What is VSync, and What it Does?

If you are a gamer and you buy expensive PC hardware to make gaming as immersive as possible, common hardware issues and problems like screen tearing can ruin your game experience. So don’t worry. Vertical Sync, better known as VSync, a game setting, resolved this issue. VSync is the largest and most significant visual enhancement technology designed for monitors, video games, and graphics processing units (GPU). By itself, VSync does not affect the game’s graphics quality, but when it is enabled, it removes the ugly screen tearing.

The new FreeSync and G-Sync are available for gaming, but VSync remains vital for gamers. Every gamer knows the importance of a capable rig to dominate the leaderboards and take them into the colorful and rich world of video games. but with all the benefits, it has a bit of a negative impact on your game because it can also decrease your frame rate and increase input lag—both of which are the bane of competitive gaming. If you are confused about Vsync, in this article, we will give you a full explanation of Vsync.

Screen Tearing

The graphics processing unit (GPU) is responsible for sending the required data to your monitor, which tells the monitor what color to make every single pixel on its screen. All these single pixels make a single frame for you. and these thousands of frames combined appear as videos or games. Most monitors work on a fixed refresh rate, which means the monitor can only show a fixed number of images in a given period of time. but many modern monitors work at 60 Hz, which means this monitor can show 60 images in a second. 

However, the graphic processing unit does not work at a fixed refresh rate. When you play a game, your GPU requires more power to display the screenplay. The screen tearing occurs when the GPU struggles to maintain a monitor’s high refresh rate. If the game drops the frame rate instantly, then the GPU sends an incomplete frame rate instead of a full frame. The monitor displays an incomplete frame on the old complete frame. In this case, mismatched images will show on the screen. It breaks the immersive experience of playing a video game.

What is VSync?

As we discussed a bit in the introduction, VSync is the most significant visual enhancement technology designed for monitors, video games, and GPUs. Vsync synchronizes a video game’s frame rate with the monitor’s refresh rate. Manufacturers developed a vertical sync to fight the visual artifact known as screen tearing. It displays as a horizontal split on the screen. It occurs when one half of the frame lags behind the other, as we told you above in detail.

Vsync manages the frame rate to match the monitor’s refresh rate to remove screen tearing, thus avoiding frames per second exceeding the monitor’s capacity. But it was not enough to protect from the tearing. The setting also forces the frame rate of GPUs to keep pace with monitor refresh cycles. Preventing parts of multiple frames from appearing simultaneously is the key to eliminating screen tearing. VSync achieves this by preventing the GPU from pushing new frames in the middle of the monitor’s refresh cycle.

What Does VSync Do?

The manufacturers came up with a solution to resist tearing called Vsync. In simple terms, Vsync forces the frame rate of the GPU to operate at a rate that is no higher than your monitor’s refresh rate. Next, we will discuss in detail what precisely the Vsync does. So instead of Vsync forcing your GPU to produce frames at a much higher rate than your monitor’s screen refresh rate, your GPU will be limited to a rate that matches your monitor’s refresh rate.

for instance, if you’re playing a game and you’re getting 80 frames per second in your game on a 60 Hz monitor, and you turn on Vsync instead of your GPU sending 80 frames per second to your monitor, it will wait a specified amount of time to send each frame to your monitor so that it matches the monitor’s 60 frames per second output.

The Negative Impact of Vsync

The main negative impact of Vsync is that, with a 60Hz monitor, it isn’t certain that the graphics card will always be able to maintain a consistent 60 frames per second output. For instance, you are playing a very difficult game. If you face difficulties in games where your GPU requires more power to produce frames, then your GPU can drop the frame rate below 60 fps. In this condition, your GPU cannot again become in sync with your monitor, as it won’t be able to match the monitor’s refresh rate. 

When your GPU generates a slower frame rate than your monitor’s refresh rate, it depends on the difference between them to determine how many frames are lower than the refresh rate. In this situation, you could run into screen stuttering problems. Stuttering occurs when your monitor’s refresh rate is higher than the GPU’s frame rate and refreshes faster than your GPU can send it a new frame. In these instances, the game seems to stutter or appear choppy. And that is the result of your monitor skipping frames that aren’t yet ready to be displayed on the screen.

The major types:

Nvidia G-Sync

This is a new technology that was introduced a few years ago. It synchronizes your monitor’s refresh rate with the frames your GPU is pushing out each second. This technology converts the gaming frame rate to the monitor’s refresh rate. Ultimately, it gives you a smooth experience without latency, tearing, sharp FPS drops, or stutters. but in this condition, an Nvidia GPU and G-Sync authorized monitor are required.

AMD FreeSync

AMD is developing this technology to compete with Nvidia’s G-Sync. The results of AMD FreeSync are better, but this technology requires an AMD GPU and a FreeSync-authorized monitor to use it. A monitor with AMD FreeSync is used to synchronize its refresh rate to the frame rate of the GPU to reduce input latency and reduce screen tearing during gaming and video streaming.

Conclusion:

Vsync is a great visual enhancement technology designed for monitors, video games, and GPUs. Vsync synchronizes a video game’s frame rate with the monitor’s refresh rate. The GPU is responsible for sending the required data to your monitor, which tells the monitor what color to make every single pixel on its screen. When you are playing a challenging game, your GPU cannot maintain the frame rate at the refresh rate. In this condition, screen tearing occurs. Vsync technology is being developed to fix this problem.

Vsync forces the frame rate of the GPU to operate at a rate that is no higher than your monitor’s refresh rate. With the positive use comes some negative impact, which we discussed above in detail. There are two major types: Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync, which are also used to reduce screen tearing. I hope you will understand all about Vsync.

Sajid Ali
Sajid Ali is a tech enthusiast and gamer who loves to write reviews about gaming hardware. He has a passion for staying up-to-date with the latest technological advancements and loves sharing his knowledge with others. Sajid studied Intermediate Computer Science at Degree College and went on to earn his Bachelor's in Computer Science from GSC. In his free time, you can find him testing out new hardware and software, or playing the latest video games. Sajid's in-depth understanding of computers and his love for gaming make him the perfect author to turn to for all things tech and gaming.