No one wants to see distorted images when watching movies or playing video games.
Visual artifacts can be very annoying, and one of the most common artifacts that can ruin your gaming experience is screen tearing.
Screen tearing is caused by a mismatch between your monitor’s refresh rate and the GPU’s FPS (Frame rate per second).
Fortunately, visual-enhancement technologies have been developed to get rid of visual artifacts. V-Sync and G-Sync are the most common visual-enhancement technologies that promote a flawless visual experience.
But how do V-Sync compare to G-Sync, and are they worth using?
What is V-Sync (Vertical Synchronization)?
Vertical Sync or V-Sync is a graphics technology that syncs your gaming monitor’s refresh rate with the frame rate of a game. This tech is a way of dealing with screen tearing, which occurs when the screen displays sections of multiple frames in one go. Tearing occurs when your monitor’s refresh rate doesn’t sync with the FPS.
Although screen tearing can occur at any time, it’s most prevalent during fast motion, especially when the frame rates change dramatically and the monitor can’t keep up or when your game runs at a higher frame rate than your monitor can support. When this occurs, the lines will not line up correctly, thus making a high-end game look ugly and reducing immersion.
Fortunately, V-Sync alleviates this by limiting the frame rate output by the GPU to the monitor’s refresh rate, making it easier to avoid higher frames per second than your monitor can handle. This is achieved by preventing the GPU from executing anything to the display memory until the monitor concludes the current refresh cycle.
With a combination of page flipping and double buffering, V-Sync syncs the drawing of frames onto the display only when it completes a refresh cycle. Therefore, you won’t see screen tearing when V-Sync is turned on.
Pros of V-Sync
As stated previously, V-Sync is worth it if you’ve issues with screen tearing. This will bring down your GPU to the same level as the monitor and allow them to work in unison, thus eliminating screen tearing. It also comes in handy when your graphics processor overpowers the graphical demand.
Since graphics cards go as fast as they can, rendering old scenes may lead to very high frame rates. This can make your graphics processor overheat as it outputs frames at a very fast rate. Turning on V-Sync caps the fps to your monitor’s refresh rate and reduces strain on the graphics processor.
Cons of V-Sync
Since V-Sync makes frames wait until the monitor is ready, this can lead to various issues. You may notice that your outputs, like mouse clicks and key-presses, are slightly delayed. This is quite frustrating when playing games that need reflex and snap reactions.
Should you turn V-Sync on or off?
V-Sync is a great tool when it functions properly. It doesn’t only prevent screen tearing, but it also stops your GPU from overworking. Proprietary alternatives like AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync are also good and arguably better than traditional V-Sync. However, you may experience dropped frame rates and input lag if V-Sync isn’t compatible with what you’re doing on your PC.
If you’re having issues with screen tearing and want to end it, you should turn on V-Sync. You should turn off V-Sync if you notice dropped frames and severe input lag. However, in most cases, V-Sync won’t have issues.
How to enable V-Sync
V-Sync is compatible with most displays and monitors, provided you have a graphics card that supports the feature. Here’s how to enable V-Sync on your PC.
- Click the Start button and go to Nvidia Control Panel.
- Tap Manage 3D Settings and go to Vertical Sync in the Global Setting tab.
- Select On from the menu to enable V-Sync.
What is Nvidia G-Sync?
Although Nvidia has powerful GPUs, their performance won’t be fully optimized once you enable V-Sync. Therefore, Nvidia invented a hardware-based syncing tech that eliminates screen tearing and controls all the issues related to V-Sync.
G-Sync is a versatile tool that adjusts your monitor’s refresh rate to support the frames thrown by the GPU regardless of the speed.
Pros of G-Sync
G-Sync is a hardware-based syncing technology that helps eliminate screen tearing and shuttering. With a G-Sync monitor, you’re guaranteed smooth motion when gaming, even at high refresh rates.
G-Sync display with HDR display provides intense brightness to give you superior image quality. Additionally, games feel more stable when using G-Sync by offering ultra-low motion blur for an immersive viewing experience.
Cons of G-Sync
- Compatibility: If you want to enjoy all the benefits of the G-Sync, you need to invest in a powerful G-Sync-enabled Nvidia graphics card.
- G-Sync Requirements: G-Sync works in unison with GPU to offer desired refresh rate. Therefore, you need to have a compatible GPU.
V-Sync Vs G-Sync: Which is Superior?
G-Sync is a great performer compared to V-Sync. Although G-Sync is more expensive, it directly answers V-Sync and provides similar benefits with a few problems. In most cases, you get V-Sync free, provided you purchase a game with the option. On the other hand, you need to buy a G-Sync-equipped monitor to enjoy the benefits.
Before making the final decision, you need to consider the kind of games you play and figure out which one will suit your gaming habits. If you play high-end titles with graphics that blur the line between animation and reality, then a G-Sync or V-Sync can be a good bet.
If you’re a gaming enthusiast who prefers games that depend on super-high frames and lightning-fast reflexes, you won’t need G-Sync or V-Sync. G-Sync comes with fewer issues compared to V-Sync.