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Home / Tips and Tricks / To enable G-SYNC on FreeSync monitors: NVIDIA's G-SYNC compatibility is explained

To enable G-SYNC on FreeSync monitors: NVIDIA's G-SYNC compatibility is explained



At CES 2019, NVIDIA announced that it finally supports FreeSync. Well, somehow – what the company had actually announced was a "G-SYNC Compatible" program. But the problem is: NVIDIA's cards and drivers now work with FreeSync adaptive synchronization monitors.

The situation is a bit confusing. Do we fix that, right?

Adaptive Sync, FreeSync, and G-SYNC

Adaptive Sync, often referred to as "FreeSync" by AMD and its partners, is a feature that allows a screen to be paused until the screen is rebooted. The entire animation frame is ready for loading. This happens several times per second, faster or slower, depending on how fast the frame can be rendered by the PC and graphics card. If the image is slower than your monitor's refresh rate, it will wait. This allows the movement in the game to remain smooth without tearing.

G-SYNC is NVIDIA's alternative to Adaptive Sync / FreeSync. Unlike FreeSync, which does not require additional hardware, G-SYNC monitors include a small computer module to manage the synchronization of frames rendered by the GPU and displayed by the screen. This module is manufactured and delivered by NVIDIA to its hardware partners, which makes G-SYNC monitors almost always more expensive than FreeSync monitors.

Here's a more technical breakdown of G-SYNC and FreeSync.

But for several years, PC players with NVIDIA cards have been complaining about access to the more adaptive Sync / FreeSync features on cheaper monitors. This is no longer a problem with NVIDIA driver version 417.71, released on January 15, 2019.

G-SYNC Compared to G-SYNC Compatible

NVIDIA's new support for FreeSync monitors is a program called "G-SYNC" Compatible. "NVIDIA GPUs now work with FreeSync monitors with" G-SYNC Compatible "enabled in the configuration tool. Huzzahs and Hurrahs all around.

Now NVIDIA makes clear that the more expensive G-SYNC option, with NVIDIA hardware for both the GPU and the monitor, is the first choice. However, some FreeSync monitors have been selected that they believe are worth the G-SYNC blessing (if not the official branding). At CES, NVIDIA engineers said they had independently tested hundreds of FreeSync monitors. They found that only twelve passed their rigorous tests on plate quality, refresh consistency, color accuracy and other criteria. These twelve monitors are: [19659101] Xerox2409

  • Xonx2404] [196909012]] [X] [X] [X] [X] [X] [X] [X] [X] [X] [X] [X] [1] [1] [1] [1] [1] [1] [1] [1] [1] [1] [1] [0] [1] [7] [1] [1] [AsusVG278Q
  • BenQ XL2740
  • Although with G-SYNC monitors the special G-SYNC hardware is missing, these monitors automatically activate the G-SYNC driver when you connect them to NIVIDA's adaptive sync connector. It's FreeSync! It's just called G-SYNC because you have an NVIDIA card.

    This list expands as NVIDIA tests more and more gaming monitors. In fact, at least one FreeSync monitor that is not yet on the market, the new Razer Raptor, is already certified for G-SYNC prior to its release.

    What if you have one out of hundreds FreeSync monitors that are not listed in the list above? Do not worry. While your monitor may not meet NVIDIA's stringent internal testing standards, you can try it with the G-SYNC Compatible program. You can see a noticeable improvement in the smoothness of your games as the adaptive synchronization feature eliminates ripping at lower frame rates. See the next section for more information.

    To enable the "G-SYNC compatible" mode on a FreeSync monitor

    You must enable the G-SYNC compliant mode if your monitor is not certified NVIDIA:

    • A FreeSync-enabled monitor (Adaptive Sync)
    • An NVIDIA GTX or RTX graphics card (laptops with internal discrete cards are fine, too)
    • A DisplayPort cable connecting them (Mini-DisplayPort is fine) [19659012] NVIDIA GPU Driver, 417.71 or higher

    If you are satisfied that your monitor is FreeSync compliant and you are using a DisplayPort cable, check your monitor's on-screen menu. This is the one you activate using the physical buttons on the monitor. Go to the menu and make sure the Adaptive Sync or FreeSync feature is turned on.

    Now open the NVIDIA Control Panel in Windows by right-clicking on your desktop and selecting "NVIDIA Control Panel."

    You can also find a shortcut to the NVIDIA Control Panel on the Start menu or as an icon in the Windows Control Panel.

    In the NVIDIA Control Panel, you should see "Setting up G-SYNC" under the "Display" menu on the left. If "G-SYNC Setup" is not displayed as an option and you are sure that the monitor has enabled it, you may need to manually install the drivers for your monitor.

    In the Set In the G-SYNC screen, make sure your main monitor is selected if you have more than one. Click the check mark next to "Enable G-SYNC, G-SYNC compatible". Choose whether to enable the option for full-screen mode only, or for both windowed and fullscreen modes, depending on how you view your games.

    Click Apply to enable G-SYNC / FreeSync. You are good to go! Enjoy a quieter gameplay in your favorite games. Note that some games may work better or worse depending on whether you are running them in full-screen mode or in windowed mode ("Fullscreen Windowed" counts as a window for this purpose). You can go back and change this setting in the NVIDIA Control Panel if you have problems.


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