G-sync vs G-sync compatible: Everything you need to know

Last Updated:

G-sync monitors have been around for some time now, providing the market with silky smooth visuals thanks to the proprietary variable refresh rate technology they utilize. However, since its arrival, display manufacturers have been developing alternatives to try and manipulate G-sync in order to boost advertising potential. That’s where G-sync compatible comes into the equation.

G-sync vs G-sync compatible is a battle that has only one winner. However, if you’re relatively new to monitor tech – or just don’t know much about G-sync in general – chances are you won’t know the fundamental differences that separate the two.

Thanks to the performance gap between G-sync vs G-sync compatible monitors, it’s definitely worth learning a bit about G-sync before diving into your next gaming monitor purchase. Luckily, we’re here to shed a little light on the comparison, explaining everything you need to know when it comes to ‘G-sync’ vs ‘G-sync compatible’ monitors.

What is G-sync?

Let’s start at the top, what exactly is G-sync?

G-sync is a frame-syncing technology that enables your monitor to adapt its refresh rate to match the framerate your PC is producing. NVIDIA developed this tech to help eliminate the annoying screen artifact better known as screen tearing – a visual blunder where two frames are rendered at the same time.

See picture below for screen tear

Unlike V-sync – which tries to eliminate screen tear by forcing the GPU to wait for the monitor’s render cycle to complete – G-sync allows the monitor to adapt its refresh rate on the fly. Not only is this a more efficient way of reducing screen tear but it also enables your GPU to continually produce the highest FPS possible.

Better still, you won’t experience any judder or increased input lag when using G-sync, mainly because it’s the monitor that is amending its own performance – not the GPU.

What is a G-sync monitor?

To be classed as a true G-sync monitor, a display must feature a dedicated G-sync hardware module.

NVIDIA’s proprietary VRR module helps to deliver the highest levels of performance when it comes to frame matching, allowing the monitor to support quick refresh rates, high resolutions, and low input lag.

Moreover, a monitor must also adhere to some strict G-sync specification requirements, including; variable overdrive, full support over the monitor’s refresh range, factory color calibration, passing an NVIDIA certification process (which involves over 300+ image samples).

As you can imagine, with a tonne of additional features and benefits, G-sync monitors are more expensive than both FreeSync and G-sync compatible alternatives.

What is G-sync compatible?

An alternative solution for NVIDIA GPU users that sort of does the same thing is G-sync compatible.

G-sync compatible monitors are often FreeSync monitors that allow NVIDIA GPU users to piggyback AMD’s tech in order to sync frames during gameplay. G-sync compatible monitors do not come equipped with a built-in hardware module, instead, utilizing the monitor’s onboard adaptive sync protocols (via DisplayPort 1.2) to reduce screen tear.

While this is great for the general consumer – expanding the market for individuals using NVIDIA GPUs – G-sync compatible tech isn’t nearly as polished as G-sync. Despite NVIDIA stating that over 200 monitors support G-sync compatible tech, many fall victim to unsightly visual artifacts such as flickering, pulsing, juddering, and blanking.

Furthermore, while G-sync offers full variable refresh rate support for the entirety of the monitor’s refresh range (1hz – 240hz, for example), G-sync compatible monitors are subject to the limitations of Freesync – often ranging from 48Hz to the monitor’s max refresh rate).

G-sync vs G-sync compatible: Side by side comparison

Let’s take a closer look at some of the performance-impacting factors that separate G-sync and G-sync compatible technologies.

The image above explains the validation process that both G-sync and G-sync compatible products have to go through before being labeled as one or the other. As you can see from the table above, G-sync compatible monitors offer the lowest level of validation.

NVIDIA results show that G-sync compatible products offer the following features:

By comparison, true G-sync products offer the following features:

As you can see from the chart above, there is a huge difference in the validation process when selecting G-sync and G-sync compatible products. Each one of the additional G-sync features adds up to create a much greater overall viewing experience.

G-sync vs G-sync compatible: Pros and cons

Like most hardware technologies, G-sync and G-sync compatible come to the table boasting their own unique set of pros and cons.

Let’s start with G-sync monitor pros:

The built-in G-sync hardware module allows for some hefty performance increases – as seen above. All the features of G-sync are geared up to help drive a better visual experience, offering not only superior visuals but additional levels of customization too.

G-sync compatible pros:

As you can see, G-sync compatible monitors introduce pros such as value and versatility – especially thanks to the prospect of working with both AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards.

How does G-sync work?

Despite the theory behind G-sync technology being fairly basic, the physical delivery of the tech is much more advanced.

Below is a graphic published by NVIDIA to try and explain how the GPU and the monitor interact while G-sync is enabled.

