Screen tearing is removed by V-Sync, however a trade-off is that input lag is added and your FPS rate is constrained to the maximum refresh rate of the display. But, What is V-Sync? and is it worth it?
Screen tearing is a problem that is combated via a technique called vertical synchronization, or V-Sync. In essence, this problem arises when your graphics card generates more frames than your monitor is able to show on the screen.
What Is V-SYNC?
The GPU’s frame rate is synchronized with the maximum refresh rate of the monitor via V-SYNC (vertical synchronization). If you frequently have screen tearing while playing video games and can keep your frame rate above or at the same level as the maximum refresh rate of your display, you should activate it.
It is advised to disable it for competitive FPS games because V-SYNC reduces input lag and caps your frame rate. It ultimately comes down to personal preference, your PC setup, and the game you are playing.
You may have noticed the V-SYNC option in the settings menu of a video game or the drivers for your graphics card and questioned whether to enable it or disable it as well as what it accomplishes.
In order to prevent screen tearing, which happens when your FPS (Frames Per Second) exceeds your monitor’s maximum refresh rate, V-SYNC synchronizes your graphics card’s frame rate with the monitor’s refresh rate.
You should disable V-SYNC if your frame rate is already primarily below the maximum refresh rate of your monitor because it causes input lag and can reduce your FPS.
How Does V-SYNC Work?
When V-SYNC is turned on, your GPU will no longer send as many frames as possible to your monitor; instead, it will send each frame only when it is ready to show it.
So, if you have a 60Hz monitor, you can only achieve 60FPS at most, but there won’t be any screen tearing.
Input lag is introduced even though screen tearing is eliminated since your graphics card is constrained and forced to wait by your monitor.
Additionally, your GPU will display the last complete frame, which results in screen stutter, if it is unable to render all the necessary frames in time.
Remember that screen tearing will be less evident the higher your monitor’s refresh rate is. Since screen tearing is typically less of an issue than the additional input lag, most competitive FPS gamers on monitors with a refresh rate of 144Hz or higher do not enable V-SYNC.
Overall, certain individuals are more sensitive to input lag, whilst other individuals find screen tearing to be a bigger problem.
Play around with both V-SYNC On and V-SYNC Off to determine which setting is most effective for you.
What Is NVIDIA Adaptive V-SYNC And How To Turn It On?
If your card is capable of it, you can enable Adaptive VSync in the NVIDIA driver settings for some NVIDIA graphics cards (GTX 650 or newer cards).
When your frame rate reaches the maximum refresh rate of the monitor or above, NVIDIA Adaptive V-SYNC (not to be confused with Adaptive-Sync) will automatically enable V-SYNC. When it reaches the minimum refresh rate, it will automatically disable V-SYNC.
Fast Sync and Enhanced Sync are also supported by newer graphics cards (NVIDIA GTX 900-series and AMD HD 7000 or newer).
To prevent tearing at a lower input latency cost than V-SYNC, these two methods provide an unrestricted frame rate and show the most recent full frame that has been finished. The input lag has risen anyway.
Use a gaming monitor with a variable refresh rate technology, like AMD FreeSync or NVIDIA G-SYNC, to get rid of screen tearing and stuttering without experiencing a substantial input lag penalty.
In the first place, we must acknowledge that VSync was the original answer. It was a practical solution at the time and persisted in graphics settings for the following ten years.
While we may applaud VSync for its success, we also have to acknowledge that it has essentially outlived its usefulness and that there are now better options. Let’s see which one is the most effective right now.
The first is AdaptiveSync, which is distinct from NVIDIA’s Adaptive VSync (note the additional “V”). The only technology mentioned here that wasn’t created by either AMD or NVIDIA is adaptive sync. It was created by VESA, the group in charge of creating the DisplayPort standard, which is now extensively used.
To clear up any misunderstanding, both AMD and NVIDIA are VESA members, but they weren’t involved in the design. Additionally, AdaptiveSync is a free standard, making it accessible to all VESA members. It was used by AMD and NVIDIA to create their own brand-specific screen-tearing remedies.
This standard’s ability to eliminate stuttering when the FPS falls below the refresh rate of the monitor is probably its strongest point. Because of how excellent it is, there may appear to be more frames than there actually are.
By allowing a picture to be displayed as soon as it has finished rendering while keeping the preceding image up in the interim, AdaptiveSync is able to accomplish this. What distinguishes that from VSync?
Really, it’s fairly easy. With AdaptiveSync, the monitor’s refresh rate is altered and it is made to wait till the frame is prepared before loading it. For help visualizing this, take a look at the illustration below.
NVIDIA’s FastSync is an improvement on its earlier Adaptive VSync, which was viewed as a bit of a muddle. FastSync is NVIDIA’s version of AdaptiveSync. FastSync was NVIDIA’s immediate response to its own failure as the industry leader it is.
FastSync makes an effort to accomplish what the AdaptiveSync standard does, but it encounters various problems that make stuttering and chopping more obvious. It serves its purpose, but we can only advise using it if you play online games.
It’s important to note that, similar to the technology it’s attempting to imitate, it’s still a superior option than VSync.
