There are three versions of G-Sync, one of which is simply G-Sync. This version enables VRR functionality and reduces the occurrence of visual artifacts. Offering the least features compared to the advanced version of G-Sync, it still does what it takes when it comes to removing unwanted visual artifacts from your screen.
- FreeSync vs. G-Sync
- What Is G-SYNC?
- How Does G-SYNC Work?
- G-SYNC vs FreeSync & G-SYNC Compatible
- G-SYNC Requirements
- ULMB & Reflex Analyzer
- List of G-SYNC Compatible FreeSync Monitors
- How does G-SYNC act at the refresh rate ceiling of the monitor?
- What about motion blur?
- How does FreeSync differ from G-Sync?
- How do you turn on G-Sync?
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- What is G-Sync technology?
- Differences between G-Sync, G-Sync Ultimate and G-Sync compatible
- Differences between G-Sync, G-Sync Ultimate and compatible G-Sync
- Is it worth paying more for the Ultimate category?
FreeSync vs. G-Sync
If you’ve ever experienced screen tearing in a PC game, you know how annoying it can be – otherwise a properly rendered frame, ruined by thick horizontal lines and stuttering. You can enable V-Sync, but it may have a negative effect on system performance.
Nvidia and AMD have taken steps to fix this problem while preserving the frame rate, and both manufacturers turned to adaptive refresh technology for a solution. This often leads to a very obvious recommendation: if you have an Nvidia GPU, use G-Sync. If you have an AMD GPU, use FreeSync.
But if you have a choice in monitors or graphics cards, you may be wondering what the differences are and which synchronization technology is best for your setup. Let’s break it down to discover which option is better for you.
G-Sync and FreeSync are designed to smooth gameplay, reduce input lag, and prevent screen tearing. They have different methods of achieving these goals, but what sets them apart is that the former stays close to the vest while the latter is freely shared. Nvidia’s G-Sync works through a built-in chip in the design of the monitor. FreeSync uses the functionality of the graphics card to manage the refresh rate of the monitor using the Adaptive Sync standard built into the DisplayPort standard – the result is a performance difference.
Users have found that enabling FreeSync reduces screen tearing and stuttering, but some monitors show a different problem: ghosting. As the objects move across the screen, they leave behind shaded images of their last position. It’s an artifact that some people don’t notice at all, but it upsets others.
Many fingers point at what might cause this, but the physical reason is energy management. If you don’t apply enough power to the pixels, your image will have gaps – too much power and you’ll see ghosts. Balancing adaptive refresh technology with proper power distribution is difficult.
Both FreeSync and G-Sync also suffer when the frame rate doesn’t sync consistently in terms of monitor refresh. G-Sync can exhibit flicker problems at very low FPS, and while the technology usually compensates for this, to fix this, there are exceptions. Meanwhile, FreeSync has issues with stuttering if the frame rate drops below the minimum refresh rate specified for your monitor. Some FreeSync monitors have an extremely narrow adaptive refresh range, and if your graphics card cannot deliver frames in this range, problems arise.
Most reviewers who compared the two side by side seem to prefer the G-Sync quality, which shows no stuttering problems at low frame rates and therefore smoother in real-world situations. It should also be noted that updates to sync technology (and GPUs) slowly correct these issues with both technologies.
NVIDIA G-Sync is a technology licensed by the GPU manufacturer to display companies that produce the best computer monitors and laptop displays. In short, it provides a silky-smooth, tear-free gameplay by allowing communication between the monitor and GPU.
What Is G-SYNC?
G-SYNC is a special chip installed in the G-SYNC monitor that provides variable refresh rate (VRR) and variable clipping if you have a compatible graphics card.
There are three generations of G-SYNC modules:
- v1 module with DisplayPort 1.2
- v1 module with DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4
- module v2 with DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0 and cooling fan (some newer modules may have two or more HDMI 2.0 ports)
How Does G-SYNC Work?
G-SYNC allows you to dynamically change your monitor’s refresh rate (Hz) according to your GPU’s frame rate (FPS). As a result, any screen tearing is eliminated up to the maximum refresh rate of the monitor with no noticeable input delay (~ 1ms).
