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What is VSync ? Is it better to have Vsync on or off?

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If you are a passionate gamer just like me, you know that every game’s settings play a major role in the efficient working of the game. Even one improper configuration can make the game crash.

Therefore, it is paramount that you configure your game as per your computer or any other gaming rig. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing on a professional level or playing for fun. The right setup in the settings will give you an amazing experience.

Recently all games that come out have amazing graphics and user experience. For example, let’s consider Call of Duty: Warzone. The game will require at least an 8 GB of ram, CPU of Intel core i3-7340 or AMD FX-6300, and a graphics card of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 or Radeon HD 7950.

To play Call of Duty: Warzone, you will spend a lot of money on getting yourself a good gaming rig that can fluently run the game. Now, even after installing the game, it will be meaningless if you start playing the game without the proper settings.

Your whole gaming experience will get ruined. Consider the setting “Vsync,” if your Vsync is off, it will distort the screen, and you won’t be able to enjoy the game.

What Exactly Is Vsync đŸ€”

Vsync is short for Vertical Sync or Vertical Synchronisation. In general, it comes under the graphics technology whose main job is to synchronize the screen’s refresh rates and the game’s frame rate.

When you play a 3D game, your system keeps refreshing your screen to maintain the smooth flow. The monitor or the screen that you play your game on has a specified refresh rate.

If the monitor’s refresh rate and the game’s framerate do not match, the video game will be distorted. It will look as if the screen is torn apart.

What is VSync

From the image, you can see on the left side the effects of tearing on the screen when Vsync is off, and on the right side, you can see the enhanced synchronization when Vsync is turned on.

When Vsync is turned on, the system tries to make the refresh rate and the frame rate match each other. In doing so, the video game runs smoothly, and you will not see any kind of distortion while playing.

Refresh Rate Vs. Frame Rate đŸ€·â€â™‚ïž

Vsync is a technology solution or software which improves user experience by fixing distortion on the screen. To understand what Vsync does, we will first see the functioning of all the different components.

The monitor or screen is a physical device that has its specification. For example, a low-quality screen will have a refresh rate of 60Hz, and it can also be lower than 60Hz.

This means that your monitor can only handle 60 frames changes per second. Whereas, if your screen’s quality is very high, the refresh rate can even be above 240Hz.

The next component is the graphics card that is installed on your gaming rig. The main job of your graphics card is to put out the visuals or frames on the screen. Frames per second are the number of frames that your graphics card can give to the screen.

A stronger graphics card will provide you with more frames per second, which means smoother gameplay. A lower quality graphics card will give you a smaller number of frames per second.

How Does Vsync Work? đŸ€”

The major problem arises when there is a mismatch between the refresh rate and the frame rate. Sometimes when your rig is in the most efficient condition, it will be able to give a very high frame per second.

The frame rate will even cross the refresh rate of the monitor. When this happens, the refresh rate of the screen will start lagging behind the frames per second, and you will be able to see a tear within the video, as shown below.

What is VSync

When you’re playing a very high fps game, and this happens, you will get frustrated with the game. Here is where Vsync comes to the rescue. The Vsync job is to make sure that such tearing up of the video does not happen.

What Vsync does is that it can reduce the frame rate by placing a cap on the frame rate; this way, the output by the graphics card will always be stable and match the screen’s refresh rate. If you have a 60Hz display, then the Vsync option will only lock the frame per second to 60 fps.

Where Do I find Vsync Options?

Turning Vsync on and off is a very simple task. There are two ways that you can change Vsync settings. The first option that you can take is by changing it in the option of the game itself. On the main screen, you can find the options button.

Under the options button, you will have to navigate to the video options panel. In the video options screen, if you have to scroll down and find the Vsync button as shown in the image below. Over here, you can turn Vsync on or off.

The second option that you have is to change the graphics card setting. If you have an NVIDIA GeForce graphics card, then it is very easy to change Vsync.

The first step you will need to do is right-click on your desktop and click on the NVIDIA control panel, as shown in the image below.

The next step is to find the manage 3D settings and click on it. You will be able to find it on the left side of the screen. Once you enter the manage 3D setting column, you can find Vsync under settings.

Here you can select to either turn Vsync on or off. The detailed process is shown in the image below.

What is VSync

If you are using intel HD graphics card then right-click on your desktop and select “Graphics Properties” option and select “3D” option.

Under General Settings, Click on the Custom Settings. Here you will get Vertical Sync option.

You may like to read our guide on Getting to know the Nvidia Container ( Why It’s Running in Your PC ).

Advantages Of Vsync

As we have discussed, turning on Vsync will enhance your gameplay and provide you with smooth graphics. The biggest advantage of turning Vsync on is that it will always keep the video output stable. 😎

Another advantage of Vsync is that it will protect your devices from overheating. When you run an old game with low graphics, and at the same time you have a higher graphics card, the system will make the game run on higher fps than required.

This process will make the graphics card produce more work than needed; in turn, it will overheat the components. Turning on Vsync will maintain a lower frame rate output from the graphic card and ensure very smooth gameplay of your old game.

Disadvantages Of Vsync

We know that Vsync is an important setting we need to consider when playing a high fps game. But you don’t need to always keep this option on. When Vsync is on, it will always reduce the frame rate. Which, in turn, slows down the output on the screen.

The processor will have to wait for several milli-second until the monitor is ready for the next frame. Due to this, a mix-match is created between the time from the input to the output.

