G-SYNC 101: Optimal G-SYNC Settings & Conclusion


Optimal G-SYNC Settings*

*Settings tested with a single G-SYNC display (w/hardware module) on a single desktop GPU system; specific DSR, SLI, and multi-monitor behaviors, as well as G-SYNC laptop display and “G-SYNC Compatible” display implementation, may vary.

Nvidia Control Panel Settings:

  • Set up G-SYNC > Enable G-SYNC, G-SYNC Compatible > Enable for full screen mode.
  • Manage 3D settings > Vertical sync > On (Why?).

In-game Settings:

  • Use “Fullscreen” or “Exclusive Fullscreen” mode (some games do not offer this option, or label borderless windowed as fullscreen).
  • Disable all available “Vertical Sync,” “V-SYNC,” “Double Buffer,” and “Triple Buffer” options.
  • If an in-game or config file FPS limiter is available, and framerate exceeds refresh rate:
    Set (a minimum of) 3 FPS limit below display’s maximum refresh rate (57 FPS @60Hz, 97 FPS @100Hz, 117 FPS @120Hz, 141 FPS @144Hz, etc).

RTSS Settings:

  • If an in-game or config file FPS limiter is not available and framerate exceeds refresh rate:
    Set (a minimum of) 3 FPS limit below display’s maximum refresh rate (see G-SYNC 101: External FPS Limiters HOWTO).

OR

Nvidia “Max Frame Rate” Settings*:

*Introduced in Nvidia driver version 441.87

  • If an in-game or config file FPS limiter is not available and framerate exceeds refresh rate:
    Set “Max Frame Rate” to “On,” and adjust slider to (a minimum of) 3 FPS limit below display’s maximum refresh rate.

Reflex* Settings:

*This setting is considered Low Latency Mode’s replacement, and will override it, regardless of what LLM is set to in the NVCP.

  • If framerate does not always reach or exceed refresh rate, and Reflex is available:
    Set Reflex to “On” or “On + Boost” (“Boost” ensures the GPU doesn’t drop below its base boost clocks, similar to NVCP “Prefer maximum performance”). When combined with G-SYNC + NVCP V-SYNC, this engine-level limiter will 1) automatically limit the framerate to ~59 FPS @60Hz, ~97 FPS @100Hz, ~116 FPS @120Hz, ~138 FPS @144Hz, ~224 FPS @240Hz (etc) whenever the framerate can be sustained above the refesh rate, and 2) dynamically monitor and limit the framerate whenever it can’t be sustained above the refresh rate to prevent the extra pre-rendered frames that would be generated in an otherwise GPU-bound scenario.

Low Latency Mode* Settings:

*This setting is not currently supported in Vulkan (DX12 support was added in driver version 551.23)

  • If an FPS limiter (such as in-game, config file, RTSS, and/or Nvidia “Max Frame Rate”) is not desired or available, Reflex is not available, and framerate exceeds refresh rate:
    Set “Low Latency Mode” to “Ultra” in the Nvidia Control Panel. When combined with G-SYNC + NVCP V-SYNC, this setting will automatically limit the framerate (in supported games) to ~59 FPS @60Hz, ~97 FPS @100Hz, ~116 FPS @120Hz, ~138 FPS @144Hz, ~224 FPS @240Hz, etc.
  • If an FPS limiter is already in use (such as in-game, config file, RTSS, and/or Nvidia “Max Frame Rate”), Reflex is not available, and framerate does not always reach or exceed refresh rate:
    Set “Low Latency Mode” to “On.” Unlike “Ultra,” this will not automatically limit the framerate, but like “Ultra,” “On” (in supported games that do not already have an internal pre-rendered frames queue of “1”) will reduce the pre-rendered frames generated in GPU-bound situations where the framerate falls below the set FPS limit.

Windows “Power Options” Settings:

Windows-managed core parking can put CPU cores to sleep too often, which may increase frametime variances and spikes. For a quick fix, use the “High performance” power plan, which disables OS-managed core parking and CPU frequency scaling. If a “Balanced” power plan is needed for a system implementing adaptive core frequency and voltage settings, then a free program called ParkControl by Bitsum can be used to disable core parking, while leaving all other power saving and scaling settings intact.

