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Gsync, refresh rate matching and lower Hz gameplay...

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.

Gsync, refresh rate matching and lower Hz gameplay...

Postby patrickisfrench » 01 May 2014, 10:11

My question in regards to Gsync is the whole refresh matching situation. I made the switch to high refresh rate monitors in April, 2009 with the Samsung RZ2233 and haven't looked back since. Now using Asus' VG278HE. Just the other day I installed some new drivers and my refresh rate kicked back to 60hz until I changed it. Even at the desktop I could notice an immediate change. I thought, hmm lemme just re-live the past, loaded up counterstrike at 60hz, capped at 60fps and still could see much more blurring and overall shittier picture than if I played at 60fps capped at 144hz (not talking microstutter or tearing, just blur and perceived picture quality).

My question is since Gsync matches the refresh rate, if I get 60 fps in some game am I immediately going to feel this same transition I saw when my VG278HE switched to 60hz. Lets use the unreleased ROG Swift as the monitor for example. Since it's not impossible to imagine my frame rate running an avg 60 at most current gen games at 1440p.

I cannot accept that there is simply no difference in 60fps at a set 144hz, and 60fps at 60hz because I immediately could tell the difference in every application I used, 2D or otherwise. It started giving me a headache after a half hour. I just don't want this to be the case with a $800 monitor purchase (in the example of the ROG Swift). I'm certain I can't be the only one here sensitive to lower refresh rates these days.

Thank you, and sorry for the longer post.
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Re: Gsync, refresh rate matching and lower Hz gameplay...

Postby fenderjaguar » 01 May 2014, 10:29

OK, so basically, if the frame rate drops to 60fps, the monitor lowers its refresh to 60hz. It won't be like where you're running in 144hz mode with 60 fps. But, imo, there isn't any more input lag and there isn't any more blurring. Also, 60 fps on 144hz will be slightly stuttery, not a fluid frame rate, because 60 is not a multiple of 144.


For example, you can run a 60fps capped game like RAGE in 120hz mode with half refresh rate vsync. But there's no point. it won't look any different, or have any less input lag, than 60hz mode with normal full refresh vsync. It will have less input lag with normal 120hz full refresh vsync, of course, because the frame rate is capped under the refresh, but it'll microstutter sometimes incidently. And for anyone that doesn't believe me, that's the reason that half refresh, 1/3 refresh and quarter refresh vsync modes exist, why else would they if you could just cap at the multiple under your refresh instead? Because it isn't timed precisely enough and it'll judder sometimes.

I do appreciate that even if a game was capped at 30 fps, it was still best to run in 120hz mode with no vsync to diminish tearing, but for me those days are over now with G-sync.

If it's worth mentioning, you can still run in all the modes, ie you can switch g-sync off and run with vsync or no vsync, different refresh rates etc
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Re: Gsync, refresh rate matching and lower Hz gameplay...

Postby Chief Blur Buster » 01 May 2014, 13:06

patrickisfrench wrote:My question in regards to Gsync is the whole refresh matching situation. I made the switch to high refresh rate monitors in April, 2009 with the Samsung RZ2233 and haven't looked back since. Now using Asus' VG278HE. Just the other day I installed some new drivers and my refresh rate kicked back to 60hz until I changed it. Even at the desktop I could notice an immediate change. I thought, hmm lemme just re-live the past, loaded up counterstrike at 60hz, capped at 60fps and still could see much more blurring and overall shittier picture than if I played at 60fps capped at 144hz (not talking microstutter or tearing, just blur and perceived picture quality).
60fps @ 120Hz versus 60fps @ 60Hz will be very dependant on the monitor's overdrive setting, as monitors use different overdrive settings at 120Hz. So the blur differences can be based on that. (As you say, we are excluding tearing and stuttering here).

For blurfree/tearfree/stutterfree with VG278HE, test LightBoost + VSYNC ON and removing framerate cap (let VSYNC ON cap the framerate in this situation) and making sure your game always runs at 120fps at all times (stutter free). Not all games can do that, but Source Engine games are able to do so. Unfortunately that creates lag, in exchange for very smooth motion. GSYNC is far better for lag than this, but it's also a route you can take if you're wanting the blurfree experience simultaneously.
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Re: Gsync, refresh rate matching and lower Hz gameplay...

