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.



1149 Comments For “G-SYNC 101”

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AlianosFN
Member
AlianosFN

Hi, I have a question.

I play Fortnite competitively on a 165 Hz 1440p monitor with a GTX 1070 Ti using pretty much all the settings you recommended in this thread (gsync ON, vsync ON, game on fullscreen, fps limited in game files to 162, and finally low latency mode ON).

Now since the nvidia driver update from today got released the new nvidia Reflex Low Latency setting was added to the game. With the setting come 3 options: OFF, ON or ON + BOOST. A thing i noticed when i turned it to either ON or ON + BOOST was that instead of my fps cap being 162, my fps got capped at 158 (so 4 frames lower than the limit i set myself).

This raised a question;
Does turning the setting ON (or ON + BOOST) impact the way gsync works (also in combination with the other recommended settings in this thread)?
If so, what would you recommend me to do? Should i keep the nvidia reflex setting off? Or should i keep it on (since according to nvidia it reduces system delay) and change my fps cap to make up for the 4 frames i lost?

Ultimately i think my question is; how does the nvidia reflex low latency setting fit in the picture with gsync and the recommended settings in this thread?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read/answer to my questions!

tomato884
Member
tomato884

does this apply to the new 30xx series with all the new reflex technology?

JediBrysen
Member
JediBrysen

should competitive players for any game but for my situation fortnite use this? I really just want low input delay while it being smooth

ankurszn
Member
ankurszn

i have the same question

Avean
Member
Avean

Could LLM = On with G-Sync cause frametime spikes in cases where the game uses its own frame queue? Cause in the end of the article you say you recommend testing this on per-game basis to see if worse or not. And if at best youre improving latency by 1 frame, its kinda best to leave it off i feel? Unless you want to fire up RivaTuner and monitor each game to see if improvements. But really the biggest impact is more framerate than whatever setting your LLM is at, feel people are kinda hung up on this setting 🙂

Glarbstintenford
Member
Glarbstintenford

Amazing guide and information, thank you so much!

I have a questions or two, sorry this ends up being so long but I wanted to also share the information I found and make it as clear as possible:

1 – Does the use of the smoothframes feature found in Unreal Engine 4 have any effect? I’m not sure how smoothframes & in game Vsync relate to each other with or without G-Sync and thought you could shed some light.

The game I play is online multiplayer only, and their servers currently run 30Hz tickrate, which in the near future will be increasing to 60Hz tickrate.

It has smoothframes and vsync enabled by default, using the default 22-62FPS range for smoothframes, with no in-game option to disable either or set an FPS limit. It also has what I am assuming is an in-game FPS limiter that you can manually adjust via editing the ini files. This line is FrameRateLimit= and the default is =0.000000.

Also just so you know this game has no in-game settings other than a resolution scale slider that’s it, and only runs in borderless fullscreen.

However you can edit GameUserSettings.ini and disable/enable vsync & smoothframes.

Now with or without G-Sync enabled I have discovered the following:

– If I use the games default settings of vsync and smoothframes enabled and FrameRateLimit=0 I am limited to 62FPS regardless of desktop refresh rate provided that my desktop refresh rate is higher than 63Hz **However if I set FrameRateLimit to any number up to and including 120 then my FPS limited to that number unless my desktop refreshrate is lower than the value set in FrameRateLimit= in which case it is limited to desktop refresh rate.

– If I disable in-game vsync and leave smoothframes enabled I am still limited to 62FPS regardless of desktop refresh rate if FrameRateLimit=0

– If I keep in-game vsync enabled and only disable smoothframes my FPS is capped to desktop refresh rate but only to 120 any refresh rate above that I’m still limited to 120FPS. Also worth noting this is when leaving FrameLimit=0.000000

– If I disable in-game vsync & disable smoothframes and FrameRateLimit=0 then my FPS is uncapped.

Wonderinig if smoothframes should be enabled or disabled, as well as if using FrameRateLimit should be used and am curious what your thoughts are about it all.

Thank you! 🙂

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