VSync is the original syncing technology for graphics cards, video games, and monitors. But that doesn’t mean it’s still the best option.
We’ll take a closer look at VSync and why it matters.
It depends a lot on the hardware and skills of your computer to have a good gaming experience. Nevertheless, video-gaming innovators and GPU makers have been focusing on developing new technologies to enhance a gamer’s gaming experience.
They have blurred the line between the virtual and the real. VSync is one of these new-age technologies, which can make your gaming experience much more lively and vibrant by significantly enhancing the visual properties of a game.
As a result, we will address all your questions about VSync in this guide. How do I use VSync? How do I enable and disable it on various graphics cards? Most importantly, should it be allowed or disabled?
What is VSync?
Vertical Synchronization, or VSync, is the short version of Vertical Sync. For games with heavy graphics, such as Skyrim, Fallout 4, etc., this technology is designed to deliver smooth and uninterrupted gaming experiences.
GPU manufacturers began working on this technology because of a problem called screen tearing, which displayed two images simultaneously on the display screen during gaming, causing a torn effect. Screen tearing will occur when your graphics card’s refresh rate is out of sync with your display screen.
Syncing the display monitor refresh rate with the frame rate of your game or application allows you to solve the screen tearing problem. You will, therefore, maintain a perfectly synchronized frame rate without any glitches by enabling VSync in your graphics settings. Typically, screen tearing occurs when a game runs at a refresh rate of 60 frames per second (FPS).
The VSync technology is essentially a basic synchronization technology that has been around for a long time. However, AMD and Nvidia also have their proprietary synchronization technologies that work similarly to VSync – usually better. You may even need to purchase a special monitor to use some of them, but we’ll discuss that briefly.
Adaptive Sync from Nvidia
You can use Nvidia’s adaptive sync instead of VSync if you have an Nvidia GT 600-series graphics card or higher. In much the same way as basic VSync, it limits your FPS output to match the refresh rate of your monitor, but whenever your FPS dips below that level, it temporarily stops until your FPS spikes above your refresh rate. By doing so, VSync doesn’t cause a large performance hit.
Games with a lot of FPS jumps benefit from adaptive sync.
Nvidia Fast Sync
Taking advantage of Fast Sync requires a GTX 900 or 10-series GPU or higher. It is most useful when your system can render frames way above (or more than) the refresh rate of your monitor. Compared to other sync technologies, it eliminates all tearing issues with just a small amount of input lag.
Nvidia Smooth Sync
Even though Smooth Sync is a proprietary Nvidia technology, it is only available in SLI setups with more than one graphics card. By capping your frame rate at an ideal level until your system consistently produces more frames per second, it helps to remove some of the stuttering commonly associated with SLI setups.
A GTX 600-series or newer Nvidia GPU is also required to take advantage of Nvidia’s G-Sync, as well as a specialized (and usually expensive) monitor.
In contrast to other types of synchronization techs we’ve discussed, G-Sync works on a hardware level and does not limit the frame rate of your monitor. When your system cannot push enough frames per second, it’s especially useful on high-resolution monitors. In contrast to software-based sync technologies like VSync and Adaptive Sync, this allows for a much smoother gaming experience.
AMD Enhanced Sync
With AMD’s Enhanced Sync, screen tearing is reduced like with VSync, but it also reduces the latency and stuttering that VSync adds when your monitor’s refresh rate dips below it. It requires a graphics card with an RX 400-series or newer support to take advantage of AMD’s Enhanced Sync, just like Nvidia’s proprietary sync technologies.
It’s also necessary to buy a specialized (usually cheaper) AMD FreeSync monitor for FreeSync. In addition, you’ll need AMD graphics cards from the R7/R9 200-series or newer. It should be noted that the R9 270/X, R9 280/X, and R9 370/X do not support FreeSync. AMD APUs (processors with built-in graphics) will also support FreeSync. Most CPUs starting with the A6 7000 series and newer, will also support FreeSync.
As with G-Sync, FreeSync reduces tearing and stuttering during gameplay and enhances your gaming experience. This software, like G-Sync, allows you to refresh your monitor outside the period that more basic monitors would normally, resulting in smoother images.
Advantages Of V-Sync
By definition, Vsync is a preventative technology, which means it was designed to prevent screen tearing rather than to enhance the visual appeal of a game.
