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    Posted December 16, 2013 by
    shunina
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    Tech talk

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    Nvidia's G-Sync: A monitor-based gaming revolution?

     

    In October, Nvidia revealed its new monitor synchronisation  technology designed to improve game experiences by synchronising  directly with the GPU rather than relying on standard timing systems.

    Dubbed G-Sync, the new method could revolutionise monitor technology –  if it delivers as advertised. Now that the first reviews of G-Sync are  in, what kind of real-world improvement do we see?

    So far, the results are mixed – but early impressions are positive.

    G-Sync works by matching the monitor refresh rate directly with the GPU  draw rate, ensuring that frames are displayed as they arrive, without  tearing or stutter.

    In theory, this results in a much smoother overall experience. Check out the following three images for a visual breakdown...

    With the technology in such early stages,  there are still a number of quirks and limitations. The early kits  Nvidia shipped out are compatible with just one Asus monitor. They rely  on DisplayPort (no HDMI or DVI), and they don’t carry audio. Refresh  rates are also limited to 144Hz, the practical limit of the monitor –  though it’s worth noting that this is a panel limitation. Unlike most  modern TVs, the panel refresh rates advertised on displays like the Asus  VG248QE are true refresh rates, not interpolated ones. Anandtech  believes that we’ll soon see IPS panels at 2560 x 1440, but for now the  1920 x 1080 TN-panel Asus is all there is to test with.

    The results are rather interesting, and very game-dependent. In the six  titles Anandtech played (Assassin’s Creed IV, Batman: Arkham Origins,  Sleeping Dogs, Dota 2, Starcraft II, and BioShock Infinite), G-Sync  improved Assassin’s Creed, substantially improved Batman, but ran  Sleeping Dogs dramatically worse. Dota 2 and Starcraft II were both a  wash, and BioShock Infinite was a split case. At a 144Hz refresh rate,  BioShock Infinite doesn’t stutter or tear much, anyway – but G-Sync does  help resolve the visible issues that occur.


    The verdict, therefore, is that while G-Sync doesn’t matter for every  game, it can make a dramatic difference in certain titles, particularly  if you’re upgrading from a 60Hz panel. Asus estimates that in the US,  the VG248QE, which normally runs to about $280, will go for $400 with a  G-Sync kit built-in (the hardware that goes in the monitor,  incidentally, is an Altera FPGA paired with 768MB of DDR3 RAM, pictured  above). In the UK, the VG248QE sadly costs the same price in pounds as  dollars, so with the monitor costing £280 we can expect a price  approaching £400 for the kit-embellished display here.

    That’s a substantial additional cost, particularly for a TN panel –  Anandtech hopes that we’ll see the technology built into 2560 x 1440  displays, where it might also make more sense for FPS reasons. G-Sync  works best in games where the frame rate hovers between 30 fps and 60  fps. Modern high-end cards have less trouble at 1920 x 1080, but take  heavier hits at 2560 x 1440.

    As for the long-term future of the technology, that remains an open  question. The downside to G-Sync is that you’re effectively locked into a  single display and Nvidia’s graphics cards. Obviously from Nvidia’s  perspective, that’s a huge positive, but it could also limit  multi-display gaming.

    Still, the technology is in its early stages, and all reports indicate  that it can improve the overall gaming experience, at least some of the  time. That’s a decent starting place for any new technology – we’ll see  where it goes from here.

    Display

    TI interface IC supports highest screen resolutions for tablets, notebooks and all-in-one PCs

    Texas Instruments introduced a new interface  IC that provides a MIPI®DSI bridge between the graphics processor and  embedded DisplayPort (eDP) panel, which supports the industry’s highest  screen resolution up to 4K2Kp60 for tablets, clamshell notebooks and  all-in-one PCs.

    Related Products: oled lcd tv panel display

     

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