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.”



3099 Comments For “G-SYNC 101”

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mario64
Member
mario64

I have a Blade 16 with 4090 Advanced Optimus and a 120hz gsync panel. My problem is with World of Warcraft. I have global vsync on and in-game vsync off with in-game frame limiter set to 117hz. I’m getting stuttering even in old world zones with minimal graphics load.

Tonight I tested each in-game graphics option one by one to try and isolate the cause. I found it. Per this guide I had unchecked triple buffering. In WoW’s case this causes it to use double buffering (there is no off). Lo and behold I enabled triple buffering and now it’s buttery smooth. Could you please weigh in on how that could be? This seems to go directly against this guide’s recommendation. Thank you

maha
Member
maha

Can someone suggest how to settings Nvidia control panel for elden ring? (locked at 60 fps) ?
I use 165Hz monitor with G-sync compatible

tbowly
Member
tbowly

Hi thanks for this complete guide! one question, what to do if a game locks itself at 60hz and 60fps? im on a 165hz monitor and based on this guide i usually lock my fps at 80 in all story mode games that i play, with Gsync, Vsync from nvcp and low latency mode set to on. but a rare case has happened, i installed a game and it changes monitor’s refresh rate to 60 with a locked ingame 60 fps. should i cap the fps to 57 and set the low latency mode to on? or is there a way to play at 59-60 fps without having too much input lag and based on this guide.

dandyjr
Member
dandyjr

Hello again! One thing I’ve been struggling to figure out a permanent solution for is the presence of frame limiting. I know we discussed in short when talking about the Nintendo Switch emulators, but I’m struggling to find definitive solutions for native PC games as well now. I know that you recommend using in-game (engine level) frame limiters due to input lag and the like, but I don’t understand frame pacing in regards to G-Sync. How do we know if the engine level frame limiter is good enough to use or not? It seems that G-Sync relies on how well the limiter in question works, so why is RTSS not the surefire greatest solution (being that it provides the best and most accurate frame presentation). I’ve seen games (like Valorant) where the frametimes (seen in RTSS overlay) are literally all over the place (some even going outside of the G-Sync range even though the frame limit is far below it) at all times. Some games seem to keep the frametimes well within the range, but nothing as accurate as RTSS. Am I misunderstanding things or is there a better way to test/understand the frame limiters being used at an engine level? This information is also helpful for games that don’t have an engine limiter available (like Overcooked 2 or Hades) that automatically hit the maximum refresh rate of the monitor. Is it best to RTSS cap them to 141 and call it a day or leave them as-is (and deal with going in and out of G-Sync)? Another game I’ve noticed with horrendous frame limiter issues is Kingdom Hearts 1.5 Remix (the engine limiter is one of the most inaccurate with the worst frame pacing I’ve seen). Is it better to use RTSS for games like that? Sorry if this is a lot, I’ve just been racking my brain thinking about it!

Zehdah
Member
Zehdah

Hello. Just wondering if the recommended G sync settings still apply if you’re playing a game such as one that is capped at 60 or 120 fps. I have a 240hz monitor and cap at 237 as recommended usually. But in this scenario should I then act as if I have a 60 or 120 fps monitor and -cap at -3 from that with RTSS for example?

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