Games have always pushed the boundaries of hardware and have made hardware developers quake in fear when the talk of a new high end game comes out that is going to put their hardware to the test. New processors need be released so that the graphics card doesn’t bottle neck. Which leads to new motherboards and RAM. But the graphics card world has to evolve the fastest out of all of them. They pioneer in the latest in technology that funnels down into other parts of your PC.
When are constantly seeing new graphics cards being released. Take for example the GTX 9XX series that has just been replaced by the GTX 10XX series with claims of the new cards being faster and using less power than their current flagship the GTX Titan.
While all of this is fantastic news, we are still seeing screen tearing in games. This is caused by your graphics card sending a new frame to your monitor while it is still in the middle of processing a frame which adds additional frames into the current frame. This gives off a very unattractive image and brings down the game play experience.
And although there are attempts already in place to amend this by enabling vsync, it is simply that. An attempt. By trying to solve one issue, they have made another called stuttering and input lag. This is where your graphics card constantly checks to see if the monitor has finished refreshing its current frame and then sends a new frame. However you then see the input lag where the image doesn’t necessarily correspond with the action you are trying to perform.
Luckily Nvidia is to the rescue with G-Sync that doesn’t just try and fix the screen tearing issue and create more issues than the original one, but it actually solves it all.
G-Sync is not just some virtual software that tries to manipulate and trick your monitor and graphics card into working together. It is actually a piece of hardware fitted to selected monitors that will alter the displays VBLANK (Vertical Blanking) which is the spacing between the screens time it finishes rendering a frame and when it starts the next frame.
During the this time, your graphics card won’t send any additional information to the screen and will wait until the monitor is ready to receive and process another frame and then send it. G-Sync keeps the balance between your graphics card and your monitor making sure you have the best gaming experience possible without any screen tearing or input lag.
Think of G-Sync as a mini computer between your graphics card and your monitor. The circuit board has its own memory (768MB DDR3) that stores images and compares them constantly to see when it can submit the next frame and moves on to the next. It does all of this at lightning speed to give you a smoother gaming experience. It also calculates the refresh rate for your monitor and graphics card and can scale it up or down to best fit the images being displayed.
And you are spoilt for choices when it comes to picking your G-Sync enabled monitor. With the likes of Asus, ViewSonic, Philips, BenQ and AOC, just to name a few, joining the G-Sync family you have ample manufacturers to choose from.
You are also in luck if you bought a Asus VG248QE monitor as this is G-Sync ready and you can purchase a kit to upgrade it yourself.
The G-Sync enabled monitors come in a variety of choices with resolutions ranging from 1080p to 1440p and come in different sizes from 20-inches up.
However, the monitor is only half the solution. You need a compatible graphics card in order to make use of this technology. The GTX 7xx range up, coupled with the latest Nvidia GeForce display drives and utilities, will support G-Sync.
Nvidia is not the only ones with this technology though. AMD has also released technology that is similar to G-Sync called FreeSync. They both have the same goal in mind, which is to eliminate the dreaded screen tearing effect and give their market a better gaming experience. The choice is completely up to the user as both manufacturers solutions work wonderfully and it comes down to budget and preference.
So if you are looking to upgrade your PC or notebook make sure to look for the G-Sync enabled monitors and graphics cards if you want to get rid of the pesky screen tearing effect when enjoying your favorite titles.