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.”



3043 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
ChemicalCthulhu
Member
ChemicalCthulhu

Hey jorimt! Thanks for the awesome and in-depth guide, I just had a few questions for clarification…

1. If the game has an FPS limiter that maxes out at 120fps, and I have a 165hz Monitor with the correct Gsync Settings (-3 from refresh rate, vsync on in NVCP, etc), do I turn off the frame limit in NVCP? Or do I leave it on? Are there any other settings I add to this?

2. If I’m playing a game that I can’t reach my max FPS on (162FPS in this case), do I set my FPS to the limit it can hold via NVCP but still follow the -3 minimum rule? (So for example, if I can only reach 100FPS do I set my limit to 97FPS?)

3. Is there any way to minimize screen flickering when using GSYNC or is this just something I have to contend with? For reference, I am using an MSI G273 Monitor that falls under the “Gsync Compatible” category, and the flickering is mainly on loading screens.

Thanks again, jorimt. I look forward to your response!

crazyhelmet
Member
crazyhelmet

Nvidia launched a new driver saying Ultra Low Latency Mode now work with directx 12 titles, what does that change with this guide?

AKGforpubg
Member
AKGforpubg

Hi Jorimt, my all settings;

-NVCP-
Vsync > On
Monitor Tech > Gsync
Low Latency Mode > Off

-NVCP / Gsync-
✅Enable Gsync
✅Enable full screen mode
✅Enable settings for the selected display model

-In game (PUBG)
Fps limit -3 rule > 141
Vsync > Off

I have 4090 & 4k 144hz monitor and have 300-500 fps at PUBG, (I only play PUBG) Now I have 2 different questions Jorimt;

1) What do you think about these;
Vsync > Fast
Low Latency Mode > On or Ultra
Preffered Refresh Rate > What is the true option here ? Game decide or the other one ?
And also is Nvdia Reflex good ?
(I think I dont have Reflex option and maybe its not for PUBG but I heard of it and want to learn what it really is from you because you are one of the person I can trust about PC)

2) Sometimes I see my fps goes down to 138 so is it better to cap it to 138 from in game ?

3) Is RivaTuner’s Scanline Sync same or better ? Do you recommend using it ?

Thank you very much Jorimt. Really thank you very much.

marcel151
Member
marcel151

Hi and sorry for not seeing this topic. I lately posted in the forum, thanks for your comment there.

To answer your question:
[…]
I am trying to accomplish to minimize input lag and not having tearing. I can see that you did the test with 60 Hz and having quite significant improvements when not capping your FPS. But what when doing it with a higher refresh rate of e.g. 144 Hz? I think the improvements in terms of latency between V-SYNC (NVCP) ON and OFF while using Reflex would be way less?

dandyjr
Member
dandyjr

Hey Jorimt, long time no speak! It’s been a while since I last asked a question here but something has come up that’s concerning and I have never given it much thought. Does G-Sync depend on frame rate or frame time for its window of limitation? I ask because I recently was using an emulator that showed 60fps on Rivatuner but was constantly showing frame times around 2.0 to 2.8. When I turned on the Refresh Rate display on my monitor the display was fluctuating (implying that G-Sync was working) but the numbers were constantly jumping around and it seemed at times it was showing 144 (the refresh rate of the monitor) for a brief flash. My question is: even though the emulator claims to be 60fps (and Rivatuner’s fps reading backs this claim) is G-Sync ceasing to activate or stay activated because the frame times shown on Rivatuner are much lower? I hope this isn’t the case because I’ve noticed a similar trend in games like Valorant where you cap the fps within your G-Sync window but there are random frame times that surpass the limit of your cap (the frame rate will not reflect/match the super low frame time) somehow which makes me feel like G-Sync probably deactivates at that time and falls back onto Vsync. Am I misunderstanding the functioning here?

wpDiscuz