So, if you have a 144Hz gaming monitor and you have 60fps in the game, G-SYNC will dynamically change the display refresh rate to 60Hz to deliver 60 full frames per second without tearing apart.
Meanwhile, the variable overdrive will provide adequate adjustment of the pixel response speed, thus preventing pixel overshoot at low FPS and ghosting at high FPS.
Another advantage of the G-SYNC module is that it replaces the regular scaler in the monitor, so you will have a bit less input lag.
The main disadvantage is the price, as well as limited connectivity options, as G-SYNC modules do not have VGA, DVI or USB-C ports (for DP Alt Mode.
Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture modes are also not supported on G-SYNC monitors.
As the regular scaler has been replaced, older G-SYNC monitors do not support display scaling, although modern graphics cards support GPU scaling without any extra delay, so this won’t be a problem for most users. Newer models support display scaling, but manipulation with the CRU is required for the option to appear in NVCP.
G-SYNC vs FreeSync & G-SYNC Compatible
Unlike G-SYNC, FreeSync and G-SYNC Compatible monitors do not have dedicated modules.
Instead, they rely on the free and open VESA Adaptive-Sync protocols in DisplayPort and / or HDMI connectors for variable refresh rates.
A G-SYNC compatible monitor is essentially a FreeSync or “Adaptive-Sync” monitor that has been verified by NVIDIA to function without any problems when using compatible cards.
So what exactly makes G-SYNC unique?
First, G-SYNC monitors usually have a wider VRR range than FreeSync and G-SYNC Compatible displays.
For example, a 144 Hz G-SYNC gaming monitor has a VRR range of 30-144 Hz, while a similar FreeSync monitor typically has a dynamic range of 48-144 Hz.
So if the frame rate were to drop to 40 FPS, the G-SYNC monitor would change the refresh rate to 40 Hz, while the FreeSync monitor would have to take advantage of LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) and multiply the refresh rate to 120 Hz (40 FPS x 3) in order to prevent tearing.
Triggering the LFC is slightly stuttering, so the overall gaming experience on a G-SYNC monitor will be more enjoyable in this case.
As previously mentioned, since the G-SYNC module replaces the regular monitor scaler, G-SYNC monitors have less input lag, although most FreeSync monitors have an imperceptibly low input lag anyway.
Advantages of not having a G-SYNC module include lower cost and more extensive connectivity options.
To use G-SYNC, you need a G-SYNC monitor and a compatible NVIDIA graphics card (GTX 650 Ti Boost or later) connected via DisplayPort.
Now, newer G-SYNC monitors such as the Dell AW2721D, LG 38GL950G, and Acer XB273X also allow G-SYNC to be used with AMD graphics cards via DisplayPort, and also offer HDMI-VRR for consoles.
For G-SYNC Ultimate, you need a GTX 1050 or newer graphics card with DisplayPort 1.4.
You can use our G-SYNC monitor list to find all the G-SYNC and G-SYNC Ultimate monitors available.
All monitors certified by NVIDIA as “G-SYNC compatible” can be found in the list at the bottom of this article.
ULMB & Reflex Analyzer
Finally, remember that NVIDIA Reflex Analyzer and NVIDIA Reflex are two different things.
NVIDIA Reflex does not measure input lag, but rather reduces it in supported games.
