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.



1716 Comments For “G-SYNC 101”

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Joselaba97
Member
Joselaba97

Just wanted to say thank you for the prolonged work and research you’ve been putting into your findings.

I have some questions and concerns regarding, multi-display configurations utilizing discordanant refresh rates, while one of them being gsync compatible, and also while utilizing DX12 applications with OBS game capture. I’ve also noticed that a good amount of DX12 games have been implementing reflex and other gsync compatibility optimizations as well, so this has expanded the amount of variables to consider for minimal input latency implementations.

For Gears 5, I utilize the NVCP vsync, the internal frame cap system (144 fps), gsync-compatible: full-screen mode only, and the reduced buffering option. However, I’m concerned as to what gsync and vysnc implementation should be used together, specifically the full-screen/full-screen & windowed mode and ON, OFF, Fast, and 3D application setting, respectively. I often stream the game and have noticed a considerable amount of input lag w/ occasional stutters with that concurrent configuration, regardless of the fact that it should be the configuration with the least amount of input lag. I’ve considered that it’s probably due to the secondary 60Hz monitor, but that is essential since it’s utilized to monitor chat and other related tasks while gaming on my 240Hz g-sync compatiable monitor. I also minimize OBS to the system tray in order to ensure that no hardware-accelerated tasks are interfering with the actively rendering game and its respective frame-pacing system.

Also, given that Nvidia has begun implementing optimizations for LLM and gysnc & vsync, is ULLM an option to consider regardless of the RB setting in-game?
Is there something that I have personally overlooked w/ respect to NVCP and the game?
Should I consider using the fixed refresh rate instead? (240Hz, I currently have the NVCP set to Prefer highest refresh rate)
Are there any setting recommendations that you would recommend for my current application? (w/ respect to windows settings, NVCP, and in-game)

Conclusively, gsync has been more of a headache to handle with rather than a “cool” optimization to use in-game. So I ask if you could please provide me with any information regarding my current application and optimization suggestions. Thank you

grumpycalabi314
Member
grumpycalabi314

Hi! First of all thanks for all the work you do. I noticed that if i play Battlefield (4 or 1) and if i set an FPS cap to 138 via NVCP, the game doesn’t feel quite right. I also noticed that the in-game fps counter (perfoverlay.drawfps 1) isn’t really stable (it stays a lot a 139, and jumps even at 141). On the other end, if i set an ingame fps limiter (gametime.maxvariablefps 138), the ingame fps counter is much more stable, always stays at 138 and the game feels much better. Have you done some testing on the frostbite engine to confirm or not this?
PS: VSYNC was set to ON via NVCP
Thanks you for the help.

chron42
Member
chron42

Hi, if I globally set the “Max frame rate” in Nvidia Control Panel to 141 (-3 FPS to my refresh rate), will this introduce the <1 Frame Delay to games where an in-game FPS limiter is available? (Using the in-game limiter I also set the game to max 141 FPS)

Niko
Member
Niko

Hello there, i play destiny 2 a lot and i cant seem to fix this weird stutter i play on a 1080ti and a 8700k oc to 5.0ghz with a 180 hz asus gsync monitor i have all my settings on low and i have gsync enables vsync enabled in nvcp and reflex on in the cvar files, the game just does not feel smooth reflex caps it to about 171 and it just bounces around between 145-171 its super frustrating

NNSLKPTIS
Member
NNSLKPTIS

Hello, sry for my engl. I have a Alienware aw2521hf 240hz and 1070. Usually Im playing Warzone. Please help me with settings for lowest input lag.
NVCP G-sync on
NVCP V-SYNC on.input lag is more lower then off right ?
nvidia reflex on + boost
should I use NVCP low latency mode? because game support nvidia reflex.
and limit maximum refresh rate in game 237 or nvcp 237 ? my fps around 90-110.
Thanks you for the help.

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