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Is a G-Sync monitor what I need for the following symptoms

Talk about NVIDIA G-SYNC, a variable refresh rate (VRR) technology. G-SYNC eliminates stutters, tearing, and reduces input lag. List of G-SYNC Monitors.

Is a G-Sync monitor what I need for the following symptoms

Postby drmcninja » 27 May 2017, 19:03

I've upgraded my computer and have been messing around with settings in Overwatch. Here's what I've found:

With old computer, I used to use:

Lightboost 10% @ 120Hz, Vsync OFF, FPS uncapped

Then I realized this was giving me a "blurry" picture that was actually negatively affecting my aim.

So I went to:

Non-Lightboost @ 144Hz, Vsync OFF, 154fps cap in-game

And I got a sense of clarity/sharpness back to the picture, and my precision with the mouse improved (getting the crosshair right on top of a target when it's already close to it).

Now I can achieve stable FPS at any level, so I tried:

Non-Lightboost @ 144Hz, Vsync OFF, Uncapped FPS (300fps constant)

Which made my aim feel better, but needs a little getting used to.

I began fooling around and found that the following:

Lightboost 10% @ 120Hz, Vsync OFF, 120fps in-game cap

Actually gives me an amazingly clear sense of picture/motion and my mental/eye tracking ability improved considerably. This resulted in being able to hit flick shots with much greater ease and focus on fast-moving targets (Genji/Tracer/etc if you know the game). The clearness of the picture was such that I felt confidence in just aiming and hitting things, and I usually hit them and didn't miss as often as I used to. I could then also play more aggressively with far more sweeping mouse movements to turn around in game.

BUT, doing this:

Lightboost 10% @ 120Hz, Vsync OFF, Uncapped FPS (300fps constant)

Doesn't give that sense of clear picture/motion. I can sense lots of little tearing, not so much stuttering, throughout the picture which adds a bit of hesitation to my instinctive ability to aim since my brain takes more time to focus on a target.

So then I read some posts here and tried this:

Lightboost 10% @ 120Hz, Vsync OFF, 240 fps in-game cap

And it removed a lot, if not all, of the little tearing/stuttering/whatever I saw in the previous setting. However, the picture still looked a little blurry (it's almost as if high fps makes the game look blurry no matter what). Also, the mouse, though feeling less responsive for sure, still felt easier to aim with at [Lightboost 10% 120Hz/Vsync Off/120fps in-game cap] than 144hz (no Lightboost). In other words, the mouse was lagging, but I was aiming better in spite of that.

So, is this legitimately a thing? Setting FPS cap at multiples of your refresh rate? So 288 can work for 144?

However, I still see some tearing (like a line of tearing across screen, sometimes more than one depending on screen resolution) with 120Hz/120fps. Moving it to 119fps/121fps didn't help. But I can play in spite of the tearing and aim just fine. The problem for me has always been about this mysterious "blurriness" which knocks my mental game off and affects my ability to focus on targets quickly.

So... knowing all this, what does it seem like I should do? ULMB-type clarity and a synchronized display obviously help me. Will G-Sync help by making 120Hz/120fps completely synchronized so there's no tearing at all and make the picture even clearer?

If I enable VSync @ 120Hz/120fps, it feels noticeably laggy and weird.

I'm also looking into monitors that can do ULMB at higher refresh rates. Any suggestions?

Also, how can one calculate the total input lag of NonLightboost-144Hz/300fps to Lightboost-120Hz/120fps in order to compare them?
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Re: Is a G-Sync monitor what I need for the following sympto

Postby drmcninja » 27 May 2017, 19:06

Also why was 10 fps higher than refresh working better on my old computer than my new one, where it feels better with the exact same number? The monitor is the same
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Re: Is a G-Sync monitor what I need for the following sympto

Postby RealNC » 27 May 2017, 20:12

I don't know about the rest of your questions, especially about high FPS giving a blurry image (huh?) but to answer your g-sync question: G-Sync will look *exactly* the same as 120FPS@120Hz with vsync on and lightboost off. The difference is that input lag will be like 120FPS with vsync off.
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Re: Is a G-Sync monitor what I need for the following sympto

Postby Sparky » 27 May 2017, 20:13

There's motion blur, which is caused by your eye moving across an image that isn't moving. With ULMB, your eye doesn't move as far while the picture is illuminated, so there's less blurring. 120hz without ULMB will have 8.3ms of motion blur and 0.8ms of motion blur with ULMB. 144hz without ULMB would be 6.9ms.

