G-SYNC 101: G-SYNC Ceiling vs. FPS Limit


How Low Should You Go?

Blur Busters was the world’s first site to test G-SYNC in Preview of NVIDIA G-SYNC, Part #1 (Fluidity) using an ASUS VG248QE pre-installed with a G-SYNC upgrade kit. At the time, the consensus was limiting the fps from 135 to 138 at 144Hz was enough to avoid V-SYNC-level input lag.

However, much has changed since the first G-SYNC upgrade kit was released; the Minimum Refresh Range wasn’t in place, the V-SYNC toggle had yet to be exposed, G-SYNC did not support borderless or windowed mode, and there was even a small performance penalty on the Kepler architecture at the time (Maxwell and later corrected this).

My own testing in my Blur Busters Forum thread found that just 2 FPS below the refresh rate was enough to avoid the G-SYNC ceiling. However, now armed with improved testing methods and equipment, is this still the case, and does the required FPS limit change depending on the refresh rate?

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

As the results show, just 2 FPS below the refresh rate is indeed still enough to avoid the G-SYNC ceiling and prevent V-SYNC-level input lag, and this number does not change, regardless of the maximum refresh rate in use.

To leave no stone unturned, an “at” FPS, -1 FPS, -2 FPS, and finally -10 FPS limit was tested to prove that even far below -2 FPS, no real improvements can be had. In fact, limiting the FPS lower than needed can actually slightly increase input lag, especially at lower refresh rates, since frametimes quickly become higher, and thus frame delivery becomes slower due to the decrease in sustained framerates.

As for the “perfect” number, going by the results, and taking into consideration variances in accuracy from FPS limiter to FPS limiter, along with differences in performance from system to system, a -3 FPS limit is the safest bet, and is my new recommendation. A lower FPS limit, at least for the purpose of avoiding the G-SYNC ceiling, will simply rob frames.



658 Comments For “G-SYNC 101”

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Zehdah
Member
Zehdah

I know that for the lowest possible input lag, you want to find the highest framerate your system can achieve an average of 95-99% of the time without maxing your GPU usage and cap your framerate there with an in game limiter, but what do I do to achieve that in a game like Warzone where my FPS can be as low as 140 in big open areas or as high as 240 when inside a building or small area?

My CPU and GPU usage always seem to be very high at 85-97%. I have an i7 9700k and 1080ti, playing on a 240hz monitor. The game seems to be poorly optimized so I’m struggling to decide what to do.

fanatycme
Member
fanatycme

When I play DOTA 2, my fps is all the time at ~117 because i capped it, but at the end of the game, when match finishes the base gets destroyed and i get a FPS DROP from ~117 fps to 80-90 fps and my game STUTTERS, is it normal? i am playing with g sync, vsync and fps cap, i thought gsync is supposed to GET RID of stutter or I do SOMETHING WRONG?? during the rest of the game everything seems ok

i am using:
-nvcp: gsync on fullscreen, highest refresh rate, vsync let 3d app decide
-dota2: vsync on, fps max 117 (120hz monitor), highest video settings
-latest drivers, gtx 1070, monitor aw3418dw

AnonymousH
Member
AnonymousH

I typically prioritize input latency and thus normally run with G-SYNC but without any framerate limit or V-Sync, which causes some tearing at high framerates. I initially thought that Fast Sync eliminates tearing but introduces some microstutter, and that was all, making it a viable option in combination with G-SYNC, and the rest depends on preference (with G-SYNC: none = tearing, V-Sync + framerate limit = higher latency, Fast Sync = microstutter). However, if I’m reading this correctly, even G-SYNC + Fast Sync without a frame limit isn’t recommended because it limits the framerate to something lower than the monitor refresh rate, or runs starting at that slightly lower framerate?

gzmm
Member
gzmm

Is there a way to fix the brightness flickering while g-sync is on?
happens in load screens or when the game are loading something.

hramulka
Member
hramulka

Hello! I would like to ask how to configure ULMB correctly??? I have ULMB Pulse Width in my monitor , it can be changed from 0 to 100. That ‘s how much you need to bet??? It works at 120 Hz. I set up the monitor itself using your advice, limited it to 119989 Hz,Scanline sync -60, and set the fast synchronization ,Low latency mode On. the game consistently holds 120 FPS

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