My Experience with FreeSync vs. G-Sync

Armenius

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I see many users complaining about flickering when GSYNC is enabled.
I have a GSYNC monitor but I can't try it because now I have a GTX580 video card,
I sold my old GTX980Ti SLI to buy the RTX2080Ti and I'm driving the PC with the good old 580 now.

Is flickering something that I should worry about? If yes, I will return my Acer XB271HK right now.
Some people are reporting flickering issues with gen 1 and gen 2 G-Sync with the latest version of Windows, yes. For what it's worth I have no issues on my PG27UQ with driver 416.16 and Windows 10 1803. NVIDIA representative Manuel Guzman on the official GeForce forums says the driver team is continuing to investigate. It seems like there are always new issues that crop up with each new WDDM version, as Microsoft continues to wrestle control away from hardware vendors.
 

VanGoghComplex

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I see many users complaining about flickering when GSYNC is enabled.
I have a GSYNC monitor but I can't try it because now I have a GTX580 video card,
I sold my old GTX980Ti SLI to buy the RTX2080Ti and I'm driving the PC with the good old 580 now.

Is flickering something that I should worry about? If yes, I will return my Acer XB271HK right now.
It's user error. Granted, it's hard to blame on the user when getting it to work right takes so much unintuitive configuration, but the short answer is no: Gsync does not cause flicker. Keep your monitor - you'll enjoy it.
 

sblantipodi

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It's user error. Granted, it's hard to blame on the user when getting it to work right takes so much unintuitive configuration, but the short answer is no: Gsync does not cause flicker. Keep your monitor - you'll enjoy it.
thanks for the answer.
can you explain me how a dumb user with gsync enabled can have flickering just for "its own error"?
 

VanGoghComplex

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thanks for the answer.
can you explain me how a dumb user with gsync enabled can have flickering just for "its own error"?
It's very possible to set up Gsync wrong, and the setup you'll use will vary by game. I've had flickers, screen tearing, nasty frame drips etc across several games on first startup, but after a few minutes of Google and tweaking settings I've gotten them all to work.
 

sblantipodi

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It's very possible to set up Gsync wrong, and the setup you'll use will vary by game. I've had flickers, screen tearing, nasty frame drips etc across several games on first startup, but after a few minutes of Google and tweaking settings I've gotten them all to work.
Nice. Can you teach what you learned please?
All I read from the internet is that you shkuld enable gsync, enable vsync in the Nvidia control panel and disable vsync in games.

Is there anything else that I should now?

Thanks
 

VanGoghComplex

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Nice. Can you teach what you learned please?
All I read from the internet is that you shkuld enable gsync, enable vsync in the Nvidia control panel and disable vsync in games.

Is there anything else that I should now?

Thanks
There's not really a one-size fits all deal. With some games you'll want to enable the game's vsync, with others you'll wanna disable it. With some you'll need to set up a driver profile to cap your framerate. With others you'll want the Nvidia vsync but not the game's vsync.

Sorry I can't be much more specific, but it's been months or years since I set up most of my games to run properly, and I didn't exactly document the steps. I just know it was not the same for every game.
 

noko

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There's not really a one-size fits all deal. With some games you'll want to enable the game's vsync, with others you'll wanna disable it. With some you'll need to set up a driver profile to cap your framerate. With others you'll want the Nvidia vsync but not the game's vsync.

Sorry I can't be much more specific, but it's been months or years since I set up most of my games to run properly, and I didn't exactly document the steps. I just know it was not the same for every game.
This seems not right, how would one know? I guess experimenting to get it to work the best with Gsync is needed for each title. FreeSync/2 from my experience just works, no need for Vsync, frame capping right in the drivers keeps you in the FreeSync range, set it and forget about it.
 

AlexisRO

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I see many users complaining about flickering when GSYNC is enabled.
I have a GSYNC monitor but I can't try it because now I have a GTX580 video card,
I sold my old GTX980Ti SLI to buy the RTX2080Ti and I'm driving the PC with the good old 580 now.

Is flickering something that I should worry about? If yes, I will return my Acer XB271HK right now.
I've got the Acer XB271HU and haven't had any flickering issues. My only encountered issue was that after a windows update GSYNC wasn't working in full screen (yey M$?!). Took awhile for drivers to fix the mess, but of God was the screen tear terrible. You don't know how much you hate it until you've got a tear free experience.
 

VanGoghComplex

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This seems not right, how would one know? I guess experimenting to get it to work the best with Gsync is needed for each title. FreeSync/2 from my experience just works, no need for Vsync, frame capping right in the drivers keeps you in the FreeSync range, set it and forget about it.
*shrug* It is what it is, I guess. It's not literally every game that needs a special touch with Gsync, but titles before it's heyday, console ports in particular, and the odd one here or there have issues.

