A discussion about Vsync & how it affects your gaming?

I have noticed that while playing many games on my computer most of the time its much smoother with Vsync disabled, but then you might get image tearing as a side effect. On the other side of the coin if you enable Vsync the image tearing go's away, but the game doesn't pan left to right as smoothly as it did when disabled. :pt1cable: When I played through Crysis I left Vsync disabled just to see how differently it played, let me tell you it was very smooth but had image tearing. With Vsync enabled the image tearing was gone and the gaming was looking cleaner, but it lost its smoothness.


So what is stopping us from getting the best of both worlds? The perfect world for gaming is having Vsync disabled without image tearing, so why don't Nvidia and ATI have a solution for this nagging issue? Vsync seems to affect something in the system other than simply capping your frame rates to = your refresh rate. Any insight people?
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More about discussion vsync affects gaming
  1. I think Vsync is the solution.
  2. From what I understand, vsync doesnt just cap to your refresh rate, it works hand in hand with your monitor. As your monitor is set to x-amount of refreshes per sec, vsync aligns itself with those limatations. Ive heard that triple buffering using vsync helps tho. If the screen isnt ready, vsync holds back your card til it is, thus the delays. I cannot see a workaround for this scenario unless you use something like triple buffer
  3. There's also tripple buffering to be taken into acount. I don't know the details but it also helps with tearing. As for Vsync I have to use it in some games (the witcher for example), but I tent to leave it away if possible since it kills quite some fps.
  4. It something that I always turn off, even before playing a new game, I should try it on for once..
  5. yeah, i dont use it. dont ask me why. lol
  6. I can't stand games without it. I hate screen tearing. I would rather have lower FPS than the screen ripping on me. But, to each their own :)
  7. As i understand it and please correct me if i am wrong is that a card with V-Sync enabled is tied to framerates that are an integer -subdivision of the refresh rate, 60 by default i think in windows, im sure some of you are running differant ones but thats where the skipping jumping comes from. tripple buffering helps but as has been said isnt a complete fix.
    The acctual problem comes about when the card cant match or beat the refresh rate of the monitor, so with this in mind it may be worth bearing in mind that there is always the option of turning the refresh rate down if you are running on most LCD monitors its 60 anyway as i understand it. Mine will refresh to 75 so in theory if i had this problem i could come down to 60.
    mactronix
  8. If you're getting stuttering with VSync try turning on triple buffering. Normally VSync locks the frame rate to some multiple of the monitor's refresh rate. Triple buffering allows for VSync at different frame rates, so you don't get the big jumps in frame rates that cause stuttering.
  9. @ purplerat
    Your post reads like the tripple buffering some how overrides the V-Sync.
    Its not that it allows for differant frame rates its just that as it says on the tin there are now three frames in the buffer. This allows the card to keep up better as it has the extra frame to throw in which helps keep things smooth. This does have the downside of having the card work harder and dosent work with all games, some seem not to like triple buffering.
    Mactronix
  10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical_synchronization

    short and simple...

    if you tie the FPS to a refresh rate, you had better have hardware that can keep up with those frame requests. i.e. on an LCD if you have a refresh rate of 60Hz you had better be able to get minimum of 60FPS in a game. If not, then you are effectively halving that and will be "capped" at 30. You get a buffer request at each refresh, so r[1] would give you the first frame, and if r[2] happens when there is not a fully drawn frame, then it is a repeat of r[1] and you don't get a "new" frame until r[3].

    so, if you are running 60Hz with a card that gets 40 Fps in a given game with vsync off, when you turn it on you effectively get 30Fps and "lose" those 10 frames. If you can get 60Fps or above in the same scenario, then vsync would just drop you to 60 and you "probably" would not notice any difference save the removal of tearing.

    An oversimplification to be sure, but that is how it is "smoother" with it off and why most budget gamers (or anyone running crysis) are forced to turn it off.
  11. V-Sync is really only an option when your hardware is more than adequate for the games you are running. Since V-Sync will cut your fps by almost half, no current machine can use v-sync effectively on Crysis. A couple years down the road, when new machines can get 120 fps on Crysis without vsynch, you will be able to turn it on and get 60 fps and get the best of both words - great fps AND no screen tearing. Try vsynch with some older games and you will notice it does nothing but improve your image quality, but only because your hardware kicks those old games in the rear.
  12. caspian:
    does not cut it in half... it "syncs" it with your monitors refresh. The only halving is if you can't meet that refresh mark for FPS... (60, 75 or whatever) then it cuts THAT number in half effectively.

    You don't need 120, just need more than what your refresh is for a minimum FPS.
  13. Yep that just about raps it up for me,nice summary :)
    Mactronix
  14. i hate it, i have it forced off by driver settings, ive never noticed tearing in any new games, it only really happens in the old games.
  15. If i can play the game with vsync on and get 50-60FPS, i do.