To use it, you will need an NVIDIA GTX 900 series or newer graphics card and enable Reflex in the settings of your compatible game, which includes:
- Apex Legends
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
- Call of Duty Modern Warfare
- Call of Duty: Warzone
- Purpose 2
List of G-SYNC Compatible FreeSync Monitors
|Monitor||Size||Plate||Resolution||Refresh rate||VRR range|
|Acer XV273K||27”||IPS||3840×2160||120 Hz||48-120 Hz|
|AOC AGON AG241QX||24”||TN||2560×1440||144 Hz||30-144 Hz|
|ASUS MG278Q||27”||TN||2560×1440||144 Hz||40-144 Hz|
|Acer XG270HU||27”||TN||2560×1440||144 Hz||40-144 Hz|
|Acer XZ321Q||32”||VA||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|ASUS XG248||24”||TN||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|BenQ XL2740||27”||TN||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|Acer XFA240||24”||TN||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|AOC G2590FX||25”||TN||1920×1080||146 Hz||30-146Hz|
|ASUS VG278Q||27”||TN||1920×1080||144 Hz||40-144 Hz|
|ASUS XG258||25”||TN||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|ASUS VG258Q||25”||TN||1920×1080||144 Hz||40-144 Hz|
|Acer ED273A||27”||VA||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|Acer XF250Q||24.5”||TN||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|BenQ XL2540||24.5”||TN||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|ASUS VG248QG||24”||TN||1920×1080||165 Hz||40-165 Hz|
|ASUS VG258QR||24.5”||TN||1920×1080||165 Hz||40-165 Hz|
|ASUS VG278QR||27”||TN||1920×1080||165 Hz||40-165 Hz|
|Acer KG271 Bbmiipx||27”||TN||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|Acer XF240H Bmjdpr||24”||TN||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|Acer XF270H Bbmiiprx||27”||TN||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|AOPEN 27HC1R Pbidpx||27”||VA||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|Gigabyte AD27QD||27”||IPS||2560×1440||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|LG 27GK750F||27”||TN||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|LG 27GL850||27”||IPS||2560×1440||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|HP 25x||24.5”||TN||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|AOC G2590PX||24.5”||TN||1920×1080||144 Hz||30-144 Hz|
|Dell S2419HGF||24”||TN||1920×1080||120 Hz||48-120 Hz|
|HP 24x||24”||TN||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|HP 25mx||25”||TN||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|HP Omen X 25F||25”||TN||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|LG 34GL750||34”||IPS||2560 x 1080||144 Hz||50-144 Hz|
|Samsung C27RG5||27”||VA||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|AOC AG272FCX6||27″||VA||1920×1080||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|AOC AG272FG3R||27″||VA||1920×1080||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|ASUS VG27AQ||27″||IPS||2560×1440||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|Acer CP3721K P||32″||IPS||3840×2160||120 Hz||48-120 Hz|
|Acer XB273K GP||27″||IPS||3840×2160||120 Hz||48-120 Hz|
|Acer CG437K P||43″||VA||3840×2160||120 Hz||48-120 Hz|
|Acer VG252Q P||25″||IPS||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|LG 27GL63T||27″||IPS||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|LG 27GL650||27″||IPS||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|LG 27GN750 / 27GP750||27″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|Gigabyte FI27Q||27″||IPS||2560×1440||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|Gigabyte FI27Q-P||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|Acer XV273 X||27″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|LG 2019 OLED B9, C9, E9||55 “, 65″, 77”||OLED||3840×2160||120 Hz||40-120 Hz
|LG 2020 OLED BX, CX, GX||48 “, 55”,
65 “, 77”
|OLED||3840×2160||120 Hz||40-120 Hz
|LG 2021 OLED B1, C1, G1||48 “, 55”,
65 “, 77″, 83”
|OLED||3840×2160||120 Hz||40-120 Hz
|LG OLED Z9, ZX, Z1||77 “, 88”||OLED||7680×4320||120 Hz||40-120 Hz
|Razer Raptor 27||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||165 Hz|
|Acer VG272U P||27″||IPS||2560×1440||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|Acer VG272X||27″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|Dell Alienware AW2720HF||27″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|Lenovo Y27Q-20||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|ASUS XG279Q||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|AOC 27G2||27″||IPS||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|Acer XB273U||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|Acer XV273U||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|ASUS VG259Q||24.5”||IPS||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|MSI MAG251RX||24.5″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|See Sonic XG270||27″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|Acer XV272U||27″||IPS||2560×1440||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|Dell AW5520QF||55″||OLED||3840×2160||120 Hz||48-120 Hz|
