What is G-Sync?

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What is G-Sync


G-Sync is a proprietary adaptive sync technology made by Nvidia. It aims to give gamers a smoother gameplay experience by matching a monitor’s refresh rate with the frame rate that the GPU is pushing out, thus eliminating screen stuttering or tearing. It is currently available on all (low-)mid to high tier GTX graphics cards (GTX 650Ti and newer), though gaming monitors don’t come standard with this technology, as the cost of implementing G-Sync in a monitor raises the price. If you wish to use G-Sync, make sure to double check if your monitor is compatible.

G-Sync is not to be confused with V-Sync, which is an option in many games and is not a technology developed by Nvidia.

Intro


Regular (i.e. ‘non G-Sync compatible) monitors refresh the image on the screen at a fixed rate (i.e. their ‘refresh rate’). If you’ve got a 100Hz monitor it’ll be refreshing the screen 100 times per second. The framerate that your GPU puts out can vary though, depending on many factors (such as how much action is on screen, the power of said graphics card, …) and that isn’t ideal to get a smooth looking game.

If your PC (and thus, more importantly; your GPU) isn’t powerful enough to render enough frames to match your monitor’s refresh rate it will cause the image on your screen to stutter. This isn’t a massive issue in and of itself, but it’s not the most pleasant thing to look at and can hamper performance in, for example, multiplayer games. If your system is rendering more frames than what your monitor can display it can cause screen tearing (see the image above). This, again, isn’t a major issue in and of itself (some people don’t really mind stuttering or tearing, as long as it isn’t overdone) but it’s not nice to look at and can cause ingame performance issues.



G-Sync logo

How G-Sync Comes In


G-Sync, when used correctly, eliminates screen tearing and screen stuttering by changing the monitor’s refresh rate (this is why you need a G-Sync compatible monitor and not just any monitor) to match the amount of frames the GPU is pushing at all times. This ensures that the GPU is never pushing out less frames than what the display is rendering, nor will it push out more frames than what the display is capable of. Note that G-Sync will cease to work properly if the framerate drops below 30 FPS.

G-Sync does what it promises to do expertly, however it is a proprietary technology, meaning that you have to invest in a monitor with a G-Sync module (which will cost extra) and you will need an Nvidia graphics card. It is possible to use G-Sync monitors with AMD cards, but the framerate will not be synchronised, thus giving on one the major advantages of getting a G-Sync compatible monitor.

If you are willing to invest in a G-Sync monitor and you want to play your games without suffering from any screen tearing or stuttering then G-Sync can be the answer to your problems, provided you’re willing to pay a bit more.



G-Sync

10 Comments on “What is G-Sync?”

    1. Most pros don’t use G-Sync since it can cause input lag, however this isn’t always the case so it depends on what you prefer.

  1. the input delay is the same as without g-sync and even if some games are worse with sync cap your fps 3-10 below your monitors refresh rate and makes it better input delay or the same. Blur Busters did a whole article on this. Obviously DYAC is a way better technology because its not gpu bound but don’t say it adds input delay when that isn’t always true. Thats why Tfue and other big pros have started using it.

    1. Well some prefer the feel of G-Sync while others prefer the feel of uncapped no sync (as is mentioned in the linked article) and while it’s true that it doesn’t always introduce input lag we notice that most err on the side of caution and don’t enable it. That said you’re definitely right that it doesn’t cause input lag by default, we’ve edited our previous comment to reflect this.

    1. Some do and some don’t. It really depends on their system and their preferences so regrettably we can’t give you a clear cut answer here.

  2. Hey I was about to buy the BenQ XL2411P but just because it doesn’t include Gsync, I started hesitating. I have an I7-10700K (but I think I will upgrade for 5000 series (ryzen 9 5900x)) and I am gonna buy the rtx 3070. My question is; should I buy the monitor even if it doesn’t have a framsync. For those who are questioning about how I got a 3500$CAD gaming pc with a low-end monitor, it’s because I didn’t really counted the monitor in the budget so that’s why. Also I was questioning myself about if having a high end gaming pc with a low-end monitor (XL2411P) is not really good. Is my monitor wasting the performance of my rig.

    1. If you can we’d suggest saving up a bit for a 240Hz monitor if you’re into competitive gaming. 240Hz is or is becoming the standard for pretty much all games that we analyze so in the long run you’re better off with that one. Most of us don’t really feel as if we need G-Sync with a high refresh rate monitor for the games that we play (so mostly competitive shooters with the graphics turned down a bit to maximize performance) but if you want a monitor with G-Sync you can always go for a PG258Q or the AW2518H or F.

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