Screen shuttering is something gamers can’t bear. You can solve the screen tearing or shuttering problem with different technologies like G-Sync, Free-Sync, and more. These technologies aim to adjust the refresh rate of monitors and eliminate the need for conventional refresh methods. In this article, I’ll answer “what is G-Sync and Free-Sync and how do they work in gaming monitors?”, let’s begin!
What Is G-Sync And Free-Sync And How Do They Work In Gaming Monitors?
G-Sync and Free-Sync, both technologies aim to provide a solution to screen tearing and shuttering and help gamers enjoy video games in HD quality without any interruption. To understand these technologies and their processing, it is important to know the problems first. So, let’s start with what is screen tearing and screen shuttering effects:
What Is Screen Tearing?
Each monitor has a specific refresh rate which is usually measured in Hertz. For example, the refresh rate of my monitor is 144 Hz. The refresh rate of the monitor differs from the video card because the video card is responsible for sending the number of frames in one second.
If the video card sends a greater number of frames in a second, the refresh rate of the monitor will be higher, while if it sends a lower number of frames, the refresh rate will be lower. Based on the refresh rate, the images appear on the screen of the monitor once you turn it on. But sometimes, a clumpy effect appears on the monitor screen because of processing glitches.
In simple words, the monitor screen is processing multiple images at once and when it takes more than usual time to process the image, a clumpy effect appears on the monitor screen. This effect is called screen tearing.
What Is Screen Shuttering?
Now that you’re aware that video cards send a certain number of frames, it will be understandable for you that video cards maintain the refresh rate of the monitor. Well, sometimes the frames are repeated, and their sending time overlaps which causes an image to be stuck on the monitor screen for a second. It happens when a frame overlaps, or accidentally skips by the video card. This effect is termed screen shuttering.
What Is G-Sync?
G-Sync is a technology engineered by Nvidia which aims to eliminate screen tearing. It has diminished the need for software like V-sync as it helps refresh the rate of video display to match the actual frame rate. In simple words, G-Sync is designed to reduce the need to refresh the window which results in screen tearing.
The G-Sync is a royalty-free display technology by Nvidia that has purposely filled the gap and made speed and rate faster. You don’t need to refresh the video as you did with the G-Sync.
G-Sync prevents screen shuttering and screen tearing. It helps the monitor to adapt the refresh rate of the video card instead of opting for its own, which means that this technology gives monitors a changeable refresh rate.
This way, the monitor syncs to the video card and allows you to enjoy and experience smooth gaming without any tearing images. It is a very useful technology for professional gamers who can’t bear shuttering and screen tearing within the league.
G-Sync technology is compatible with Nvidia video cards only; therefore, if you have an AMD video card, you need to go for Free-Sync technology. Well, I found the G-Sync better in quality than Free-Sync, especially for the monitors with low refresh rates. It doubles the refresh rate when it is below required and prevents screen tearing and shuttering.
G-Sync has different versions like G-Sync, G-Sync Ultimate, and more. G-Sync adjusts the refresh rate of monitors and eliminates the need for conventional refresh methods. This way it prevents the screen from shuttering and tearing problems.
Whereas, the G-Sync Ultimate is best suited for gamers who want HD quality display. This is because the G-Sync Ultimate upgrades the quality of images and helps monitors to process them at a faster speed than normal. This way, it not only prevents screen shuttering and tearing issues but also provides HD quality display to gamers.
G-Sync fixed the monitor screen shuttering and tearing problem and helped gamers to play video games in a flow. This technology works great with the low refresh rate video cards instead of the ones with the high refresh rate.
G-Sync is developed by Nvidia which is why it works optimally with Nvidia video cards only. In other words, if you have an AMD video card, G-Sync is not the best option for you.
G-Sync is indeed great technology to eliminate the issue of screen shuttering and screen tearing, but it works great with Nvidia video cards only, which is a downside. Also, as compared to Free-Sync, G-Sync is expensive.
What Is Free-Sync?
The Free-Sync cannot prevent the screen from shuttering and tearing, it can only reduce the problem. The Free-Sync also works the same way as G-Sync but overall has reduced potential than the G-Sync.
Free-Sync has different versions like the Premium version, the Premium Pro version, and more. The premium version of Free-Sync sets the refresh rate to 120 Hz and works best for low frame rate monitors. It prevents the screen from shuttering at low rates.
Whereas, the Premium Pro Free-Sync version is designed to process the images faster to the screen and display HDR-quality images. This way it helps users to see high-quality images instead of blurry or distorted images.
You need to change the settings of the monitor to HDR while gaming so that the Premium Pro Free-Sync version helps the monitor in syncing. The Premium Pro Free-Sync is also called Free-Sync 2.
Free-Sync reduces the screen shuttering and tearing and allows users to play games or watch unlimited videos without any interruption. It is more affordable technology than G-Sync. If you have AMD video cards, the Free-Sync is best suited for you.
Well, that doesn’t mean it is not compatible with other video cards as the Free-Sync also works with Nvidia video cards. However, I realized that the compatibility of Free-Sync technology differs with the monitor model you have.
Free-Sync cannot eliminate the screen shuttering or tearing issue, it can only reduce it which is a drawback of this technology. Also, it is not the best option for monitors which have a very low refresh rate.
How do G-Sync and Free-Sync with overdrive software work?
G-Sync and Free-Sync help monitor and sync their refresh rate with that of a video card. This way, it has an effect on the overdrive of the monitor. G-Sync helps monitor in adjusting the refresh rate by overdrive software and eliminates screen shuttering and tearing. Well, the overdrive software doesn’t work optimally with the Free-Sync technology because it slows down or sometimes crashes.
Should I get G-Sync or Free-Sync for a gaming monitor?
The G-Sync is a perfect option for gamers who want smooth and uninterrupted gaming without any screen tearing or shuttering. However, it is an expensive technology that everyone can’t afford. A step down is Free-Sync which is a good fit for gamers who don’t mind low input lag. In this blog, I have discussed both technologies in detail—how they work, their merits, and their demerits. Don’t forget to swipe up and read!
Should I use Free-Sync and G-Sync together?
Yes, Free-Sync and G-Sync work incredibly together as both technologies have their own perks. Like, Free-Sync reduces screen shuttering and works best with AMD video cards, while G-Sync is a great choice for monitors with low refresh rates and it is best suited for Nvidia video cards. If you couple both technologies, their effect will combine and eliminate the screen tearing and shuttering issue.
Does G-Sync make games look better?
G-Sync synchronizes the refresh rate of the monitor to that of the video card and prevents screen shuttering and screen tearing. One of its versions also improves the image and display quality and helps gamers to achieve their dreams. So, yes it makes the game look better and allows you to play uninterruptedly.
The Bottom Line
G-Sync and Free-Sync technologies aim to solve screen tearing and shuttering issues. They work by syncing the monitor’s refresh rate to that of a video card. This way, the user can enjoy gaming without any interruption. Well, both of these technologies have their own perks and drawbacks which are well-discussed above. Don’t forget to swipe up and read before you opt for one!