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vSync for the masses!

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Control Panel
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 11, 2004 2:50:33 PM

OK, you might think I'm a little bit dumb! But I never actually mess with vSync until this week-end. I always left this setting off in games and never touched it in control panel.

But, this week-end I just reinstalled MOHAA to play the expansions I never played. My brother-in-law bought the "MOHAA : War Chest" and lend it to me. I installed the package and started messing with Video/Advanced settings in games and in th ATI control panel. I found that 800x600 with all details to the max. and some ANISO gives me the best results (I have a Radeon 8500).

I played a few hours with these settings and then tought, why not to try vSync settings! I forced vSync ON in ATI Control Panel and I'm incredibly surprised! Wow! No more refresh "glitches", smoother refresh, etc... I run FRAPS and I see it's working, my FPS stay at 60 (My monitor refresh rate at 800x600, I haven't changed it to 75 yet) when there is no much action and drops when there is lot of effects/action on screen.

And this "discovery" made me think why this option is not always ON, why we would want our GPU to draw more frame than the monitor is capable of reproducing? And why we would want our GPU to stop drwaing a frame and start another in the middle of the process to follow the monitor refresh rate.

In my opinion there is no purpose to not keep vSync always ON, even for benchmarking. This would change a bit the way of doing reviews, but this would be good to compare cards in their ability to sustain FPS instead of their ability to achieve high FPS. Instead of checking for PEAK FPS, we would check for "dip" in FPS. The most demanding game would continue to run at lower than Refresh Rate (HALO, FARCRY, etc...). But old game like Quake3 would become pointless reference, because the new card would be able to draw 80 and more FPS all the time in these games/engine.

Any thoughts about that?

--
Lookin' to fill that <font color=blue>GOD</font color=blue> shape hole!

More about : vsync masses

a b U Graphics card
May 11, 2004 3:23:08 PM

Quote:
In my opinion there is no purpose to not keep vSync always ON,

When playing games, yeah it's a good idea.

Quote:
even for benchmarking.

When benchmarking it's a bad idea. You want to show the peak and valleys of performance. Without showing the MAX of the card, which may be barely above refresh, you will not show it's limits. Benchmarking doesn't only show peaks it shows the whole thing. Reviewers should move to histograms if they ever decide to adopt you idea because otherwise the accept avg. fps would be off.

And while I think Quake is outdated, there is no reason to abandon it even at 400fps vs 350fps if it show a difference in performance, as that can be extrapolated even if only within like situations.

What you are asking is similar to a car reviewer telling you the zero to 60 results, and then simply telling you, yeah it'll go 75 mph, without any idea of the top end.

Also remember that YOUR refresh rate is not the same as MY refresh rate, so reviewers may be cutting off my information, like as if the car reviewer cut off the review at 100kph and my speed limit is 110kph.

Benchmarks should always be unrestricted, show min, avg and max at the very least, and a histogram at best. Without thoughs peaks and valleys you will not see the areas where the CPU and graphics card are or aren't stressed.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
May 11, 2004 4:07:40 PM

I understand your point in benchmarking. A good compromise would be something like that :

- Min FPS / Avg. FPS / Max FPS
- % of time over 60 FPS / 80 FPS / 100 FPS (I think FRAPS could easily implement these stats in their code)
- A graphic of FPS over time

But, I don't think we would no see the limit of the cards with vSync ON. For example, take FarCry @ 1600x1200 / HQ. Even the X800 and 6800 will have hard time getting to 60/80/100 FPS. We would see the GPU limit. We don't need to know that old engine are run smoothly, because we all know they run smoothly. If I compare with car this would be like checking if the AM radio is playing well, is this very important? To some, it's still important, but overall everyone knows that all CARS play AM radio smoothly. It's the same for GPU, all today's and somewhat old GPU can run "old" game at their maximum potential.

Yes, we must know the TOP speed of cars, but what's matter is how well it can be drive in normal situation which is between 0 and 70Mph (in USA/CANADA). And usually car review reflect that. And they mention top speed/acc/etc... in their reference card.

