LightBoost Problems

Ask about motion blur reduction in gaming monitors. Includes ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur), NVIDIA LightBoost, ASUS ELMB, BenQ/Zowie DyAc, Turbo240, ToastyX Strobelight, etc.
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phrax
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LightBoost Problems

Post by phrax » 25 Jan 2014, 20:26

I've been testing lightboost recently on my XL2411T, usually in Team Fortress 2 at around 140fps. However, while on the online image test the comparison between lightboost on and off is night and day, in-game lightboost off feels smoother and more homogenous than lightboost on. Furthermore, even though in nvidia control panel my display is set at 120hz lightboost/144hz (depending on how i'm feeling), the testufo website only displays a 30fps ufo and a 60fps ufo. Thus I now usually play at 144hz unstrobed because it's simply nicer. Does anyone experience similar problems and are there ways to remedy them?

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Chief Blur Buster
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Re: LightBoost Problems

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 25 Jan 2014, 21:58

phrax wrote:I've been testing lightboost recently on my XL2411T, usually in Team Fortress 2 at around 140fps. However, while on the online image test the comparison between lightboost on and off is night and day, in-game lightboost off feels smoother and more homogenous than lightboost on. Furthermore, even though in nvidia control panel my display is set at 120hz lightboost/144hz (depending on how i'm feeling), the testufo website only displays a 30fps ufo and a 60fps ufo. Thus I now usually play at 144hz unstrobed because it's simply nicer. Does anyone experience similar problems and are there ways to remedy them?
Check http://www.testufo.com/browser.html for system requirements, including the need to turn Classic /Basic off and turn Aero on, for the UFO tests to work well. One good LightBoost test is http://www.testufo.com/photo. Use the Strobelight method for best performance, rather than the Ctrl+T method.

Strobed works best at frame rate == refresh rate == strobe rate. Temporarily test Adaptive VSYNC, or VSYNC ON (or use VSYNC OFF with fps_max 118 or 119 to get almost as good motion quality).

Strobing off versus on is a preference, but I should add that frame rate vs refresh rate mismatches becomes easier to see with strobed, so you should experience VSYNC ON 120fps+strobed to check the reference quality motion, despite extra input lag. Then based on this knowledge of motion clarity, optimize your frame rate and settings to maintain a good near match. Uncapping to 300fps actually also looks better with lightboost too.

Make sure you have a good gaming mouse to avoid mouse microstutters. Strobing amplifies visibility of microstutters and tearing since they are no longer hidden as much by motion blur.
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Karnaj
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Re: LightBoost Problems

Post by Karnaj » 25 Jan 2014, 22:07

phrax wrote:I've been testing lightboost recently on my XL2411T, usually in Team Fortress 2 at around 140fps. However, while on the online image test the comparison between lightboost on and off is night and day, in-game lightboost off feels smoother and more homogenous than lightboost on. Furthermore, even though in nvidia control panel my display is set at 120hz lightboost/144hz (depending on how i'm feeling), the testufo website only displays a 30fps ufo and a 60fps ufo. Thus I now usually play at 144hz unstrobed because it's simply nicer. Does anyone experience similar problems and are there ways to remedy them?
Please elaborate. By "smoother", do you mean less input lag, stutter, or motion artifacts? Did you play with V-Sync on?

I've played TF2 with LightBoost on recently and the game would always microstutter while strafing if the frame rate was uncapped. Then again, I've always had stutter issues in TF2 even before getting a LightBoost-enabled monitor. I've capped my FPS to a multiple of my refresh rate (120*3=360 FPS) and the stutters became less pronounced, although they still exist with ULMB on. Perhaps you could give that a try.
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phrax
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Re: LightBoost Problems

Post by phrax » 26 Jan 2014, 02:10

Chief Blur Buster wrote:
phrax wrote: -snip-
Check http://www.testufo.com/browser.html for system requirements, including the need to turn Classic /Basic off and turn Aero on, for the UFO tests to work well. One good LightBoost test is http://www.testufo.com/photo. Use the Strobelight method for best performance, rather than the Ctrl+T method.

Strobed works best at frame rate == refresh rate == strobe rate. Temporarily test Adaptive VSYNC, or VSYNC ON (or use VSYNC OFF with fps_max 118 or 119 to get almost as good motion quality).

Strobing off versus on is a preference, but I should add that frame rate vs refresh rate mismatches becomes easier to see with strobed, so you should experience VSYNC ON 120fps+strobed to check the reference quality motion, despite extra input lag. Then based on this knowledge of motion clarity, optimize your frame rate and settings to maintain a good near match. Uncapping to 300fps actually also looks better with lightboost too.

Make sure you have a good gaming mouse to avoid mouse microstutters. Strobing amplifies visibility of microstutters and tearing since they are no longer hidden as much by motion blur.
Thanks a lot, I forgot about that aero thing. That would be it. I'll give VSYNC a go for testing purposes, however I play semi-competitively so i'll be having it off most of the time. Is framerate = refresh rate any better than framerate = slightly above refresh rate? and why fps_max 119 instead of 120? There are no issues with my mouse either, by the way. I'm running it at 500hz instead of 1000 but I assume it's fine as long as it's above 250. Thanks for the help!
Karnaj wrote:
phrax wrote: -snip-
Please elaborate. By "smoother", do you mean less input lag, stutter, or motion artifacts? Did you play with V-Sync on?

