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Frame Rating: Visual Effects of Vsync on Gaming Animation

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: PC Perspective

Sleeping Dogs - You pick the winner

On this page we are doing the exact same comparisons, but leaving the guesswork on which side is which to YOU.  I want you all to make your own decisions, which is better, which is worse, which is more smooth versus which is just a higher frame rate SOMETIMES. 

I would recommend that you actually download the video files below each YouTube embed for the best experience.

We want to know your guesses before you answer!  Just click the link below to open up the poll in a new tab/window!!

Open up the Poll Now!!

 

Sleeping Dogs - 1920x1080 - Extreme Settings

 

Download the 200MB MP4 from Mega.co.nz

Reports from most users are telling us that you NEED to download these files for a solid comparison!

Sleeping Dogs - 60 FPS vs 30 FPS Comparison

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Download the 200MB MP4 from Mega.co.nz

Reports from most users are telling us that you NEED to download these files for a solid comparison!

Sleeping Dogs - 60 FPS vs Standard Vsync Comparison

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Download the 200MB MP4 from Mega.co.nz

Reports from most users are telling us that you NEED to download these files for a solid comparison!

Sleeping Dogs - 30 FPS vs Standard Vsync Comparison

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April 16, 2013 | 12:59 PM - Posted by corhen (not verified)

we see all these comments about Vsync, but how does nvidias "adaptive vsync" fare?

April 16, 2013 | 07:51 PM - Posted by svnowviwvn

I would also like to see an analysis of Nvidia's "adaptive vsync"

April 16, 2013 | 08:43 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Fair enough, we just wanted to show you a vendor agnostic comparison on Vsync at first.

April 18, 2013 | 03:20 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

While you have your Request Book open what about:

Virtual VSync
http://www.lucidlogix.com/technology-virtual-v-sync.html

A quote from that Page: "Virtual Vsync enables games to run at any FPS, with no image tearing, stuttering, lags and latency artifacts." .

Can you tell us if it does indeed 'fix everything' -- If it does you can use it as the Base System.

Thanks for these Articles and working on this for us.

April 26, 2013 | 06:10 AM - Posted by endiZ (not verified)

nVidia's Adaptive sync vs RadeonPro Dynamic sync control comparison would be great!

http://www.radeonpro.info/features/dynamic-vsync-control/

April 16, 2013 | 01:12 PM - Posted by Martin (not verified)

Was the conclusion that with a sufficiently fast card that consistently gives frame times less than 16 ms, Vsync will always give a smoother animation at the cost of up to 16 ms extra input lag?

April 20, 2013 | 04:38 AM - Posted by Bogdan (not verified)

My sentiments exactly! Obviously, even with no direct comparison between the two giant GPU manufacturers, there's no doubt in my mind that Adaptive VSync really "brings the best of both worlds" in terms of smooth transitions between various frame times while under the 60FPS barrier. Even at constant 60 FPS I could live with extra 16ms input latency even on more demanding games in this respect (like maybe Dirt 3), provided I get state of the art image quality.
Also, bare in mind that when I turn on VSync in Crysis 3 menu on my GTX690, it is for sure Adaptive VSync that's at work, and not standard VSync. That is with default settings in NVidia Control Panel! So no worries there on the NVidia side...
Thank you Ryan for your dedication and professionalism in bringing us all these really fine reviews! You guys are doing a great job there, and most impressive it's out of real passion.
Keep it up! Sky is the limit! :-)

April 16, 2013 | 01:37 PM - Posted by ezjohny

The left side was clearly the winner here.
Your way of testing certain portion of the game is very educational to the public, thank you for this!

April 16, 2013 | 06:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The winner of what?

He's got what seems like an SLI setup that can sustain 60 fps with vsync on compared to a half the price non-crossfire setup with vsync on to create inconsistency.

April 16, 2013 | 08:44 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

The goal of these vidoes was NOT to compare SLI vs a single card.  The goal was compare what you can see at 60 FPS fixed against ANY Vsync situation and 30 FPS against ANY Vsync situation.  

Reading comprehension!