|LG 38WN95C||38″||IPS||3840×1600||48-144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|LG 34GN850||34″||IPS||3440×1440||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|Dell AW2521HF||24.5″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|Dell AW2521HFL||24.5″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|ASUS VG259QM||24.5″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|ASUS PG43UQ||43″||VA||3840×2160||120 Hz||48-120 Hz|
|Acer XB253Q GX||24.5″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||50-240 Hz|
|Acer XV253QX||24.5″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|Acer VG252Q X||24.5″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|ASUS VG279QM||27″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|AOC AG271FZ2||27″||TN||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|AOC AG271F1G2||27″||TN||1920×1080||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|Acer XB273GX||27″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|Acer XB273GP||27″||IPS||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|Acer XB323U||32″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|ASUS VG27B||27″||TN||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|Dell S2421HGF||24″||TN||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|Lenovo G24-10||24″||TN||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|LG 27GN950||27″||IPS||3840×2160||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|32″||165 Hz||60-165 Hz|
|Samsung C27G75T||27″||VA||2560×1440||240Hz||60-240 Hz|
|Samsung C32G75T||32″||VA||2560×1440||240Hz||60-240 Hz|
|Samsung C49G95T||49″||VA||5120×1440||240Hz||80-240 Hz|
|Acer XB253Q GZ||25″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||50-240 Hz|
|Dell S2721HGF||27″||VA||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|Dell S2721DGF||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|Lenovo G25-10||25″||IPS||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|Acer XB273U GX||27″||IPS||2560×1440||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|Acer VG272 LV||27″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|Acer XV272 LV||27″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|Acer CP5271U V||27″||IPS||2560×1440||170Hz||48-170Hz|
|Acer X34 GS||34″||IPS||3440×1440||180Hz||50-180Hz|
|ASUS PG329||32″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||50-165 Hz|
|IO DATA GC271HXB||27″||TN||1920×1080||165 Hz||50-165 Hz|
|Lenovo Y25-25||25″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|Acer CP3271U V||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|MSI MAG274QRF||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|Xiaomi Mi 245 HF||24.5″||IPS||1920×1080||144 Hz||50-144 Hz|
|Acer XB253QGP||24.5″||IPS||1920×1080||144 Hz||50-144 Hz|
|Acer XB273 GZ||27″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|Acer XV272 S||27″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|ASUS VG279QR||27″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||50-165 Hz|
|Lenovo G27Q-20||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|LG 27GP950||27″||IPS||3840×2160||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|MSI G273Q||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||60-165 Hz|
|MSI MAG274||27″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||60-165 Hz|
|Philips 275M8RZ||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||60-165 Hz|
|See Sonic XG270Q||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||50-165 Hz|
|LG 34GN73A||34″||IPS||2560 x 1080||144 Hz||50-144 Hz|
|LG 27GN600||27″||IPS||1920×1080||144 Hz||60-144 Hz|
|LG 27GN800||27″||IPS||2560×1440||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|LG 27GL83A||27″||IPS||2560×1440||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|Gigabyte FI27Q-X||27″||IPS||2560×1440||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|Gigabyte FI25F||25″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|HP Omen 27i||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||50-165 Hz|
|GC252UX I / O data||25″||TN||1920×1080||240Hz||55-240 Hz|
|Acer XV242Y P||24″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|Acer XB273U NV||27″||IPS||2560×1440||170Hz||48-170Hz|
|Acer XB323U GX||32″||IPS||2560×1440||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|Acer XB253Q GW||25″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||50-240 Hz|
|AOC AG273FZE||27″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|AOC AG273QXP / AG273QCX||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|AOC Q27G2S||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|ASUS VG27AQ1A||27″||IPS||2560×1440||144 Hz||50-144 Hz|
|ASUS VG279QL1A||27″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|ASUS PG43U||43″||VA||3840×2160||120 Hz||48-120 Hz|
|MSI MAG301RF||thirty”||IPS||2560 x 1080||200Hz||60-200Hz|
|AOC 24G 2Z / 2ZU / 2ZE||24″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|AOC AG254FZ||25″||IPS||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|AOC AG274FG8R4+||27″||IPS||1920×1080||260 Hz||48-260Hz|