    As a example, FEAR looks for much better with vync on!
  16. Quote:
    Since V-Sync will cut your fps by almost half, no current machine can use v-sync effectively on Crysis

    Where the hell did you pull that from? I play Crysis with VSync and have tested without. The difference is a few FPS at the most.
  17. caspian21 said:
    V-Sync is really only an option when your hardware is more than adequate for the games you are running. Since V-Sync will cut your fps by almost half, no current machine can use v-sync effectively on Crysis.


    It doesn't cut it in half, you might notice this if you get 60 with v-sync on and 120 with it off, but it is more like a cap at the refresh rate of your monitor. I get tearing on my monitor without v-sync in some games, especially stuff like HL2 and CS:S or original Halo. If I turn it on the issues go away, but my frame-rate gets capped at 75 FPS. The only time I disable v-sync is if I am benchmarking, so my system can run at full potential.
  18. Recently, I noticed that even though I'm getting 40fps in COD4, the game felt laggy. Now I know why, but the tearing bothers me.
  19. Heres where I'm coming from, when playing both Crysis and Ghost Recon Advanced Warefighter 1 & 2 while playing online and offline I seem to notice with Vsync enable its blurry/unsmooth when panning slowly left to right at the same time my FPS is pegged at 75 FPS = to my refresh rate. You see the spec's of my computer in my signature running @1280x1024 @ 75HZ on an Nec 1970GX 8ms GTG, so when I turn off Vsync playing the games listed above they run VERY smooth. Then I have to deal with image tearing, depending on the game.

    I used to use a program called NVTweak 1.71 and DXTweaker where you can change this double buffer or back buffer to a Tripple Buffering (giving you two back buffers instead of just one with one primary) in Direct3D games that did give you the best of both worlds, but since I upgraded from my older 7800GTX to my 8800GTX it doesn't work on GF 8 series cards. Playing with my 7800GTX a year ago without this tripple buffering in GRAW 1 & 2 gave me around 25 to 40 FPS, however with this NVTweak 1.71 and DXTweaker running Tripple Buffering I got 45 to 75 FPS use this program.

    Go here if image is unreadable, second thought go here anyway. http://www.tweakguides.com/NVFORCE_9.html


    By systemlord at 2008-02-25
  20. How can the people that voted for Vsync disabled possibly deal with the image tearing? Bump really.
  21. I can't stand screen tearing, Vsync + Triple Buffering all the way :D
  22. Anonymous said:
    I can't stand screen tearing, Vsync + Triple Buffering all the way :D


    Triple Buffering + Vsync hasn't been done on Direct3D yet, only in open GL games like Doom 3. The only way to truely have Triple Buffering + Vsync is using NVTweak 1.71 and DXTweaker on 7900 series cards or lower. It won't work on 8800 series cards.
  23. ? as i said before i always use vsync off, and in any new game ive never seen tearing..... old games like Quake 2 and UT do have a little tearing but not enough to be noticable, im far to envolved in the game to even notice a tear though, if they indeed do happen the only game i ever noticed them in was STALKER.
  24. sry about this but i dislike vsync with everybit of me and i can't seem to turn it off in CoH. i know there is a no-vsync you add somewhere but i can not get it working. can someone help my pls?
  25. i only turn on vsync+triple buffering when i can get 50-60fps with it
  26. systemlord said:
    Triple Buffering + Vsync hasn't been done on Direct3D yet, only in open GL games like Doom 3. The only way to truely have Triple Buffering + Vsync is using NVTweak 1.71 and DXTweaker on 7900 series cards or lower. It won't work on 8800 series cards.



    So, if you enable triple buffering in the Nvidia Control Panel, it doesn't really work? I am pretty sure I noticed a difference in performance when I did enable it... but, maybe it was in my head.

    Also, in World of Warcraft, which is a Direct3D game, one of the options is to enable triple buffering (when you have vsync on). That leads me to believe that Triple Buffering+Vsync is in fact something that Direct 3D can do.

    So, that tweak you have, it won't work for an 8600?
  27. Is Vsync not the same as AA?
  28. dostanio said:
    Is Vsync not the same as AA?


    Anti-Aliasing smooths out the edges of lines, Vsync limits the framerate so that you have one frame displayed each time your monitor refreshes. V-Sync off gets you more frames, but since your monitor can't even display that many frames it is useless if you aren't just benchmarking. V-Sync on can help get rid of some screen tearing that happens when the video cards displays frames faster then your monitor can refresh.
  29. aziraphale said:
    There's also tripple buffering to be taken into acount. I don't know the details but it also helps with tearing. As for Vsync I have to use it in some games (the witcher for example), but I tent to leave it away if possible since it kills quite some fps.


