L hen we start to optimize the graphics settings for video games, we come across notions like VSync, G-Sync, Fast-Sync, FreeSync or even Enhanced Sync .
This corresponds to vertical synchronization of your GPU with your screen.
What is it and what is it for? is it useful to enable Vsync?
This very comprehensive article tells you all about vertical synchronization (Vsync).
Table of contents
What is V-Sync and G-Sync
Visual tear in video games
When playing, it may happen that your graphics card and screen / monitor become out of sync .
In particular your GPU provides more images than the monitor cannot display.
Indeed, your monitor is capped at a certain amount of frames per second called the refresh rate .
It is expressed in Hz.
For example, a 60 Hz monitor will display 60 frames per second.
What is the refresh rate / frequency of a screen
When a desynchronization occurs on a moving scene, the result is catastrophic.
Partial frames will be slightly different from each other, and so the scene will look like it has been torn horizontally in half and the top and bottom will appear misaligned.
In English, this tearing phenomenon is called Screen tearing .
Screen tearing is a visual artifact in video display where a display device displays information from multiple images in a single screen.
This happens when the FPS is higher than the refresh rate.
So in the case where the graphics card provides pPlaying images that the screen cannot display.
A PC equipped with a screen with a highrefresh rate like 120 Hz or 140 Hz is therefore less likely to experience tears.
VSync technology for vertical synchronization aims to correct these visual phenomena : input latency, screen tearing and stuttering during games and video playback.
It synchronizes your graphics card with your monitor's ability to display a number of 'whole graphic frames per second on the screen.
The game engine is responsible for generating the frames sent to DirectX and then it calculates equalment the animation time; the encoding inside the frame which is ultimately rendered.
Calls and drawing information are communicated forward, NVIDIA driver and GPU convert them to actual render, then spit out an image rendered in the GPU frame buffer.
The last step is to scan the frame to the screen.
To fully understand the contents of this article, it is advisable to read the display mechanisms in video games.
Display in games with the graphics card: how it works
With V-SYNC active, the pipeline suffers a counter -pressure to the game engine, and the entire pipeline slows down to the display's refresh rate.
VSync and stuttering problems
But activating Vsync causes also problems including:
- Increased input latency
When the frame rate drops below the refresh rate of the monitor, this feeling of disconnection increases to a level that will disturb a large number of users.
Some images will be processed by the GPU slower than the monitor can display them. In other words, the monitor is ready to switch to a new image before the GPU is ready to send it.
So instead to display ae new image, the monitor displays the previous image again, resulting in stuttering. Stuttering can be a major issue when using the Vsync on option to reduce tearing.
The following two Rocket League videos show stuttering.
This results in mini-freezes or for a few seconds the display freezes.
In addition the GPU must wait for a new refresh to display the new image.
This can also drop the FPS .
Pros and Cons of VSync
Here's what VSync does:
- All tears are eliminated , because the GPU can only send one whole image to the monitor at a time, and the monitor in turn only displays one single full frame at eachrefresh
- The maximum possible frame rate is capped at the same value as the refresh rate. For example. on a 60Hz monitor, the maximum possible frame rate with VSync enabled is 60 FPS
- Whenever the frame rate is lower than the refresh rate, the Overall performance can drop , sometimes significantly, due to a timing quirk in which the GPU is underutilized. This can be countered with Triple Buffering
- Frame rates may be less consistent.
- It mayThere may be a noticeable input lag, due to slight delays between when an image is rendered and when it is displayed.
V-SYNC VS NON V-SYNC
| V-SYNC || ACTIVE || DISABLED |
| Flow control Images || Backpressure || None |
| Input latency || High || Bass|
| Visual tear || None || Tear |
The following video also shows the differences:
As you can see, enabling VSync alone has both positive and negative effects.
Disabling VSync is the easiest way to remove the frame rate limit , avoid performance degradation , and reduce the risk of input lag, but this comes at the cost of a tear andlarger fluctuations in frame rates (FPS peaks).
