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.

Low Latency Mode* Settings:

*This setting is not currently supported in DX12 or Vulkan.

  • If an in-game or config file FPS limiter is not available, RTSS is prohibited from running, a manual framerate limit is not required, and framerate exceeds refresh rate:
    Set “Low Latency Mode” to “Ultra” in the Nvidia Control Panel. When combined with G-SYNC + 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 in-game or config file FPS limiter, and/or RTSS FPS limiter is available, or Nvidia’s “Max Frame Rate” limiter is in use, 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 queue in GPU-bound situations where the framerate falls below the set (in-game, RTSS, or Nvidia “Max Frame Rate”) 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.



1365 Comments For “G-SYNC 101”

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oliverds
Member
oliverds

Hello Jorimt,

i am a bit confused about the combination of G-Sync and V-Sync.

I am running the following system:

Intel 8700K @ 5 GHz / Gigabyte Aorus Extreme 2080ti Waterforce / 32 GB RAM DDR4-3000 / LG 34UC89B with native G-Sync.

I usually do simracing, espeacially with Assetto Corsa, which is a very CPU-intense simulation (only uses one core), so that the cpu can often reach 94% occupancy when having 50-70 cars on the track.

To reduce the cpuz occupancy, i use a framelimit of 70, in some situations the fps can go down to 55, but this does not bother me.

In the NVCP, i set G-Sync on and use the max. aviable refresh-rate of the monitor. Beforce beeing confronted with several videos, i was using G-Sync together with Fastsync activated in the NVCP, but now i think that this combination isn’t really the best.

What is the best combination of a low input-lag and acceptable cpu-occupancy? G-Sync with activated V-Sync and my 70 FPS-cap? This is really confusing.

With best regards and thanks in advance,

Oliver

TheBeker1
Member
TheBeker1

I’m having trouble with micro stutter, present in all games, i followed the guide, and even tried to clean install drivers and windows, but the stutter is still present, even in the NVIDIA Pendulum demo, the stutter happens inconsistenly, but and of course, there’s a framerate fluctuation that happens with it, i have a 1080Ti and a 9600k, 16gb of ram, and a 1tb SSD.

One of my friends has the same problem, and i’ve seen that is not uncommon on forums, can i blame faulty hardware. or is there something more i can try?

gzmm
Member
gzmm

Hey, i have a 144hz gsync compatible monitor, with 48~144hz range.
If i put the monitor at 120hz, the gsync still work? This will make a 60 fps game looks smooth?

andro92
Member
andro92

First of all thank you for your amazing work.

Now if i understand it all correctly, the optimum usage is this:

Nvcp vsync on, gsync on, frame cap -3/141fps (140 for me thanks to my ocd 🙂 i dont wanna bother with additional app rtss. The latest nvcp frame cap should be on par right ? So set and forget situation from nvcp.

Now my confusion comes from ullm. I have a good cpu. 9900k overclocked to fixed 4.9ghz at all times. Im using windows high perf power plan as well. Gpu is 2080s at 1440p. 32 gig 3733mhz cl16 ram, m2 ssd, clean windows 10 pro without bloatware (again thanks to my ocd). Also i have custom water loop so temps are all ok.

If i set ullm on or ultra all times(set & forget) will i see any negative effect ?

Sample1: game runs at 40-80 fps, gpu bound
Sample2: game runs at set fps cap 140, no gpu bound
Sample3: game runs at 60fps internal limit(mortal kombat 11, ds3, sekiro) no gpu bound.
Sample4: no sync, fixed refresh rate, gpu bound vs no gpu bound.
Note: cpu usage is always low, mostly below 30 but i understand system hiccups can happen even with the cleanest systems.

And what is the difference between on/ultra/ingame reflex ?

Effect of nvcp power management mode ? Should i leave it at default or choose maximum performance. Its ok if it consumes more power.

I’m fan of set&forget type of usage and i dont care if ullm ultra adds another fps limit below my fps limit for some specific game. But i dont want extra input lag or some bug.

My second question:

I was competitive Overwatch player, now i play Mortal Kombat 11 competitively. Motion blur, backlight strobing etc not as important in this but input lag is important. Even 1 frame matters in this game to take your turn. This game designed around 60 fps and it does not strain my gpu however it fluctates between 58-60. What settings are best for this specific game ? Can ullm on or ultra add more input lag if i set&forget ?

And the last topic sorry for wall of text:

Now gsync monitors are 30-144, gsync compatibles are 48-144. My question is how seamless is this this “lfc” or hz doubling/tripling. If my game runs between 40-60 fps is it better to just disable gsync for more fluid experience. What happens at the exact moment when the lfc kicks in ? What is the difference between adaptive sync and gsync module in this topic ?

blabliblu
Member
blabliblu

Thank you for this article.

The main reason I wanted to enable G-Sync (Freesync, in my case) was because playing AC: Valhalla on 4K on my RTX 3080 with V-Sync on causes heavy stuttering when the game drops below 60 FPS, while without V-Sync there’s massive tearing action going on (every 2-3 seconds, it’s horrible.)

Now, I might be missing something here, and I understand what’s written in the article, but if I enable G-Sync, and enable V-Sync on top of it in the Nvidia Control Panel, I still suffer from the same exact stuttering when the game drops below 60 FPS. And indeed, disabling V-Sync stopped the game from stuttering and fixed the issue, with the occasional and very rare tearing compared to a non-V-Sync experience, which is a trade-off I can live with.

So, what gives? Should I just keep V-Sync off, then? Or maybe set my V-Sync to “Fast” in the Nvidia Control Panel?

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