The "same thinking" should be apply to GPU. Give limits, but compare them in normal and useful use. The important thing for action gamers is the SUSTAINED GPU, for RTS/Flight simulator it's more the IQ and minimum FPS, etc...

I think HardOPC are making a good move in this direction, but there is still some things to debate/discuss.

--
Lookin' to fill that <font color=blue>GOD</font color=blue> shape hole!
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May 11, 2004 4:33:27 PM

This is the stupidest, most useless post I have ever read. Seriously, stop making such stupid posts. EVERYONE ON THIS FORUM KNOWS WHAT VSYNC DOES, AND HAS THEIR OWN OPINION ON WHETHER OR NOT, AND WHEN, ITS GOOD TO USE!!!

It's like me posting about how I woke up one day and realized that the Athlon 64 FX is a fast cpu, or that I like bacon. Shutup faggot.


BTW, I've never been a fan of vsync, even for gaming. The tearing is minimal and I normally don't notice, and it dosn't bother me in the least. My friend Chris (JimmyDean) disagrees, and he always points out the tearing on my machine when vsync is off (i.e. when temporal AA is off).

However, I will point out a positive of not using vsync for gaming. Reason? You can feel it. When vsync is off, your monitor recieves updates more often than it refreshes, and thus portions of frames are displayed in different sections horizontally on your monitor. The section at the bottom would be the most recent. (Example: Frame 100 is sent from framebuffer to monitor, monitor begins to 'write' the image, framebuffer is updated and sends new frame to monitor, monitor is only 1/3 done 'writing' image. Monitor begins to write new image (frame 101) where it left off in 100. Image may appear "torn".)

Anyways, as for why vsync could be 'bad', with it on, the image of your crosshair could be slightly (1, 2, 3 frames, depending on FPS/mouse updates) lagging behind where it actually is... including where your brain THINKS it is. With if off, the image of your crosshair will be more up to date every time it is displayed, giving a more accurate representation of where the eff you're aiming.

Now I don't think that what I'm about to say is directly related to the above, but when vsync is on, you can sometimes feel alot of mouse lag. Mouse lag is MUCH worse than tearing IMO. I don't think the amount of mouselag that I'm referring to could be due to the crosshair being updated fractions (1/60ths, 1/75ths, 1/85ths...) of seconds delayed from it's actual position, so I'm not sure about the cause of this mouse lag.

But when you're as 1337 as I am, having your crosshair displayed 1/120 or 1/180th of a second more up to date can really help that Q3 fragging:) 

On a side note, all these things can be compensated for by training your brain. My friend uses an mx700 (wireless) with his eMac. Even when he's pulling 60+ FPS, there is MAJOR mouse lag. There is almost as much mouse lag when just using the OS as well. He SWEARS that there is NO MOUSE LAG WHATSOEVER! But myself and my other 'wired' mouse, 1337 PC friends attest to its existance, and extreme annoyance. I can't even play games on his computer, because I think in terms of when the crosshair is going to stop... I stop my mouse, it keeps going (for only a fraction of a second, but it's extremely noticable).

He has gotten used to it though and naturally compensates, and dosn't even notice it now.






Now that I'm done with my vsync bashing rant, I'll say that I don't mind playing with vsync either. Using Temporal AA is well worth it to me, as long as I can pull decent FPS. With anti-mouse lag approaches being used in games (UT2k3/4), and even in cases absent these approaches, this is not usually a problem IN MY CASE (due to varying circumstances some people may experience unacceptable mouse lag).

I will say though that I don't experience any benefit from using vsync... If you wanna see your UT2k3/2k4 minigun flash sprites displayed perfectly, turn it on. Otherwise, SHUTUP!

Me: are you saying I can't provide?
Me: cause I know I can provide.
Me: oh and I can provide money too;)
Rachel:) : why do we need money when we can just stay in our room and have sex all day?<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Willamette_Sucks on 05/11/04 10:52 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 11, 2004 4:44:01 PM

Quote:
In my opinion there is no purpose to not keep vSync always ON,

----------------------------------------------------------------------

When playing games, yeah it's a good idea.

