay

RTSS is available standalone here, or bundled with MSI Afterburner here.

If only a framerate limiter is required, the standalone download will suffice. MSI Afterburner itself is an excellent overclocking tool that can be used in conjunction with RTSS to inject an in-game overlay with multiple customizable performance readouts.

Blur Buster's G-SYNC 101: External FPS Limiter HOWTO

RTSS can limit the framerate either globally or per profile. To add a profile, click the “Add” button in the lower left corner of the RTSS windows and navigate to the exe. To set a frame limit, click the “Framerate limit” box and input a number.

Nvidia Inspector: 2> Frame Delay

An unofficial extension of the official Nvidia Control Panel, Nvidia Inspector (download here) exposes many useful options the official control panel does not, including a driver-level framerate limiter.

Nvidia Inspector can limit the framerate either globally or per profile (more details on profile creation can be found here).

To set a frame limit, locate the “Frame Rate Limiter” dropdown in the “2 – Sync and Refresh” section, select the desired limit, and then click the “Apply Changes” button in the upper right corner of the Nvidia Inspector window.

Blur Buster's G-SYNC 101: External FPS Limiter HOWTO

As of Nvidia Profile Inspector version 2.1.3.6 and Nvidia driver branch R381 or later, a new “Frame Rate Limiter Mode” dropdown has been introduced with a “Limiter V2 – Force Off” option:

Blur Buster's G-SYNC 101: External FPS Limiter HOWTO

This option claims to reduce the limiter’s input lag; exactly by how much, and with what combination of settings, remains to be determined.

NVIDIA Control Panel: <1 Frame Delay

As of Nvidia driver version 441.87, Nvidia has made an official framerate limiting method available in the NVIDIA Control panel labeled “Max Frame Rate.”

To set a framerate limit, navigate to the “Manage 3D settings” section in the NVCP, locate the “Max Frame Rate,” entry, select “On,” set the desired limit, select “OK,” and finally select the “Apply” button after it appears in the lower right corner of the NVCP window.



2532 Comments For “G-SYNC 101”

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Cask
Member
Cask

Good guide!

What should my – fps be set to on a 175hz monitor with G-Sync + V-Sync + Max refresh rate cap in NVCP? -3 still?

xJB
Member
xJB

Greetings thanks for the guide, I have a question. What do I do if the game feels choppy on locked 60 fps with a 165 Hz monitor (G-SYNC) and if there is a way to make 60 fps smooth playing games on a 165 Hz g-sync monitor Please do tell. Thanks

dandyjr
Member
dandyjr

Hello, I’ve found another potential issue that came from an emulator developer (specifically Ryujinx) that claimed that their “guest Vsync” that’s built into the emulator has frame pacing issues when used in conjunction with VRR. From a technical standpoint, I don’t see how that could be at all possible. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with guest Vsync but it seems to emulate a console’s Vsync but somehow does not eliminate screen tearing on PC. It only seems to lock the game to the native framerate the game runs at on the Switch. Have you had any experience with this and what would your recommendation be for using G-SYNC in these instances?

YoloHolo
Member
YoloHolo

Hello, I think I you may have solved the issue I have been having. I was about to go insane.

Issue = Screen turning on and off (going black) quickly in game or in game menu.

Monitor = ASUS PG32UQ running 120Hz via HDMI 2.1 on a NVIDIA 4090

Resolution = Gsync on in NVIDIA Control Panel and Freesync Premium Pro on Monitor Settings + VSync on through NVIDIA Control Panel but off in game + In game refresh rate set to 120 + FPS Limit in game set to 117.

I am playing Modern Warfare 2 and so far no issues. I am assuming all my problems are now gone?

Thank you.

YoloHolo
Member
YoloHolo

Ok, so the fps limit might not be the reason I am not getting the black screen flicker anymore as I also unplugged my second monitor which even though was turned off/clicked show only main monitor. I think unplugging may have fixed the issue.

omeerkrks1
Member
omeerkrks1

hello I have a 165 hz monitor but sometimes my frame rate drops below 165 hz what should I do on low latency mode or ultra ?

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