Update 9/30/18 3:22 AM: After added analysis and the accumulating of added accelerated camera footage from our G-Sync displays, I’m assured the tear-free gameplay we’re experiencing on our FreeSync displays in aggregate with GeForces is a aftereffect of Windows 10’s Desktop Window Manager abacus its own anatomy of Vsync to the affairs aback amateur are in borderless windowed mode, rather than any anatomy of VESA Adapative-Sync actuality affianced with our GeForce cards. Pending a acknowledgment from Nvidia as to aloof what we’re experiencing, I’d acquaint adjoin cartoon any abstracts from our observations at this time and aboveboard apologize for the ambiguous statements we’ve presented in our aboriginal article. The aboriginal allotment continues beneath for posterity.
It all started with a red light. You see, the primary FreeSync affectation in the TR labs, an Eizo Foris FS2735, has a accessible multi-color ability LED that flips over to red aback a FreeSync-compatible cartoon agenda is connected. I was ambience up a analysis rig today for affidavit altered to graphics-card testing, and in the process, I affective our GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition after a additional thought, alone it into a PCIe slot, and absorbed it up to that monitor.
The red ablaze came on.
Some things are aloof not declared to arise in life, like the sun ambit the earth, bodies calling espresso “expresso,” and FreeSync monitors alive in concert with Nvidia cartoon cards. I’ve acclimated GeForce cards with that Eizo affectation in the accomplished as the breach demanded, but I can’t anamnesis anytime seeing the adviser assuming annihilation added than its white absence indicator with the blooming team’s cards blame pixels.
At that point, I got absolute curious. I accursed up Rise of the Tomb Raider and begin myself walking through the game’s Geothermal Valley akin with nary a breach to be seen. After I recovered from my shock at that sight, I started dabbling and prodding at the game’s settings agenda to see whether annihilation in there had any aftereffect on what I was seeing.
Somewhere forth the way, I credible that toggling the d amid absolute fullscreen and non-exclusive fullscreen modes (or borderless window mode, as some amateur alarm it) occasionally acquired the affectation to abatement aback into its non-variable-refresh-rate (VRR) absence state, as adumbrated by the LED’s alteration from red to white. That blush change didn’t consistently happen, but I consistently noticed disturbing with absolute fullscreen approach enabled in the amateur I tried, while non-exclusive fullscreen approach seemed to anxiously accredit whatever VRR mojo I anticipation I had uncovered.
Our Eizo FS2735 declining to do the variable-refresh-rate ball in absolute fullscreen mode
Our Eizo FS2735 delivers tear-free gaming, address of bifold buffering and not VRR, with our RTX 2080 Ti in non-exclusive fullscreen mode
Next, I pulled up my iPhone’s 240-FPS slow-mo approach and affective some footage of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided active on the RTX 2080 Ti while it was affiliated to the Eizo monitor. You can array of see from the borderless windowed approach video that frames are accession at altered times, but that motion is advancing an absolute anatomy at a time, while the exclusive-fullscreen approach shows the disturbing and asperous advance that we apprehend from a d active with any affectionate of Vsync off.
Now that we seemed to accept a little bit of ascendancy over the behavior of our Nvidia cards with our Eizo display, I set about aggravating to amount out aloof what capricious or variables were allegedly acceptance us to breach through the walls of Nvidia’s VRR garden aloft our best of fullscreen modes.
Our LG 27MU67-B declining to accompany up with the RTX 2080 Ti in absolute fullscreen mode
Our LG 27MU67-B exhibits approved Vsync—not VRR—with the RTX 2080 Ti in non-exclusive fullscreen mode
Was it our best of monitor? I accept an LG 27MU67-B in the TR labs for 4K testing, and that adviser supports FreeSync, as well. Shockingly enough, so continued as I was able to accumulate the RTX 2080 Ti aural its 40-Hz-to-60-Hz FreeSync range, the LG affectation seemed—emphasis: seemed—to do the VRR ball aloof as able-bodied as the Eizo. You can see what I took as affirmation in the slow-motion videos above, abundant added acutely than with the Eizo display. While those videos alone abduction a allocation of the screen, they accurately aback the frame-delivery acquaintance I saw. I anxiously accepted that there wasn’t a arresting breach band abroad on the screen, too.
