What Is Adaptive Sync? Everything You Need To Know

In this article, I will share everything about what is adaptive sync. There are multiple features to look for when purchasing a gaming monitor, one of which is Adaptive Sync. When purchasing a gaming monitor, people look for fast refresh rates, high frame rates, and low input lag.

If your screen’s refresh rate and frame rate don’t match, you will experience screen tearing. This issue will prevent you from having a pleasant gaming experience.

Adaptive Sync is one of the technologies used to sync the frame rate of your graphics card and monitor’s refresh rate. Various monitor manufacturers have created different technologies in this area.

Keep reading to find out about what is adaptive sync in detail.

What Is Adaptive Sync: How Does It Affect Your Gaming?


Adaptive Sync syncs the monitor’s refresh rate with the outputting frame rates of the GPU for smooth gaming. A game running on Adaptive Sync technology runs smoothly without screen tearing or stuttering. Every frame is displayed as soon as possible.

You can watch movies at different frame rates with adaptive sync without experiencing video stutters. It reduces power consumption by adjusting your screen’s refresh rate to match the video content.

What Is Adaptive Sync: Advantages Of Adaptive Sync

Here are the merits of Adaptive Sync – 

  • Adaptive Sync improves the performance of your monitor.
  • Most of the monitors are equipped with adaptive Sync to improve display performance.
  • Adaptive Sync limits the V-Sync limits of capping higher FPS.
  • It synchronizes with your graphics card to eliminate screen tearing and stuttering during gaming.
  • Adaptive Sync improves the image quality of a monitor.

What Is Adaptive Sync: Disadvantages Of Adaptive Sync

The demerits of Adaptive Sync are as follows – 

  • The peak refresh rates & frames per second depend on how powerful the GPU of your monitor is.
  • To use adaptive Sync, your monitor must meet the necessary standards. Freesync and G-Sync premium versions should include 120Hz and 144Hz refresh rates, respectively.
  • You need a compatible graphics card & monitor to use adaptive Sync.
  • Although FreeSync is cheaper than G-Sync, which requires NVIDIA proprietary hardware, both are costly since you need a compatible graphics card and monitors to experience the highest performance.

What Is Adaptive Sync: How To Use Adaptive Sync


All Windows PCs with compatible hardware and newer Macs support Adaptive Sync. Head to the GPU’s control center and change the display settings to enable Adaptive Sync.

Do You Need Adaptive Sync Turned On?

The refresh and frame rates are synced with Adaptive Sync to provide smooth gaming. With adaptive sync turned off, gamers won’t have a pleasant experience, as screen tearing would occur. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that your adaptive sync is enabled.

How Do You Turn On/Off Adaptive Sync on Your Computer?
You can turn adaptive Sync on/off on your computer by following the below steps: 
Open Windows & go to NVIDIA/AMD control panel.
Click on Display to open the drop-down option on the control panel.
Go to Setup FreeSync or G-Sync.
Go to Setup FreeSync or G-Sync.
Now, select the model of the computer.
Check Enable settings for the selected model.
Then, click on Apply settings.title

How Do You Turn The On/Off Variable Refresh Rate on Your Monitor?

The VRR feature on your display adjusts the refresh rate to avoid screen tearing. The refresh rate switches from low to high when your video or gameplay is playing. Turning the VRR function on or off does not affect your G-Sync or adaptive sync settings in the control panel.

You can use VRR to eliminate display issues while playing games, although it is disabled by default. Here’s how to turn the VRR feature on: 

  • Open the Windows search bar & enter Settings.
  • After that, click on Settings.
  • Go to Display.
  • Further, go to the Multiple Displays bar & click on Graphics Settings.
  • If your monitor is adaptive Sync enabled, it’ll show you a Variable Refresh Rate button. Select On/Off.
  • Close the window. Now, consider restarting your game to apply the changes.

Is Adaptive Sync Similar To G-Sync?


Today, if you buy a gaming monitor, you will encounter either the AMD FreeSync technology or the NVIDIA G-Sync technology. These two adaptive sync technologies are popular ones.

Timing affects your screen. A monitor’s Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) can generate frames faster than the screen can update, resulting in jagged lines or other visual artifacts. However, if the monitor’s GPU cannot output at the screen’s refresh rate, you will experience a stuttering effect. A stuttering effect occurs when the view moves horizontally, and an apparent tearing impact is visible.

The AMD FreeSync monitors are thoroughly certified to guarantee a low-latency, tear-free experience. When FreeSync is on, the monitor will synchronize the screen refresh with the current game’s frame rate. The monitor will refresh at 60 frames per second if the refresh rate is 60 Hz. The refresh rate will also increase if the GPU’s output increases.

If you play a simple PC game, you will not need FreeSync technology. In addition, Adaptive sync technology is unnecessary if the monitor’s GPU frame rate is high. Alternatively, if you are playing a graphically demanding game such as CS: GO or League of Legends, your computer may only generate 40 to 50 frames per second, below the required frame rates.