|AOC AG274US4R6B||27″||IPS||3840×2160||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|AOC AG274UXP||27″||IPS||3840×2160||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|ASUS VG28UQL1A||28″||IPS||3840×2160||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|ASUS VG258QM||25″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|ASUS PG32UQ||32′||IPS||3840×2160||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|ASUS XG16A||16″||IPS||1920×1080||144 Hz||60-144 Hz|
|ASUS XG349C||34″||IPS||3440×1440||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|Dell S2522HG||25″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|EVE Spectrum ES07D03||27″||IPS||3840×2160||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|HP OMEN 25i||25″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||60-165 Hz|
|IO DATA GC272HXD||27″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||60-165 Hz|
|IO DATA GC243HXD||24″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||60-165 Hz|
|IO DATA GCQ321HXD||32′||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||59-165 Hz|
|Lenovo G24-20||24″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||50-165 Hz|
|LG 32GN650 / 32GN63T||32′||IPS||2560×1440||144 Hz||60-144 Hz|
|LG 32GP850 / 32GP83B||32′||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||60-165 Hz|
|LG 27GP850 / 27GP83B||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||60-165 Hz|
|MSI MAG321QR||32′||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|MSI G251F||25″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|MSI MAG274R||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||60-165 Hz|
|Philips 279M1RV||27″||IPS||3840×2160||144 Hz||60-144 Hz|
|Samsung LS28AG700N||28″||IPS||3840×2160||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|Samsung Odyssey 27 G50A / G52A||27″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|See Sonic XG250||25″||IPS||1920×1080||240Hz||48-240 Hz|
|See Sonic XG320Q||32′||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|Xiaomi Mi 245 HF1||25″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||50-165 Hz|
|AOC 24G2||24″||IPS||1920×1080||144 Hz||48-144 Hz|
|ASUS XG27AQM||27″||IPS||2560×1440||270 Hz||60-270 Hz|
|ASUS XG249CM||24″||IPS||1920×1080||270 Hz||48-270 Hz|
|MSI MPG321QRF-QD||32″||IPS||2560×1440||175 Hz||60-175Hz|
|ASUS XG27UQR||27″||IPS||3840×2160||144 Hz||60-144 Hz|
|Dell G2722HS||27″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|Dell G3223D||32″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|Dell G2422HS||24″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||48-165 Hz|
|LG 32GP750||32″||IPS||2560×1440||165 Hz||60-165 Hz|
|MSI G273||27″||IPS||1920×1080||165 Hz||60-165 Hz|
Other FreeSync monitors may also support VRR with NVIDIA cards, however, in this case the quality of performance is not guaranteed – they may work as well, not at all, or have some problems.
How does G-SYNC act at the refresh rate ceiling of the monitor?
For example) that G-SYNC monitors behave like regular VSync monitors when they reach this ceiling. The game queues frames, which causes a similar delay as VSync enabled. Either way, the interaction with the game world was very smooth for us on the G-SYNC models we tested even with this ceiling – just be aware of the possibility of a little extra lag if you’re one of those people who swear VSync is turned off to minimize delays. For this reason, some advise you to turn off VSync and instead use a FPS cap for a few frames below the ceiling (e.g. 141 FPS for a 144Hz monitor) so that G-SYNC is always active but VSync doesn’t start interacting with the game world was very fluid for us on G-SYNC models,which we even tested with this ceiling – just be aware of the possibility of a little extra delay if you are one of those people who swear by VSync turned off for the minimum delay. For this reason, some advise you to turn off VSync and instead use a FPS cap of a few below the ceiling (e.g. 141 FPS for a 144Hz monitor) so that G-SYNC is always active but VSync won’t start.
When it was first released, the operating level was 30Hz, below which the monitor would stick to a multiple of its refresh rate. This essentially eliminates stuttering and tearing as effectively as a situation with the exact refresh rate = frame rate. So if the game was running at 20fps, the monitor would set itself to 40Hz to avoid stuttering or tearing, rather than staying at 30Hz or its maximum static refresh rate. Nvidia now advertises the performance of a “1Hz” floor, and in our experience the technology works flawlessly in the advertised area. This is also confirmed in the EDID (Extended Display Identification) of the monitors containing the module, which now report a minimum of “1 Hz” for “Vertical Scan Range”.However, as we check in reviews where this technology is used, low framerates equals low framerates, regardless of the technology.