The Witcher 3? Deus Ex? Far Cry 4/5? Anything like that (relatively recent, made for PC) just works.
 

XoR_

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@OP
With G-Sync always use frame-rate limiter like RivaTuner Statistics Server or in-game frame rate limiter to cap below monitor refresh rate. To be one the safe side rather set limit to 3-5 frames less than refresh rate than just 2.

V-Sync OFF seems to be bad combination with G-Sync as it seems to occasionally show tearing when frame is outputted above monitor refresh which counterintuitively can happen with framerate way below refresh rate eg. in-game videos. This happens because of the timings.

Gsync + FastSync vs G-Sync + V-Sync ON: there is debate going on which is better. My own testing shows that for old DX9 games FastSync is faster, faster even than V-Sync OFF. No DX10 or DX11 games I tested behaved in this way and all these settings feel exactly the same. V-Sync ON have the advantage to never stuttering no matter if you use frame-rate limiter or not in which case when frame-rate would exceed monitor refresh rate it will be V-Synced with slightly more input lag and this covers games with unstable frame timings as well. To be 100% sure which is better we need more tests (existing ones eg. one made by BlurBusters are quite dated) but we can safely assume that for G-Sync enabling V-Sync ON is the best bet and is recommended by most users.

tl;dr:
1. Enable V-Sync ON in NV control panel and disable it in game.
2. Find in-game frame-rate limiter and set 4 frames below monitor refresh rate and if not available use RTSS and do the same.
 

sblantipodi

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tl;dr:
1. Enable V-Sync ON in NV control panel and disable it in game.
2. Find in-game frame-rate limiter and set 4 frames below monitor refresh rate and if not available use RTSS and do the same.
I don't get why limiting framerate under the monitor refresh rate is a good thing. can you explain it me please?
 

XoR_

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I don't get why limiting framerate under the monitor refresh rate is a good thing. can you explain it me please?
VRR monitor will wait for GPU to render frame and as soon as it is ready it will be transmitted to monitor at the link speed and displayed at the same speed by LCD panel.
Now this works only if your game frame rate is lower than monitors refresh rate. If you exceed it you are basically left with default V-Sync behavior or tearing if you run V-Sync OFF.

V-Sync ON makes GPU wait for monitor to finish drawing frame, then frame is sent to monitor and GPU can then start generating new frame.
It might not seem as such big of a difference at first but in practice because of how these things are implemented input lag can become significantly higher. Even with normal monitor and using V-Sync it is some times beneficial to use frame rate limiters.

To keep refresh rate constant frame rate limiter introduces wait times. Simply just not allowing frame to rendered sooner than what would exceed desired frame rate is sufficient to get lowest input lag scenario with VRR because you have monitor waiting for finished frame and as soon as frame is ready monitor will start drawing it

V-Sync in contrast will always start drawing frame when it swaps/buffers which happens when monitor starts drawing new frame. This guarantees you certain amount of input lag and the more frames you could push (eg. with V-Sync OFF) the more additional difference in input lag you compared to frame rate limiter solution.

Please also note that frame times (time it takes GPU to render frame) can vary and there can be situations when new frame is rendered quick enough that monitor does not finish drawing previous frame in which case V-Sync need to happen or tearing if V-Sync is not used. The less fps you set in frame rate limiter compared to monitor refresh rate the more you protect yourself from that happening.

Additional note: FastSync will make GPU draw frames continuously in background and just pick 'freshest' one when monitor start drawing new frame. This eliminate tearing but does not eliminate stuttering... at least on its own because with right refresh rate and frame rate limiter it is possible.

In case we use frame rate liminer and set it few frames below refresh rate and frame took less time than it took monitor to finish drawing frame FastSync will differ from V-Sync ON in that the latter will prevent GPU from being able to start generating new frame while FastSync will not. And this does not matter because frame rate limiter will always prevent it for longer than either. So no difference really. In cases frame rate cannot exceed frame rate limit set in frame rate limiter both V-Sync ON and FastSync will also behave in exactly the same way. There might be however some differences due to some internal implementations and for DX9 (and probably older) games somehow FastSync is faster and here I strongly recommend using it.
 

kamikazi

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I'm looking to get a 120+ Hz monitor and use G-Sync in the near future. Thanks for all the research guys.
 

horrorshow

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I have V-sync off in every game, G-sync on (fullscreen mode only), and use RTSS to cap it at 100 fps. - Even though the monitor itself is set to 120hz.

