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Seeking G-Sync Settings Guidance

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.

Seeking G-Sync Settings Guidance

Postby Kami » 05 Oct 2018, 11:36

I recently discovered the G-Sync articles from Blur Busters despite having had a G-Sync display from way back in the day BenQ XL2420G (day 1) and I feel stupid for not having configured usage of it correctly for all this time (didn't know about requiring V-Sync for example because at the time, it was thought you were supposed to disable V-Sync everywhere or use Fast Sync later on; and I didn't know that more research had been done).

Anyway, I've read through many threads and articles since then in the past couple days but there are still a few things I'm not sure about and I'm hoping someone could clarify for me. Based on what I understand so far, I have G-Sync on, V-Sync on via NVCP, and using RTSS to globally limit frames to 141 (144Hz display).

The stuff that are a bit ambiguous to me though are these:

1. If in-game frame limiters are better than using RTSS, my current understanding is that I should use the in-game one. However, if the options in-game are fixed, for example 30-60-90-120-144, should I be choosing 120 or 144 (or other)? Or... should I just continue to use RTSS set to 141 regardless since I would lose up to 21fps otherwise? I don't have any idea what impacts there would be in this scenario on performance or input latency.

2. I also understand that if I don't ever reach the max frames (in this case for 144Hz) but I get stable fps, G-Sync+V-Sync is still optimal? Or is it dependent on how far below 144 fps? And if so, what is the best solution?

3. If I use RTSS to frame limit globally for 141 (for 144Hz) and I also frame limit in-game (to what would be optimal in 1.), barring weird conflicts or incompatibilities, does that have any impact significant impact on performance or input latency? I know it's redundant at that point but it's just so I don't have to think about loading it for each game that doesn't have a frame limiter (especially when I have the backgrounds resources to leave it alone).

I apologize if these type of questions have been answered already, I tried to find the answers but it's difficult since searching brings up the same terms over and over again but not necessarily the answer I'm seeking.
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Re: Seeking G-Sync Settings Guidance

Postby RealNC » 05 Oct 2018, 13:11

Kami wrote:1. If in-game frame limiters are better than using RTSS, my current understanding is that I should use the in-game one. However, if the options in-game are fixed, for example 30-60-90-120-144, should I be choosing 120 or 144 (or other)?

In these games I go to the game's ini file and set it manually to 141. If that's not possible, I just use 120. That's plenty for me.

2. I also understand that if I don't ever reach the max frames (in this case for 144Hz) but I get stable fps, G-Sync+V-Sync is still optimal? Or is it dependent on how far below 144 fps? And if so, what is the best solution?

Enabling vsync is "optimal" if you get tearing. If you don't get tearing, then you don't need to enable vsync. Enabling vsync has no negative impact on input lag when you don't exceed 141FPS, so that's why we recommend to just enable it and forget about it. Even when it doesn't help, it almost never hurts.

Note: It almost never hurts. In some games, vsync+gsync can result in stutter when the game stalls to 0FPS and then immediately goes to full 141FPS again. You get a couple stutters when that happens. Disabling vsync makes these stutters go away quicker. The only game I know of that has this issue, is Lost Horizon (an older adventure game.) This happens when the game loads a cut scene. The very start of the cut scene will stutter for about 0.3 seconds or so. This time is reduces when disabling vsync. We don't know what causes this.

3. If I use RTSS to frame limit globally for 141 (for 144Hz) and I also frame limit in-game (to what would be optimal in 1.), barring weird conflicts or incompatibilities, does that have any impact significant impact on performance or input latency?

No. If you set the in-game limiter to 120 and RTSS to 141 for example, RTSS does nothing. If you set RTSS to 120 and the in-game limiter to 141, then the in-game limiter does nothing. If you set both the same target FPS, then for some frames RTSS will trigger, for some other frames the in-game limiter will trigger.

I don't see why you'd do that though. Just entering "0" in the RTSS UI when playing a game is not difficult. Or even quitting RTSS before playing (unless you still want the OSD, of course.)
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Re: Seeking G-Sync Settings Guidance

Postby Kami » 05 Oct 2018, 13:50

Thanks for clarifying all this for me! Just have one last follow-up question.

RealNC wrote:
Kami wrote:1. If in-game frame limiters are better than using RTSS, my current understanding is that I should use the in-game one. However, if the options in-game are fixed, for example 30-60-90-120-144, should I be choosing 120 or 144 (or other)?

In these games I go to the game's ini file and set it manually to 141. If that's not possible, I just use 120. That's plenty for me.


What if the gap was bigger? I have some games where the max in-game frame limiter option caps out at 60 (and some oddly, even at 30), would it be advisable to use RTSS to limit at 141 then if I can't manually set to 141 for the game (even via config)? I get the feeling this is personal preference but just double-checking.

But for sure regardless of the in-game frame limit, be it 30, 60, or 120, I'm assuming you would have less input latency than using RTSS at all - my current understanding.
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Re: Seeking G-Sync Settings Guidance

Postby RealNC » 05 Oct 2018, 14:15

Kami wrote:What if the gap was bigger? I have some games where the max in-game frame limiter option caps out at 60 (and some oddly, even at 30), would it be advisable to use RTSS to limit at 141 then if I can't manually set to 141 for the game (even via config)? I get the feeling this is personal preference but just double-checking.

Well, obviously you need to use RTSS then. Unless the game doesn't actually reach these high frame rates. In which case you can use the in-game limiter. There's no point in using RTSS here, if the game would run at about 60FPS on average even if uncapped.

Anyway, as a rule of thumb: higher FPS is more important than which FPS limiter you're using.

Another thing to keep in mind: quite a few games have very "jittery" frame limiters. They produce very visible jitter/judder/microstutter (whatever you want to call it). RTSS usually fixes that right away. In these cases, I use RTSS. A prime example here is Witcher 3. Its frame limiter is unable to fix the game's microstutter. RTSS enhances the game's smoothness a lot.

Hint: Always look up the game on PCGamingWiki to see if you can make it support custom FPS caps.

But for sure regardless of the in-game frame limit, be it 30, 60, or 120, I'm assuming you would have less input latency than using RTSS at all - my current understanding.

No. 120 or 141 using RTSS will have much lower input lag than 60FPS in-game. You can just try that yourself with any game where you can reach at least 120. Play with in-game cap to 60, then uncap and play with a 141 cap in RTSS. The higher framerate is waaaaay better.
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Re: Seeking G-Sync Settings Guidance

Postby Kami » 05 Oct 2018, 14:25

Thanks again! All of this has been hugely helpful.

Cheers!
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