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 manipulates 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.”



303 Comments For “G-SYNC 101”

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orr-man
Member
orr-man

This is a really interesting read and I’ve followed this and tested this myself in Sea of Thieves tonight, by manipulating the graphics settings to be more or less demanding and then tweaking NVCP VSync vs. in game VSync; GSync on vs. off; and GSync with NVCP VSync on vs. off.

I took me too long to realise you have to close the game before changes made in NVCP take effect…

Anyhow, there is one thing I don’t really understand:-

My monitor is 240Hz and as far as I understand it, the GSync range is up to 240Hz. With GSync on and NVCP VSync off (and on the lowest graphics settings) my FPS exceeded 240, was above my refresh rate, and I could get tearing (although to my eyes, this was actually quite hard to notice – I had to really look for it).

But the article talks about having VSync on in the NVCP alongside GSync and it mentions that VSync behaviour will occur if the GSync range is exceeded. Am I correct in thinking that this only applies if the GSync range is not the same as the monitor’s maximum refresh rate, as VSync stops FPS from exceeding the maximum refresh rate?

E.g. My monitor is 240Hz and my GSync range is up to 240Hz. With GSync on and NVCP VSync on I benefit from frame time compensation when the frame rate is below 240. However, the frame rate can’t go above 240 and so the VSync behaviour can’t happen.

But if my monitor is 240Hz and my GSync range is limited to 144hz then when VSync is enabled I may get FPS above 144 (upto 240) at which point GSync no longer applies but VSync behaviour kicks in?

Or am I misunderstanding something?

With good settings and resolution I naturally sit below 240fps in pretty much every game, but I’d like to make sure I understand and am following this correctly.

Thanks.

DrGoku4star
Member
DrGoku4star

Hey, this has been driving me crazy for a while now, but i’m using a freesync monitor (MPG27CQ) With driver level ‘Gsync’ paired with a GTX 1080ti, latest driver.

Regardless of NVCP Vsync on or off with Gsync on, i can’t see any screen tearing. But, with Vsync on, my mouse feels heavier on my wrist, but with it off, it feels alot lighter and more responsive. It’s eaiser to flick shot with with NVCP Vsync on (not sure if that’s because i’m used to it) then it is with it off.

I use Riva 141 fps cap with it on my 144 hertz monitor. I also have a 1080p 60 hertz monitor oc to 72 (not sure if that could cause a problem)

I can’t help but feel this has something to do with using a Gsync module guide on a Freesync/Gsync set up. Will you be doing any testing on this?

Thanks in advance

Spazmore
Member
Spazmore

Hello. I have a AW2518HF 240hz G-sync compatible on a 8700k/1080ti/16GB 4133RAM PC and game I’m playing is BFV. I have G-sync enabled and V-sync ON, low latency mode ON in the NVCP and the game capped at 237fps through the CFG file. Also playing on lowest settings and not GPU bound.

What is the best way to get the lowest the lowest input lag and the best overall experience ? Should I cap my frames at say 200fps because the game sometimes dips to 90-100 fps in certain scenarios like on the map Metro or I should leave it uncapped seeing as it only ever reaches 240fps in 10% of the time. Thank you in advance.

Shadeless
Member
Shadeless

So when using GSync on a 165Hz monitor with FPS capped at 160 FPS (ingame limiter) and GSync + Vsync ON (in Nvidia driver, off in game), is using low latency mode “on” or “ultra” better to decrease input lag?

I’d guess using ultra would result in less input lag but the battlenonsense video made me question if that would actually be the case considering my GPU usage is lower than 95% almost all the time and based on his testing “on” resulted in lower lag than “ultra”…

Just wondering if it’s similar with Gsync or if ultra is better for the lowest latency there like at > 95% GPU usage when you use no sync.

I feel like low latency “ultra” gives me a slightly snappier response when using GSync but that could just be placebo…

tanzimfh
Member
tanzimfh

Hi, this was undoubtedly answered either in the article (which is exceptionally written btw) or the FAQ, but I can’t seem to understand the point of an FPS limiter fully.

I know that going over the frame rate of the monitor turns G-Sync off, but since V-Sync kicks in, shouldn’t we still get tear-free frames at the monitor’s frame rate? I can’t think of why there would be stuttering either since there is always a frame ready by each scan out.

I’m on a 144hz display with FreeSync, and for Rainbow Six Siege specifically, my 2060 can pump out around 250 fps, and I’m wondering if using G-Sync with an FPS limiter will give me any benefit over simply using V-Sync. I actually just got the monitor and my Displayport cable is yet to arrive, and I’m not sure if I should try to use G-Sync or stick to V-Sync and graphics settings that allow for >144 FPS at all times. Is there any real input lag when doing this (except the latest partway rendered “tear” frame that V-Sync avoids), and if so, why? I feel like I see an input lag much higher than just one frame, which makes me want to try adaptive sync, but I’m not sure. Thanks in advance!

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