While looking into Game Settings, we find the VSync option in Graphics or Video Settings. Most gamers keep it default because they don’t understand this technical term. So, here will explain What is VSync, How it Works, and Whether you should use it or not.
What is VSync?
The only purpose of VSync is to eliminate screen tearing.
While playing a game, you may come across a scene where you feel like the game is lagging. It happens when your game’s FPS exceeds your monitor’s Refresh Rate.
Suppose your GPU (Graphics Card) is running the Game at 70 Frames per second (FPS). And, let’s say your monitor has a Refresh Rate of 60 Hz.
So, the GPU is trying to show 70 frames per second. Whereas, the monitor can only show 60 images per second. That means, your GPU is generating more than your monitor can handle. So, the monitor skips the extra frames, which creates the lagging effect.
This is where VSync comes in.
Also, check out the difference between Dedicated Graphics & Integrated Graphics.
VSync is a game setting, to sync GPU & Monitor. VSync stands for Vertical Synchronization.
How VSync Works?
VSync feature restricts the GPU from creating more frames than the monitor can handle.
As the name suggests, it VSync your GPU and Monitor.
So, if your Monitor’s Refresh Rate is 60, your GPU creates less than 60 frames to sync with your monitor.
Drawbacks of VSync:
You may now think that the VSync feature is very beneficial. But, it also has one drawback.
As I have explained before, VSync restricts GPU from generating more frames than the Monitor. However, sometimes, it negatively impacts the GPU frames. Due to this, the GPU generates very few frames.
Let’s take the same example.
GPU – 70
Monitor Refresh Rate – 60
After turning on VSync, the GPU may sometimes drop the FPS to 25 or 30 frames.
Therefore, several gamers don’t like to use the VSync feature.
Hence, VSync alternatives were introduced.
GSync is a VSync alternative by NVidia, and
FreeSync is a VSync alternative by AMD
They work on the same phenomenon as VSync.
However, they eliminate screen tearing without causing any negative impact on the FPS.
Note: Both the GPU and Monitor have to support the technology.
After using VSync, if you are experiencing reduced Frame Rates, you can try lowering other Graphics Settings.
Should you keep VSync On or Off?
If you do not experience any screen tearing while playing games, then let the VSync option be disabled. If your GPU is creating more frames than your Monitor’s Refresh Rate, then you can turn on the VSync feature. However, if you are facing a negative impact on FPS, then turn off VSync.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Here are answers to some of the most asked questions regarding VSync.
Should I turn VSync On or Off low-end PC?
It should be Off. VSync reduces GPU frames to match them with the Monitors Refresh Rate. On a low-end PC, the GPU already produces less FPS. So, you can turn VSync Off on low-end PCs.
How to Turn On VSync? & How to Turn Off VSync?
You will find the VSync option in Game Settings (especially in Video or Graphics Settings). From there, you can turn it on or off.
Sometimes you need to restart the game for VSync to work properly.
Does VSync lower FPS?
Yes. The main purpose of VSync is to reduce the FPS and make it almost equal to your Monitor’s Refresh Rate. However, sometimes VSync can have a negative effect on FPS.
Even if you have a powerful GPU & CPU, you will feel screen tearing if your Monitor has a lesser Refresh Rate. Some GPUs are so powerful that they can even exceed 3000 frames per second. But, you won’t find a monitor with a Refresh Rate of more than 360 frames. Also, monitors with higher Refresh Rates are expensive.
However, now that you understand What is VSync, you can use it to sync your GPU and Monitor frames. If you are experiencing negative effects, you can try VSync alternatives by NVidia & AMD.