Vertical Synchronization (V-Sync), Part 2:
G-Sync Compatible, G-Sync & G-Sync Ultimate
It has been a topic of long discussion and debacles among PC community. On January 15th, NVIDIA has released a driver which enables VESA Adaptive Sync support on GeForce GTX 10 and RTX 20 series (and newer) cards.
However, it will only work on selected monitors.
This is not really a news since the fact that NVIDIA already has experience with VESA Adaptive Sync in their G-Sync laptops, it means they won’t have to start from scratch on supporting variable refresh on monitors without their custom G-Sync modules.
Since then, G-Sync have been rebranded into 3 categories which are G-Sync Compatible (Based on VESA Adaptive Sync), G-Sync (The module-based) and G-Sync Ultimate (Informally was known as G-Sync HDR).
With the January 15 driver release, G-Sync have been categorized into 3 groups as shown.
This is the aforementioned Adaptive-Sync based G-Sync.
Previously, NVIDIA have been implying that the original G-Sync is a better solution and
delivers better experience since the early release of Adaptive Sync – technically they have often been right. However, they have decided to support VESA Adaptive-Sync which they called "G-Sync Compatible".
Let me quickly state that both technologies are NOT the same, but then end-result is pretty darn similar.
However, to adopt the VESA Adaptive-Sync, NVIDIA says they have tested over 400 monitors so far, and of all those monitors, only 12 made their initial compatibility list. Which is a rather low pass rate, indicating that NVIDIA’s standards aren’t going to be very lenient. A very strict validation/quality control by the G-Sync program that VESA Adaptive-Sync essentially lacks.
* Please note that uncertified monitors will work as well by manually enabling the mode but with no validated experience (might encounter flicker, blacking and even artifacts)*
The initial 12 monitors that made to G-SYNC compatibility list. The compatibility list has expanded since then.
You may find the complete list here.
So, which one should you go with?
Since the driver release, G-Sync has been made affordable and available to wide-range of market segment. Here at Ideal Tech PC, we are going to test and compare selected monitors from G-Sync Compatible and G-Sync.
In short, G-Sync, FreeSync, Adaptive Sync, all of them are made as a solution against software-based vertical sync (v-sync) options which are often plagued by input lag and microstuttering.
FreeSync and Adaptive Sync monitors are essentially G-Sync Compatible, not the normal G-Sync.
The only difference is the method of handling the issues. Although both methods allow monitors' refresh rate to adapt to ingame FPS, G-Sync tends to lock frame rates to the upper limit of the monitor while G-Sync Compatible (with in-game V-Sync turned off) will allow the graphics card to produce a higher frame rate.
The end result? The significant reduction of input lag (this is the time it takes for your monitor to respond to your input – for example, a mouse click or swipe/flick) and screen tearing.
If you have a trouble deciding which monitor should you go with, maybe you can take a look at our suggestion list below.
G-Sync Compatible (Adaptive Sync/FreeSync)
At 1080P for G-Sync Compatible, we are going with Acer ED273. This 27-inch curved monitor has a VA panel with a refresh rate of 144Hz. It is very affordable in its segment and has a wide viewing angle. For the price it offers, it is undoubtedly really difficult to be beaten by its competitors.
At 2K resolution, the obvious winner is AORUS AD27QD. Dubbed as “World's 1st Tactical Gaming Monitor”, the features it offers along with the design are excellent. Both AMD and NVIDIA users can rejoice.
G-Sync (formerly known as G-Sync Ready)
The only apparent difference between the XB252Q and XB272 are the sizes which is 24.5-inch and 27-inch respectively. Both monitors feature a fast 1ms response time TN-panel with refresh rate at mind-boggling 240Hz
The 2K and IPS sibling to the previous Acer Predator monitors, the XB271HU. This 27-inch beauty is equipped with 2K IPS panel with a refresh rate of 144Hz, overclockable to 165Hz. It is, without a doubt, one of the best looking and best performing in its category. Excellent features and design with a perfect price tag. As if of you could not ask for anything better.