Disabling VSync can also unnecessarily increase the GPU temperature and may result in coil noise (high pitched hum) emanating from your GPU when the frame rates are running. images are extremely high, for example when viewing the intro and menu screens of the game.
Fortunately, there are several possible variations of VSync, as well as other options, to help achieve a better result.
Triple buffering can correct these disadvantages in some cases, read:
What is Triple Buffering and does it gain FPS?
Vsync at NVIDIA and AMD
G-Sync at NVIDIA
G-Sync is the proprietary technology of NVIDIA synchronization, you need a screen that supports it.
Thus, you cannot activate it on all configurations because you need a G-Sync module in the monitor.
This therefore increases the cost of 'a Gaming PC to benefit from vertical synchronization.
However, there are compatible displays that allow you to benefit from G-Sync compatible to eliminate artifacts and tears.
List of G- compatible gaming monitors Sync
Adaptive V-Sync on NVidia
This is an option you will see in the panel It is not globally supported on AMD parts, although games that implement it will use it for you.
Adaptive sync essentially syncs your frequencies to 'frames and your refresh rate when both are above 60, and turn off virtual sync when they drop below.
This means you will get screen tearing and stuttering when the frame rate will decrease, but you would not incur the same penalties as if you left Vertical sync enabled.
FreeSync at AMD
AMD offers a FreeSync equivalent and is based only on the DisplayPort ™ Adaptive-Sync standard without proprietary technology.ietary.
The big advantage is that you don 't necessarily need a specific monitor.
FreeSync allows the frame rate to vary over a range without rip, dynamically changing the refresh rate of the monitor.
NVIDIA Fast Sync and AMD Enhanced Sync
These are two proprietary terms for software functionality that basically does the same on AMD and Nvidia cards.
Fast Sync / Enhanced Sync is similar to triple buffering in that there are three image buffers.
However, instead of being accessed sequentially, the larger buffer is old is still overwritten.
NVIDIA introduces from Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards Fast Sync.
With Fast Sync , there is no has no flow control and cobetween-pressure. The game engine works as if V-SYNC is disabled.
Better yet, there is no tearing because FAST SYNC chooses which rendered images to scan to screen.
FAST SYNC allows front of the pipeline to run as fast as possible, and determine which images to scan to the screen, while simultaneously preserving entire images so that they display without tearing.
Also determines Fast Sync aims to correct all the drawbacks of G-sync.
V-Syn enabled VS Vsync disabled VS Fast Sync
| || |
Flow control Images
With FastSync the input latency will be higher than with v-sync off, but lower than with v-sync on
It is ideal for games like CS: GO which operate at a very high frame rate.
Ultimately, FastSync is mostly about input lag and doesn't correct for smoothness, especially if the frame rate isn't that much higher than the refresh rate.
You are essentially deleting images and the time between each image may vary. Sometimes this results in miro-stuttering. As such, FastSync is best for cases where frame rates are twice the refresh rates.
Fast Sync VS Vsync
AMD also promises a gain ofe latency with AMD Enhanced Sync .
G -Sync VS Fast-Sync VS FreeSync: which is better?
There are comparisons on the net like this one: AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT vs NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060: Which one is Faster?
We must also take into account 'other elements.
For example AMD drivers are often of lower quality and stability in games suffers.
Conclusion: should you use Vsync?
If you have a regular monitor and aren't too concerned about input latency, it's a good idea to simply enable Adaptive V-Sync at Nvidia .
Enhanced Sync and Fast Sync sound good in theory. Unless your GPU renders images at double or triple the refresh rate of your monitor, this can cause unpleasant micro-stuttering.
Avoid double-buffered V-sync when possible, and disable V sync in-game as well, if using the global setting.
Enable it in games that come with this feature. However, if you are using RadeonPro you can enable Dynamic V-Sync which essentially does the same. If you want to buy a new monitor, it's a great idea to get a FreeSync compatible display. G-Sync is almost always more expensive and, thanks to the Fresync compatible program, many monitorsrs Freesync will work with Nvidia GPUs. As always, do your research first.
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