This simplified version of G-sync technology clearly shows how the GPU renders the frame, after which the monitor scans for it. Utilizing this formation allows for no tearing, no stutter, and less input lag – all features prioritized by most gamers.

What is FreeSync?

Throughout the article, we’ve mentioned the term FreeSync fairly regularly – but what is FreeSync?

In a nutshell, FreeSync is AMD’s proprietary variable refresh rate technology that works in the exact same way as NVIDIA’s G-sync. Granted, there are some differences – most of which have been displayed above – but overall, the visual experience provided by both FreeSync and G-sync is fairly similar.

Unlike G-sync, FreeSync operates off the back of the monitor’s DisplayPort 1.2 protocol to deliver its dynamic refresh rates. In today’s FreeSync monitors, however, users can also utilize the HDMI port for the same purpose.

Overall, the biggest difference that separates FreeSync and G-sync is FreeSync panels arent’ subject to steep licensing fees – similar to G-sync compatible panels. This is why most FreeSync monitors are cheaper than their G-sync alternative.

G-sync vs G-sync compatible: Which is best?

If you’re looking at this comparison from a purely technical and visual standpoint, G-sync is the clear winner. G-sync monitors offer a better visual experience through pre-calibrated colors, variable overdrive, Ultra-Low motion blur reduction, overclocking, and reduced input lag. It’s no secret that G-sync is a much superior technology.

That being said, there is one factor that makes many individuals think twice about diving headfirst into a G-sync monitor – the price.

Thanks to the built-in G-sync hardware module found in all G-sync monitors, these panels cost a lot more than G-sync compatible alternatives. This, for some individuals, is the main consideration when it comes to a monitor purchase – and one that ultimately makes many individuals consider G-sync compatible alternatives.

Overall, it’s up to you and what you prioritize in your display needs. If you want the best possible visual experience possible, G-sync monitors definitely offer a better experience when compared to G-sync compatible. That said, if you want to save costs and don’t mind some of the small artifacts that come hand-in-hand with NVIDIA’s lesser technology, a G-sync compatible monitor might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Share this article...

