G-SYNC 101: Control Panel


G-SYNC Module

The G-SYNC module is a small chip that replaces the display’s standard internal scaler, and contains enough onboard memory to hold and process a single frame at a time.

The module exploits the vertical blanking interval (the span between the previous and next frame scan) to manipulate the display’s internal timings; performing G2G (gray to gray) overdrive calculations to prevent ghosting, and synchronizing the display’s refresh rate to the GPU’s render rate to eliminate tearing, along with the delayed frame delivery and adjoining stutter caused by traditional syncing methods.

G-SYNC Demo

The below Blur Busters Test UFO motion test pattern uses motion interpolation techniques to simulate the seamless framerate transitions G-SYNC provides within the refresh rate, when directly compared to standalone V-SYNC.

G-SYNC Activation

“Enable for full screen mode” (exclusive fullscreen functionality only) will automatically engage when a supported display is connected to the GPU. If G-SYNC behavior is suspect or non-functioning, untick the “Enable G-SYNC, G-SYNC Compatible” box, apply, re-tick, and apply.

Blur Buster's G-SYNC 101: Control Panel

G-SYNC Windowed Mode

“Enable for windowed and full screen mode” allows G-SYNC support for windowed and borderless windowed mode. This option was introduced in a 2015 driver update, and by manipulating the DWM (Desktop Windows Manager) framebuffer, enables G-SYNC’s VRR (variable refresh rate) to synchronize to the focused window’s render rate; unfocused windows remain at the desktop’s fixed refresh rate until focused on.

G-SYNC only functions on one window at a time, and thus any unfocused window that contains moving content will appear to stutter or slow down, a reason why a variety of non-gaming applications (popular web browsers among them) include predefined Nvidia profiles that disable G-SYNC support.

Note: this setting may require a game or system restart after application; the “G-SYNC Indicator” (Nvidia Control Panel > Display > G-SYNC Indicator) can be enabled to verify it is working as intended.

G-SYNC Preferred Refresh Rate

“Highest available” automatically engages when G-SYNC is enabled, and overrides the in-game refresh rate selector (if present), defaulting to the highest supported refresh rate of the display. This is useful for games that don’t include a selector, and ensures the display’s native refresh rate is utilized.

“Application-controlled” adheres to the desktop’s current refresh rate, or defers control to games that contain a refresh rate selector.

Note: this setting only applies to games being run in exclusive fullscreen mode. For games being run in borderless or windowed mode, the desktop dictates the refresh rate.

G-SYNC & V-SYNC

G-SYNC (GPU Synchronization) works on the same principle as double buffer V-SYNC; buffer A begins to render frame A, and upon completion, scans it to the display. Meanwhile, as buffer A finishes scanning its first frame, buffer B begins to render frame B, and upon completion, scans it to the display, repeat.

The primary difference between G-SYNC and V-SYNC is the method in which rendered frames are synchronized. With V-SYNC, the GPU’s render rate is synchronized to the fixed refresh rate of the display. With G-SYNC, the display’s VRR (variable refresh rate) is synchronized to the GPU’s render rate.

Upon its release, G-SYNC’s ability to fall back on fixed refresh rate V-SYNC behavior when exceeding the maximum refresh rate of the display was built-in and non-optional. A 2015 driver update later exposed the option.

This update led to recurring confusion, creating a misconception that G-SYNC and V-SYNC are entirely separate options. However, with G-SYNC enabled, the “Vertical sync” option in the control panel no longer acts as V-SYNC, and actually dictates whether, one, the G-SYNC module compensates for frametime variances output by the system (which prevents tearing at all times. G-SYNC + V-SYNC “Off” disables this behavior; see G-SYNC 101: Range), and two, whether G-SYNC falls back on fixed refresh rate V-SYNC behavior; if V-SYNC is “On,” G-SYNC will revert to V-SYNC behavior above its range, if V-SYNC is “Off,” G-SYNC will disable above its range, and tearing will begin display wide.

Within its range, G-SYNC is the only syncing method active, no matter the V-SYNC “On” or “Off” setting.

Currently, when G-SYNC is enabled, the control panel’s “Vertical sync” entry is automatically engaged to “Use the 3D application setting,” which defers V-SYNC fallback behavior and frametime compensation control to the in-game V-SYNC option. This can be manually overridden by changing the “Vertical sync” entry in the control panel to “Off,” “On,” or “Fast.”



3072 Comments For “G-SYNC 101”

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markinho
Member
markinho

Hi!
I am planning to buy a laptop with 120Hz monitor which has no Adaptive-sync at all.
Playing mostly single-player games at 60+ FPS.
As far as I understand, I need to use V-sync (NVCP) + 119 FPS limit for best tear-free and low latency performance? Or I need to lower setting significantly and try to push FPS to 119 FPS limit to reduce latency?

markinho
Member
markinho

Planning to install Windows 11 if it matters

Rheetro
Member
Rheetro

Hey there! Just a quick question: I have a G-sync (module built in) 144Hz monitor and done as described in your article – I use Windows 10 latest build, and in the windows display settings, there’s an option to enable VVR, my monitor do not have that option, but should I enable it, or just leave it off? Thanks!

dandyjr
Member
dandyjr

So to piggy-back on the topic of Japanese-styled games and how they handle framerates and syncing, the answer seemed more specific to Souls games (which by the way, thank you very much because that was driving me crazy and I ended up downloading an fps unlocking patch that somehow allowed gsync functionality) but what about the Japanese games that aren’t Souls games or for emulators? Games like Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth that have built-in vsync that can’t be enabled or disabled but also are not DX12 or emulators like Ryujinx/Yuzu that have their own functionalities? I was able to get gsync to work by enabling gsync for windowed modes but I was told that using that option isn’t good. So I found another solution with the newest NVIDIA drivers by changing the “Vulkan/OpenGL present method” from “Auto” to “Prefer layered on DXGI Swapchain”. Is this an acceptable solution and also does forcing vsync through the control panel (as suggested here) cause any issues with the implementations already in place?

Derp
Member
Derp

Quick question: In Valorant, when using Reflex + Boost it caps my fps at 138 (144 display). Is that ok and the same effect as putting the in engine on 141 and turning Reflex off? Got a 3080 Ti, play in 1440p. But never checked if the gpu usage is high. Got G-sync + V-sync globally on, as suggested here. Thanks!

elexi
Member
elexi

Thanks for the wonderful guide. Maybe my question will be a little offtopic, but that question is about Japanese games with 60 fps lock and 60hz lock – specifically about elden ring. If you disable gsync, fullscreen will lock at 60hz/60fps, if you enable bordeless it will be 60fps/144hz. With gsync on 60fps/60 (!) hz regardless of settings.
How to correctly use gsync + vsync in this case? And in general, is there any sense from 144hz / 60fps with gsync off mode, or is it easier to leave gsync on 60hz / 60 fps.

And also regarding vsync – let’s say I set vsync on in the panel. Is vsync nvcp or ingame used in this case? And is it double buffer or triple? (Elden ring)

p.s. and do i need to turn 59fps lock (my screen is 144hz) in this case for Elden? I really dont understand

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