There's latency, which can be caused by many different things(most significantly by vsync, but being gpu limited and low framerates/refresh rates also increase latency). This is the delay between an input and seeing the result on screen, and has a significant impact on aim.

There's tearing, which is caused by frames getting displayed partway through a refresh rate. The point of G-sync is that it fixes this without introducing latency, though you will need to limit framerate to something below the monitor's maximum refresh rate, and you can't use it at the same time as ULMB(officially anyway, there is a way to force it on on some monitors, but low or fluctuating framerate causes flicker in that scenario).

There's judder, or variance in latency caused by refresh rate not matching framerate. The magnitude is proportional to 1/framerate or 1/refresh rate. whichever is faster, and the frequency is determined by how far off refresh rate is from framerate.

As for your questions:
Capping framerate at a multiple of refresh rate will decrease judder and latency, but increase the number of tears on screen at any given time.

G-sync doesn't fix motion blur, it fixes tearing without introducing latency or judder like V-sync.

I don't have any specific monitor recommendations.

10fps higher will have slightly lower absolute latency, but the amount of latency will jump around a lot more.
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Re: Is a G-Sync monitor what I need for the following sympto

Postby drmcninja » 27 May 2017, 20:52

Ah, so you can't use VRR with ULMB? Has anyone ever managed to make it work well and if so, on which monitor?

What are the best settings to get V-Sync/G-Sync like clarity with ULMB? I just set fps cap at 120 and refresh at 120. Is that all? Or should I tweak anything?

V-Sync ON actually works with Lightboost/ULMB, but there's the typical extreme input lag.
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Re: Is a G-Sync monitor what I need for the following sympto

Postby Sparky » 27 May 2017, 21:21

drmcninja wrote:Ah, so you can't use VRR with ULMB? Has anyone ever managed to make it work well and if so, on which monitor?

What are the best settings to get V-Sync/G-Sync like clarity with ULMB? I just set fps cap at 120 and refresh at 120. Is that all? Or should I tweak anything?

V-Sync ON actually works with Lightboost/ULMB, but there's the typical extreme input lag.

A Framerate cap will reduce most of vsync's input lag, though it has to be set below the refresh rate. Use an in game cap if available, or RTSS if it's not available(the later in the graphics pipeline the bottleneck is, the more input lag accumulates in front of it). The downside of this option is that because your framerate cap has to be set below refresh rate in order to do anything, it will cause you to drop frames, introducing judder.

As for VRR+ULMB, it might be possible to combine them in a way that works well, but there's a lot of engineering and vision science that will have to go into that. The problem is that brightness and flicker depends on the frequency, and VRR changes the frequency at which the backlight will have to pulse, so you'd have to change the pulse width on a frame by frame basis to compensate for pulse frequency, and you'd have to transition into a solidly on backlight at low framerates. Doing that is easy, doing that without the viewer noticing artifacts seems hard. If you go to the movies, film is 24fps with the backlight pulsing at 72. Even then flicker is noticeable, and the camera has to add a ton of motion blur in order to conceal other artifacts(such as triple images when your eye is tracking a moving object).
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Re: Is a G-Sync monitor what I need for the following sympto

Postby drmcninja » 27 May 2017, 22:30

This may be off-topic but anyone know where I can find good color/brightness settings for the Acer GN246HL? Both in ULMB and especially in normal mode? This monitor's insanely bright, it's one of the reasons I'm not as comfortable in normal 144Hz.
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