V-Sync vs G-Sync Monitor.
(Image credit: Thanalysis)

Before I go in detail, let me tell you in brief that V-Sync, G-Sync, and FreeSync are technologies used in laptops and personal computers to deliver an improved gaming performance in terms of visual stability in monitor. In other words, these three terms are related to graphics displayed in the monitor of the PC or laptop.

Such technical terms are often confuse people and that's why I'm about to discuss all of them here. Among that three technologies (V-Sync, G-Sync, and FreeSync), V-Sync was the first one to be used by laptop manufacturers to offer a stable graphics performance.

ARTICLE CONTENT:

  1. V-Sync
  2. G-Sync
  3. FreeSync

V-Sync

The full form of V-Sync is Vertical Synchronization. Its purpose was only to prevent screen tearing and sluttering.

A screen tearing is something like horizontal kind of lines show up when two frames interact on the computer display at the same time. In the simple words, it’s nothing but the distortion you see in the image. Screen sluttering is also a colleague of tearing.

Screen sluttering occurs when the refresh rate of screen mismatch with the rate at which GPU sends the data to screen.

So, when the screen refresh rate becomes less compared to the rate at which GPU sends the data, screen tearing occurs. And, vice versa let the machine pause. Both cases results in a poor gaming experience. Both are disaster in the gaming world.

To eliminate that, V-Sync technology came into existence. It basically puts a cap on GPU's FPS (Frame Per Second - it's the amount of frames GPU send per second) to match the refresh rate of screen.

Hence, If you uses a monitor of 60Hz refresh rate for gaming and GPU FPS is 80Hz or more, then V-sync will cap its speed by lowering the performance to match the legacy standards. It basically prevents the GPU from achieving the peak-performance.

But, it has certain limitations too. Back in days, there were only 60Hz monitors. So, the V-Sync is only applicable to 60Hz refresh rate monitor.

As V-Sync downgrades the High-end GPU’ performance, G-Sync came into an existence. It has improved the performance quite a lot.

G-Sync

NVIDIA was the first company which has released the G-Sync technology in 2013. The main job of G-Sync is to ensure that there’s a smooth synchronization between the display’s refresh rate and GPU’s output rate.

G-Sync technology comes with higher refresh rate display. In this case, the monitor's refresh rate is always gonna higher than GPU FPS. So, this technology controls the screen refresh rate for smooth performance delivery.

Understand it by an example. Suppose the screen refresh rate is 240Hz and GPU FPS is 200Hz then it will create lag. In this case, G-Sync will interact with screen and reduce the screen FPS by 40Hz to meet the equal value. This way, it enables the smooth synchronization.

As a result, you will observe the smooth movement of graphics on the screen.

How G-Sync works?

It will be very deep technical if I explain everything. Let me explain you the basic.

To make FPS of GPU and screen, G-Sync manipulates the VBI (Vertical Blinking Interval). VBI interval is the time gap when the display finishes the drawing of current frame and moves to the next one.

So, G-Sync featured monitor identifies this gap and modifies the refresh rate as per the GPU’s demand that in turn prevent frame drop issues.

Because, G-Sync enabled monitors are too expensive, every customer can’t get its benefits. In addition to that, NVIDIA has also released the most advanced version of G-Sync called G-Sync Ultimate. And, G-Sync only works with NVIDIA Graphics card. As a result, AMD has introduced FreeSync.

FreeSync

FreeSync was released in 2015 by AMD. It’s a similar technology to G-Sync in terms of working. It’s developed to minimize the screen tearing and sluttering noticeably. It's specific to AMD GPU only. In addition, The “Free” in the name FreeSync tells that it’s free for manufacturer to implement.

A minor limitation of FreeSync is that it works on specific input tag. Means, it only work with DisplayPort 1.2a standard. It won’t work with common legacy VGA or DVI port. So, FreeSync featured monitors are much cheaper compared to G-Sync.

But, FreeSync has one little drawback. You will find the ghosting effect of image.

A Ghosting-like image occurs when the object moves to the next position but leaves the bit behind that feels like the part that’s behind the current position is shadow or some sort of ghost-like. But, In my experience, it’s in very rare case. But, it does exist. The primary cause of ghosting in FreeSync monitors is improper power input. The low or over power input creates the gap between movement.

To overcome this limitation of FreeSync technology, AMD has introduced the next advanced version of FreeSync called FreeSync 2 HDR. With FreeSync 2 HDR, if the frame rate falls below the supported range of the monitor, low framerate compensation (LFC) is automatically enabled to prevent stuttering and tearing.

All monitors don’t support FreeSync 2 HDR. Its requirements are

  • HDR support
  • Low Frame Rate Compensation capabilities
  • An ability to switch between Standard Definition Range (SDR) and High Dynamic Range (HDR)

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