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Different tiers of Nvidia G-Sync explained and how to enable it on any FreeSync monitor

How to enable G-Sync on any FreeSync or VESA Adaptive Sync monitor?

March 14, 2019 / 03:37 PM IST
Answer: Nvidia (Image: Reuters)

Answer: Nvidia (Image: Reuters)

Nvidia first announced FreeSync support on GeForce Pascal and Turing based cards during CES 2019. The move was aimed at letting Nvidia GPU owners use adaptive sync with a wide range of FreeSync monitors.

However, ‘wide range’ might seem a bit far-fetched, considering Nvidia had said only 12 out 400 monitors tested would be supported. But this isn’t entirely true as there are four tiers of Nvidia’s support for adaptive sync displays.

G-Sync Ultimate

G-Sync Ultimate is essentially G-Sync HDR. Monitors that boasts G-Sync Ultimate certification support the full suite of HDR features in Nvidia’s G-Sync HDR module.

Standard G-Sync

Standard G-Sync monitors have been around for years. These adaptive sync monitors include a G-Sync module and work exclusively with Nvidia GPUs. They also demand a higher price tag than their FreeSync counterparts.

nvidia g-sync compatible monitors

G-Sync Compatible Monitors

G-Sync compatible monitors are essentially FreeSync monitors that support VESA Adaptive Sync standard. These monitors pass stringent G-Sync performance metrics and work with AMD GPUs. With the latest Nvidia drivers, compatible monitors will work with adaptive sync on Nvidia GPUs by default.

An Unknown Fourth Tier

The fourth tier lets you use any FreeSync or VESA Adaptive Sync monitor with an Nvidia GPU. This can be achieved via a toggle in the Nvidia Control Panel. According to Nvidia, this is for VRR monitors that are yet to be G-Sync compatible, and there’s no certainty that it will work. However, in reality, every adaptive sync monitor is now supported. All users have to do is enable the toggle.


Enable G-Sync on your FreeSync monitor using these steps –

  • Ensure you have the latest version of the Windows 10 OS

  • Make sure you’re connecting via DisplayPort

  • Enable FreeSync within your monitor’s settings (It will likely be inside the image section of the on-screen display)

  • Select ‘Nvidia Control Panel’ and hit ‘Change Resolution.’

  • Select the FreeSync monitor and adjust the refresh to the highest available

  • Then select the ‘Set up G-Sync’ tab

  • Ensure ‘Enable G-Sync, G-Sync Compatible’ is checked

  • Select the FreeSync display and check the ‘Enable settings for the selected display model.’

  • Lastly, hit ‘Apply’ on the bottom right of the Nvidia Control Panel

It’s not the Technology; It’s the Monitor

At CES 2019, Nvidia went a long way to convince people that the G-Sync compatible program is essential by showing off FreeSync monitors with flickering and blanking issues. Nvidia claims the G-Sync compatible monitors they’ve certified do not have these issues, while any non-certified monitors likely will.

Well, that isn’t down to an issue with AMD's FreeSync or the VESA Adaptive Sync technology; instead, it’s down to the monitor manufacturers making bad products. If you book a monitor that flickers or has blanking issues, we’d recommend you return it immediately.
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Carlsen Martin
first published: Mar 14, 2019 03:37 pm