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NVIDIA G-SYNC - v-sync without the lag

Postby jacobvandy » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:05 pm

Big green announced today that they've developed a hardware module for monitors that will enable the display to sync itself to the GPU, rather than the other way around, i.e.how regular v-sync works. They say this eliminates stuttering and input lag caused by the video output being bottlenecked by the screen's refresh rate, so you'd no longer have to choose between that or image tearing (v-sync off). NVIDIA G-SYNC modules will be available as standalone devices you can install yourself, or integrated in certain new models coming out next year. Only specific one announced so far is the ASUS VG248QE, which they will be selling professionally-modded versions of before the end of the year. The cost for the module itself (or at least the first iteration, for self-modding into the aforementioned ASUS screen) is estimated to be $130-175.

I think it sounds pretty awesome, to finally be able to have a smooth picture without lag... I have always chosen screen tearing in exchange for more responsive input, but I'll probably be looking into this when I decide to go for a new monitor (I'll probably upgrade that next before anything else). The only problem is they say it requires a GeForce 650 Ti or better... Which probably means anything from the 5x0 series will be unsupported, regardless of actual horsepower available. So I'd need a new GPU, too, since I've been using this 580.
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Re: NVIDIA G-SYNC - v-sync without the lag

Postby Synchronicity » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:42 pm

Ooooo! I've been looking to upgrade one of my monitors for Christmas. I have a rather gorgeous Dell U2410 IPS display that's colour calibrated and a cheapo Westinghouse 24 incher I got long ago. I've been looking to replace the Westinghouse with a fast, responsive, higher refresh rate monitor and the above might be the one.
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Re: NVIDIA G-SYNC - v-sync without the lag

Postby One Fan To Another » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:50 pm

This is good. I cannot play a game with screen tearing. I just can't. Either I have V-Synch on or I don't play the game. So, to be able to do that without the added load is a sweet deal.

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Re: NVIDIA G-SYNC - v-sync without the lag

Postby Egg » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:02 pm

This sounds really cool. I actually just started to look at new monitors, and was a little turned off by the limited selection and high prices of the 120hz+ models. This would make that largely unnecessary.

There's only one problem though: I imagine I'd have to stick with NVidia cards for the foreseeable future. I've got a 660 now, but that doesn't mean NVidia will be the best choice in 2-3 years. I wouldn't want to unnecessarily limit myself to a specific manufacturer, especially with AMD scoring the console chips, and Mantle and all that. So maybe I'd have to make sure I get something 120hz afterall.

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Re: NVIDIA G-SYNC - v-sync without the lag

Postby Synchronicity » Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:42 pm

So I just modded my ASUS VG248QE with a G-Sync DIY kit from NVIDIA. The installation was pretty simple and straightforward. I think the only harrowing part of the whole ordeal was physically prying the chassis of the monitor apart, which required a ton of force and I was 100% certain I damaged something. But turns out the monitor is in perfect working order and the whole process was smooth sailing. Their instruction video was perfect, however some of the newer DIY kits have a few minor board revisions not covered in the video or the manual that you have to figure out on your own but it's still pretty straightforward.

So a few changes to the monitor: there are no more speakers (whatever) and no more DVI or HDMI (meh). It's DisplayPort only. There's also no physical monitor calibrations other than brightness, but you can create new EDID profiles and use some software to mess with color and whatnot. It seems to be better calibrated than the vanilla monitor anyways. The coolest thing is also the most minor: the monitor turns on and off instantaneously!

Anyways, there are two modes: G-Sync and Ultra Low Motion Blur. ULMB can be turned on or off with a button press and it basically strobes the backlight to match the refresh rate (limited to 120Hz). The result is absolutely no trailing, ghosting, or motion blur. Coupled with the high refresh rate you get probably one of the most fluid experiences you'll ever see on a monitor. It's a really subtle effect but right next to a 60Hz, non-strobed monitor it's actually really jarring.

As for G-Sync, it'll automatically kick in when you run a full-screen application. It'll sadly turn ULMB off since you can't strobe changing refresh rates. But G-Sync removed absolutely any tearing from any of my applications and games no longer stutter if the framerate shifts from 40 to 142 FPS. There's also 0 input lag. However, below 40 FPS the stutters are actually magnified as the monitor isn't really built to go to lower refresh rates. Also the effects of G-Sync are nullified if the FPS reaches 144 FPS, at which point input lag kicks in and G-Sync reverts to normal vsync. But a simple framerate limiter set to 142 FPS will fix that.

Overall I'm extremely pleased. My games are fucking buttery smooth. Everything is as advertised. My only concern is now I'm locked into NVIDIA for the foreseeable future. But considering my poor history with AMD and their shitty drivers that's not too big of a concern.
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