Was it a Turing-specific oversight? The aforementioned ambush seemed to assignment with the RTX 2080, too, so it wasn’t aloof an RTX 2080 Ti thing. I pulled out one of our GTX 1080 Ti Founders Editions and absorbed it up to the Eizo display. The red ablaze addled on, and I was able to adore the aforementioned tear-free acquaintance I had been afraid to see from our Turing cards. Addition acutely jaw-dropping adumbration on its own, but one that didn’t get me any afterpiece to compassionate what was happening.
Was it a amount of Founders Editions adjoin accomplice cards? I accept a Gigabyte RTX 2080 Gaming OC 8G in the labs for testing, and I absorbed it up to the Eizo display. On came the red light.
Was it commodity about our analysis motherboard? I pulled our RTX 2080 Ti out of the aboriginal motherboard I chose and put it to assignment on the Z370 analysis rig we aloof accomplished appliance for our Turing reviews. The agenda appropriately fed frames to the Eizo affectation as they percolated through the pipeline. Addition strike.
Was Windows banishment Vsync on acknowledgment to our best of non-exclusive fullscreen mode? (Yes, as it turns out, but we’ll get to why I anticipate so in a moment). I pulled out my frame-time-gathering accoutrement and calm some abstracts with DXMD active chargeless and in its double- and triple-buffered modes to acquisition out. If Windows was somehow banishment the d into Vsync, I would accept credible anatomy times array about the 16.7-ms and 33.3-ms marks, rather than falling wherever.
Our graphs acquaint the adverse tale, though. Anatomy commitment was allegedly accident commonly while Vsync was off, and our Vsync graphs appearance the accepted groupings of anatomy times about the 16.7-ms and 33.3-ms marks (along with a few added alarming outliers). Didn’t assume like affected Vsync was the acumen for the tear-free anatomy commitment we were seeing.
Update: Some acumen about what we’re seeing underlines why the aloft band of anticipation was incorrect. If the Desktop Window Manager itself is assuming a anatomy of Vsync, as Microsoft says it does, we apparently wouldn’t see the after-effects of those quantizations in our application-specific frame-time graphs for amateur active in borderless windowed mode. The DWM compositor itself would be the abode to look, and we don’t about set up our accoutrement to t that abstracts (although it can be logged). The appliance can apparently cede as fast as it wants abaft the scenes (hence why anatomy ante don’t arise to be capped in borderless windowed mode, addition antecedent of abashing as we were putting calm this article), while the compositor would apparently do the job of selecting what frames are displayed and when.
We didn’t try and abstract drivers in our action at this credible discovery, but our analysis systems were appliance the latest 411.70 absolution absolute from Nvidia’s website. We did install GeForce Acquaintance and leave all added settings at their defaults, including those for Nvidia’s in-game overlay, which was enabled. The added constants in our bureaucracy were DisplayPort cables and the use of absolute adjoin non-exclusive (or borderless windowed) modes in-game. Our analysis systems’ versions of Windows 10 were absolutely adapted as of this afternoon, too.
Conclusions (updated 10/1/18)
So what ultimately happened here? Well, allotment of the botheration is that I got absolute aflame by that FreeSync ablaze and the tear-free gaming acquaintance that our systems were accouterment with the settings we chose, and I got adit eyes and jumped the gun. There was one affair I alone to do, though, and that was to double-check the achievement of our setups adjoin a 18-carat variable-refresh-rate display. Had I done that, I apparently would accept appear to the cessation that Windows was assuming Vsync of its own a lot faster. Here’s some slow-motion footage of the G-Sync-compatible Asus PG279Q we accept in the TR labs, active our DXMD analysis sequence:
You can see—much like in our aboriginal accelerated footage of G-Sync displays—that the absolute VRR acquaintance is cautiously altered from approved Vsync. Motion is proceeding calmly rather than in clear, anchored steps, commodity we would accept credible had our GeForces absolutely been accouterment VRR achievement to our FreeSync displays. The FreeSync ablaze and tear-free gaming acquaintance I was seeing fabricated me achievement adjoin achievement that some anatomy of VRR operation was demography place, but ultimately, it was aloof a anatomy of acceptable old Vsync, and I should accept credible it for what it was.
Even after 18-carat VRR gaming demography place, it’s camp that hooking up a GeForce cartoon agenda would account a FreeSync adviser to anticipate that it was accepting a accordant signal, alike some of the time. Whatever the case may be, the red ablaze on my Eizo affectation should not accept aflame after a FreeSync-compatible cartoon agenda confined as the source. We’ve asked Nvidia for animadversion on this adventure and we’ll amend it if we apprehend back.
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