Your AMD graphics card must be compatible with FreeSync. The refresh rate will coincide with the frame rate when using a FreeSync display. Therefore you will never experience screen tearing. You must also ensure your TV or monitor supports VESA Adaptive Sync.

VESA adaptive Sync and NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology rely on the same principle. AMD’s FreeSync technology is less expensive than G-Sync technology, making it a more economical alternative for gamers. It’s because the G-Sync monitor requires proprietary hardware from NVIDIA, while a FreeSync display does not.

NVIDIA’s strict quality control makes G-Sync monitors come at a premium price because of the strict regulations enforced by NVIDIA.

You’ll need a compatible NVIDIA graphics card if you buy a monitor equipped with G-Sync technology.

NVIDIA G-Sync adaptive sync prevents screen tearing when you play fast-paced games with a higher frame rate than the monitor’s refresh rate. VESA’s adaptive sync is identical to NVIDIA G-Sync as it synchronizes the refresh rate with the GPU’s frame rate output.

Differences Between V-Sync Vs. Adaptive-Sync technology


Vertical Sync, more commonly known as V-Sync, is an original graphics card technology that synchronizes your game’s frame rate with the monitor’s refresh rate. It is present in most modern graphics cards to address screen tearing.

When you enable V-Sync on a monitor, it restricts the graphics card’s frame rate to the monitor’s refresh rates, eliminating screen tearing. Preventing the monitor from handling frame rates higher than it can manage eliminates screen tearing.

When V-Sync falls the FPS, it offers dynamic adjusting that deals with screen tearing and juddering effects.

Adaptive Sync minimizes input lag by displaying each frame as soon as possible. In addition, it prevents game stuttering by ensuring that no frame is repeated within the display’s refresh rate.

You don’t need to use adaptive Sync in every situation, as its primary goal is to stabilize the image. For example, frame rates change every second if you are playing a demanding game like Fortnite.

Enabling V-Sync on your monitor caps the graphics card’s frame rate at the display’s refresh rate. This eliminates screen tearing by ensuring the frame rate does not exceed the display’s refresh rate.

If your game’s frame rate is below the screen’s refresh rate, enabling vertical Sync will further drop the FPS to match the monitor, resulting in more latency and poor performance.

Unlike V-Sync, which forces the GPU’s frame rate to match the screen’s refresh rate, adaptive Sync adjusts the refresh rate to match the frame rates required to render the game.

When the frame rate of a game changes per second, you require adaptive Sync (G-Sync and Freesync) to maintain the vertical refresh rate consistent with the graphics output.

If you are playing a game, for example, at 144HZ, and maintain the frame rate, you won’t need adaptive Sync, but it will be available as a backup. If it’s hard for the monitor to maintain the frames, adaptive Sync will support a smooth gaming experience.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on What Is Adaptive Sync

1. Should I have adaptive sync turned on?

Yes. An adaptive-sync display can adjust its refresh rate based on how frequently your graphics card sends frames. If your graphics card produces over 43 frames per second, your monitor will display those 43 frames rather than forcing 60 refreshes per second.

2. Is adaptive sync better on or off?

With adaptive Sync, your display will sync the refresh and frame rates to provide seamless gaming. Without the VESA adaptive sync technology, screen tearing will mar the process of playing games. Therefore, you must ensure that your adaptive Sync is turned on.

3. What is adaptive sync used for?

A display that matches the GPU’s frame rate by using Adaptive-Sync technology can adjust its refresh rate.

4. Does adaptive sync improve performance?

Adaptive-Sync seeks to address the issue of content playing at different framerates by lowering power consumption and efficiency.

5. What is the advantage of turning on Sync?

It’s one of the essential additions to any mobile operating system, enabling information to be automatically synced across phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop computing devices so you can work and play from any device you choose.

Conclusion: What Is Adaptive Sync

When looking for a gaming monitor, gamers consider several attributes, including low input lag, high resolution, low input lag, and size. Adaptive Sync is another vital feature that should be looked at. With Adaptive Sync, VESA syncs your display’s refresh rate with the Graphics Processing Unit’s output frame rate, preventing screen tearing and game stuttering.

You can choose from various sync technologies depending on your needs and preferences. An adaptive sync monitor is a great option if you wish a more seamless gaming experience. If you play many fighting or shooting games that require precise clicks and lightning reflexes, a few frames of difference can lead to victory or defeat.

I hope this article on what is adaptive sync sounds helpful!

Mark Dalio

Mark Dalio

Mark is a tech-obsessed serial entrepreneur who also enjoys reading and writing. He has a strong urge to keep learning and talking about technology, which led him to become an author. Mark has co-founded two successful startups, one of which was acquired in 2018.

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