Don’t you just hate screen tearing? That weird broken up image when you’re running down a corridor unleashing a hail of bullets in an FPS. It can be really jarring. For some time now, PC Gamers have had the means to combat and practically eliminate this problem. Using Nvidia G-Sync, or AMD’s version, Freesync. Essentially, what either standard does is match a monitor to whatever frames per second the Graphics card is throwing out.
There’s been a slight kicker for Nvidia users who want to use this system however. G-Sync monitors require a proprietary module be built into the panel in order for it to work. That in turn, sees G-Sync enabled monitors costing a considerable amount more than their Freesync counterparts, which require no such special hardware. Sometimes to the tune of hundreds of pounds’ difference for basically the same screen.
This all looks set to change in the near future. Speaking at the company’s CES press conference, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang revealed plans to enable G-Sync on other adaptive sync capable monitors.
“We tested about 400 monitors and 12 of them passed” going on to say “We’re going to test every async monitor the world has made. And for the ones that pass, we’re going to certify them, and we’re going to optimise the software to support them, and we’re going to turn it on in our software. So that whatever GeForce customer enjoys that panel can now enjoy it as if they purchased a G-Sync monitor”
To address the obvious elephant in the room, 12 out of 400 doesn’t sound so great, does it? But wait, that’s not to say G-Sync only works on those 12 panels. Those are just the ones that fully pass whatever test regime Nvidia implemented, and will have the G-sync option enabled by default. Owners of adaptive sync capable screens not passed, will still be able to manually enable the option when support rolls out with Nvidia’s driver update on January 15th.
Bringing G-Sync capability to a greater range of monitors is a great, pro-consumer move from Nvidia and probably a smart business move. Having used both G-Sync and Freesync setups, I can honestly say that I can’t really tell the difference. Nvidia’s offering is widely regarded as the better solution, true. But in the middle of a game, I’ve never noticed anything to set the standards apart.
Adaptive sync in general though, is fantastic. It’s a clear advantage for low-to-mid range gaming PC’s more prone to fluctuating frame rates, but certainly isn’t lost on high end rigs either. It’s been a real drag in the past having to consider changing monitors if you moved between Nvidia and AMD graphics cards. This is a good move from Nvidia and excellent news for consumers, perhaps our monitors can stay with use even longer in the future.
Now, if we could just do something about those RTX 2080ti Prices…