Whether it is a good idea or not – depends.

1. V-sync always results in a performance hit.
2. The actual observable frame rate depends on many variables, where the refresh rate of the monitor is one of the most important factors.
3. If a certain game runs with the visual quality you want at 30 FPS, it will run at lower FPS with V-sync ON. So by enabling V-sync you may reduce the performance of this game to 15-20 FPS which is likely to be unacceptable. Here is a link to my post about V-sync:

<A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam..." target="_new">http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...;/A>

You can find all the info you ever wanted about V-sync there (scroll down to the middle of the thread).

Bottom line is that if you are able to run your game with the visual quality you want at 120 FPS turning V-sync on is not a bad idea because now you will run the game at about 60-70 FPS, which is good. Try it: Set up Far Cry eye candy in such a way that the game runs at 30 FPS and then turn on V-sync . . .

<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
a b U Graphics card
May 11, 2004 4:46:49 PM

Really though, could you tell us how you really feel? :wink:


ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
May 11, 2004 5:59:48 PM

Quote:
Really though, could you tell us how you really feel?

You are too kind. Grrrrrr... I would say what I think about that post if I could get my hands on him in real life... Otherwise there is no point.

<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
May 11, 2004 6:06:48 PM

Quote:
This is the stupidest, most useless post I have ever read. Seriously, stop making such stupid posts. EVERYONE ON THIS FORUM KNOWS WHAT VSYNC DOES, AND HAS THEIR OWN OPINION ON WHETHER OR NOT, AND WHEN, ITS GOOD TO USE!!!

When I first read this, I thought how stupid it is for someone to complain about a post that they don't have any interest in. Really if you don't care a topic, don't post!

But then you went ahead and gave <i>your</i> opinion on VSync after saying how stupid it is for someone to state <i>their</i> opinion about it. That just made me think <i>your</i> post was even more stupid. You make fun of him for saying something and then you say it yourself. LOL!
May 11, 2004 7:22:40 PM

somebody needs to go to sleep. Their getting cranky! lol


<A HREF="http://www.tubgirl.com" target="_new">Don't Click This - Please! (NSFW)</A>
May 11, 2004 7:27:40 PM

Quote:
This is the stupidest, most useless post I have ever read. Seriously, stop making such stupid posts.

If my post was that stupid why did you wrote a longer reply than my original "stupid" post? :smile:

I understnad that you think it's kind of lame at some point and I know it too! you gave a good example for Quake3, this game is fast (personnaly, I think it's too fast, I don't like it), so the portion of frames that get to the monitor can surely help a bit for "fragging".

But, I pointed this out, because many games don't necessarly this and I'm pretty sure that most action games that are not very old can't achieve the Q3 FPS, so vSync ON with refresh rate locked at 85Hz will surely work for most people.

On my point was more like : how to compare GPU? I would better like having a GPU that can give me more than 100FPS 90% of the time with a peak of 150FPS than a GPU that would give me 100FPS 60% of the time with a peak of 175FPS. And maybe, by using vSync with FRAPS or any other FPS reporting tools, we could build data on how GPU performs with this point of view.

Maybe we would find out that this kind of measurement is useless, but I would like to try this and get something out of this.

If I could have a benchmark PC with lots of GPU, I would do it, to prove myself if this kind of testing would be interesting or not!

To be honest, most of today's GPU reviews focus on TOP speed and not average speed. Average sped is more important that TOP speed in my opinion.

--
Lookin' to fill that <font color=blue>GOD</font color=blue> shape hole!
May 11, 2004 8:25:31 PM

I just read your post about vSync and it was very interesting.

I can now say that vSync can actually hurt FPS to some extent, I didn't tought about the fact that the GPU will "lost" parts of frames, so it reshow the same frame again.

Okay... I have an idea, there should be a 3rd vSync option : MAXFPS = Refresh rate. So the GPU would draw anything that it can render slower or equal to the refresh rate of the monitor. So when FPS drop below Refresh Rate we would see some "flickering" and the GPU would not try to draw more frame than needed at high FPS.