This is AMD’s attempt to address the vertical synchronization problems, whereas NVIDIA made an attempt in the preceding post.
Not much else can be said about how AMD handled this. FastSync and Enhanced Sync are similar in many ways, although Enhanced Sync is heavily branded with AMD’s logo.
The same intermittent stuttering that is present with FastSync is also audible here. Although these technologies were created to stop stuttering, they were only partially successful. Nevertheless, taking into account their separate release dates, they were both excellent tries. Overall, Enhanced Sync is successful in reducing the amount of VSync stuttering.
Now we use gas to cook. We’re delighted to report that G-Sync, NVIDIA’s variable refresh rate solution for screen tearing, operates flawlessly.
Being the first business to introduce a ground-breaking product offers advantages for NVIDIA. NVIDIA was adamant about making the most of this and wanted to leave no money on the table.
Yes, despite the fact that G-Sync is the ideal remedy for screen tearing, it does have a cost.
NVIDIA had to create a module that is built right into the monitors in order to find a solution to the issue of changing the refresh rate. This module may dynamically alter the refresh rate of the monitor to correspond to the frames generated by the GPU when used with the software solution.
Manufacturers of monitors are required to install the module as part of this wonderful and creative solution. NVIDIA decided to charge for it as a result, adding to the cost for consumers.
The main factor making G-Sync superior than VSync is that it does away with input lag. The primary issue that existed before VSync was created is now history.
This is the most recent G-Sync product, and it can now partially justify the price increase. In order to apply their G-Sync module, NVIDIA made sure this was obvious and required a thorough and demanding inspection to be passed by monitor manufacturers.
The explanation is straightforward: G-Sync Ultimate offers a lot of value. The IPS screen can now produce HDR images with more precision since NVIDIA was able to add 152 backlight zones.
This is AMD’s approach of preventing screen tearing, as you would have predicted. However, AMD made the decision to make its module fully free; hence, FreeSync.
It has probably two justifications. The first company to enter the market was NVIDIA, while AMD came in second. With NVIDIA also opting to charge for their product, AMD may have an advantage over its rivals by offering a free alternative.
Without a doubt, FreeSync is superior to G-Sync in every way, and the fact that it is free makes it a more compelling choice. But, as is also the case here, things aren’t always so straightforward.
To maintain the exclusivity of its cards, NVIDIA charges monitor manufacturers for the use of its G-Sync module. Only NVIDIA GPUs are compatible with G-Sync monitors.
Although it might seem like AMD would follow suit, FreeSync monitors can really be used with both AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards. The fact that not all FreeSync monitors are compatible with NVIDIA cards adds another caution to the situation.
When NVIDIA shockingly revealed that their G-Sync cards would support FreeSync monitors in 2019, the world was taken aback. Unsurprisingly, there are strict requirements to be satisfied, but the best choice right now is a FreeSync monitor.
FreeSync technology lessens the annoying input latency, similar to G-Sync technology. AMD may also take pride in FreeSync’s decreased flicker, which is really useful during those extended gaming sessions.
With FreeSync Premium, AMD made an effort to enhance their FreeSync concept, and we can say that they did an extremely outstanding job.
The Low Framerate Compensation is the most notable change that Premium delivers. This invention doubles the frame rate and uses it as the monitor’s refresh rate in response to the frame rate falling below the monitor’s acceptable range. The frame rate will be decreased as a result, but it will be constant and the screen tearing will be gone.
FreeSync Premium Pro
Premium Pro is another update to the FreeSync technology, as its name suggests. Here, it attempts to preserve stability while AMD’s ray-tracing-capable cards are made available.
Similar to G-Sync Ultimate, Premium Pro seeks to keep the monitor’s refresh rate at the right level so that HDR images created by the newest graphics cards can be displayed.
Trick for V-SYNC Input Lag
Using RTSS (Rivatuner Statistics Server), you can limit your frame rate to your monitor’s maximum refresh rate minus 0.01 to drastically eliminate the extra input lag of V-SYNC.
You’ll need to know your monitor’s precise fractional refresh rate, which you can get from this page.
Limit the frame rate in RTSS to 143.982 if, for example, the refresh rate of your monitor is 143.992 Hz (143.992 – 0.01).
Should You Use V-Sync?
The most straightforward response would be “yes,” you should utilize VSync, given what has been discussed thus far. The benefits are obvious, but the drawbacks are less likely to cause you trouble.
The more subtle response, though, is that VSync should only be used in the most dire situations. There are simpler and better options available, which is the cause of this.
Since VSync technology is relatively primitive, as was previously said, it didn’t take long for other GPU industry titans to offer their own alternatives.
Reasons Not to Use V-Sync
VSync just isn’t the best option, as stated. The worst aspect is that no gamer wants to experience input lag, which is a problem.
Depending on the type of graphics card you have, we would advise either G-Sync or FreeSync if they are options. As previously said, FreeSync currently seems to be a superior option as even NVIDIA has begun to use it.
It’s vital to note that you must choose VSync, which should minimize screen tearing regardless, if your monitor is not G-Sync or FreeSync compatible.