If you often use 3D applications or play games, you may have encountered a strange option in the video settings. It’s often called “vertical sync” or abbreviated to “VSync,” and it’s not as bright as what we see. So why does this option appear there, and what effect does it have? More importantly, should you turn it on or off?
To answer that question, today, we will explain the key points of this term and why you should or should not enable VSync. Invite you to read!
What is VSync?
VSync stands for vertical synchronization, explained in an easy-to-understand manner: VSync means synchronizing the FPS (number of frames per second) of the game in use with the Refresh Rate of the screen.
The term vertical synchronization is taken from when using older CRT monitors that were designed to refresh the screen vertically along the cycle. Physically, today’s new LCD monitors do not have that feature, but they still have a response time rating (e.g., LCDs now typically 5ms) – representing the time a Pixels change color from white to black.
To get started, let’s look at how graphics are handled on your computer. Desktop or laptop computers have a way of displaying graphics on the screen. This can be integrated graphics in the processor or a discrete graphics card. The main task of the graphics processor is to “paint” the image on the screen. The reason you can read this article is that your graphics processor has drawn it!
When you ask the graphics processor to draw a 3D scene, it will process the drawings or “frames” as quickly as possible. Then put these frames on the screen for processing. The result is a slide-like effect of frames quickly causing animation appearance, like a flipbook. The rate at which a graphics processor can output frames is called “Frame Per Second” (the number of frames displayed per second that a graphics card outputs and displays on the screen), abbreviated as FPS. The lower this number, the more it proves that your gaming machine is not enough to be able to play that game smoothly and vice versa.
Your monitor tries to keep up with the graphics processing frames it is producing. The maximum number of frames it can display is described in the refresh rate, usually determined by frequency or “Hz”. The ratio is 1: 1, so when we play a game with the Refresh rate = 60Hz (meaning that it loads images 60 times per second), but the FPS exceeds that number, there will be no phenomenon. synchronized. A graphics card produces images in a second more than the monitor can respond to and display. This will lead to the phenomenon of “torn image” or “ghosting“.
If you play the game with a slow tempo and low FPS, it will be challenging to recognize this, but in high-speed games or higher pushed FPS, it will be easier to recognize.
When a “Conflict” Occurs
The problem occurs when your graphics processor begins to output more frames than the actual processor screen speed, such as 100FPS on a 60Hz screen. Your screen tries to keep up with the “flow” and ends up asynchronously between the two frames. This is called “screen tearing,” where the image appears to be “cut in half.”
This is where VSync comes in. VSync aims to match the frame’s graphical processor with a screen refresh rate to fix any synchronization issues. This is usually done by freezing the game engine or buffering frames until the screen is ready to output to the next frame.
Pros of VSync
As stated, VSync is valid if you have trouble on the screen. This will bring your graphics processor down to the level equivalent to the monitor and allow them to work better, thus eliminating screen tearing when done correctly.
Also, it is useful in applications (such as old games), where your graphics processor “overwhelms” graphics needs. Because the graphics processor goes as quickly as possible, displaying old footage can result in extremely high frame rates. This can cause your graphics processor to overheat because of framerate rendering. Enabling VSync will limit FPS’s screen refresh rate and prevent excessive stress on the graphics processor.
Cons of VSync
Because VSync makes the frame wait while the screen is ready, this can cause problems. You may find that input, such as pressing a key and clicking, will be delayed a bit. This can cause “death” in games that require reflexes and quick responses while playing. There are several technologies developed for VSync that reduce this delay, but keep in mind that if you allow VSync to work, you will find that in-game actions are less sensitive than before.
VSync is excellent when the frame rate exceeds the screen refresh rate. However, if at an “intense” moment and the frame rate drops below the refresh rate, the graphics card will “drop” it to fit the screen. The result is more significant frame rates during stressful moments. Technologies like triple-buffering support can help prevent this, but it’s not an option that everyone has access to.
Should We Turn it On or Off?
In case you notice torn or blurred images during gaming, it’s best to turn it on. This phenomenon is caused by the GPU sending too many pictures before the screen can process them. Before the previous frame is lost, the next frame is overwritten, causing tearing and blur. Turning on V-sync will help eliminate this situation by forcing the GPU to stop sending new structures to the screen before the screen can process it.
In other words, V-sync will sync the game’s FPS so that it is equal to the Refresh rate of the screen. For example, FPS should never be more than 60 (with Refresh rate = 60Hz, many filters can go to 120Hz or 144hz).
There are so many specific cases. In general, if your graphics processor displays more frames than the monitor can post, it may cause heat and tear. Try activating VSync with software or installing a graphics processor to calm things down.
This depends on two different V-sync algorithms: Double (or triple) frame buffer and Page flipping. However, I would like to conclude: V-sync or not depending on the user experience, Refresh rate of the screen, and the configuration of the game, if your device has an outstanding setting, more than 100 FPS So turn on V-sync to make it feel smoother. If the environment is weak or not enough to bring the game to FPS = 60, turn off V-sync.
Of course, with VSync on and off so quickly, you should try both. Now that you know more about how VSync works, you can make a more definite decision about whether to enable it or not. You also need to check if your graphics package comes with additional improvements; For example, Nvidia’s Adaptive VSync is to achieve the best.
Synchronous or not?
When used correctly, VSync can help smooth issues and keep your graphics processor from overheating. When misused, it can be harmless to your FPS and cause inefficient input lag. Now you know what VSync does and when to enable it?
Does VSync fix your problems? Let us know in the comments below!