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What about motion blur?
While G-SYNC technology can provide a smoother experience by eliminating image tearing, reducing stuttering and lagging, it does not affect motion blur caused by our eye movement or monitor pixel responses. Many gamers are very excited about the alternative technology that fills this gap, LightBoost, and in particular the motion blur reduction that its forced activation can bring to 2D rather than 3D viewing. When asked if the technology could be used with LightBoost, and especially with 2D forced activation, said Andrew Burnes of Nvidia;
“We have a better low-persistence mode that should outperform this unofficial implementation and, importantly, will be available on every G-SYNC monitor. Details will be available at a later date.”.
This feature is called ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur) and can be activated on most new “Gd up” monitors. Importantly, it currently cannot be activated at the same time as G-SYNC. It is worth remembering that the main operating mode is suitable for variable frame rates, while ULMB is suitable for a constant frame rate at the upper end of the supported refresh rates of the monitor. This is an example of strobe lighting technology.
So the first G-SYNC Ultimate gaming monitors, such as the Acer X35 and ASUS PG27UQ, offered a higher level visual experience thanks to high 1000 nits peak brightness and multi-zone backlight (with full local matrix) darkening).
How does FreeSync differ from G-Sync?
FreeSync is AMD VRR technology, but it’s also open source. FreeSync serves as the opposite of G-Sync, allowing people who use non-Nvidia hardware to use VRR technology on their computers. The main difference to G-Sync is that you can use FreeSync over HDMI and DisplayPort, unlike G-Sync which is DisplayPort only.
At CES 2019, Nvidia announced that it would support monitors with FreeSync to keep their VRR technologies the same on many selected monitors. These monitors are listed on the Nvidia official website as G-Sync compatible.
How do you turn on G-Sync?
- Right click on the desktop.
- Select the Nvidia Control Panel.
- This will open a window with a list of settings and options on the left.
Using the G-Sync monitor without activating G-Sync happens fairly often, but it’s an easy fix that can improve gameplay by removing visual artifacts. VRR technology is reaching more and more people every day, and the Xbox series introduces it to audiences outside of PC games.
NVIDIA G-Sync works with any of the company’s best graphics cards, but if you’re looking for great hardware to get the most out of it, these are some of our favorites.
LG UltraGear 27GL850-B
With a 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, 1440p resolution and G-Sync, you’ll love the LG UltraGear 27GL850-B.
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A G-SYNC compatible monitor is essentially a FreeSync or “Adaptive-Sync” monitor that has been verified by NVIDIA to function without any problems when using compatible cards.
What is G-Sync technology?
Before the advent of this technology in 2013, and when it was done by adding a physical module to monitors that are no longer needed today, the effects of stuttering, flickering, and tearing were very common (and unpleasant) in games. G-Sync technology enables the screen’s refresh rate to be synchronized with the frame rate that the GPU can generate, so they work together to produce much smoother images.
These common and common issues could only be solved by enabling V-Sync in games, and only if the GPU was able to generate as much FPS as Hz the monitor had all the time, because right now if the values they were not the same, we had the same problem again. G-Sync was the first real solution to this problem, but due to the need to add a physical module to monitors or laptops in order to synchronize FPS with the screen frequency, costs increased.
Everything has changed these days, and while monitors still use the physical module in some cases, its cost is not as high as it was when the technology was launched. In addition, many monitors now support G-Sync even without this module and allow for an almost as good gaming experience. Finally, NVIDIA has added the Ultimate category to this technology for monitors that meet a number of company specific requirements and standards and that they believe provide the best possible gaming experience.
Differences between G-Sync, G-Sync Ultimate and G-Sync compatible
Next, we’ll look at our own definition of these three levels from NVIDIA:
- G-Sync Compatible: They do not use NVIDIA CPUs but are brand approved to give you a good and easy variable refresh experience as well as a gaming experience without image fragmentation or flicker.