    Its engine dependant. Alot of engines dont support tripple buffering and it will basicly do nothing for you. Actualy I do not believe any new engine supports it currently.
  30. I like my games with Vsync.
  31. I prefer to use Vsync, but it really depends on how many fps a particular game is running at. If it's running slower than 60 fps I turn it off and deal with the tearing.
  32. jerseygamer said:
    Its engine dependant. Alot of engines dont support tripple buffering and it will basicly do nothing for you. Actualy I do not believe any new engine supports it currently.


    Again, as I said earlier, World of Warcraft (for example) has an option to turn triple buffering on in the in game settings. It is a Direct3D game as well.
  33. I recently tried Vsync with my new comp, and I have to say that playing without screen-tearing is a wonderful thing. Everything seems pretty smooth to me also, so I will be using Vsync forever now :)

    For my sytem though if Vsync is on, the fps goes straight to 30 if I use 4x AA and the fps drops below 60. With 2x AA and Vsync, the fps drops steadily if it ever goes below 60. I think this happens for me with AA settings that are multiples of 4 or something. I don't exactly remember what is was, but Vsync and 2x AA does the trick for me.
  34. Thanks gravemind
  35. What exactly does "tearing" look like? Anyone have any screenshots?
  36. when a visible line goes down your screen, the part under the line isnt aligned with the part above...

    so if you looked right 5 pixels then your top part of the screen would change to that view, with a line moving down the screen as the bottom part of the screen catches up....

    i just thought why i might never notice it anymore... could it be that im using an lcd.
  37. I like Vsync turned ON.

    But we should demand a better solution!

    LCD screens refresh rate should be variable on
    future gaming edition of the monitor.

    The old phosphor CRT pretty much had to
    have a constant 60Hz as image would fade
    away if not updated before that.

    So demand that NVIDIA and AMD work with
    major LCD manufactures to come up with a
    solution where video card and monitor actually
    talks to each other.
  38. It seems like there could be a better solution, but it is almost like reinventing the wheel. It works as is, vsync is the solution to screen tearing. Not to say I would want to see a solution as well, it is just a bigger undertaking than you make it out to be.
  39. A lot of this is down to trial and error with experimenting setting up your hardware. Normally unless some part of the system is just too weak or too powerful you can get a balance. That's why you can set game specific profiles in third party apps like ATT. You can also force triple buffering using ATT. Sorry but i have no knowledge as far as Nvidia cards go, but would thing similar tweaks are available.
    Mactronix
  40. What is A.F den please? thanks
  41. AF is Anisotropic Filtering some times referred to as Aniso in reviews as its name suggests its one of many types of filtering techniques available to users of graphics card to increase the image quality of the rendered image. Very basically it reads and averages texture samples and kind of smooths things off in to the distance by covering irregular shapes with clear textures.
    You could probably find a more in depth explanation that would cover the other options by running a Google search. I am more than willing to answer any more questions you have but it will have to wait until morning as i am going out soon.
    mactronix :)
  42. I vote for Vsync on almost all the time in my case. My big problem is that it seems without it on I get the tearing effect, most notable on corners of buildings etc. It drives my crazy and I turn Vsync on and it's great. I really got fed up when I got my new 24" monitor and my nice 8800GT...I was playing portal which is a very "boxy" themed game, so lot's of corners etc. I turned it on and like magic it went away. From that point on I tested all my games that allow vsync and turned it on. And again the tearing went away. I don't see a reason not to have it on unless obviously you aren't getting the tearing effect.
  43. I didn't know what the hel it was for lol. I have a pretty pimped out machine so, I'm guessing this would help as I'm sure mine can push harder then my 24" Sync master. I will have to give this a go in COD4.
  44. I think I have only noticed tearing when a game goes into video mode or whatever.. ya know.. when it does a movie or something about the story... ya i dont even know what that is called.. err.. CUT SCENE yeah thats it.. when it goes to a cut scenen then i notice the tear.. but never in any games.. actually now taht I think of it.. I see it alot watching mid quality movies... But like said before.. I am far too envolved in killing people to notive if it tears every once in a while...
  45. thanks alot for your time mactronix

    and thanks physx7 for that link!:)
  46. husky mctarflash said:
    What exactly does "tearing" look like? Anyone have any screenshots?


    Not my screenshot, but Halo CE has terrible tearing issues on the mac version with v-sync off(from playing it on my school's computer club's mac mini) and this screenshot from a google search reminds me perfectly of it. Tearing isn't always this bad, it can be a bit less pronounced.

  47. Quote:
    and thanks physx7 for that link!


    I'm so good! ;)
  48. Guys I found this article when I was researching about the pros/cons of Vsync...

    http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=928593

    Very informative and very easy to understand, check it out and settle this issue once and for all!
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