V-Sync vs G-Sync

In this article, I am going to explain V-Sync, G-Sync, and FreeSync in detail.

So, Whenever I publish the Laptop Review article on Thanalysis, I always write that this XYZ laptop has G-Sync support or FreeSync support.

But, such a technical term is confusing and a lot of people don't know what are these terms and how they are going to affect the performance. So, everything related to it will be discussed here.

Before, I go in details of G-Sync and FreeSync, I would like to introduce you to V-Sync. V-Sync was the first technology that was designed to improve the performance of screen.

Table of Contents

V-Sync

V-Sync is referred as the Vertical Synchronization. It was designed mainly to prevent the screen tearing and sluttering. Now, the question is,

What's the Screen Tearing?

A screen tearing is something like horizontal lines show up when two frames takes place on the computer display at he same time. In the simple language, it's nothing but the distortion in the image.

In addition to the screen tearing, screen sluttering also takes place.

What's that?

Screen sluttering is happens mainly when the display's refresh rate doesn't match with the rate at which GPU sends the data.

If the screen refresh rate is low compared to GPU's one, then it will creates tearing. And, if it's high compared to GPU, then the screen have to wait for the image, and it will create pause in the game.

So, both sluttering and tearing are disaster in the gaming world.

Here, due to the limitation of V-Sync technology, G-Sync and FreeSync were came into an existence. You may have a question that why V-Sync was developed?

The main job of V-Sync was to put a strict cap on the GPU's FPS (Frames per second) to match it with display's refresh rate.

Hence, If you uses a monitor of 60Hz refresh rate for gaming and GPU is sending the data at 120Hz or more speed, then V-sync will lower its speed by lowering the performance to match the legacy standards. It basically prevents the GPU from attaining the peak in performance.

V-Sync mainly useful when you're using the 60Hz display.

As V-Sync downgrades the High-end graphics' performance, G-Sync came into an existence. And, it wasn't only removed the limitations of V-Sync, but screen tearing and sluttering issues were resolved.

G-Sync

G-Sync was released first in 2013 by NVIDIA.

As the Display refresh rates are always higher than GPU's output rate, It creates much performance issues. To resolve it, NVIDIA has introduced G-Sync.

The main job of G-Sync is to ensure that there's a smooth synchronization between the display's refresh rate and GPU's output rate.

As I said earlier that Display's refresh rate is always higher than GPU's output, G-Sync controls that screen's refresh rate to match it with GPU's refresh rate. Thus way, Unlike V-Sync, G-Sync allows the Graphics chip to attain the possible peak in the performance. Let's understand it with one example.

Suppose I am playing a game on the G-Sync supported monitor which has 60Hz refresh rate and GTX series Graphics is sending the data at 50Hz rate, then G-Sync will decrease the display's FPS count by 10Hz to match the data smoothly. If the GPU's output changes to 40Hz from 50Hz, then again, G-Sync technology will downgrade the display's FPS count to 40Hz.

So, this way, you will get more smoother movement. Here, the most noticeable benefit is that the screen tearing is eliminated.

Now, one question may arise in your mind that,

How G-Sync do this?

Well, It manipulates the VBI. VBI is the acronym of Vertical Blinking Interval.

VBI interval is the time gap when the display finishes the drawing of current frame and moves to the next one.

So, G-Sync enabled monitor recognize this gap and changes the rate according the GPU's demand which in turn prevent frame issues.

In addition to that, NVIDIA has also released the more advanced version of G-Sync called G-Sync Ultimate.

See, how tearing and sluttering problems in screen were resolved using G-Sync technology.

https://youtu.be/oT8f_1oRsLU

Because, G-Sync enabled monitors are too expensive, every customer can't get its benefits. And, G-Sync only works with NVIDIA Graphics card.

As a result, AMD has introduced FreeSync.

FreeSync

FreeSync was released in 2015 by AMD. It's a similar technology to G-Sync. It's developed to minimize the screen tearing and sluttering noticeably.

But, Unlike G-Sync, it works on specific input tag. Means, it only work with DisplayPort 1.2a standard. It won't work with common legacy VGA or DVI port. In addition to that, The "Free" in the name FreeSync tells that it's free for manufacturer to implement. In other words, manufacturers don't have to provide a royalty to AMD.

So, FreeSync enabled devices are much lower in price compared to G-Sync.

But, FreeSync has one little drawback. In FreeSync enabled devices, you will find the Ghosting-like image.

A Ghosting-like image occurs when the object move to the next position but leaves the bit behind that feels like the part that's behind the current position is shadow or some sort of ghost-like.

But, In my experience, it's in very rare case. But, it does exist. The main cause of ghosting in FreeSync monitors is improper power input. The low or over power input creates the gap between movement.

To overcome such limitations of FreeSync, AMD has introduced the next advanced version of FreeSync called FreeSync 2 HDR.

All monitors don't support FreeSync 2 HDR. To support the latest version of FreeSync, the monitor must meet the requirements like HDR support, Low Frame Rate Compensation capabilities, and an ability to switch between Standard Definition Range (SDR) and High Dynamic Range (HDR).

With FreeSync 2 HDR, if the frame rate falls below the supported range of the monitor, low framerate compensation (LFC) is automatically enabled to prevent stuttering and tearing.

So, that's the end of this article.

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