This is particularly useful when your monitor’s refresh rate is out of sync with your game’s frame rate.
With it, you are able to reduce the FPS to match the monitor’s refresh rate, which will result in fewer tears on the screen and provide a consistently smooth experience. You will also be able to reduce screen lag and stuttering, which are caused by screen tears.
Also, Vsync can be useful for older games that are severely overpowered by your graphics processor.
Your card will be put under greater stress when it is required to render more frames, which can result in overheating, thermal throttling, and ultimately reduce its lifespan. With Vsync, you can reduce the GPU load by limiting the frame rate and adjusting it in accordance with the monitor’s refresh rate.
Disadvantages Of V-Sync
It is important to note that input delay is one of the biggest downsides of Vsync. The way Vsync works, you make your graphics card send frames when your monitor is ready to receive them.
In this case, your keypress gets registered immediately when you reload a weapon. However, since your monitor has not yet received the new frame in which your weapon is reloading, there is a slight delay that occurs.
Your weapon will actually reload after that slight delay, and you are likely to notice it as well. A lack of quick response times in competitive games can be fatal in such games.
Furthermore, frame drops are not taken into account. If you enter a graphically intensive area in-game and the frame rate drops to, let’s say, 50 from 100, then Vsync will drop it even more since it is actively matching the frame rate to your monitor’s refresh rate.
As a result, you will lose 50 frames per second instead of 25 frames per second. Vsync is typically not useful when the frame rate is less than 60 frames per second.
Should VSync be turned on or off?
VSync technology’s function and purpose are essential to understanding the answer to this question. Refresh rates range from 60Hz to 144Hz on modern-day monitors. Considering a Hz is equal to one cycle per second, a 60 Hz is equal to 60 cycles per second.
On your display screen, an image is drawn starting from left to right and from top to bottom for each cycle. You barely have the time to realize what is happening because it happens so fast.
Monitors, on the other hand, display images without processing them. Computers, however, process these images on the GPU level. This mismatch leads to screen tearing when you have a GPU that can process and send images faster than your monitor can display them on the screen. Generally speaking, this means the game’s frame rate is faster than the monitor’s frame rate.
➔ Turning on VSync
When your monitor can display fewer frames than your GPU can render, you should turn on VSync. In such cases, VSync will not be useful to you if the game you are playing requires a refresh rate lower than your monitor’s maximum. You can still play smoothly without using VSync in such cases.
Although VSync does not harm your gameplay, it is recommended that you turn it off when you no longer need it.
➔ Turning off VSync
You might find yourself playing a game with some intense graphics, and your frame rate drops below the refresh rate of your monitor when you arrive at that scene. VSync will try to compensate for that sudden change automatically if you play a game. Consequently, you will experience performance lag and poor visuals in this situation, which isn’t what you want when you’re playing.
In such cases, the best strategy is to turn off VSync whenever possible because a little lag can easily turn the tables around, no matter how much perfection you put into your game.
What is the difference between VSync in NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel?
All GPU makers were working on a solution to screen tearing because it was a major issue for gamers. Major GPU manufacturers such as NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel generally came up with similar solutions, though with slight differences.
For example, AMD’s Vertical Sync technology is called FreeSync. Unlike NVIDIA, their technology doesn’t adjust the frame rate difference but instead delivers dynamic refresh rates, synchronizing the Radeon GPU frame rate with the monitor frame rate. Screen tearing can be effectively eliminated with FreeSync because it reduces input latency.
The high efficiency of AMD’s FreeSync technology matches that of NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology, which tries to accomplish the same. A G-Sync-enabled monitor adapts its refresh rate to the GPU frame rate rather than the GPU frame rate adjusting its refresh rate to the monitor.
In addition to Vertical Sync, the company also developed Adaptive Sync, which is an intelligent alternative to it. However, NVIDIA graphics cards only support this technology.
In the same way that VSync restricts the GPU frame rate to match your monitor’s refresh rate, Adaptive Sync does the same thing. Adaptive Synchronization reduces input lag, as opposed to VSync, which takes time, resulting in input lag that is sometimes increased.
How to turn on and off VSync in NVIDIA?