I've played TF2 with LightBoost on recently and the game would always microstutter while strafing if the frame rate was uncapped. Then again, I've always had stutter issues in TF2 even before getting a LightBoost-enabled monitor. I've capped my FPS to a multiple of my refresh rate (120*3=360 FPS) and the stutters became less pronounced, although they still exist with ULMB on. Perhaps you could give that a try.
I mean smoother as in less screen tearing and stutter, as well as a general feeling. I play without vsync.

I can't reach a framerate that high unfortunately, i've capped it at 180 but it's not always up there. Which is strange because my rig isn't awful (i5 3570k, 660 Ti) but for some reason i'm just not getting there, even with a performance config. PS, your microstuttering could be due to raw mouse input being on. Most people have no problems with it and ideally it's a good setting but for me for whatever reason it gives me strange jitter/stuttering.

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Re: LightBoost Problems

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 26 Jan 2014, 12:24

phrax wrote:Is framerate = refresh rate any better than framerate = slightly above refresh rate? and why fps_max 119 instead of 120? There are no issues with my mouse either, by the way. I'm running it at 500hz instead of 1000 but I assume it's fine as long as it's above 250. Thanks for the help!
My GSYNC input lag tests showed that fps_max 300 apparently had no input lag advantage over fps_max 142 when playing 144Hz VSYNC OFF.

1. Strobing can amplify visibility of tearing and stutters.
2. Also, harmonic effects can occur between frame rate versus refresh rate.
Stutters are amplified and decreased based on the beat-frequency difference between frame rate and refresh rate:

Consistent 123fps at 120Hz = 3 stutter per second, a bit less smooth
Consistent 122fps at 120Hz = 2 stutter per second, slightly less smooth
Consistent 121fps at 120Hz = 1 stutter per second, but otherwise very smooth
Consistent 120fps at 120Hz = perfect fluidity (if VSYNC ON), but may cause a stationary tearline during VSYNC OFF.
Consistent 119fps at 120Hz = 1 stutter per second, but otherwise very smooth
Consistent 118fps at 120Hz = 2 stutter per second, slightly less smooth
Consistent 117fps at 120Hz = 3 stutter per second, a bit less smooth
etc.

Once, however, you get many stutters per second, the microstutters happen so often/fast that it just affects motion clarity (the "jittery" look). Sometimes many stutters per second (more uniform) looks better than one stutter per second (less distracting). However, during perfect matches, framerate==refreshrate==stroberate (if having zero frame drops) is the creme-de-a-creme in perfect motion fluidity, and it must be experienced at least once in lifetime, to at least better understand the fluidity, even if it adds input lag.

What you want to do, however, is to first familiarize yourself with what reference-quality LightBoost motion looks like (e.g. http://www.testufo.com/photo running at 120fps, then turning ON/OFF LightBoost while watching the animation -- or temporarily playing a solo game with VSYNC ON, then strafing left/right at full 120fps @ 120Hz frame rate

Once it's experienced, you can calibrate your fps_max for a compromise. I suggest experimenting with fps_max 119 (avoids stationary tearline problem, tearline might still roll too slowly)
fps_max 118 (avoids stationary tearline problem, tearline should roll a bit faster)
fps_max 239 (avoids stationary tearline problem)
fps_max 240 (really smooth; might cause two minor stationary tearlines)
fps_max 360 (really smooth; might cause three ultra-faint stationary tear lines)

For LightBoost gameplay you _really_ want to get close to the multiples, so if your GPU is not powerful enough, aim at the 118's and 119's.
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       • Official List of Best Gaming Monitors
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       • List of FreeSync Monitors
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nimbulan
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Re: LightBoost Problems

Post by nimbulan » 26 Jan 2014, 15:51

phrax wrote:I've been testing lightboost recently on my XL2411T, usually in Team Fortress 2 at around 140fps. However, while on the online image test the comparison between lightboost on and off is night and day, in-game lightboost off feels smoother and more homogenous than lightboost on. Furthermore, even though in nvidia control panel my display is set at 120hz lightboost/144hz (depending on how i'm feeling), the testufo website only displays a 30fps ufo and a 60fps ufo. Thus I now usually play at 144hz unstrobed because it's simply nicer. Does anyone experience similar problems and are there ways to remedy them?
It sounds like you may be experiencing a side effect of eliminating motion blur. Motion blur helps the frames blend together so motion looks smoother. When you you remove it by using Lightboost, the frames don't blend as well and it becomes easier to tell individual frames apart so the motion may appear less smooth. It's highly dependent on the framerate the game is running at and the individual person, however. Have you tried any other games?

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Re: LightBoost Problems

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 26 Jan 2014, 22:50

That's why for better quality motion, you want frame rate matching strobe rate where feasible. Motion clarity nirvana occurs more with VSYNC ON but that's not so good for competitive, so you need to tweak the fps_max values in a "pick your poison" game.
Head of Blur Busters - BlurBusters.com | TestUFO.com | Follow @BlurBusters on Twitter

       To support Blur Busters:
       • Official List of Best Gaming Monitors
       • List of G-SYNC Monitors
       • List of FreeSync Monitors
       • List of Ultrawide Monitors

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