It means that there is a time lag when you give input from your keyboard, mouse, or any other input device to the time it is displayed on the screen. It can be irritating when you are playing games that depend on reflex and quick responses such as Fortnite or PUBG.

Another downside of keeping Vsync on is that it causes increased latency and creates a problem when the frame rate per second drops due to obvious reasons. Your processors can sometimes reduce the frame rate due to external features such as temperature, or running another program simultaneously.

When this happens, the frame rate will go below the refresh rate of the screen. Simultaneously, the graphics card will further decrease the frame rate and create a shuttering of the screen. Therefore, is it advisable to always keep the Vsync off and use it only when you are experiencing tearing of the screen?

Different Types Of Vsync:-

So far, we have seen how normal Vsync is used for the enhanced gaming experience. In reality, there are multiple types of Vsync that you can use with the help of different graphics cards.

Graphics card companies like Nvidia and AMD develop new technology and software concerning vertical synchronization. The new and improved Vsync will help eliminate all the errors and lags that the old versions could not solve.

Below we will look at some amazing Vsync alternatives that you can use for better quality output.

Nvidia Adaptive Vsync:-

The Nvidia adaptive Vsync is an advanced technology and has an amazing feature that only an Nvidia graphics card can provide. You will not be able to find this option on any other graphics card. You can find this option in the Nvidia control panel.

Adaptive VSync dynamically turns VSync on and off to maintain a more stable framerate.

This Vsync gives you the best gaming experience by adjusting your frame rate to your screens refresh rate. The best part about Nvidia Adaptive Vsync is that it automatically switches off when the fps drops down.

This way, you will never face any shuttering of the video while playing. To enable this Vsync option, you can follow the same steps as mentioned above under the Nvidia control panel.

Nvidia G-Sync:-

Nvidia G-Sync is an outstanding new technology when it comes to synchronization. It will provide you with the smoothest gaming experience, without any tearing, shuttering, or any distortion of the video.

The only downside is that you will have to purchase a monitor, which is Nvidia G-sync adaptive. Along with the monitor, you will also require the G-sync module to run on your gaming rig. It will be the best gaming experience that money can buy.

The best part is that Nvidia has done G-sync work with the lowest of the graphics card. Even if your pc still runs an Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti, you can still run the G-sync module.

AMD FreeSync:-

The biggest competitor of Nvidia, AMD, came out with their solution to screen tearing and stuttering. They introduced the AMD FreeSync, which runs on AMD graphics card.

For the FreeSync to work on your pc, you will require a monitor that is compatible with the AMD FreeSync along with AMD hardware.

AMD Enhanced Sync:-

The AMD enhanced sync is very similar to the Nvidia Adaptive Vsync, when it comes to the working of the technology. It can turn on and off when required. Therefore, it will always give you a smooth flow without any shuttering or tearing of the video.

To enable the AMD enhanced sync, you will need to equip your computer with Radeon software. With this, your computer will be able to run any game with high graphics requirements.

Conclusion

So we have seen that Vsync is a very important setting when it comes to enhanced gameplay. With Vsync, you can have an amazing and smooth flow of the video.

Always remember that you don’t need to use Vsync for every game, as sometimes turning it on can give you bad performance.

When you’re keeping Vsync on, make sure it is necessary. Also, It is highly recommended to use your inbuilt graphics card Vsync option and not the in-game option. Now the last thing you need to do is open up your game and enjoy the flawless gameplay with no lags and shuttering.

📗Frequently Asked Questions

(Q) Is it better to have Vsync on or off?

There is no direct answer to this question. It all depends on your computer needs. If your game runs smoothly without turning Vsync on, then keep it off.

If you face tearing of the screen or if the game lags, only then it is advisable to turn on Vsync. Otherwise, you will simply be wasting your CPU power for something that is not needed.

(Q) Is Vsync good or bad?

You have the option to turn Vsync on or off; therefore, Vsync is a good thing. It helps to stabilize the video output. It also helps to use the processor efficiently. If the Vsync itself causes the problem, you can always go to the settings and turn it off.

(Q) Can Vsync increase fps?

No, Vsync cannot increase the frame per second. It does the exact opposite. As we know, vertical Sync or Vsync works by waiting for a complete frame to render before projecting it on the screen. Therefore, it reduces the frame rate to match the refresh rate of your screen.

(Q) Is Vsync good for Fortnite?

Yes, Vsync is actually quite good for Fortnite. Fortnite is a fast-paced competitive game. It requires the players to make decisions quickly. With Vsync kept on, the frames per second will be very smooth, and you will be able to have a higher response time.

(Q) When should I use Vsync?

It is not necessary to keep Vsync on for every game. Some games will run better when Vsync is turned off, and some games with higher graphics requirements will run better when Vsync is turned on.

If your screen and the CPU run on the same frequency, you do not need to turn on the Vsync. Only if you experience tearing of the screen or some other problems like lag and stuttering, then it is recommended to turn on the Vsync.

(Q) Can 60Hz run 120 fps?

No, you cannot have a 120 fps on a 60Hz screen. That is impossible to achieve. When we say that the screen has a 60Hz refresh rate, we mean that it can run 60 frames per second, i.e., 60 fps only. If you want to play at 120 fps, then you will need a 120Hz display.

(Q) Should I cap my fps at 60?

If your monitor has a 60Hz refresh rate, putting a cap on the frame rate at 60 fps will be pointless. All you will be doing is using up energy for absolutely nothing.

In case if your processor cannot handle a constant frame rate, then it will be a good idea to put a cap on frame rate, as long as the cap is equal to or higher than the monitor’s refresh rate.

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