You May Like Also

  • Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $500
  • Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $800
  • Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $1000
  • Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $1500
  • Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $2000
  • Best RTX 3060 & 3060 Ti Prebuilt Gaming PC in 2022
  • Best RTX 3070 Prebuilt Gaming PC In 2022
  • Best RTX 3080 Prebuilt Gaming PC In 2022
  • Best RTX 3080 Ti Prebuilt Gaming PC in 2022
  • Best RTX 3090 Prebuilt Gaming PC in 2022
  • Best Gaming PC Under $300
  • Best Gaming PC Under $400
  • Best Gaming PC Under $500
  • Best Gaming PC Under $600
  • Best Gaming PC Under $700
  • Best Gaming PC Under $800
  • Best Gaming PC Under $1000
  • Best Gaming PC Under $1500
  • Best Gaming PC Under $2000
  • Best Gaming PC Under $3000
  • Best Gaming PC Under $5000
  • Best Gaming PC for Warzone
  • Alienware Desktop Gaming PC
  • How To Benchmark Your Gaming PC
  • 144Hz & 165Hz Gaming Laptops
  • Gaming Laptop Under $1000
  • Gaming Laptop Under $1500
  • Gaming Laptop Under $2000
  • Gaming Laptop Under $2500
  • ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022)
  • Razer Blade Pro 17 1080p 360Hz (2021)
  • Razer Blade 14 1440p 165Hz (2021)
  • XMG Neo 15 E21 / Eluktronics MECH-15 G3 (2021)
  • XMG Neo 15 E22 / Eluktronics MECH-15 G3 (2022) & OASIS Liquid Cooling Review
  • Best Laptops For Animation
  • Best Laptop For Video Editing
  • Best Laptop Table & Laptop Tray
  • AMD Ryzen 6000 Series Laptop
  • Dell Laptop Docking Station
  • HP Laptop Docking Station
  • How To Delete Apps On Chromebook
  • How To Turn Off Caps Lock On Chromebook
  • Chromebook Won’t Turn On?
  • How To Connect AirPods To Chromebook
  • Friday Night Funkin Chromebook Installation Guide
  • How To Screen Record On Chromebook
  • How To Restart Chromebook Devices
  • How To Copy and Paste On Chromebook
  • How To Screenshot On Chromebook Devices
  • How To Right Click On A Chromebook
  • Auto Clicker for Chromebook Devices
  • Best Intel 11th Gen Motherboard
  • Best Intel 12th Gen Motherboard
  • Best HDMI 2.1 Gaming Monitor
  • Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor
  • Best 144hz Gaming Monitor
  • Best Cheap 144Hz Gaming Monitor
  • Best 240hz Gaming Monitor
  • Best Monitor Size for Gaming
  • Best Console Gaming Monitor
  • Best Xbox Series X Gaming Monitor
  • Best Monitor for Xbox Series S
  • Best Gaming Chair under $300
  • Best Gaming Chair under $200
  • Best Gaming Chair under $100
  • Best Console Gaming Chair
  • Best Gaming Keyboard under $100
  • Best Wireless Mechanical Keyboards
  • Best Gaming Keyboard under $50
  • Keyboard & Mouse Combo Xbox
  • Keyboard & Mouse Combo Playstation
  • Best Keyboad & Mouse Combo PC
  • Best Wireless Gaming Mouse
  • Best Gaming Mouse under $50
  • Best Gaming Mouse under $30
  • Best Wireless Gaming Headset
  • Best Gaming Headset under $100
  • Best Gaming Headset under $50
  • Best Ethernet Cable for Gaming
  • Genshin Impact Characters
  • Lost Ark Review in Progress
  • Kingdom of The Dead Review
  • Yugioh Master Duel Review
  • Pokémon Legends: Arceus Review
  • FNAF Security Breach Game Review
  • Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker Game Review
  • Halo Infinite Game Review
  • Halo Infinite Multiplayer Game Review
  • Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Review
  • Call of Duty: Vanguard Game Review
  • Forza Horizon 5 Game Review
  • Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania Game Review
  • Tales of Arise Game Review
  • Age of Empires IV Game Review
  • Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Game Review
  • Sonic Colors Ultimate Game Review
  • Total War Warhammer 3 Faction Tier List
  • Yugioh Master Duel Deck Tier List
  • How To Reduce CPU Temperatures
  • How To Stress Test Your CPU
  • How to Overclock Your CPU
  • How to Update CPU Drivers
  • How to Use AMD Ryzen Master
  • 12900K vs 11900K vs 10900K
  • Thermal Grease Vs Paste Vs Pads
  • Nvidia RTX 4000 Series: All We Know About Lovelace GPUs
  • Why Are Graphics Cards So Expensive?
  • What Is a GPU Stress Test, and Which Ones Are Best?
  • Gigabyte RTX 3080 Ti Gaming OC 12G
  • RX 6900 XT vs RTX 3080 Ti
  • ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3080 12GB
  • Gigabyte RTX 3080 Ti Gaming OC 12G
  • Gigabyte RTX 3080 Gaming OC 10G
  • ASUS TUF AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT
  • Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6600
  • Best Intel 11th Gen Motherboard
  • Best Intel 12th Gen Motherboard
  • Motherboard Manufacturing
  • How To Check Your Motherboard
  • How to Update Your Motherboard BIOS
  • How to Enter Motherboard BIOS
  • B560 vs Z590 Motherboards
  • B560 vs B460 Motherboards
  • CPU Fan vs CPU Fan OPT Headers
  • Best Ethernet Cable for Gaming
  • Internet Speed For Gaming
  • What Power Supply Do I Have?
  • Full vs Semi vs Non Modular PSU
  • Is Liquid Cooling Worth It
  • Best HDMI 2.1 Gaming Monitor
  • Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor
  • Best 144hz Gaming Monitor
  • Best 240hz Gaming Monitor
  • Best Monitor Size for Gaming
  • Best Console Gaming Monitor
