What is VSync?: How it works & more


Wondering what VSync is and how it works? We break it all down for you and explain the benefits it brings to your gaming.

VSync, or Vertical Sync, is a handy setting for fixing the common issue of ‘screen tearing’. What it does, essentially, is synchronize your framerate with the refresh rate of your monitor. With these two in check, you should find that your image no longer tears in the middle of the screen when turning, or looking around.

Should I turn VSync on?

If you have a high refresh rate monitor or a game that is outperforming your current setup, you should absolutely turn on VSync. This can be a way to force your game to adhere to your needs, even after turning off the frame rate caps found in some PC games. Just be aware that enabling VSync may increase system latency.

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With esports (Counter-Strike for example), you might find screen tearing to be an issue for ruining your games. This can be solved by turning on VSync, forcing your game to limit the frames-per-second to the refresh rate of the monitor.

So if you’re getting 200FPS in CS: GO on your current system, but experiencing screen tearing because you don’t have a high refresh rate monitor just yet, this will force it into a 60Hz arena, where the game will limit itself to match.

Will VSync affect the performance of my game?

As it’s a way to force your games into lower frame rates, if you have a particular nuisance of a monitor or a poorly optimized game, it can begin to impact performance.

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VSync will try and find the perfect point, but as it isn’t ‘smart’, you might find it too aggressive. At this point, you’ll need to begin limiting FPS to try to fix the issue.

What are G-Sync and FreeSync?

Nvidia and AMD have provided monitor manufacturers with technology to enable the graphics cards inside your PC to take more dominant control over the VSync issue.

This means that using the processing power on the GPUs, these particular monitors will allow greater control over vertical sync in an effort to try and get around screen tearing. It was introduced with the GTX 650 Ti. However, due to probable licensing issues with Nvidia, AMD’s FreeSync is the more popular option amongst gaming monitors.

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You won’t need an AMD card for this either, as it’s more open and allows Nvidia’s GPUs on too.