Blur Buster's G-SYNC 101: Input Lag & Optimal Settings

Mouse Settings:

If available, set the mouse’s polling rate to 1000Hz, which is the setting recommended by Nvidia for high refresh rate G-SYNC, and will decrease the mouse-induced input lag and microstutter experienced with the lower 500Hz and 125Hz settings at higher refresh rates.

mouse-125vs500vs1000

Refer to The Blur Busters Mouse Guide for complete information.

Nvidia Control Panel V-SYNC vs. In-game V-SYNC

While NVCP V-SYNC has no input lag reduction over in-game V-SYNC, and when used with G-SYNC + FPS limit, it will never engage, some in-game V-SYNC solutions may introduce their own frame buffer or frame pacing behaviors, enable triple buffer V-SYNC automatically (not optimal for the native double buffer of G-SYNC), or simply not function at all, and, thus, NVCP V-SYNC is the safest bet.

There are rare occasions, however, where V-SYNC will only function with the in-game option enabled, so if tearing or other anomalous behavior is observed with NVCP V-SYNC (or visa-versa), each solution should be tried until said behavior is resolved.

Maximum Pre-rendered Frames*: Depends

*As of Nvidia driver version 436.02, “Maximum pre-rendered frames” is now labeled “Low Latency Mode,” with “On” being equivalent to MPRF at “1.”

A somewhat contentious setting with very elusive consistent documentable effects, Nvidia Control Panel’s “Maximum pre-rendered frames” dictates how many frames the CPU can prepare before they are sent to the GPU. At best, setting it to the lowest available value of “1” can reduce input lag by 1 frame (and only in certain scenarios), at worst, depending on the power and configuration of the system, the CPU may not be able to keep up, and more frametime spikes will occur.

The effects of this setting are entirely dependent on the given system and game, and many games already have an equivalent internal value of “1” at default. As such, any input latency tests I could have attempted would have only applied to my system, and only to the test game, which is why I ultimately decided to forgo them. All that I can recommend is to try a value of “1” per game, and if the performance doesn’t appear to be impacted and frametime spikes do not increase in frequency, then either, one, the game already has an internal value of “1,” or, two, the setting has done its job and input lag has decreased; user experimentation is required.

Conclusion

Much like strobing methods such as LightBoost & ULMB permit “1000Hz-like” motion clarity at attainable framerates in the here and now, G-SYNC provides input response that rivals high framerate V-SYNC OFF, with no tearing, and at any framerate within its range.

As for its shortcomings, G-SYNC is only as effective as the system it runs on. If the road is the system, G-SYNC is the suspension; the bumpier the road, the less it can compensate. But if set up properly, and run on a capable system, G-SYNC is the best, most flexible syncing solution available on Nvidia hardware, with no peer (V-SYNC OFF among them) in the sheer consistency of its frame delivery.

Feel free to leave a comment below, resume the discussion in the Blur Busters Forums, or continue to the Closing FAQ for further clarifications.



3055 Comments For “G-SYNC 101”

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Ryan Le
Member
Ryan Le

In Sea of Thieves, I have V-Sync turned off, but there is also an option to set the buffering to either double or triple, and there’s no off option. I set it to double buffering, but do I still need to enable V-Sync in NVCP? Would the in-game double buffering option (with in-game V-Sync off) conflict with NVCP V-Sync since it’s also running on double buffering?

Sequinoz
Member
Sequinoz

Hi Jorimt. A bit of a long comment here so I hope you don’t mind. Recently I bought a new G-Sync monitor (XG321UG) and noticed a peculiar G-Sync behaviour but I’m unsure if it’s abnormal or not.

To reproduce the behaviour, I ran the G-Sync Pendulum Demo application and manually changed the FPS from 60 to 50. The expected behaviour is a seamless framerate change with no noticeable stutter.

