So, you just bought a brand new NVIDIA graphics card and you’re thinking about getting a G Sync monitor to go with it. Then you realized how expensive G Sync monitors are and are wondering if you can settle for a G Sync compatible monitor instead.
Or is that just what happened to me?
Either way, with the enormous price difference between the two options, its important to understand what G Sync truly offers that G Sync compatible doesn’t, and which type is truly worth it.
G Sync Vs G Sync Compatible: What’s The Difference?
The difference between a G Sync / G Sync Native monitor and a G Sync compatible monitor is that G Sync monitors have an actual NVIDIA G Sync chip installed in them which helps prevent screen tearing and input lag. G Sync compatible monitors are less robust, and cannot dynamically change to any FPS.
The advantage of using G Sync and G Sync compatible monitors is that G Sync dynamically changes your monitor’s refresh rate in order to work in sync with the FPS of the game that you’re playing. If your FPS is lower, you want to have a lower refresh rate on your monitor.
G Sync monitors can dynamically change from 1 Hz to the maximum refresh rate of the monitor as your FPS changes without any input lag. This is thanks to G Sync monitors having an actual G Sync module / chip installed in them that handles the refresh rate.
Now, G Sync compatible monitors do not have this module installed, but do still work with G Sync. They don’t perform as well, though.
These monitors can change their refresh rates as well, but not immediately. G Sync compatible monitors require the user to change their settings to work with the game they’re playing. If the monitor is running a 144 Hz overdrive, but the game’s FPS drops below 60, then there will be inverse ghosting and other graphic issues.
This isn’t a problem for most games since they don’t usually go from 140+ FPS to 60 FPS very often. However, it’s not unheard of, especially for games with a lot of particles and effects (Path of Exile, for example).
What’s The Difference Between G Sync And G Sync Compatible?
G Sync monitors have a built in G Sync chip that lets the monitor run at any refresh rate from 1 Hz to the maximum Hz supported by the monitor. G Sync compatible monitors still have overdrive, which prevents blurring in game, but do not support as wide of a range of refresh rates as native G Sync monitors.
One of the main features of a G Sync (and G Sync compatible) monitor is that it overdrives the monitor’s refresh rate when necessary in order to prevent the blurring of fast moving objects. This is extremely useful in games, especially competitive ones, where you need to have a very crisp and clean image to perform well.
True G Sync monitors with the built-in module have variable overdrive, which can change the monitor’s refresh rate to anything between 1 Hz and the monitor’s maximum rate.
This means that when you’re gaming, no matter what FPS you’re hitting, your monitor’s refresh rate is going to change dynamically to give you the optimal image.
Even if you’re gaming at 120 FPS before some action occurs that drops your framerate to 50FPS, a G Sync monitor will change accordingly.
Now, G Sync compatible monitors have overdrive as well. However, their overdrive is not nearly as dynamic as a true G Sync monitor. G Sync compatible monitors have set overdrive settings, which target different ranges of FPS.
This comes into play in the example above. If you’re gaming at 120 FPS, and your frames suddenly drop to below 60, you’re probably going to see some inverse ghosting and other issues until your FPS shoots back up.
Usually this isn’t a problem, though, since most games do not have such large fluctuations in FPS as you play them.
What Does G Sync Compatible Mean?
G Sync compatible means that the monitor works with G Sync technology but does not actually have the G Sync module that comes in true G Sync monitors. These monitors offer the same syncing benefits as a G Sync monitors, but are not as precise and will need to have different settings for different FPS ranges.
G Sync compatible monitors have the advantage of being cheaper than true G Sync monitors, while also being certified by NVIDIA to work with their graphics cards’ G Sync capabilities. The downside, of course, is not having true G Sync functionality which allows the monitor to adapt to any FPS your graphics card outputs.
The only time this will really affect you, however, is when you’re playing a game with extremely high FPS fluctuation. Otherwise, G Sync compatible monitors will likely have a setting that works perfectly for the games that you play.
List Of G Sync Compatible Monitors
Here are some examples of popular G Sync compatible monitors.
This monitor has a fantastic display (2560 X 1440), and a 1 ms response time, making it perfect for gaming. It’ll be able to keep up with just about any G Sync monitor and offers a 144 Hz refresh rate.
The main downside, of course, is that this is not an actual G Sync monitor, and you may be able to find a native G Sync option for about this same price. However, that option is very unlikely to have as big of a display, so there is some give and take.
Overall I think this is a great monitor that takes slight advantage of G Sync, is NVIDIA Certified, and will suit most gamers perfectly.
This is a pretty standard monitor which will do everything you need it to. The display is decent (1920 x 1080), with a 1 ms response time. On top of this, it is certified G Sync compatible and uses AMD FreeSync, so no matter what kind of graphics card you have (or will have), this monitor will be able to put in work.
