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.



1796 Comments For “G-SYNC 101”

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BlackStorm82
Member
BlackStorm82

Hello, is it true that the monitor with the GSYNC module contains GPU scaling?

And is it also true that GSYNC module monitor cannot use display scaling?

If GPU scaling is forced on the GSYNC module monitor. GPU scaling is used as “no scaling” in the NVIDIA control panel, and if the resolution and direct resolution of the game are the same, it doesn’t work anyway?

Also, is it the same story for GSYNC compatible monitors or only GSYNC module monitors?

Deus_nsf
Member
Deus_nsf

Please take a look at this, we may have a solution for the windowed mode nightmare that doesn’t require owning an adaptive sync display!!! https://steamcommunity.com/app/993090/discussions/0/3053989078739351832/?ctp=4

biggydeen
Member
biggydeen

Hi,

First I like to thank you for this awesome guide. I’m sure you helped tens of thousands of people to get the best out of their g-sync/freesync screen.

I do have a question no one else could anwser. Maybe you know what is going on with my system and if it is related to g-sync/freesync.

My current settings:

  • 144hz screen (LG 27GL850 Ultragear, G-sync compatible)
  • G-sync (fullscreen mode) on
  • V-sync on in NVCP
  • Framelimit 140 in RTSS
  • Core park on
  • Turned off vsync ingame and any buffers if they are available
  • Low latency mode is set to “on”.
  • Basically, exactly what you mention as the optimal settings. I’m not using any overlays like g-force exp. and RTSS.

    My problem:

    I’m expieriencing some kind of (micro)stuttering when my frames drop below 140. But it’s application dependent. For example:

    When i’m playing Battlefield V on the smaller snowmap (without the train) I constantly get 140 fps. This map runs butter smooth as I would expect with free-sync. Other smaller maps also run butter smooth. When playing the bigger snow map (with the train) and fps sometimes dips below 140 (like 135) i’m expierincing some kind of stuttering. It’s just not smooth like the smaller maps. Now this confuses me because it’s only dipping 5 frames or so below my FPS cap. But the difference for me is night and day. I have the same expierence on all maps in BF V where the frames drop just a bit below my limit.

    When I run the Timespy benchmark, everything is butter smooth. But i’m no where near my fps cap. In the first demo the FPS is going all over the place dipping to 60 and all the way up to 120 but everything looks butter smooth.

    When playing Sea of Thieves I have the same problem as BF 5. When FPS goes down the smoothness is gone. Eventhough FPS is above 100.

    It’s definitely not a hardware problem (unless my screen is the problem). I’ve had the same issue with completely other hardware. I already have a new cpu, gpu and ram. Same issue’s.

    To give you an idea what i’m expierencing:

    I did expierence the same thing when I was still using a 60hz screen + vsync. If FPS dropped below 60, even if it’s 1 frame, the smoothness is gone. That would be expected with a 60hz + vsync but I would not expect this with free-sync only dropping a few frames and way above 130 fps.

    The strange thing is, this does not always happen. Like the timespy example, everything is butter smooth but the FPS is not even near the fps cap. So, free-sync is working just fine.

    Do you have any idea what i’m facing here? Could it be CPU related because BF5 is very CPU heavy and basically always hits 100% cpu use ( i’m running the 5800x). But some cores are actually running 100% on the small now map (I checked) but on that map everything is butter smooth.

    wellroman
    Member
    wellroman

    Hi, I’m here for an advice and I hope I’ll get one from smart people. I bought 165hz monitor with g-sync and I want to use it but I really do care about my input delay so I want to know what option is going to be the best in my situation:

    1. 165 hz monitor + 162 in game fps lock + g-sync on + v-sync on
    2. 165 hz monitor + 162 in game fps lock + g-sync on + v-sync off
    3. 165 hz monitor + 180 in game fps lock + g-sync off + v-sync off

    So the questions are:

    • Does the v-sync even make sense with g-sync and will I get less input delay by turning v-sync on or by turning it off (while with g-sync)?

    • Should I even use g-sync? Is there a big difference in the input delay between the option 1 and option 3 in my list?

    I hope you got my questions right and will help me))

    xpnkz
    Member
    xpnkz

    Beautiful, this is like the holy grail when it comes to G-Sync information, thanks.

    I just want to ask over to be sure, since I recently switched to a Nvidia GPU with a G-Sync Compatible display and reading the comments I saw some conflicting comments too, specially since late driver updates seems to have changed a bunch of things (for example no more display selection under G-SYNC tab, but just says “Set the G-SYNC capable display as the primary display”).

    So for the best results, all I have to do in Nvidia Control Panel is:

    ● G-Sync: “ON” (Fullscreen) in the G-Sync tab and Monitor Technology set to “G-Sync” too?
    ● Vertical Synchronization: “V-Sync ON” (not Fast Sync)
    ● Low Latency Mode: “ULTRA”
    ● Max Frame Rate: “141” (my monitor is 144Hz)
    ● In game: V-Sync or related settings all OFF

    If someone can quickly glance over this and say if it’s correct, thanks!

    wpDiscuz