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.



1873 Comments For “G-SYNC 101”

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
blaskovic
Member
blaskovic

Hi jorimt. I have a question for you. Sometime in older games (2011 – 2013) I have a drop frame from 144 to 140 or 144 to 135 and I notice this microstutter with G-sync but in other games if I have this drops (for example in Dirty Rally) I don’t see anything. My question is this: Why in some case (games) G-Sync seems works but in other circumstances (games) i see this microstutter? G-Sync shouldn’t avoid Microstutter? Thank you

stadiofriuli
Member
stadiofriuli

I’ve got a question. Got the Dell S2721DGF(A) which is G-Sync compatible, I’m running the monitor at 165Hz.

So what I basically did is to set a FPS cap @161 with RTSS.

Enabled G-Sync fullscreen in NVCP.

Enabled V-Sync in NVCP.

According to the guide V-Sync within the G-Sync range should still act like for native G-Sync monitors when it’s an official supported G-Sync compatible monitor.

What happens for me though is.

When V-Sync is enabled FPS cap at 158, not 161 as set in RTSS.

When I then disable V-Sync and have only G-Sync running it’s capped at 161 again.

So my question really is why this weird behaviour?

Should I activate or deactivate V-Sync in my case?

SvenL
Member
SvenL

Hi,
First of all, thank you so much for creating such an amazing guide. After reading through a few more questions arose.

I’m playing Warzone (FPS game) on a 1080p 144hz free sync monitor with an RTX 2080Ti graphics card. (I achieve 170-180 fps in game uncapped, which is above the refresh rate of my monitor)

My goal is to have a 100% tear-free gaming experience with the least amount of input lag to achieve the best possible accuracy.

First, I took over the following settings from you
NVCP: G-Sync & V-Sync: On

But when it comes to the FPS limiter, I’m still unsure which is best in my case. (Warzone also supports reflex)

In-Game FPS Limiter (141 FPS cap)
Reflex: On / On + Boost
RTSS / NVIDIA’s Max Frame Rate (141 FPS cap)

The question is which of these options has the lowest input lag and at the same time the most constant possible frame time. (I assume these 2 factors are especially important for FPS games)
Or what you think would be the best sweet spot out of all of these options.

With reflex activated (On + Boost), I noticed that the frame rate varies (around 138 fps). I’m not sure whether this will have a negative impact on my frame time or input delay, as I could easily achieve a constant 141 FPS with my graphics card. Should I then prefer the in-game FPS limiter or RTSS / NVIDIA’s Max Frame Rate over reflex?

Thank you very much

RoseGoldCrobat
Member
RoseGoldCrobat

I signed up here since you seem to know a lot about this. I have a very strange issue.

I have a monitor that is Gsync compatible and Gsync is on in fullscreen mode.

When I play certain games, the current ones I’ve seen it in are Red Dead Redemption 2 and Hitman 3 I would like to have gsync on and vsync on. The problem is when both settings are on at the same time my FPS caps to 72 fps, half of my monitor’s refresh rate. I don’t understand why this is happening. Could I be missing a setting?

Zehdah
Member
Zehdah

Hello. I have a new monitor, it’s a Samsung G7 Odyssey which is 1440p 240hz with Gsync. I’m wondering what you would recommend for optimal performance/gaming with that setup since it’s unlikely I will hit 240hz in a game at 1440p with a 1080ti, should I still follow the above instructions and cap to 237 along with vsync on in CP, off in game? Curious if there’s any extra things I need to do.

wpDiscuz