Instead, I noticed a ~0.2 seconds of continuous stutter from the moment the FPS changed from 60 to 50. It’s almost as if the G-Sync module tries to “catch up” to the sudden change in FPS.

Changing from 60 to 55 did not seem to show the problem much (if at all) and changing from 50 to 60 showed more of a one-time frame “jump”. Setting the FPS to gradually change back and forth between 60 and 40 seems to also be normal. Notably, the problem is less noticeable at higher FPS.

I tried testing my old G-Sync monitor (PG27AQ) and changing the FPS from 60 to 50 only seemed to show one stutter/frame jump but was less noticeable and did not stutter for as long as ~0.2 seconds.

I’m wondering if the symptom I’m seeing on my new monitor is normal or if it’s an indication that the G-Sync module is faulty.

As a side note: I also turned on the display’s built-in refresh rate counter and whenever I change FPS from 60 to 50, the refresh rate would go 60 > 49 > 43 > 49 > 50. Changing FPS from 60 to 55 instead showed 60 > 56 > 53 > 55. I’m unsure though if the built-in refresh rate counter is 100% accurate.

Perhaps the dips below the targeted FPS is the reason for the 0.2 secs stutter, which is more noticeable at lower targeted FPS and higher change in FPS. Again, I’m not fully sure about this and would like to know what you think.

Some more info that might be helpful~
GPU: RTX 3090
Driver Version: 551.46
Connection: DisplayPort (tried both cables that came with the old and new monitor but no difference)
Resolution: 3840 x 2160 Native
Refresh Rate: 144Hz Native
G-Sync Mode: On and Fullscreen Only. I heard the Pendulum Demo test overrides the G-Sync setting, in which case only the G-Sync option was used.

Indignified
Member
Indignified

Hello, why do pro players for fps games use uncapped fps instead of these settings? Are there any benefits to using uncapped fps?

Pyerimi
Member
Pyerimi

Also I wanted to ask about what to do in case if ingame FPS limiter has bad implementation and introduce microstuttering like in this case: https://www.reddit.com/r/horizon/comments/i5p6io/pc_psa_do_not_use_the_ingame_fps_limiter_use_rtss/

Should I still use ingame option or RTSS?

Pyerimi
Member
Pyerimi

Hello, thank you for comprehensive guide.
I have three questions. I am using AMD card and freesync premium monitor. I setup V-Sync in driver for every game and lock FPS ingame if there is an option to do so, if not RTSS.

1) Counter-Stike 2 has its own limiter in console, ex: “fps_max 141”. It limits fps, but frametime isn’t as perfect as it is when using RTSS which makes it buttery smooth. The FPS itself stays at 141.
In amd software I turn V-Sync for this game and disable it ingame, and limit fps as I mentioned above ingame.
The question is, is this horrible frametime graph considered a problem when using freesync or it isn’t noticiable while under freesync conditions?
Should I use RTSS and unlock framerate ingame instead?

2) There are games where the option to manually configure FPS value to a precise number is absent.
Only presets, like 30\60\200 and so on. And there is no option to unlock FPS, only these presets.
What to do in this case to limit it to 141? If I set it to 141 in RTSS, will it conflict with the ingame limiter if I set it to lets say 200?
Should we set ingame limiter to max available value in this case and then lock it in RTSS?

3) In Forza Horizon 4 FreeSync seems to be not working, I disable ingame vsync and unlock fps, then limit it to 141 in RTSS and enable vsync in AMD driver, but FreeSync is not activating, I look at monitor OSD and I see 144 hz instead of variable 140-141.
However, AMD driver sets FreeSync option to “AMD optimized” for every game, this option is basically a blacklist for games where freesync allegedly known to be not working properly.
When setting this option to “On” freesync activates and seems to work, but according to my tests it introduces some stutters every now and then.
But the problem is, when I don’t use freesync for this game and set ingame options by default to vsync on and 144 fps preset, I don’t notice any latency added by vsync, meanwhile freesync is not working there.
The question is, could FH4 implementation of Vsync be latency-free and is there any need to force freesync there?

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