G-SYNC 101: G-SYNC vs. V-SYNC OFF


Beyond the Limits of the Scanout

It’s already been established that single, tear-free frame delivery is limited by the scanout, and V-SYNC OFF can defeat it by allowing more than one frame scan per scanout. That said, how much of an input lag advantage can be had over G-SYNC, and how high must the framerate be sustained above the refresh rate to diminish tearing artifacts and justify the difference?

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

Quite high. Counting first on-screen reactions, V-SYNC OFF already has a slight input lag advantage (up to a 1/2 frame) over G-SYNC at the same framerate, especially the lower the refresh rate, but it actually takes a considerable increase in framerate above the given refresh rate to widen the gap to significant levels. And while the reductions may look significant in bar chart form, even with framerates in excess of 3x the refresh rate, and when measured at middle screen (crosshair-level) only, V-SYNC OFF actually has a limited advantage over G-SYNC in practice, and most of it is in areas that one could argue, for the average player, are comparatively useless when something such as a viewmodel’s wrist is updated 1-3ms faster with V-SYNC OFF.

This is where the refresh rate/sustained framerate ratio factors in:

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 shown in the above diagrams, the true advantage comes when V-SYNC OFF can allow not just two, but multiple frame scans in a single scanout. Unlike syncing solutions, with V-SYNC OFF, the frametime is not paced to the scanout, and a frame will begin scanning in as soon as it’s rendered, regardless whether the previous frame scan is still in progress. At 144Hz with 1000 FPS, for instance, this means with a sustained frametime of 1ms, the display updates nearly 7 times in a single scanout.

In fact, at 240Hz, first on-screen reactions became so fast at 1000 FPS and 0 FPS, that the inherit delay in my mouse and display became the bottleneck for minimum measurements.

So, for competitive players, V-SYNC OFF still reigns supreme in the input lag realm, especially if sustained framerates can exceed the refresh rate by 5x or more. However, while at higher refresh rates, visible tearing artifacts are all but eliminated at these ratios, it can instead manifest as microstutter, and thus, even at its best, V-SYNC OFF still can’t match the consistency of G-SYNC frame delivery.



662 Comments For “G-SYNC 101”

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BlackStorm82
Member
BlackStorm82

HI
“fixed refresh rate”
Do you have information about?

Is it correct that G-Sync does not work when I use this?
In-game [frame limit release mode]
When it comes to monitor technology G-Sync, 100-600 FPS was also released.

[fixed refresh rate]
When I activated the League of Legends with this function, 300FPS was fixed.

rocet
Member
rocet

Hi, maybe i’m misreading or misunderstanding the graphs/article but there is no downside to just using G-Sync ON + V-Sync OFF + No fps limit?

G-sync would activate when below 144fps and then ‘de-activate’ above 144? Causing no input lag?

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?

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