Only a true gamer is always interested in getting the best possible gaming experience. One of the main talking points is certainly NVIDIA’s G-Sync. As is the case with every other aspect of gaming, this feature also has its proponents and opponents.
We will go through some of the problems that gamers might experience, what the possible solutions are and whether there is an alternative to G-Sync.
Also, in the end, we will try to answer the burning question: is G-Sync worth it?
What troubles gamers the most?
This important question actually has two answers — screen tearing and stuttering. We will first explain how this occurs and how it can be fixed.
First of all, monitors work at the same speed all the time, which means that they always have the same refresh rate. However, that frequency is not always in line with the one that comes from the graphics card.
On the other hand, GPU does not operate at the same speed all the time. Furthermore, the difference between operating frequencies of monitor and graphics card can appear in two instances.
Firstly, this happens when the graphics card is producing frames at a higher rate than the monitor. Secondly, this can occur if the GPU cannot keep up with the frequency coming from the monitor.
Therefore, when there is such a discrepancy, screen tearing occurs.
In some cases, a graphics card cannot keep up with the monitor’s frame rate and that is when stuttering happens. Since monitors have a fixed refresh rate and graphics cards do not, there are situations when their frequencies do not match.
How to fix these problems?
One of the possible solutions is Vsync. Vsync essentially tries to match the graphics card frequency with the monitor’s speed. Although this solves stuttering, it may also create screen tearing, so it only solves half of the problem.
G-Sync is the only option that offers a solution for both stuttering and screen tearing. We were wondering how that is possible, so we decided to do some strenuous research. Vsync primarily tries to limit the frame rate of the GPU in order to match the monitor’s frequency.
On the other hand, G-Sync aims to instruct the monitor to work at the same speed as the graphics card. We will demonstrate this with the use of two practical examples:
- GPU is working at 75 FPS, and so is the monitor
- GPU needs to slow down, and the monitor complies with it
So far so good, the game is running better than ever and there are no obstacles to the best gaming experience. Well, why are we even discussing this further?
It seems to us that this is the answer to all of our troubles. However, there is always a catch and the recurring question arises again: is G-Sync worth it?
Why don’t we all have G-Sync?
The main difference between G-Sync and any other solution is that G-Sync is actually based on hardware, but still: is G-Sync worth it?
Therefore, the problems of stuttering and screen tearing are not solved by software, but by implementing a device which controls the monitor’s frame rate and this is where problems start coming to the surface.
The implementation of the chip is rather expensive. Therefore, any company that chooses to install it in their monitors automatically raises the price of their products. Moreover, the inclusion of G-Sync technology might not match a certain company’s business strategy since they have, for example, a different type of target audience in mind.
So if we decide to compare two monitors of identical characteristics and somehow one ends up being more expensive than the other, it means that one of them has G-Sync installed.
Problems with compatibility
Since G-Sync is a part of NVIDIA’s product line, we must keep in mind that this technology will not work with AMD’s graphics cards. This is where the question “Is G-Sync worth it?”, haunts us again.
The problem may occur if we already have an AMD GPU or if we are planning to get one. Thus, if we are interested in G-Sync, we need to make sure that we have an NVIDIA GPU. Still, we can buy a monitor that possesses this technology, but we will not be able to use it completely.
Finally, we would end up with a top-notch device that would not be able to realize its full potential.
In order to answer the question “Is G-Sync worth it?”, we will also present some other options. As we have already pointed out, AMD display adapters cannot make use of the G-Sync technology. Hence, AMD decided to come up with their own solution.
Furthermore, it is called Freesync technology and is actually software based, which means that monitors that are compatible with it are less expensive than the ones that utilize G-Sync.
However, the problem with Freesync technology is that it does not work in all instances. Due to its more laid-back manner of dealing with monitor manufacturing companies, we do not expect to always get the same results. If we decide to get a cheaper monitor that supports the Freesync technology, we might experience some difficulties.
For example, the given monitor’s Freesync may operate only at a certain range of frequencies, which means that we might experience screen tearing and stuttering again. Although AMD may provide us with a cheaper alternative, it does not mean that we would always be able to use it.
Is G-Sync worth it?
Finally, we have reached the ultimate question: is G-Sync worth it? In the end, it all depends on us, the users. We have decided to investigate fully what screen stuttering and tearing are and we’ve looked for possible solutions.
Although it seemed that Vsync could help, it turned out that it does not solve the entire problem. So we decided to turn to G-Sync and Freesync technology.
First of all, we would need to have an NVIDIA graphics card. If not, we need to either buy a new one, which means that the list of expenses is getting longer. After that, we need to have enough resources in order to afford this luxurious treat.
Another problem stems from the fact that we already have an AMD GPU. In that case, we can either get a brand-new NVIDIA GPU, or we can simply go for a monitor that supports the Freesync technology. Thus, monitors that have G-Sync are best suited for individuals who either already have the same manufacturer’s graphics card or are on the way of purchasing a new high-tech computer.
Still, after taking into consideration everything that we have mentioned, we think that monitors that support G-Sync are worth it.