This isn’t the cheapest option out there, but it’s cheaper than most G Sync monitors. This monitor is also curved, which is hit or miss with most people so keep that in mind.
This is one of the best budget G Sync compatible gaming monitors on Amazon at the moment. This sports a 1920 x 1080p display, and a 144Hz refresh rate which will work perfectly with G Sync and FreeSync. It comes with a neat monitor stand, and is very easily mounted if that’s what you want, making it great for just about anyone.
The only downside with this monitor is its 5 ms response time. Many G Sync compatible monitors offer a 1 ms response time, which is faster. However, it’s honestly pretty much unnoticable when you’re gaming, so this monitor will be fine for even the most competitive games.
List Of G Sync Monitors
Here are the most popular monitors with full G Sync capabilities.
This is probably the most budget friendly G Sync monitor on the market at the moment. Cheap doesn’t mean bad, though. This monitor has a crisp 1920x1080p display, 144 Hz refresh rate, and a 0.5 ms response time.
Most G Sync monitors are going to run a few hundred dollars at least, so being able to pick one up for just around two hundred bucks is always a great deal. Especially when you do not have to sacrifice any performance.
This monitor is very similar to the ASUS VG248QG, except it offers just a little more in screen size. This monitor offers G Sync natively, which is perfect for gamers who want every little edge they can get when gaming.
On top of G Sync, this monitor has a 1920x1080p display, 0.5 ms response time, and a refresh rate of 144Hz, all of which are pretty much the gold standard for gaming (or better).
SAMSUNG Odyssey G7 Series
I had to include this beast on the list. If you’re going to pick up a G Sync monitor and have a bottomless budget, this is what you want.
This monitor has an insane refresh rate of 240 Hz, which G Sync will perfectly adapt to your graphics card and FPS as necessary. On top of this, it has a resolution of 2560x1440p, and has a whopping 27 inch screen. This monitor also offers a 1 ms response time, which is 0.5 seconds slower than the above monitors, but trust me there’s no way a human will ever notice this difference.
How To Know If Your Monitor Is G Sync Compatible?
To figure out if your monitor is G Sync compatible, right click on the NVIDA logo in your system tray and click “Nvidia Control Panel”. In the display options of your Nvidia Control Panel, you will see G Sync options or G Sync compatible options if your monitor has G Sync or is G Sync compatible.
If you’re looking at a brand new monitor and are wondering if it is G Sync compatible, then you can simply check its branding. Most monitors that are G Sync compatible will have a Nvidia G Sync sticker on them to let you know that it has been tested by Nvidia and found to be compatible with G Sync.
Some monitors do not have this sticker and are not certified by Nvidia, but are still G Sync compatible. The best way to find out if this is the case is to do a quick Google search and look for some reviews from other users.
Is G Sync Compatible The Same As Free Sync?
G Sync compatible monitors are free sync monitors that have been verified and tested by Nvidia to work with their G Sync technology. Not all FreeSync monitors are G Sync compatible, but all G Sync compatible monitors are FreeSync monitors. FreeSync monitors still help eliminate screen tearing and stuttering.
Free Sync and G Sync compatible are not exactly the same thing, but they pretty much go hand in hand. A FreeSync monitor does not technically need to be G Sync compatible, but most of them actually are.
Just because a monitor has not been tested and certified by Nvidia does not mean that it doesn’t work with their G Sync tools. The only way to know for sure is to test it, or ask someone who has.
Both technologies still sync the framerate of the monitor to work better with the GPU’s FPS output. However, G Sync compatible monitors due so using G Sync, while FreeSync monitors do so with their own software.
Is G Sync Necessary For 144hz?
G Sync is necessary for a 144 Hz monitor if your GPU cannot output 144 FPS. If your graphics card cannot output the same frames as your monitor’s refresh rate, you will notice screen tearing unless you have a G Sync or G Sync compatible monitor. If your GPU can always hit 144+ FPS, any monitor will do.
G Sync allows your graphics card to actually control the refresh rate of your monitor. This means if your FPS drops down to 60 FPS, your GPU can tell your monitor to drop down to 60 Hz refresh rate. Without G Sync, your FPS will be outputting significantly less FPS than your refresh rate, which means tearing or other issues are inevitable.
Now, if your GPU is strong enough to always hit 144+FPS, then you’ll be fine. G Sync compatible monitors and FreeSync monitors are also an option in these cases, but are not as dynamic as G Sync.
Is G Sync Compatible Worth It?
G Sync compatible monitors are definitely worth it if you play competitive games and want the extra edge. They still use overdrive technology that will help you see things more clearly. However, if your games tend to fluctuate a lot in the FPS output, G Sync compatible will not be enough.
The main reason to get a G Sync compatible monitor is the overdrive, but this will be greatly overshadowed if you play games with very volatile FPS that jumps up and down a lot. In this case, it’s better to just save up for a true G Sync monitor if at all possible.
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