NVIDIA G-SYNC Display Technology Explored

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Now that we’ve explained what happens when V-Sync is enabled or disabled, understanding what NVIDIA’s G-SYNC technology does should be simple. The image below illustrates how frames are output to a G-SYNC equipped screen, when G-SYNC is enabled in NVIDIA’s drivers.

G-SYNC Enabled

As you can see, when a frame is complete, it is scanned out to the screen. Frame 1 finishes is X amount of time, and it’s sent to the display. Frame 2 takes a bit longer, but when it is done, it is sent out to the screen, and so on. G-SYNC removes the fixed refresh rate limitation of today’s screens and transfers the timing to the GPU. The screen’s refresh rate is dynamically adjusted to stay in-sync with the GPU, regardless of the frame rate, though G-SYNC is limited to refresh rates between 30 and 144Hz. In doing so, G-SYNC eliminates the screen tearing associated with disabling V-Sync, and eliminates the lag and stutter that come when V-Sync is enabled.


NVIDIA achieved this feat by developing the G-SYNC module, which will be featured in a number of new monitors starting next year. The G-SYNC module replaces the scaler and controller boards in current displays and allows for the dynamic refresh rates mentioned earlier.

The module is comprised of an FPGA—programmed by NVIDIA—a bit of DRAM, and a DisplayPort input. At this time, G-SYNC requires a Kepler-based GPU, with a DP output, and obviously a G-SYNC enabled display. To fully appreciate the technology, a high-DPI gaming mouse is also recommended.

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basroil one year ago

G-Sync will finally kill HDMI and DVI on desktops, since only DP can transfer using packets rather than timed signals. It might also make GPUs cheaper and faster, since you don't need to worry about GPU side timing as much, and finally have true 24p video without a 1k+ TV. Looking forward to it, and if they can make generic versions for dell monitors it's even better.

Dave_HH one year ago

It might be a while before HDMI and DVI are killed off but it's good to see the advancement and this is pretty significant technology for sure.

semitope one year ago

the technology will work over HDMI. Not sure why it would kill DVI and HDMI. Sounds like most of the processing goes on in the monitor and it simply waits for signals from the GPU. The GPU is only kinda in control in that it is a bottleneck.

Is there actually special hardware in the GPU? It sounds like any GPU, even AMD, could end up working with this. The problem is nvidia and their obsession with proprietary but monitor manufacturers could implement their own technology that would work with any GPU and market it themselves, right? They can finally start labelling their products "Smart" monitors

basroil one year ago

"It might be a while before HDMI and DVI are killed off"

Never said it would be overnight, but DP was designed to replace DVI and still nobody uses it, so a killer application might be the push it needs to get rid of DVI by 2016-18.

"the technology will work over HDMI. Not sure why it would kill DVI and HDMI"

It will NOT work with DVI and HDMI, at least not in a way that would allow them to still use the trademarked names and call it DVI/HDMI. While the cables are perfectly fine, DVI is only timing based with fixed clocks according to specifications, and HDMI is a superset of DVI. DP gets around the timings issue by being programmable packet based communication, so theoretically you can set your link clock to the maximum and just send the right timing data along with the image data. DVI and HDMI could theoretically allow for such use, but it would likely require dropping TDMS which I doubt they would want (since that's a separate technology and they can double charge you)

thomas.gershman 9 months ago

I dont agree that it will kill HDMI/DVI. but it will certainly make an impact in the next few years.

nfs3freak 8 months ago

Agreed. It can't kill off HDMI/DVI. VGA is still around and it will continue to be. DP will increase as more monitors have it and support it.

I just can't wait for ASUS ROG 27inch GSync...I just wish it wouldn't be 800 bucks.

illus1ons 8 months ago

Does this work with any kind of LCD monitor?

RBloch one year ago

Too bad it's an exclusive for Asus till the end of 2014. Big mistake.

Dave_HH one year ago

No, not true. It is only Asus that's offering the upgradable monitor through the end of this year. Not next year.

MikeCammisa one year ago

To bad I'm broke

BigKihd one year ago

I would like to see this thing in action, plus dont know when I would be able to get it or afford one, i just bought a 27in 2560x1440 IPS screen.

thunderdan602 one year ago

Another gadget to send me further into the poor house. Yes!

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