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.”



3121 Comments For “G-SYNC 101”

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cornflak
Member
cornflak

This might be a shot in the dark, but you seem knowledgeable about this kind of thing.

Do you have any idea what would cause Resident Evil 4 Remake to look slightly jittery or choppy when the framerate is set to “variable”? The problem seems to go away when using the in-game cap at 120 fps.

I’m on an LG 240hz OLED monitor with a 4080 super and a 7800x3D. Also, I have gsync and vsync on via NVCP with max framerate at 237 fps.

rafaksbn
Member
rafaksbn

Hello!

How Frame Generation (DLSS 3) works in this context?

Are there any settings you guys tested, on how the technology works with G-Sync, V-Sync and Frame limiters? Any suggested optimal settings?

dabi
Member

This article is 7 years old, but it’s still referred by everyone online, have you considered making an updated version? I feel like some aspects, like vsync + gsync off could look much more favorable on a modern CPU + 360 Hz monitor, because uncapped fps ceiling is much higher nowadays leading to lower input lag than vsync + gsync on + fps cap/reflex. You can easily play OW2 or CS2 with a steady 600 fps and a low GPU % usage, which surely shifts the argument a little bit.

Also isn’t the whole borderless/windowed section outdated now, due to how Windows 11 changed the way it works with the new flip model? As far as I’m aware borderless has 0 input lag hit now.

TheGameV30
Member
TheGameV30

Hello!
Hoping you can help me since I am very new to PC gaming. My current set up is an i9-13900KF with a 4090 and an LG 144Hz 4K monitor. I’ve noticed that when I play a couple games where you have quick movement (Destiny 2 & Rocket League) that I’ll get horizontal screen tear when quickly moving the camera. Currently I have NVCP set to G-Sync on, V-Sync on & max frame rate set to 141 FPS. In-game I have FPS limiter off, V-Sync off and Reflex on for D2 but still have the tearing (usually only notice it in either game along the bottom 1/3 of my screen). I’m also just noticing that in my monitor settings I have it set to Extended Adaptive-Sync. Any suggestions please? Thank you!!

Jori
Member
Jori

hi, my english is not the best but i really like your guide. because of my bad english i did not really know what i shold activate because of the many ifs. can you explain it a little bit easier in short points? thank you really much. jori

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