nVidia Gsync explained (is it worth it?)

Gsync is a new technology from Nvidia that promises to revolutionize the gaming experience.

It delivers an unprecedented level of smoothness and detail by synchronizing your monitor's refresh rate with your graphics card, which in turn eliminates screen tearing and minimizes stutter.

All this combines to improve the overall visual fidelity of every game you play on it! Gsync monitors are not cheap though, so we will look at both their advantages and disadvantages before making our recommendation on whether you should buy a gsync enabled monitor.

How does Gsync work?

Nvidia introduced G-Sync in 2013, and its biggest rival is AMD FreeSync.

Gsync works by synchronizing your monitor's refresh rate with that of the graphics card. This eliminates screen tearing, minimizes stutter and significantly reduces input lag when gaming.

G-sync stops screen tearing which occurs when your graphics card gpu puts out more or less FPS than your monitor's maximum refresh rate. So on a 60hz monitor without gsync, unless you are running precisely at a 60 frames per second framerate (so even 59 or 61fps) you will get screen tearing that can be quite irritating while gaming. 

To get an idea of how it looks check out this video: 

Does G-Sync make a difference?

This new technology also offers some other advantages like smoother gameplay and a more fluid viewing experience resulting from less blurriness in fast-moving scenes due to lowered response times.

Gsync monitors also have the advantage of being compatible with a much wider range of graphics cards, including both NVIDIA and AMD. This means that any PC gamer can enjoy this new technology without having to upgrade their computer system.

G-Sync Advantages

  1. Get a realistic brightness that is like what the human eye can see, with more colors than traditional monitors.
  2. G-SYNC delivers smaller delays between keyboard input and screen performance that serious gamers need.
  3. Advanced G-SYNC ULTIMATE monitor support the DCI-P3 color range.
  4. That means it can accurately reproduce more realistic colors while being more smoothly gradable in tone when playing games that utilize a wider range of brightness..
  5. Get the ultra-fast response times of impulse displays for moving objects that are crystal-clear and super-smooth
  6. Get the same smooth experience (with no screen tears) in 3D games running in a desktop window as games running in full-screen mode.


G-Sync Disadvantages

Firstly, it's made to work well on NVIDIA cards specifically. It's is not without its drawbacks though - G-Sync monitors are much more expensive than their traditional counterparts and come with certain limitations as well such as requiring displays capable of variable refresh rates (VRR).

Turning on gsync can also increase input lag and response times, so depending on your graphics card and monitor refresh rate you might want to rather turn it off and accept the odd screen tear instead.

Screen tearing is also still possible if you're running your game at an FPS that syncs up with the refresh rate. This means that even though the screen tear will be minimized, it can still happen in some rare cases.

Furthermore, G-Sync doesn't offer any benefits to users of nVidia graphics cards over traditional monitors and in some cases might even be worse for them - so it really is important to think about your needs before you buy one.

Is Gsync worth it?

As we mentioned before, G-Sync monitors are not cheap but they offer some advantages over regular gaming screens. Once again there seems to be little difference between TN panels when compared with IPS ones and that's why we recommend going for non-gsync monitors since they are much cheaper. The only downside would be in terms of response time (regular screen has 16ms while gsync has less than half at around four) but for some people it is not worth the price.

That being said, I prefer using IPS monitors because their colours tend to look better.

The only difference would be in terms of response time (regular screen has 16ms while gsync has less than half at around four) but for some people it is not worth the price.

How do I know if my computer can support Gsync

Nvidia graphics cards are required in order to use GSYNC; there are no plans to develop drivers/firmware for AMD or Intel graphics processors.

To figure out if your computer can support gsync or not, you need to go into your Nvidia control panel and see if it says "Nvidia graphics card can support Gsync" or not.

If it does then congratulations! Your PC will be able to work with this technology without any hiccups.

 But make sure your desired displayport cable will work with your GPU--you need at least one DisplayPort input and output from both your card and the driver (or both of the cables).

If the message doesn't appear on the screen, don't worry because there is one more step that needs to done: installing a newer version of drivers. The newest driver should sync up so let's take care of that now by downloading them from here for 32-bit or 64-bit versions accordingly.

If you have a GSYNC capable monitor, make sure to enable it in Nvidia Control Panel. If your graphics card isn't listed, please update or contact the manufacturer for more information on compatibility.

What's the difference between Gsync, GSync compatible and Gsync Ultimate monitors

Understanding the question "what is G-Sync?" is getting more confusing. G-Sync monitors come in three levels: G-Sync, G-Sync Ultimate, and G-Sync Compatible.

For each level of monitor there are specific features to keep in mind when deciding what's right for you.

You can find a full list of gsync, gsync compatible and gsync ultimate monitors on nVidia's website (you can filter the 'type' column): Nvidia Gsync monitor List

Gsync Compatible

A gsync compatible monitor is one that has the technology built into it. NVIDIA's "GSync Compatible" display monitors use adaptive sync (_VBLANK attribute) and will work with FreeSync displays to smooth-out frames.