  • Best Xbox Series X Gaming Monitor
  • Best Monitor for Xbox Series S
  • How To Change Monitor Refresh Rate
  • How To Overclock Your Monitor
  • How To Use Laptop as Monitor
  • How to Clean a Monitor Screen
  • What to Look for in a Gaming Monitor
  • G-Sync vs G-Sync Compatible
  • 60Hz vs 120Hz vs 144Hz vs 240Hz
  • Best Gaming Chair under $300
  • Best Gaming Chair under $200
  • Best Gaming Chair under $100
  • Best Console Gaming Chair
  • Noblechairs Epic Copper Edition
  • EwinRacing Flash XL Series
  • Secretlab Titan EVO 2022 Series
  • Are Gaming Chairs Worth It?
  • Gaming Chair vs Office Chair
  • A Console-Lover’s Beginners Guide To PC Gaming
  • Best Gaming Keyboard under $100
  • Best Wireless Mechanical Keyboards
  • Best Gaming Keyboard under $50
  • Keyboard & Mouse Combo Xbox
  • Keyboard & Mouse Combo Playstation
  • Best Keyboad & Mouse Combo PC
  • ASUS ROG Strix Flare II Animate
  • Varmilo MA87M Beijing Opera
  • Corsair K70 MK2 Low Profile
  • Ducky 'Year of the Dog' RGB
  • Mechanical Switches Guide
  • What is a Mechanical Keyboard?
  • Best Wireless Gaming Headset
  • Best Gaming Headset under $100
  • Best Gaming Headset under $50
  • Best Wireless Gaming Mouse
  • Best Gaming Mouse under $50
  • Best Gaming Mouse under $30
  • Razer Viper Ultimate vs G Pro Wireles
  • SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless
  • How To Enable TPM 2.0 In BIOS for Windows 11
  • Windows 11 Home Vs Pro: What Are The Differences?
  • What is Vulkan RunTime Libraries?
  • How To Optimise Windows 10 For Gaming
  • How To Check Computer Specs
  • Best Gaming Streaming Services
  • Best Free Antivirus Software
  • Best Operating System for Gaming
  • How To Use MSI Afterburner
  • How To Update Gigabyte BIOS
  • How To Reduce CPU Temperatures
  • How To Stress Test Your CPU
  • How To Stress Test Your GPU
  • How To Lower GPU Temperatures
  • How To Check Your Motherboard
  • AM5 Socket: Everything We Know
  • How To Apply Thermal Paste
  • How To Change Monitor Refresh Rate
  • How To Overclock Your Monitor
  • How To Use Laptop as Monitor
  • PC Component Compatibility
  • How To Use Anti Static Wrist Strap
  • How To Tell If your PC Can Run A Game
  • How To Check Computer Specs
  • How To Use Xbox S/X Controller on PC
  • How To Use a Keyboard and Mouse Xbox
  • How To Use PS5 Controller on a PC
  • How To Use a Keyboard and Mouse PS4
  • How To Use PS4 Controller on PC
  • How To Use PS3 Controller on PC
  • How To Use MSI Afterburner
  • How To Update Gigabyte BIOS
  • How To Add Roles in Discord
  • How To Stop Discord Opening
  • How To Report Discord Server
  • How To Block Ads on Twitch
  • How To Change Twitch Name
  • How To Get Bits on Twitch
  • How To Appear Offline on Steam
  • How To Unhide Games on Steam
  • How To Install a DLC on Steam
  • How To Share Games on Steam
  • How To Fix Steam Slow Download
  • How To Find Your Steam ID
  • How To Uninstall Epic Games Launcher
  • Epic Games Launcher Not Working?
  • Where Does Epic Games Install Games?
  • How To Delete Epic Games Account
  • How To Unlink Epic Games Account
  • Sytem Requirements - Games
  • Forza 4 Horizon System Requirements
  • Battlefield 2042 System Requirements
  • Fortnite System Requirements
  • CS GO System Requirements
  • Cyberpunk 2077 System Requirements
  • Minecraft System Requirements
  • League Of Legends System Requirements
  • Escape From Tarkov System Requirements
  • Valorant System Requirements
  • GTA V System Requirements
  • DOTA 2 System Requirements
  • Adobe Photoshop System Requirements
  • Adobe Premiere Pro System Requirements
  • Windows 10 System Requirements
  • Windows 7 System Requirements
  • Adobe Creative Cloud System Requirements
  • Computer Gaming and Wellbeing
  • Video Game Industry Statistics
  • Video Gaming Monetization Statistics
  • Gaming Video Content Market Statistics
  • Gamer - Audiences, Behaviour, preferences & Time Spent
  • Console Gaming Statistics
  • Esports Gaming Statistics
  • Rise Of Microtransactions
  • Nintendo Switch Prime Day Deals
  • Video Game Prime Day Deals
  • Computer Black Friday Deals
  • Gaming PC Black Friday Deals
  • Laptop Black Friday Deals
  • Motherboard Black Friday Deals
  • Gaming Mice Black Friday Deals
  • Gaming Desk Black Friday Deals
  • Gaming Headset Black Friday Deals
  • Gaming Chair Black Friday Deals
  • Monitor Black Friday Deals
  • Cyber Monday Gaming PC Deals 2022
  • Cyber Monday Laptop Deals 2022
  • Gaming Laptop Cyber Monday 2022 Deals
  • TV Cyber Monday Deals 2022
  • 55 Inch TV Cyber Monday Deals 2022
  • Gaming Keyboard Cyber Monday Deals
  • Gaming Chair Cyber Monday Deals
  • Cyber Monday VR Deals 2022
  • Secretlab Cyber Monday Deals 2022
  • Alienware Cyber Monday deals 2022
  • Amazon Cyber Monday Deals 2022
  • AMD Cyber Monday Deals 2022
  • Apple Cyber Monday Deals 2022
  • ASUS Cyber Monday Deals 2022
  • Corsair Cyber Monday Deals 2022
  • CyberPowerPC Cyber Monday Deals 2022
  • Samsung Cyber Monday Deals
  • Gaming Monitor Comparison
  • TN vs IPS vs VA: which is the best monitor display for gaming?
  • TN vs IPS vs VA: which is the best monitor display for gaming?
  • The Rise of Microtransactions
  • A Brief History of Video Games