- G-Sync: Equipped with NVIDIA G-Sync processor, which provides a fantastic experience without image fragmentation, flickering or input lag. Both amateurs and pro gamers can count on a wide range of Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Variable Clip for a clear picture and unique gaming experience.
- G-Sync Ultimate: Includes the best NVIDIA G-Sync processors for the best gaming experience; offers HDR, stunning contrast, cinema-grade colors and ultra-low-latency gameplay.
Therefore, the main difference of G-Sync Compatible with the other two categories is precisely that the monitor does not contain an NVIDIA hardware module to be able to offer a variable refresh rate, but nonetheless these monitors have been verified by the brand and you will be able to enjoy VRR without any problems, even by configuring them using the NVIDIA control panel because, as we said, they have been tested and approved by the brand.
On the other hand, we have “normal” G-Sync monitors, which have also been approved by NVIDIA, but in this case integrate the brand’s CPU, and have been certified in more than 300 tests (tests you can say the brand has not revealed what they there are).
Finally, we have G-Sync Ultimate, the brand’s top category, which for now is reserved only for high-end monitors. It includes an NVIDIA processor and these are of course guaranteed, validated and certified in the previous category’s 300 tests, and the difference is essentially that these monitors also need to be HDR compatible.
You won’t pay much more for a FreeSync monitor. Unlike G-Sync, the manufacturer does not charge any fee for its inclusion. FreeSync in the mid-hundreds often comes with a 1440p display and 144Hz refresh rate (where their G-Sync counterparts may not be), and monitors without these features can cost as much as $ 160.
Differences between G-Sync, G-Sync Ultimate and compatible G-Sync
Next, we’ll look at the definition of these three levels that NVIDIA itself creates:
- G-Sync Compatible: They don’t use NVIDIA CPUs, but are brand-approved to provide good and easy variable refresh as well as a gaming experience without image fragmentation or flicker.
- G-Sync: Equipped with NVIDIA G-Sync processor, which provides a great experience without image fragmentation, flickering or input lag. Amateur and professional gamers can count on a wide range of variable refresh rates (VRR) and Variable Overdrive to ensure a flawless picture and unique gaming experience.
- G-Sync Ultimate: Includes the best NVIDIA G-Sync processors for the best gaming experience; features HDR, impressive contrast, cinema-grade colors and ultra-low-latency gameplay.
Therefore, the main difference of G-Sync’s compatibility with the other two categories is precisely that the monitor does not include an NVIDIA hardware module to be able to offer a variable refresh rate, but nonetheless these monitors have been verified by the brand and you can enjoy VRR without any problems, even configuring them using the NVIDIA control panel because, as we said, they have been tested and approved by the brand.
On the other hand, we have “normal” G-Sync monitors, which have also been approved by NVIDIA, but in this case contain a brand-name processor and, moreover, have been certified in over 300 tests (tests that can all be said that the brand did not reveal what they were there are).
Finally, we have G-Sync Ultimate, the brand’s top category, which for now is reserved only for high-end monitors. It includes an NVIDIA processor and of course they are guaranteed, verified and certified in 300 tests of the previous category and the difference is basically that these monitors must necessarily be HDR compatible as well.
Is it worth paying more for the Ultimate category?
According to NVIDIA, only G-Sync Ultimate certified monitors offer the best gaming experience, although it’s true that by their own standards the only difference is that they offer HDR. However, and this is more a matter for monitor manufacturers than NVIDIA, this certification seems to be reserved only for high-end monitors and not only because they include HDR, but because they are the highest resolution, largest format, and of course with higher frequencies refresh rates that reach 360 Hz today.
Therefore, it is not worth paying more for a monitor with the G-Sync Ultimate category, in fact you will not pay more for it, but because its technical specifications are always higher than those integrated with monitors with a simple G-Sync certification. For example, today you have a Dell S2721DGFA monitor which has 1440p resolution, Nano IPS panel, 165Hz refresh rate with 1ms response time and HDR10 with maximum brightness of 400 nits, the whole monitor with high performance benefits but has the simple G-Sync category, and not Ultimate just because the manufacturer wanted it so. This is how we want to tell you that since the monitor has G-Sync and HDR, it will not be certified simple and straightforward.