April 16, 2013 | 11:12 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That you for editing your article to help make clear what you stated above.

Maybe edit this as well?

"What does this really mean based on our previous Frame Rating data sets, AMD's CrossFire issues and user experiences?"

It means absolutely nothing since non-crossfire doesn't have issues without Vsync.

"In fact, AMD was a proponent of this fix, as many conversations we have had with the GPU giant trailed into the direction of Vsync as answer to their multi-GPU issues. "

Reading comprehension!

April 17, 2013 | 04:23 AM - Posted by JCCIII

That was my conclusion, too. The videos were so well done that I made my choices within seconds of each. The sign “Recycling Limited Company” was irregular on the right.

And, the truth comes: am I a videophile or a poser; I sure hope I will sleep tonight!

Joseph C. Carbone III

April 16, 2013 | 01:48 PM - Posted by Paul Keeble (not verified)

It took me a maximum of 5 seconds in every case to identify those. Identifying them was immediately obvious, I did not need the 50% or the 20% slow down to be able to tell the difference. You could have done that test with considerably smaller files.

April 16, 2013 | 06:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Are we able to identify what the 7970 was being compared to exactly?

April 17, 2013 | 07:18 AM - Posted by bystander (not verified)

The 7970 wasn't the comparison. The comparison was the difference between a fixed 30 FPS or fixed 60 FPS compared to v-sync on when there is variation between the two.

April 16, 2013 | 02:10 PM - Posted by Bryan Watson (not verified)

Just a tip for recording these demonstration videos in the future:

I found myself more distracted on the actual time difference between actions on the video then the smoothness of the animation.

You can get much better comparison videos by running a keyboard / mouse macro to replicate the exactly same keypresses and mouse movements every time.

That way you would have near identical videos that you could sync easily and provide a much clearer ground for comparison.

April 16, 2013 | 04:02 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Thanks for the tip but we have tried that before and macro programs don't respond to input for games consistently...

April 16, 2013 | 09:39 PM - Posted by Steve W. (not verified)

Hey Ryan,

I would like to propose adding a canned benchmark to the mix. They might not be ideal for real world Benchmark between cards, but I think they should do fine in judging smoothness. Either in split copy or half and half or both =).

My picks for canned benchmark:

-Batman - Arkham City ( This benchmark has good amount of panning especially that "hiccup" in the beginning when panning up the stairs, and bunch of fast shooting objects although done by physx).

-AVP (lots of up close and large moving "beings")

-Lost Planet 2 Benchmark (the one with 3rd person in-game play, and closest to what the previous poster Bryan Watson suggest)

-Catzilla (non-real game but uses newer capabilities (OpenGL 4.0 and DirectX 9/11... and faster pace as oppsed to heaven, and just plain cooler)

-there are probably better ones, but these are the ones I've played around with on my 680.

Other thoughts... The 60fps vs Vsync difference is very unnoticeable, but jumping to a possible next level of testing is mouse/keyboard lag comparison (you mentioned it somewhere but I can't remember) which in my opinion is icing on the cake. (maybe that could lead to debunking "gaming" keyboard and mice vs ps2,standard or even wireless! very destructive info imho)

ps. the music needs more wub wub

April 16, 2013 | 05:56 PM - Posted by Humanitarian

This was distracting me a little too, Blocking off half your monitor with card or paper makes it a lot easier.

April 16, 2013 | 03:03 PM - Posted by looniam (not verified)

if i listen to that music anymore i will promptly put a spike through my head.

i know there is a mute but, it takes away from the experience! :p

April 16, 2013 | 04:02 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

So, you're saying you need new background music, check.

April 16, 2013 | 05:56 PM - Posted by Humanitarian

Definitely needs more wub wub.

April 16, 2013 | 04:09 PM - Posted by Maester Aemon (not verified)

This time I'm a bit confused with your results. Everybody knows that enabling standard vsync on a game where the GPU can't sustain fps above 60 is a bad idea because even if the fps go down to 59, then the everything is rendered at 30 fps until the GPU can go back to 60 or above.