Postby applejack » 01 May 2014, 14:26

Chief Blur Buster wrote:60fps @ 120Hz versus 60fps @ 60Hz will be very dependant on the monitor's overdrive setting, as monitors use different overdrive settings at 120Hz. So the blur differences can be based on that. (As you say, we are excluding tearing and stuttering here).


so whats your take on 60fps @ 120Hz versus 60fps @ 60Hz concerning blur, using the ASUS VG248QE with G-Sync DIY Kit installed ?
its now using a pretty high "TraceFree" setting by default, maybe even maximum value available, as I clearly see corona artifacts (sadly without option to reduce overdrive/tracefree after the gsync mod).
for me, coronas aren't necessarily a better alternative to blur, so I would rephrase the question to try and take the overdrive setting out of the equation:

is there more Blur/Corona using 60fps @ 60Hz versus 60fps @ 120Hz, on the modded VG248QE ?
if so, wouldn't it be a better option for gsync to dynamically double the refresh rate whenever fps is 72 and below (on a 144hz monitor) ?
this could also solve 30fps and lower scenarios (at 30hz I can already see an "unstable" image, not to mention jerky mouse cursor animation).
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Re: Gsync, refresh rate matching and lower Hz gameplay...

Postby patrickisfrench » 02 May 2014, 11:19

so those of you who have tried gsync thus far, can you say without a doubt if you have hardware to support using it you will have a smoother all around gaming experience? Is it one of those no brainer options you just want to enable? I don't plan to pursue ulmb because I feel it harder to keep up that kind of consistency of fps with higher IQ settings, and I love my IQ.

Also, is 100-140fps going to feel the same as 60-100fps while using gsync? Or am I going to be able to feel that extra butter while in the triple digits? If it does indeed all feel the same and equalized then what bar would you set the gsync experience at so I can imagine how nice it is? lol. would you say it keeps the "feeling" of 120fps/120hz at anything above 60fps?

thanks y'all!
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Re: Gsync, refresh rate matching and lower Hz gameplay...

Postby Chief Blur Buster » 03 May 2014, 20:52

patrickisfrench wrote:so those of you who have tried gsync thus far, can you say without a doubt if you have hardware to support using it you will have a smoother all around gaming experience? Is it one of those no brainer options you just want to enable?

In general, it is almost always a no-brainer option, as long as the game plays nicely with GSYNC. For example, Battlefield 4 and Crysis 3 both play noticeably much nicer in GSYNC. For other games such as CS:GO, they already run so fast, that you get further IQ improvements with ULMB instead.

patrickisfrench wrote:I don't plan to pursue ulmb because I feel it harder to keep up that kind of consistency of fps with higher IQ settings, and I love my IQ.

Static IQ (detail during static images) or motion IQ (detail during motion) can be different goals. ULMB improves motion IQ, because game details are completely lost during fast motion, because of motion blur. For example, you cannot read the street name labels on TestUFO Panning Map Test (at 960 pixels/second and faster) unless you activate a low-persistence mode such as LightBoost, ULMB, Turbo240, or BENQ Blur Reduction. All the beautiful IQ and high-def goes VHS quality motion blur, if you're a person who likes to track eyes on things during fast motion/panning/strafing/turning. For some people, there are some good LightBoost testimonials in the dramatic improvement in motion clarity, to the point some people actually spend big money in improving framerates to make low-persistence sing. LightBoost has really poor color quality, but the newer strobe backlight blur reduction technologies (ULMB, Turbo240, and BENQ Blur Reduction) have much better color quality than LightBoost.

patrickisfrench wrote:Also, is 100-140fps going to feel the same as 60-100fps while using gsync?

You get further improvements, though the improvements start to get marginal as you begin to approach stutter-free GSYNC 144fps@144Hz. At this point it becomes so that 144fps@144Hz GSYNC looks the same as 144fps@144Hz VSYNC ON, when GSYNC gets closer and closer to the framerate cap.

patrickisfrench wrote:Or am I going to be able to feel that extra butter while in the triple digits? If it does indeed all feel the same and equalized then what bar would you set the gsync experience at so I can imagine how nice it is? lol. would you say it keeps the "feeling" of 120fps/120hz at anything above 60fps?

