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.



1620 Comments For “G-SYNC 101”

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BlurDawg
Member
BlurDawg

Hello again Jorimt, hope you’re having a great day.

I have a question less related to gsync and more to do with render latency. I’ve noticed as I turn the resolution down, the render latency reduces even at the same fps. In fact I have found that @60fps capped the render latency is around 11.5ms at 1080p compared to 16-18ms latency when capped at 60fps 1440p. At 720p the render latency dropped even further.

As far as I understand, render latency is linked to input latency. Does this mean that for example with console games that are capped at 60fps @4k, the input latency is much higher than it could be if the game was instead rendered at 720p? Since the GPU is doing less work per frame?

AidenJr
Member
AidenJr

Hi, this was exactly what I was looking for, but I still have one unanswered question in my mind.
I’m going to buy a 165hz G-sync monitor, and the game that I play runs around 200 fps. Will I necessarily get screen tear if I don’t cap at 162 ? and do you suggest capping the fps at 162, or playing it on higher graphic settings of the game to stay below the monitor’s refresh rate? like 150 fps or so. Since I play FPS games input lag really matters to me.
Regards

Zole
Member
Zole

After reinstalling windows recently, my G-Sync behaviour has changed.

As far as I can remember, my usual set up was:
League of legends played in Windowed Borderless Mode.
v-sync: disabled – in-game
v-sync: enabled (set to “Fast”) – in NVCP
g-sync: enabled for both windowed and full-screen – in NVCP
preferred refresh rate: Highest available – in NVCP
power management: Prefer maximum performance – in NVCP
Monitor technology: G-SYNC – in NVCP
frame rate: uncapped – in game

With these settings, my frame rate was capped by the fast v-sync to 1 frame below my monitors max refresh rate 164 (down from 165).

However, after reinstalling windows and reapplying these same settings the frame rate is no longer capped to 1 below the monitors refresh rate. Instead I get FPS anywhere from 200-600 and I notice stutters and tearing.

Is there any way for me to get back my previous system behaviour?

PS I know the recommended way to set up a system is for full-screen g-sync but I prefer windowed borderless for the rapid alt tabbing, as I do that frequently.

brdon209
Member
brdon209

I am looking to buy a 1440p 144hz monitor and from what I have read, I should set my FPS at 141 using nvcp, set vsync on in nvcp and off in game. However, many sources have told me to turn on null on and others have told me to completely turn it off. Should I put it on ultra, on or off? I play league of legends fyi and my cpu is usually around 16% usage and my gpu is around 30% uncapped 1080p. Sorry, I am new to th this subject .

georgi74
Member
georgi74

I have a System with a Geforce 3080 and as display I use a LG c9 OLED TV with 120Hz and GSync.

In Nioh 2, which can easily perform over 120 fps with DLSS on 4k with that System if I limit the game to 117 fps with RTSS I get Micro Stutter when just looking around. If I disable the RTSS limiter and let the game limit the fps to 120 (in game there is only an option to lock at 30/60/120) the game is buttery smooth. Is there any way to get the game running smooth with a limit to 117 fps?

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