Using NVIDIA graphics cards, you can turn on and off VSync quickly. Using the NVIDIA Control Panel, you can enable or disable this feature. The steps are as follows:
- Choose ‘NVIDIA Control Panel from the options menu when you right-click your desktop.
- Click the Manage 3D Settings link under 3D Settings in the NVIDIA Control Panel.
- Choose the ‘Global Settings’ option in the 3D Settings, then select ‘Vertical sync.’
- Activating Vertical Sync is as easy as clicking on “On”, “Off”, or “Adaptive” (if it’s available on your NVIDIA graphics card) and selecting “On”.
- Once you have chosen, click the ‘Apply’ button to complete this process.
Your computer must be restarted after you make these changes for them to take effect.
How to turn on and off VSync in AMD?
If AMD Enhanced Sync or AMD FreeSync is available on your computer, you will need to use AMD Radeon App to activate or deactivate it. Enhanced Sync is a technology developed by AMD that eliminates screen tearing when used with VSync, and AMD FreeSync uses this technology. Activating or deactivating this feature is as simple as the following instructions:
- Click the ‘Global Settings’ option on your computer in AMD Radeon’s settings app.
- Under Global Graphics, click the ‘Down’ arrow next to the Wait for Vertical Refresh option.
- You can enable VSync by selecting ‘Always on’ o, ‘ ways off,’ or ‘Enhanced Sync’ (if available on your AMD Radeon graphics card) by choosing it from the drop-down list.
- Wait for a vertical refresh will display your final choice.
Your computer must be restarted after you make these changes for them to take effect.
How to turn on and off VSync in Intel?
Following these steps will enable and disable VSync in Intel graphics:
- Using your keyboard, simultaneously press the keys ‘Ctrl + Alt + F12’. You’ll be prompted to start the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver application.
- From the 3D Settings window, click OK.
- Find the ‘Asynchronous Flip’ option in OpenGL Settings (or Vertical Sync on newer computers) and double-click on its “Value” column.
- Activate VSync by selecting ‘On’ and deactivate VSync by selecting ‘Off’.
- Then click the ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’ buttons after making your selection.
You must restart your computer for the new settings to take effect. After reading this detailed guide, you must now know what VSync is. Which graphics cards support VSync? In addition to its popularity with gamers, VSync technology is equally important for users who work with 3D applications regularly. Enabling this feature does have some benefits and drawbacks. Knowing what VSync technology is intended for and when to use it, you can now make a wise decision that could potentially enhance your gaming experience.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Is it better to have VSync on or off?
VSync can help you stop screen tearing if you’re experiencing a lot of it. VSync should be turned off if you experience severe input lag or dropped frames when it is enabled. However, VSync should not pose any problems in most cases.
Does VSync decrease FPS?
By using VSync correctly, you can keep your graphics processor from overheating. You can unnecessarily decrease your FPS and experience input lag when misused.
Is VSync suitable for low-end PC?
When VSync is enabled, screen-tearing is eliminated. When it is disabled, the input lag is increased, but stuttering is minimized. Visual performance is improved with adaptive sync because there are no stutters or tears.
Is VSync suitable for 144hz?
Trustworthy. Unless your minimum frame rate exceeds 144, do not enable v-sync on a 144gz. The V-Sync technique eliminates screen tearing but adds input lag and judder if the frame rate cannot be maintained. V-Sync should not be used unless you get high frame rates with a 144hz screen.
Does VSync cause stuttering?
The frame rate will be lowered to 60 frames per second with VSync. VSync reduces the number of frames by half if you have fewer frames than Hz. As a result, stuttering occurs. VSync will lower the frame rate to 30 fps when your video card only reaches 59 fps.
Conclusion – Is Vsync Good or Bad?
Generally, it boils down to preference. Screen tearing is annoying, yes, but is it tolerable? Does it ruin the experience? The chances of tearing are slim if you only view a small amount, and it’s not a problem. If your display has a super-high refresh rate that your GPU cannot match, then don’t bother.
However, you should be aware of the disadvantages of VSync. It will cap the framerate at the display’s refresh rate or half that rate if the GPU cannot maintain the higher rate. This may result in visual “lag” that can interfere with gameplay.
VSync still has a strong place in the display sync space, despite its old age. Although it isn’t necessary for every game, it will come in handy at least once in a while. Other technologies like Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync have a much more limited support list.