What is G-SYNC and How Does it Work? | Nvidia G-Sync Explained

G-Sync technology is developed to fix screen tearing and boost your gaming experience. G-Sync is a display feature implemented in monitors, TVs, or laptops to prevent stuttering, juddering, and screen tearing. It is applicable in faster-paced videos or games. G-Sync only operates when the system is connected to the display through a compatible graphics card. So we can say that Nvidia G-Sync is one of the most powerful tools that deliver a smooth image experience to users.  AMD Freesync is the biggest rival of Nvidia G-Sync.

In 2013, Nvidia introduced a G Sync technology for combining the graphics card display with smooth gaming performance. It ensures that there will be no screen tearing when it displays two or more frames simultaneously. When you enable the G-Sync, the display automatically adapts to the output of the graphics card. Nvidia currently lists three monitor classes: G-Sync, G Sync compatible, and G –Sync Ultimate. In this article, we will be sharing all the related information regarding Nvidia G-Sync and how it works.

What is a G-Sync?

G-Sync is a technology that synchronizes the monitor’s refresh rate directly to the GPU render rate, which leads to smoother performance, eliminates tearing and stuttering. G-Sync controls refresh rate via a chip that is embedded into the monitor during manufacturing.

G-Sync monitors support a wider range of features than the FreeSync, such as:

  • Low Input Lag
  • Wide Color gamut
  • Variable refresh rate support from 1-360Hz
  • Windowed mode and Full Screen

How Does G-SYNC Work?

G-Sync allows the monitor refresh rate to alter dynamically based on the GPU frame rate (Frames per second). It eliminates every screen tearing up to the highest monitor refresh rate with no penalty in the input lag. Thus if there is a 144 Hz monitor for playing games and 60 FPS within a game, G-Sync will dynamically convert the display refresh rate to 60 Hz. It will offer you 60 entire frames in each second with no presence of tearing. 

On the other hand, variable overdrive makes sure that the pixel response time speed adjusts accordingly to prevent the pixel overshoot at lower frame rates and ghosting at the high frames per second. G-Sync acts like a hardware solution that needs an Nvidia proprietary module. It is the only reason why G-Sync monitors are much more costly than conventional ones. 

G-Sync vs. G-Sync Ultimate vs. G-Sync Compatible

G-SyncG-Sync CompatibleG-Sync Ultimate
Validated
No Artifacts
Validated
No Artifacts
Validated
No Artifacts
Certified with more than 300 testsCertified with more than 300 testsIncludes certification for 1000 nits of brightness with HDR
24 to 38 inches24 to 88 inches27 to 65 inches

G-Sync is the VRR technology from Nvidia and requires a graphics card for operating. Fully-fledged G-Sync monitors need a processing propriety chip that will push up the cost. G-Sync monitors pass through 300 image quality and compatibility tests before joining the Nvidia G-Sync club. The monitors support a refresh rate of 1 to 360 Hz with a lower input lag and support both windowed and full-screen monitors. If your monitor includes a 60 to 175 Hz refresh rate and the frame rate suddenly drops to 144 in each second, then the G-Sync monitor will convert the refresh rate to 144 Hz as well.

G-SYNC Ultimate was earlier known as G-SYNC HDR. The monitors that include G-Sync ultimate technology also come with a featured module and additional HDR support. G-Sync Ultimate gaming monitors offer a higher level visibility experience due to the 1000 nit of peak brightness, multiple zone backlight, and full-array local dimming zones. There are also monitors with 600 nits brightness that delivers a decent picture quality with the certification of DisplayHDR 600. The resolutions range from Full HD(1920 x 1080 pixel) to 4K(3840 x 2160 pixel), while refresh rates range from 60Hz to 240Hz.

G-Sync Compatible is an ideal option for those who cannot afford G-Sync displays. A G-SYNC compatible monitor is an Adaptive-Sync display that is validated by NVIDIA to work without any problems during their testing. Also, it will only work when the monitor is connected through onboard DisplayPort. There are only a few G-Sync compatible monitors supported by Nvidia. Since these are FreeSync displays at their core, G-Sync monitors do not come at a premium price.

G-Sync or G-Sync Ultimate System requirements

You will require an Nvidia graphics card to be compatible with the G-Sync monitors to take full benefit of G-Sync. But some of the most recent displays support HDMI VRR under the G-Sync compatible monitor. Now let us see what you will need to implement a G-Sync or G-Sync Ultimate monitor with the following machines.

G-Sync monitor connected to PC

  • GPU: A GTX 650 Ti Boost or higher
  • Port: DisplayPort 1.2 from the graphics card directly
  • Driver: R340.52 or higher driver

G-Sync monitor connected to laptop

  • GPU: A GTX 965 M, 970M, or 980 M or higher
  • Port: DisplayPort 1.2 from the graphics card directly
  • Driver: R340.52 or higher driver

G-Sync Ultimate monitor connected to PC

  • GPU: GTX 1050 or higher
  • Port: DisplayPort 1.4 from the graphics card directly
  • Driver: R396 GA2 or higher driver

G-Sync Ultimate monitor connected to laptop

  • GPU: GTX 1050 or higher
  • Port: DisplayPort 1.4 from the graphics card directly
  • Driver: R396 GA2 or higher driver

Conclusion

No matter whichever technology of G-Sync you select, you have to remember that each of them comes with different unique strengths. G-Sync monitors are more limited regarding graphics card support and compliments only with the Nvidia graphics card. For the non-certified G-Sync compatible monitors, there will be no warranty that the adaptive sync feature will create positive results. 

Ankit is a software engineer. A pro lover of Technology and tech gadgets. Our team is here to help you find the best monitor products to decide which one is best for you.

Leave a Comment