G-SYNC 101: Optimal G-SYNC Settings & Conclusion


Optimal G-SYNC Settings*

*Settings tested with a single G-SYNC display (w/hardware module) on a single desktop GPU system; specific DSR, SLI, and multi-monitor behaviors, as well as G-SYNC laptop display and “G-SYNC Compatible” display implementation, may vary.

Nvidia Control Panel Settings:

  • Set up G-SYNC > Enable G-SYNC, G-SYNC Compatible > Enable for full screen mode.
  • Manage 3D settings > Vertical sync > On (Why?).

In-game Settings:

  • Use “Fullscreen” or “Exclusive Fullscreen” mode (some games do not offer this option, or label borderless windowed as fullscreen).
  • Disable all available “Vertical Sync,” “V-SYNC” and “Triple Buffering” options.
  • If an in-game or config file FPS limiter is available, and framerate exceeds refresh rate:
    Set (a minimum of) 3 FPS limit below display’s maximum refresh rate (57 FPS @60Hz, 97 FPS @100Hz, 117 FPS @120Hz, 141 FPS @144Hz, etc).

RTSS Settings:

  • If an in-game or config file FPS limiter is not available and framerate exceeds refresh rate:
    Set (a minimum of) 3 FPS limit below display’s maximum refresh rate (see G-SYNC 101: External FPS Limiters HOWTO).

Windows “Power Options” Settings:

Windows-managed core parking can put CPU cores to sleep too often, which may increase frametime variances and spikes. For a quick fix, use the “High performance” power plan, which disables OS-managed core parking and CPU frequency scaling. If a “Balanced” power plan is needed for a system implementing adaptive core frequency and voltage settings, then a free program called ParkControl by Bitsum can be used to disable core parking, while leaving all other power saving and scaling settings intact.

Mouse Settings:

If available, set the mouse’s polling rate to 1000Hz, which is the setting recommended by Nvidia for high refresh rate G-SYNC, and will decrease the mouse-induced input lag and microstutter experienced with the lower 500Hz and 125Hz settings at higher refresh rates.

Refer to The Blur Busters Mouse Guide for complete information.

Nvidia Control Panel V-SYNC vs. In-game V-SYNC

While NVCP V-SYNC has no input lag reduction over in-game V-SYNC, and when used with G-SYNC + FPS limit, it will never engage, some in-game V-SYNC solutions may introduce their own frame buffer or frame pacing behaviors, enable triple buffer V-SYNC automatically (not optimal for the native double buffer of G-SYNC), or simply not function at all, and, thus, NVCP V-SYNC is the safest bet.

There are rare occasions, however, where V-SYNC will only function with the in-game option enabled, so if tearing or other anomalous behavior is observed with NVCP V-SYNC (or visa-versa), each solution should be tried until said behavior is resolved.

Maximum Pre-rendered Frames: Depends

A somewhat contentious setting with very elusive consistent documentable effects, Nvidia Control Panel’s “Maximum pre-rendered frames” dictates how many frames the CPU can prepare before they are sent to the GPU. At best, setting it to the lowest available value of “1” can reduce input lag by 1 frame (and only in certain scenarios), at worst, depending on the power and configuration of the system, the CPU may not be able to keep up, and more frametime spikes will occur.

The effects of this setting are entirely dependent on the given system and game, and many games already have an equivalent internal value of “1” at default. As such, any input latency tests I could have attempted would have only applied to my system, and only to the test game, which is why I ultimately decided to forgo them. All that I can recommend is to try a value of “1” per game, and if the performance doesn’t appear to be impacted and frametime spikes do not increase in frequency, then either, one, the game already has an internal value of “1,” or, two, the setting has done its job and input lag has decreased; user experimentation is required.

Conclusion

Much like strobing methods such as LightBoost & ULMB permit “1000Hz-like” motion clarity at attainable framerates in the here and now, G-SYNC provides input response that rivals high framerate V-SYNC OFF, with no tearing, and at any framerate within its range.

As for its shortcomings, G-SYNC is only as effective as the system it runs on. If the road is the system, G-SYNC is the suspension; the bumpier the road, the less it can compensate. But if set up properly, and run on a capable system, G-SYNC is the best, most flexible syncing solution available on Nvidia hardware, with no peer (V-SYNC OFF among them) in the sheer consistency of its frame delivery.

Feel free to leave a comment below, resume the discussion in the Blur Busters Forums, or continue to the Closing FAQ for further clarifications.



172 Comments For “G-SYNC 101”

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Member
king37

Very helpful

Member
besweeet

To confirm, G-SYNC ON + v-sync ON is better than G-SYNC OFF + v-sync ON? My ultimate goal is to eliminate tearing while not introducing input lag, so it seems like the former is the way to go.

Member
hkeep

Thank you for those detailed explanations. My question is why would we enable v-sync if it would never reach the refresh rate cap with the rtss. And also, if for example, I am consistently running the game at a higher refresh rate than my monitor (which is 120hz), what is the point of rtss if it would limit my fps to 2-3 frames below the refresh rate? Shouldn’t I just enable G-sync without a limit which as you said has less input lag than v-sync even when the fps goes over the refresh rate. Which brings to the question of why do we need v-sync at all?

Member
Dragonite

I have the Viewsonic VX2458-C-mhd which is a Freesync monitor. Since my GPU is GTX 1080 i could enable G-sync with the latest drivers. But the problem is that i have brightness flickering (which i read that is a quite frequent occurrence to all adaptive sync technologies). Since i tried to fix it but nothing worked i disabled Freesync/G-sync. So the question is, now that G-sync is off, should i just enable V-sync (NCP) + framelimit for better visual quality and prevent tearing or leave V-sync (NCP) off but still use framelimit?

Member
hyrnos

Hi, thanks for the excellent guide

I want to play games that are capped to 60 ish fps by their game engine, should i enable vsync? (assassin’s creed) I ofc want to enable gsync

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