Many Gamers must be familiar with the “V-SYNC” option in the game settings, but few people know the specific role of this function. Apart from this, the rumor of “Don’t turn on vertical synchronization” is also in the game settings of most titles. Why is this? Today, I will be discussing with you tips to use V-SYNC appropriately with reference to using it in games. Especially PC games.
The Concept of vertical synchronization( V-SYNC)
First and foremost, to clarify the concept of “vertical synchronization,” we first need to understand two terms: “refresh rate” and “buffer.”
Refresh rate and its Importance to V-Sync
When the display refreshes a frame of pictures, it does not refresh the entire picture at once but draws the pictures gradually from the top to bottom line by line. This process is so fast that it is difficult for human eyes to perceive it. This process is called “progressive scanning” and is the most important imaging method of current display devices.
After “progressive scanning,” a complete picture is presented on the display. So what does the parameter “xxHz” that we often see on a monitor or TV- mean?
Take a display with a refresh rate of 60Hz as an example. “60Hz” means that the screen refreshes 60 times a second. Like the cartoon, countless static pictures are played continuously in rapid succession. Because the human eye has “visual retention,” “Showing a dynamic effect. And we see the picture on the display this way before our eyes.
After the graphics card renders a picture, it will store this picture in a specific location in the video memory. This position is the “buffer” where the graphics card will render the next picture after storage.
What if the graphics card can produce 120 frames per second? Obviously, every 1/120 seconds, a picture will be stored in the buffer, and in the next 1/120 seconds, the new picture will replace the previous one, this process is that our devices are very familiar with the concept of “number of frames”.
So now the question: if the graphics card can produce 120 frames (i.e., 120 frames) per second, but the monitor can only read 60 frames (ie 60 Hz) per second, what will happen? The answer is: that the picture is torn.
The buffer of today’s graphics card is divided into two: front buffer and back buffer. The graphics card will only write the drawn image to the back buffer, while only the image in the front buffer will be sent to the monitor.
Also, when the “fresh” image in the back buffer is written, the program will not transfer the back buffer image to the front buffer. However, it will exchange or swap the name of the front buffer and the back buffer. In other words, the front buffer becomes the back buffer, and the back buffer becomes the front buffer.
This way, the image drawn in the back buffer can be passed to the monitor smoothly. After such a toss, the program can write the image in the back buffer without affecting the graphics card and then perform the next “buffer exchange”.
This process is the “double buffering” common in graphics card settings.
Problems Associated with Double buffering
However, there is a problem with double buffering. The two buffers may be exchanged at the same time. When this situation occurs, just half of the picture in the front buffer is transmitted to the display, the two buffers are exchanged, and the latter is transmitted.
All the pictures are in the original back buffer (the next picture). As a result, a picture on the display becomes a combination of two frames before and after, which is why the picture is torn.
This problem is especially noticeable in the case of a high framerate because the higher the frame rate, the more frequently the front and back buffers are exchanged. This tearing feeling is naturally very annoying, especially when playing games. So, is there any solution?
Tips to Fix Image Tearing in V-SYNC-Enabled Video Games
Vertical synchronization” can be used to fix the problem of image tearing. Once the vertical sync option is turned on, when the display has not finished refreshing a frame of pictures, the two buffers are not allowed to be exchanged; only when the display finishes refreshing a frame of pictures can the buffers be exchanged.
The possibility of exchanging buffers during data transmission naturally solves the problem of screen tearing.
But is Solving Image Tearing with V-Sync foolproof?
The new problem is what we call “delay/latency.”
For Instance, in the case where the frame rate is much higher than the refresh rate of the display, to synchronize the refresh time of the display and the time that the graphics card writes the picture to the buffer, it is necessary to artificially increase the delay to delay the “excessively generated ” output of the screen to the display, which obviously will cause a certain degree of uncertainty in image transmission and operation feedback.
Latency is almost fatal for competitive games that require quick response, which is why many players recommend turning off vertical sync.
Since the picture will tear if the vertical sync is not turned on, and there will be a delay when it is turned on, can’t we have both picture quality and performance?
G-Sync and FreeSync are better Alternatives to V-Sync
Of course, the development of display technology will not ignore this problem. The current “G-Sync” and “FreeSync” technologies equipped with the main e-sports displays exist to solve this problem.
Both technologies belong to the “display dynamic Refresh” technology. The purpose is to allow the monitor to dynamically adjust its refresh rate to fully synchronize with the frame rate of the graphics card output screen, which not only can solve the picture tearing without operating delay but also can be lower than 60 In the case of frames, it also provides the effect of vertical synchronization to eliminate picture tearing.
However, this kind of display is generally expensive and involves equipment replacement.
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Concept of Tripple Buffer
There is a simpler solution-“triple buffer,” which adds a frame buffer based on a double buffer. This process forms a front Buffer and two back buffer specifications. The program writes images to the two back buffers back and forth. Each time the display is refreshed, the front buffer is exchanged with the back buffer that was most recently written.
In this way, even if one buffer is prohibited from being exchanged, the other two buffers can still write images back and forth, so there is no need to increase the picture delay artificially.
But the “triple buffer” still has a problem: it needs to occupy additional memory. For players with less high configuration, there is an additional cost. A more important issue is whether the game supports “triple buffering”. It depends entirely on the game manufacturers; whether the game manufacturers are willing to spend a lot of manpower and funds to solve the problem, then we can not decide.
Tips to use V-SYNC Appropriately on Computers
4. Having said so much, the suggestion is that players confident enough about their computer configuration are advised to turn on “Vertical Sync” and “Triple Buffer”, which are very helpful in eliminating screen tearing and delay. But if your configuration is not in place, or if you find a serious delay after opening, turn it off decisively, or you need to upgrade the device to solve the problem.