The real question is, what about the case where a Crossfire configuration is capable to run a game without ever going below 60 fps and then, when you enable vsync the games runs at a constant 60fps with no drops to 30fps at all? Does that solve the runt frames and stuttering issue?

April 16, 2013 | 06:42 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Showing this wouldn't be consistent with what the sponsor wants to present.

You have to think of all parties involved.

I'm curious, what was the actual Nvidia setup used in the battlefield 3 comparison? If it's something that can handle 60+ fps without issue, then it's easy to see why this comparison is silly.

April 16, 2013 | 06:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Reread this...

"And of course, enabling Vsync results in a situation where the frame rate does NOT dip below 60 FPS, as we did with our reference videos used in this article, will not result in animation inconsistencies."

So why not use crossfire 7970 as well? 7970 on it's own doesn't have tearing issues with v-sync off.

April 16, 2013 | 08:47 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

You guys and your conspiracies never get tired, do you?  :)

To quote a comment I left above...

"The goal of these vidoes was NOT to compare SLI vs a single card.  The goal was compare what you can see at 60 FPS fixed against ANY Vsync situation and 30 FPS against ANY Vsync situation. 

Reading comprehension!"

April 17, 2013 | 11:11 PM - Posted by techno (not verified)

I know this is a comparison of vsync vs fixed frame rates....but the reason you are doing this is because of the hullabaloo your new methods have caused in relation to crossfire.

The question that was raised was "does vsync address the crossfire issue?"

This article does not address this and merely tries to slur vsync as a possible fix.

We all know vsync has the issues you have high ligthed but please answer the question.

"Does vsync in situations where frame rates are consistently above 60fps fix the crossfire problems?"

You have not answered this and have just tried to slur AMD's response without proper testing.

Ryan your blood runs GREEN.

April 20, 2013 | 06:16 AM - Posted by Bogdan (not verified)

You know what? I think too Ryan's blood runs Green, and to be perfectly honest I wouldn't mind if mine ran the same color, just as long as what's been showed it's from the editorial stance and one's dedication to show us ALL how actual technologies impact on various game experiences.

Even if he hasn't clearly stated (and it is said from the beginning of this article that we're not comparing the two GPU giants), it is my understanding that any GPU configuration powerful enough to consistently run over 60FPS will have no problems delivering smooth gaming experience at 60Hz-60FPS. By all means, that's good news for me and my GTX690, and it'd be the same if I owned a pair of 7970s (JUST for me personally no thanks! - due to greater power consumption, extra space requirements, worse noise and temperature levels inside my CM690 II Advanced case).

I think what Ryan means is to show us ALL (and THAT means not only me or others with ARES II in their cases), just what happens when you have a GTX670, GTX680, a HD7970, or other SLI/CF GPU configurations which don't always stay above 60FPS barrier and what your choices and tradeoffs would be in respect to VSync, image quality and gaming experience.

As for his sponsors, I think that's entirely his problem and doesn't concern us, just as long as what we read, see and hear is pertinent and objectively explained on specific topics. As for what everyone understands, that's another story...

PS: Just to be clear, not taking into consideration the high-end/highly expensive GTX690 and Titan (especially this one!), I think that hardware implemented Adaptive VSync is an obvious step forward from the Green Team, and that is especially valid for those of us who don't necessarily get to buy extreme graphics cards. I can't wait for AMD to pick up the pace and give Nvidia some rough times, but for now please don't mind if "my blood runs green" too!

Thanks again, Ryan - for your dedication and professionalism!

Peace to all! May it be that we fight only on game servers and really nice forums like PC-PER.

April 16, 2013 | 04:15 PM - Posted by AlienAndy (not verified)

Thanks again for your tireless efforts, Ryan.

Really looking forward to seeing some older cards tested.

April 16, 2013 | 05:49 PM - Posted by tbone (not verified)

good comparison but certain sections distracted me from the left vs right like when one scene has motion and the other doesn't like a car or motorbike...for example the motorcycle at the end on the left distracted me from viewing the right.

first video was obvious when at 50%

second video not so clear to me which was better even at 50%, by 20% maybe a little yes.

third video was impossible for me to tell the difference between the 2.

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