--
Lookin' to fill that <font color=blue>GOD</font color=blue> shape hole!
a b U Graphics card
May 11, 2004 9:39:47 PM

Personally I prefer <A HREF="http://world.altavista.com/babelfish/trurl_pagecontent?..." target="_new">3Dcenter's in depth look</A> I posted a while back. BTW, that link of yours is dead, so I can't comment on the original authors info as it's not there.

The drop in performance is not something I have seen much evidence of elsewhere.

The performance hit you say may not be an actual hit but a statistical one. It will depend on buffering as well. There isn't ALWAYS a performance hit, most of the time I've seen you will see improvement when there are huge ranges. A histogram is far better at showing this than min/avg/max.

But somewhat like you said, what gives you the abosulte best frames versus best visual experience may be different from game to game, setup to setup and person to person.

I won't debate the merits of playing with it on too much as to me that's a personal thing, and whatever works, so be it.

But for benchmarking I prefer to see it done WITH the wild swings than without, but if someone wants to do both, then that's even better, more information is always good IMO.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
May 11, 2004 11:34:30 PM

Lol, I don't feel pwned at all. I 4m t3h 1337.

I was saying to The Rod, I wouldn't start a thread JUST about vsync... how 14m3, but since it had been done, no reason not to throw in my opinion, esp. since it was different than those that had been expressed.

Everyone who disagrees can suck it, including you Slava, The Rod, and pauldh.... Nah, paul, you're OK;) Slava's ok too.. when he's not being an arse! And who the hell is ned flanders?

Me: are you saying I can't provide?
Me: cause I know I can provide.
Me: oh and I can provide money too;)
Rachel:) : why do we need money when we can just stay in our room and have sex all day?<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Willamette_Sucks on 05/11/04 10:54 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 12, 2004 2:07:25 AM

Quote:
BTW, that link of yours is dead, so I can't comment on the original authors info as it's not there

Yes, the link is dead now but my post is a copy/paste of the original article.

<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
May 12, 2004 2:21:57 AM

Quote:
<...>and his English is understandable<...>

Pathetic... I thought you could do better than this cheap and unimaginative comeback. I must admit though that my English is difficult for some to understand because I can compose long sentences and (unless I am drunk) use punctuation properly. Can you? :mad:  You know, when you offend so may people by an ill-conceived post maybe you should apologize or at least explain what prompted you to make it.


<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
May 12, 2004 2:37:37 AM

you're english and grammer looks better then most peoples in the forems to me...lol

And Willie-that homo blast was uncalled for. Regardless of anything else, you didn't have to read the post, but you did-so why is it so very stupid? The guy just stated his opinion on a topic that admittedly is open to debate and personal preference.

Athlon XP 1900 (11x200) 42C (Load w/AX-7 & 8cm Tornado) - MSI K7N2 Delta - Corsair Value PC3200 - Gainward GF3 @ 250/550 - 80Gb WD 8Mb Cache -
May 12, 2004 2:48:09 AM

Slava, I aplogise for that comment as I was confused about the author of earlier posts I had read. I did not mean to direct the English comment at you. After a quick review, I realised this to be the case. And to your question, yes, I can:) 

As for my 1337-ass vsync rant, I'll NEVAR apologize! Vsync is a side-dish of sh*t that you get with the main course of Temporal AA!!! Ya don't like it, but ya deal with it! But maybe I'll come around some day.

Me: are you saying I can't provide?
Me: cause I know I can provide.
Me: oh and I can provide money too;)
Rachel:) : why do we need money when we can just stay in our room and have sex all day?<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Willamette_Sucks on 05/11/04 10:48 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 12, 2004 2:12:46 PM

I just read the 3dCenter article about vSync which is informative and interesting. But I would have liked to see at least a timeline FPS diagrams comparing the impact of different configuration.

--
Lookin' to fill that <font color=blue>GOD</font color=blue> shape hole!
!