Nvidia’s G-Sync variable refresh rate tech takes the leash off of your graphics card, letting it push as many frames per second as it possibly can, while eliminating input lag and visual artifacts (like motion blur and screen tearing) on your monitor. If you buy a monitor equipped with G-Sync, you can expect a smoother gaming experience with fluid animations. But such a monitor is costly, with a baseline price of around $350 for a 1080p display, and hundreds more for one that can output at 1440p or 4K. If that’s too expensive for you (you’re not alone), there are alternatives.
Nvidia has brought aftermarket G-Sync support (via a software update) to 15 gaming monitors (three were added on March 5th) equipped with AMD FreeSync, widening the pool of G-Sync-capable displays; prices start as low as $189. If you own one of these monitors, and your system is equipped with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 10-series or RTX 20-series GPU, then G-Sync will activate automatically once you install the latest driver. In terms of what makes these models different from the hundreds of FreeSync monitors on the market, Nvidia shared the following criteria that decides which monitors get a pass:
G-SYNC Compatible testing validates that the monitor does not show blanking, pulsing, flickering, ghosting or other artifacts during VRR gaming. They also validate that the monitor can operate in VRR at any game frame rate by supporting a VRR range of at least 2.4:1 (e.g. 60Hz-144Hz), and offer the gamer a seamless experience by enabling VRR by default.
Here’s the list of supported displays from least to most expensive at the time of publication:
We tested the BenQ ZOWIE XL2740 (pictured above), one of the listed monitors with Nvidia G-Sync support. It’s a 27-inch 1080p FreeSync monitor with a 240Hz refresh rate. As you’d hope, the setup process is easy. The Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics card in our test rig was already updated, so G-Sync switched on automatically, and there were no noticeable instances of screen tearing or image ghosting during our time with the unit.
After spending some time playing Forza Horizon 4 and Metro: Exodus, and running through Nvidia’s G-Sync benchmark, the results were great. It’s easy to see whom this sort of monitor is for: those who want G-Sync without too much fuss or expense.