Should You Turn Vsync On or Off in 2021? [Ultimate Answer]

Are you wondering whether you should turn Vsync on or off when you are playing your favorite games?

In this post, we will try to give you the best answer possible to that question.

Generally, you should turn Vsync off when you are playing games because Vsync will increase your input latency and limit your frame rate. Especially if you are playing a competitive game like CS: GO, you want to turn Vsync off to avoid any input delay resulting in a loss in those kinds of games.

We will talk about the right Vsync settings down in the post below.

So if you want to get the ultimate answer to whether you should turn Vsync on or off, you will love this post.

Let’s dive right in.

Should I leave Vsync On or Off?

Vsync is short of vertical synchronization. 

Its primary function is to eliminate screen tearing.

Screen tearing is like a glitch on your screen. 

It happens when multiple frames appear on one go, like a stacked image on display.

It looks like a shattered image usually split horizontally, which must be annoying to experience. 

It breaks the immersion and distorts your focus.

Therefore, Vsync seems a good solution for that, right?

It’s not as simple as that. 

As mentioned before, Vsync comes with a good intention; to solve the screen tearing

Vsync setting usually appears on the in-game settings and globally on the GPU utility software, like Nvidia Control Panel or MSI afterburner.

Some might be better with Vsync on, while others might prefer with Vsync off.

Vsync works by synchronizing the frame rate output with the monitor refresh rate. 

Let me explain:

If your monitor refresh rate is 60 Hz, Vsync will limit your frame rate to around 60 fps max.

As the frame rate and the refresh rate is in sync, you won’t experience that annoying screen tearing.

But, this doesn’t come at no cost.

As it takes a bit additional process to sync the FPS to the monitor refresh rate, the GPU’s graphic production takes a little more time.

You might experience delay or input lag.

Some gamers even describe it as moving your mouse like swimming on jello.

It happens because the system is not really on par with the stress and load.

Bad input latency and late frame time are unfavorable for a competitive game, that’ why most CS: GO and DOTA players think it’s better to turn Vsync off.

A bit of screen tearing is more tolerable than input delay or late frame time. 

So, competitive gamer consensus leans towards Vsync disabled. 

We also agree with this point.

You should turn Vsync off because the input delay and limited frame rate are bad for your gaming performance.

To eliminate screen tearing, you can always limit FPS using the in-game FPS limiter or other 3rd party software instead of using Vsync.

Besides, if you have a high refresh rate monitor, Vsync also might be unnecessary.

Does Turning Off Vsync Improve FPS?

Yes, turning off Vsync will definitely improve your FPS. You see, Vsync works by limiting your FPS to match with your monitor refresh rate.

Let’s say your GPU is capable of producing 144 FPS on your favorite game.

But if your monitor only has a 60Hz refresh rate, Vsync will reduce your FPS to only 60 FPS to match your monitor refresh rate.

By turning off Vsync you can improve your FPS because now there is no limit on your graphics card to produce as much FPS as possible.

Vsync also adds a bit of load to your graphics card.

So by disabling Vsync now, your GPU can only focus on producing as much FPS as possible, and there is no unneeded additional processing burden to your graphics card.

Also read: How Many FPS is Good for Gaming in 2021?

Is Vsync Bad for GPU?

Previously we mentioned that Vsync adds a process that makes the graphic laggy or drops fps on certain games.

On the low-end or even mediocre setup, this will add more process load.

As a result, the GPU will be throttle hard.

Consequently, it produces more heat which is dangerous for the longevity of the GPU.

So, on the low-end setup, Vsync could be harmful. 

Not only will that drop your FPS, but it will also add more burden to your GPU.

However, it’s a different case on a high-end PC rig. 

Benchmark shows that activating Vsync result in a decrease in GPU usage.

Does Vsync Reduce CPU Usage?

As mentioned above, Vsync on a low-end PC is a big no. it potentially adds CPU and GPU usage.

If you use an integrated GPU like Intel HD, AMD APU, or Ryzen IGP without discrete graphics, it will only add up the CPU usage.

On the contrary, if you are using a high-end processor, you can see that capping the FPS would lower the CPU usage. 

As a result, the energy consumption and heat produced will drop. 

As the heat drop, the cooling fan will also run slower, which means less noise.

For example, Benchmark Lab here is using an i9 10850K processor. 

After turning on the Vsync, the processor temperature drop for around five to nine degree Celcius.

This is good if you want to keep the longevity of your PC rig.

If you want to know about how to reduce your CPU usage, you might want to check our neat guide about that by clicking this link.

How to Turn Vsync On or Off?

There are different ways to turn Vsync on or off. 

One is in the in-game setting. Most games generally have a Vsync option in their in-game graphics settings.

Take CS: GO for example. From here, you can see that you can turn Vsync on or off using the in-game settings on CS: GO in the video option.

Another way to adjust the Vsync setting is using software like MSI Afterburner, NVidia Control Panel, or Radeon Graphic Utility Software.

Usually, your graphics card will come with accompanying software where you can adjust and tweak its performance.

Within this software, you will find the settings parameter for Vsync.

For example, here, we are using Radeon Utility Software from AMD. 

You can open the gaming tab and Global Graphic on the menu.

You’ll find vertical refresh, which is another name for Vsync. 

You can choose to enable or disable Vsync by clicking the option.

Gsync vs. Vsync. Which one is Better?

Now, what if you have NVidia graphic card, you will wonder whether it’s better with Vsync on or off with Gsync.

Gsync works by synchronizing the refresh rate and the frame rate output. 

They call it Variable Refresh Rate (VRR).

So, for example, if your FPS fluctuates between 100-120 FPS, your display monitor with Gsync will follow that, making the refresh rate around 100-120 FPS.

Very cool, isn’t it? It will mitigate the screen tearing without sacrificing the frame rate.

So the answer is, if you already have Gsync on, it’s better to have Vsync on the NVidia control panel enabled while Vsync is setting in the game to be disabled.

Besides, with Gsync, Nvidia claims that you will not experience the input delays that are often associated with Vsync.

So if you have an option for Gsync, definitely use that one instead of using Vsync.

Conclusion: Vsync On or Off?

Vsync or Vertical Synchronization is a technology that aims to eliminate screen tearing.

It eliminates screen tearing by matching the FPS produced by the graphics card to your monitor refresh rate.

As a rule of thumb, we believe that you should turn Vsync off because Vsync often brings input delay and a lack of framerates that results in a bad gameplay experience.

Especially in competitive gaming like Fortnite and CS: GO, a millisecond delay can decide your victory or loss.

We suggest that you can always limit FPS using in-game FPS limited or additional 3rd party software to eliminate screen tearing from your gameplay.

By doing this, you can eliminate screen tearing without bringing in the input delays that come with Vsync.

So there you have it.

We hope this post about Vsync help you answer all the question about this technology.

If you have any more questions about this technology, please let us know by commenting right below.

About the Author
Hi, I'm Steve. I'm a proud gamer. I have been active within the gaming sphere for 30+ years. As gaming is something I enjoy very much, I want other people to enjoy it also. That is exactly why I started this blog.

Leave a Comment