Mar 16, 2016

Nvidia G-Sync Explained


In the past couple of years, companies and manufactures alike have strived to provide the ultimate experience for pc gamers, making it more enjoyable. One of the latest addition is Nvidia G-Sync.

G-sync is a hardware solution provided by Nvidia which allows the refresh rate of the monitor to be varied in-order to eliminate any signs of tearing and stuttering. Resulting in a much smoother gameplay.


Nvidia G-Sync, why do we need it?

Most monitors now-a-days have fixed refresh rate of 60Hz although there are gaming monitors with refresh rates of 120Hz, 140Hz and even 240Hz (Eizo FG2421).On the other hand GPUs are rendering frames as quickly as possible and transferring them to the display unit whenever they’re done.


Nvidia G-Sync_tearing

Nvidia G-Sync_tearing2

If the GPU sends a new frame when the display is in the middle of a refresh, multiple frames are drawn at same time on to the screen, causing tearing. In order to nullify this V-sync is enabled, which simply allows the display and the GPU to be in sync.


Nvidia G-Sync_stutter
With V-sync, the GPU will only send newly rendered frames when the display has completed its refresh period. The downside is that when frame-rate isn’t perfectly synced with the refresh rate of the display (fps drops below 60) there are high chances of stuttering; a frame might be repeated twice while display waits for a newly rendered one. Also with a high-end GPU, input lag can also occur as it is forced to wait for the monitor to complete its refresh period.

In-order to nullify any display artifacts such as tearing and stuttering Nvidia G-sync is introduced


How does it actually work?


Nvidia G-Sync
Instead of forcing the GPU to wait for the monitor to complete its refresh period, the display is refreshed at variables rates allowing both the display and the GPU to be in perfect sync. Of course in-order to control the refresh rate, the monitor itself needed a hardware “modding” hence the Nvidia G-sync module.

Nvidia G-Sync_module

The variable blanking intervals (VBLANK) in the DisplayPort video signals is used by the G-sync module in-order to control the refresh rate of the monitor. VBLANK is the time taken by the display to shift from the current frame to next frame. This in-built delay is controlled by g-sync causing the display to “hold” the current frame until the GPU renders a new one.



Currently G-sync only works with DisplayPort 1.2, no support for HDMI/DVI. Works only with Nvidia graphic cards, GTX 650ti or higher. And also the game must be running in full-screen mode or else it will disable G-sync.


Availability and Pricing


A couple of Nvidia G-Sync enabled monitors were announced at CES 2014, most notably the ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q (priced at $799), a 27” panel with resolution of 2560×1440. Other monitors announced were the BenQ XL24S20G and XL2720G, and Philips 272G5DYEB ($649). Currently a DIY G-Sync kit is also available for the ASUS VG24QE. In the near future we could see 4k Nvidia G-Sync enabled monitors, since,  Nvidia did show off an ASUS 4k monitor modded with G-Sync.



It’s good to see that companies like Nvidia is approaching issues affecting PC gaming and providing reliable solutions for it. I hope more companies follow Nvidia’s footsteps in bringing a better experience for gamers and causal user alike.


Pictures and sources : Nvidia Geforce

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