More-or-less. But the more impressive aspect of GSYNC (to me) is the permanent "capped out framerate-refreshrate synchronized motion" so that fluctuating framerate 40-70fps looks as smooth as 60fps@60Hz. Random framerates that look smooth, even though the frametimes varied hugely from frame to frame.

If your game is already doing 120fps@120Hz, GSYNC isn't going to give you much improvement (and ULMB gives you a bigger leap in overall IQ, if you don't mind the brightness loss). If your game is fluctuating widly up and down, you don't notice the framerate fluctuations as much, and random 30-45fps actually feels smooth and playable where it used to not be playable in the past (random 30-45fps normally looks ultra-stuttery).

The question of what X framerate GSYNC looks better than X framerate non-GSYNC really depends on how stuttery the framerate originally is. A stutter during 30fps is a bigger stutter cost (1/30sec stutter = bigger stutter) than a stutter during 120fps (1/120sec stutter = smaller less visible stutter), so the stutter reduction benefit of GSYNC is so massive at low framerates and begin to gradually diminish as you get to a high framerate.

Now, to picture it like this, it's more of a curve of IQ improvement, of sorts:
GSYNC low framerate = looks better than a framerate 30fps higher
GSYNC med framerate = looks better than a framerate 20fps higher
GSYNC high framerate = looks better than a framerate 10fps higher
GSYNC max framerate = looks identical to VSYNC ON capped-out without framedrops

In other words, GSYNC 40fps can look better than non-GSYNC 70fps. However, this is not a hard-and-fast rule, as there are outlierss. Some games don't get much GSYNC improvement (e.g. engine-based stutters), while others get massive GSYNC improvement that occurs at all framerate less than 143fps...

The fact that framerates can look better than almost double framerates in certain games that are otherwise very stuttery (e.g. Battlefield 4) -- that $200 premium for GSYNC now can become a better buy than, say, a video card upgrade, since you usually can't double your framerates in modern games (Battlefield 4) for just a $200 premium.

So briefly, we go back to the discussion of ULMB. We already know ULMB is limited to 120Hz (or 100Hz or 85Hz). Now, let's take the scenario of GSYNC with a max of 120Hz (e.g. configuring GSYNC with 120Hz), you have 120fps@120Hz as your maximum. Now let's compare GSYNC 120fps@120Hz versus ULMB 120fps@120Hz.

GSYNC 120fps@120Hz = stutterfree/tearfree -- but not blurfree
VSYNC OFF 120fps@120Hz = not blurfree, not tearfree, and may not be stutterfree either
VSYNC ON 120fps@120Hz = stutterfree/tearfree -- but not blurfree
ULMB VSYNC OFF 120fps@120Hz = blurfree -- but not tearfree and may not be stutterfree
ULMB VSYNC ON 120fps@120Hz = blurfree/stutterfree/tearfree

So you see, there's now becomes a specific situation where ULMB is superior in every department (except dimmer brightness & very slightly lower contrast ratio). But only if you have the GPU power to guarantee such high framerates. Now, this may not matter to you, since you may not have a GPU that runs capped-out framerates, and there are many players here who will never play VSYNC ON (due to input lag) because they primarily play competitively.
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Re: Gsync, refresh rate matching and lower Hz gameplay...

Postby patrickisfrench » 04 May 2014, 23:15

that was wildly helpful chief! thank you! :)
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Re: Gsync, refresh rate matching and lower Hz gameplay...

Postby Chief Blur Buster » 05 May 2014, 17:06

I should add that ULMB also runs at 85Hz and 100Hz, so you can play VSYNC ON 85fps@85Hz or VSYNC ON 100fps@100Hz, for the blurfree/stutterfree/tearfree experience in certain games (if your GPU is fast enough to prevent framerate slowdowns). Source engine games will be very easy to get running at these framerates on recent GPUs, but games such as Crysis3/BF4, will be much harder to run at framerates matching refreshrates that ULMB needs for motion IQ to sing a good song.

Either way, GSYNC is a really good technology to have, as it is often difficult to run at framerates that allow strobe backlights (ULMB) modes to produce better overall motion IQ than GSYNC.
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       To support Blur Busters:
       • Official List of Best Gaming Monitors
       • List of G-SYNC Monitors
       • List of FreeSync Monitors
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