If you’ve stumbled upon the Vsync option when looking into the graphics settings and wondered what it was and should you use it, we got you. Here’s what you need to know before you turn on Vsync.
What is VSync?
VSync was the original syncing technology for video games and monitors. Vsync is short for vertical synchronizing, and essentially it synchronizes your game’s frame rate with your monitor’s refresh rate. This technology was developed by GPU (graphics processing unit) manufacturers as a way to deal with screen tearing which is a more technical term for glitching. Glitching happens when your screen displays portions of multiple frames simultaneously. This can make your game look choppy, or the picture can split vertically.
When you are playing time-sensitive games such as League of Legends or any other game that requires a fast reaction, avoiding glitches can mean life or death! Win or lose! Today, there are other syncing technologies, such as Nvidia’s G-sync or AMD’s free sync, but is the original Vsync for you?
Vsync can stop glitches that occur in-game when your FPS (frames per second) exceed your monitor’s refresh rate. Most mainstream gaming monitors refresh at 60Hz, meaning they can’t display more than 60 frames per second. When your FPS jumps over 60, you get a glitch. Vsync can be a useful option to fix this because it sets up a frame rate cap. This cap then limits the game’s FPS to match your monitor’s refresh rates so that your GPU does not have to process more than your monitor can handle.
What Are The Downsides of VSync?
However, there are some downsides. If your GPU fails to consistently provide around 60 frames per second, your in-game FPS can be reduced to as low as 30. Approximately 30 FPS can be fine for some games, but not for League of Legends. Ideally, your monitor must be consistent at 60 FPS to provide an optimal gaming experience. Anything between 90-60 FPS is considered very smooth. As for League of Legends, 30-45 FPS is considered playable but considerably choppy.
GPU manufacturers are well aware of VSync’s potential issues, and they have been working on improving versions ever since. As a result, different syncing options may appear in your GPU control panel. VSync in its more advanced forms includes:
- Adaptive VSync: This is an Nvidia enhancement that keeps track of the monitor’s maximum refresh rate. VSync is only enabled if the game’s FPS is equal to or greater than the refresh rate. If the FPS falls below a certain threshold, it is disabled, preventing some input lag issues from occurring.
- Fast Sync: Fast Sync is a more advanced version of Nvidia’s Adaptive VSync that enables VSync when needed and adds automatic triple buffering to select the best frame data possible. The only downside is that it uses up a lot of power.
- Enhanced Sync: AMD’s version of Fast Sync is Enhanced Sync. To avoid problems, it disables VSync when the frame rate falls below the monitor’s refresh rate.
It is important to mention that Vsync cannot improve your resolution, colors, or brightness levels like HDR (high dynamic range) can. It is a preventative technology that is more concerned with stopping a specific glitching problem than making overall improvements.
In short, Vsync is an excellent option for you if your GPU can match your monitor’s capacities and consistently do so. If not, consider tweaking other graphics options. Other than changing different settings, there are a few more expensive alternatives to Vsync, such as the newer synchronizing technologies that we mentioned before.
Another alternative can be purchasing a new monitor with a higher refresh rate. Currently, the highest you can go is a monitor with 360Hz. But you do not need such a high refresh rate for LoL, and these monitors can cost as much as a new PC! Instead, the best option for you would be a 144Hz monitor, and you have to make sure your GPU can keep up.
Also read: Is League of Legends Really Free?
Vsync is the original syncing technology and is still an excellent option for many gamers. Whether this option is for you depends on your monitor’s refresh rate and the capacities of your graphics processing unit to consistently maintain the same amount of FPS.