That seems to produce the smoothest experience for me. After much exhaustive testing over the past few weeks..
 

cybereality

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Yeah, the frame capping is essential. I didn't even know how to use it up until like 2 years ago and it makes a huge difference.
 

sblantipodi

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Had an XB271HK GSYNC monitor before and now using an XV273K GSYNC compatible monitor currently.
sincerely I see no difference between GSYNC and the current GSYNC compatible monitor apart the fact that the monitor power consumption is lower as much as the heat.

if I can, I will always choose Freesync (GSYNC compatible) monitors over the nvidia expensive GSYNC monitors.
 

janas19

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Had an XB271HK GSYNC monitor before and now using an XV273K GSYNC compatible monitor currently.
sincerely I see no difference between GSYNC and the current GSYNC compatible monitor apart the fact that the monitor power consumption is lower as much as the heat.

if I can, I will always choose Freesync (GSYNC compatible) monitors over the nvidia expensive GSYNC monitors.
I'm looking at picking up a 120hz monitor this year, and after reading through this thread, my conclusion is I'll go with FreeSync. So many complaints about GSync, it's a hassle to use, need 3rd party software, and it's more expensive? No thank you.
 

sblantipodi

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I'm looking at picking up a 120hz monitor this year, and after reading through this thread, my conclusion is I'll go with FreeSync. So many complaints about GSync, it's a hassle to use, need 3rd party software, and it's more expensive? No thank you.
if you will use the monitor with an nvidia card, be sure to get a GSYNC compatible one and you will be set.
XV273K supports Freesync Premium PRO even if it has been released before this "certification", it can do 120Hz, HDR and supports LFC.
 

Archaea

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I'm looking at picking up a 120hz monitor this year, and after reading through this thread, my conclusion is I'll go with FreeSync. So many complaints about GSync, it's a hassle to use, need 3rd party software, and it's more expensive? No thank you.
Freesync works just fine, so don’t take this to say you shouldn't. But the last hurdle for gsync was just fixed with the addition of a frame rate cap in the most recent drivers.

With that last change Nvidia is now all first party based and should potentially be a larger range (down to <30hz) than Freesync.
 

sblantipodi

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Freesync works just fine, so don’t take this to say you shouldn't. But the last hurdle for gsync was just fixed with the addition of a frame rate cap in the most recent drivers.

With that last change Nvidia is now all first party based and should potentially be a larger range (down to <30hz) than Freesync.
freesync LFC monitors have no problem with framerate range, it works perfectly in any range due to LFC.
 

Archaea

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freesync LFC monitors have no problem with framerate range, it works perfectly in any range due to LFC.
Freesync LFC is not as elegant a solution as gsyncs 1:1 matching from say 48hz (or 40hz) minimum down to gsyncs standard 30hz.


that said, ideally we wont be willfully allowing those kinds of minimums from either team before upgrading.
 

janas19

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if you will use the monitor with an nvidia card, be sure to get a GSYNC compatible one and you will be set.
XV273K supports Freesync Premium PRO even if it has been released before this "certification", it can do 120Hz, HDR and supports LFC.
Yeah thanks, I'm looking at either a GTX 1070 or a Vega 56 to match my i7-6700K and the goal is 100 FPS average in 1080p. I'm not set on team green or red, whichever offers the best performance per dollar I will go with.

The budget for a monitor is $140 - I'm not trying to spend a lot on a gaming PC. Making an effort to be budget conscious.

It seems FreeSync is the better option for me. It's gotten good reviews and I think it's a good upgrade from my 4 year old 60hz monitor.
 

sblantipodi

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Freesync LFC is not as elegant a solution as gsyncs 1:1 matching from say 48hz (or 40hz) minimum down to gsyncs standard 30hz.


that said, ideally we wont be willfully allowing those kinds of minimums from either team before upgrading.
elegant or not it works well as GSYNC 1:1, had all GSYNC monitors in the past years and now a Freesync LFC and it works as good as GSYNC.
 

noko

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Just be aware using a Nvidia card on a non compatible Freesync monitor. My 1080Ti's and 4K Freesync monitor at times good other times it is a stutter feast with Gsync on. With every AMD card, Nano, Vega 64LC, Vega FE and 5700XT, this monitor works flawless, up to its potential that is with Freesync. Plus SLI and Freesync on this monitor is plainly a no go. So if buying a new monitor, make sure it is Gsync compatible if your going to keep it a long time and will buy either AMD or Nvidia GPU in the future.

Basically AMD drivers support better a much wider range of VRR Freesync monitors than Nvidia.
 

reaper12

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Freesync LFC is not as elegant a solution as gsyncs 1:1 matching from say 48hz (or 40hz) minimum down to gsyncs standard 30hz.


that said, ideally we wont be willfully allowing those kinds of minimums from either team before upgrading.
Not that it really matters because if you are do a lot of gaming under 40fps then it's time to upgrade your system, but, Gsync uses frame doubling just like Freesync does.

Gsync isn't 1 to 1 down to 30Hz, it starts frame doubling at around 38fps. For freesync, LFC kicks in as soon as you do under the minimum refresh rate of the monitor. So for Freesync, if your monitor has a 30 to 144Hz range, Freesync will sync right down to 30Hz and only use LFC if it drops under 30fps.
 
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