GSync compatible means it can work with any graphics card, while Gsync Ultimate syncs up with Nvidia GeForce GTX Series graphics cards for fastest performance.

Gsync compatible means that the monitor you're looking at has been built with G-Sync technology on top of it. This means that even if your computer doesn't have this function, a gsync compatible screen can still provide all the perks to game play like no screen tearing and motion blurring problems! Sometimes even when your monitor doesn't show as compatible in the nVidia software, it could still work - it just might not have been officially validated by nVidia yet so it's worth trying.

So yes - you'll experience improved gaming smoothness as well as power savings when using these gsync compatible models!
Also read our full article on Gsync vs Gsync compatible.

Gsync Ultimate

Gsync Ultimate is an Nvidia GeForce GTX series graphics card that has been designed to sync with any monitor. This means it can produce the fastest G-Sync performance, and this will give you a smoother gameplay experience when gaming on your computer!

The main downside of using this gsync ultimate technology would be the price tag - but in the long run you will save money because it is the most advanced technology in gaming monitors.

The disadvantages of this gsync ultimate would be that you need to have an Nvidia GeForce GTX series graphics card, and also a monitor with G-Sync.

How to set up gsync on Nvidia

Now in order for the monitor to work with your graphics card, you need two things: an Nvidia GPU and a gsync compatible monitor.

To set up Nvidia gsync on a supported monitor, you need to do the following steps:

  1. Plug in your Gsync compatible graphics card into one of the PCIe slots. Make sure that there are no other cards plugged in because they will steal bandwidth from it and might cause compatibility issues.

  2. Download latest drivers for your GPU and install them.

  3. Go to the Nvidia Control Panel and select Gsync from the dropdown menu under vertical sync options. If you have multiple monitors, make sure that they are both plugged in as well before proceeding with this step.

  4. Select a refresh rate according to your monitor's capabilities; You will want to make sure your monitor can handle the refresh rate you pick

  5. Set Gsync to ON and hit apply.

Important: You should also ensure that you have installed GeForce Experience version 38x series(or newer) to ensure that the latest Gsync-compatible driver is installed.


How does g-sync differ from f-sync?

F-Sync is an open source, reverse engineered version of Gsync that requires a propriety hardware module.

The benefit to f-sync is that it's cheaper as you don't have to buy the proprietary gpu chip by nvidia and can be implemented on any monitor whereas a gsync enabled monitor has been created specifically for this purpose with support from Nvidia.

You can read this article of ours for more information on the differences: Gsync vs Fsync

Why should I buy a Gsync monitor

Gsync monitors can provide better visuals than traditional PC screens while also adding improved refresh rates to help reduce latency when gaming - but what is it?

It's difficult to say definitively but if you are looking for the best value then I would recommend going for an IPS model with Gsync as they perform better than TN displays at all price points while also offering superior color accuracy and viewing angles (a definite upside).

If on the other hand quality graphics are what matter most, then get whichever monitor has been awarded the DisplayMate Best Choice Award like this ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q.

If you're looking for G-Sync compatibility then the ROG Swift PG258Q and ASUS MG278Q  are your best options; although I would recommend going with one of their higher quality (and more expensive) models as they offer better performance in a variety of areas including color accuracy, viewing angles and input lag.

The video below shows the difference between playing on an IPS monitor vs a TN display:

Which gaming monitors are compatible with G-Sync technology?

The company has created a list of monitors that are compatible with G-Sync technology and you can find it on their NVIDIA website. All the monitors have been tested for compatibility by NVIDIA engineers so, if your monitor is listed there, then you should be able to use Gsync without any problems.

G-Sync monitors are those where the manufacturer decided to integrate this feature and for any gamer who wants an excellent quality picture in their games - these is by far what we recommend.

GSync monitors are also good but they need a little tweaking beforehand before they work properly.

If you don't mind spending some time doing that extra step then go ahead!! For gamers who want something easy and hassle free, then get yourself a G-Sync enabled monitor.

The Bottom line - Should you buy a gsync monitor?

The advantages of using a monitors with gsync technology are pretty clear: you'll get tearless gameplay, it's smoother and responsive without input lag or stuttering (though some games may not be compatible).

So if money isn't an issue then go for G-Sync because it will greatly improve every game you play on it without any downsides (provided your graphics card can support it). However, if you're on a budget or just don't care about the absolute best gaming experience, then it's up to personal preference.

If your priority is price, go for FreeSync instead of Gsync- it's much cheaper and also has no downsides as long as your graphics card can support it.

But in terms of performance, I would choose G-Sync because again there are very few drawbacks and with current technology, only NVIDIA cards will work well but that might change in the future so keep an eye out.

So the answer really depends on personal preference but as we mentioned before this technology offers some major benefits over regular screens - especially when playing games such as racing sims or FPS which require precision movement from players at all times.

So if those kind of games are your cup of tea then investing in a G-Sync screen will surely make things easier for you!