General gaming q - So like - I hate "flickering" and I want "butter"

hardware_failure

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
1,305
Please forgive my ignorance as I have been out of the scene for a while and I guess Im just not an expert with the way that screens work with inputs.

I was going to take some videos but then I was just like whatever waste of time, might not relay things correctly.

I currently have an i7 8700 and a gtx 1080ti and 32 gb ram, but I guess that might not really be related to my real question.

All my life I have noticed that even with the best specs when I move my mouse "slowly" things are "smooth" but when I move it really fast things just flicker and are dumb and not a good exp.

For the 5+ year old games I play I do generally get high benchmarks.

I have pretty much always ran with vsync on as this seems to help this a tad. (no to mention I cant stand tearing)

I have always ran crappy monitors - right now I have a 60hz (10ms response?) 1080p 27" cheapo benq.

Standard crappy mouse.

So my question is - if I bought a fancy new monitor with high refresh rate and low response would that help this? Make this crappyness go away? Is it my hardware? My mouse? Im fine with 1080p - hell with my old eyes Id be fine with 640x480 if I could make things "buttery smooth" in all situations.

If I failed to google/research this properly I apologize - I found all my results to be quite frustratingly inclusive.

Thanks for any feedback.
 

hardware_failure

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
1,305
Nice, thanks! - with an nvidia card do I have to get specially gsync or can I can rely on it working with AMD freesync? (I know thats a common question and have read about it just wanted opinions)

Also with a monitor saying it is "active sync" what on earth does that mean when compared to "gsync" or "freesync"?

For example:
https://www.amazon.com/Sceptre-Monitor-Speakers-Edgeless-C278W-1920RN/dp/B08FM2MXZC

Not seeming to be a bad deal at all for (currently) 120$ but it simply lists "active sync"

fwiw I would be looking into a monitor with far higher refresh rate / lower response just was curious on sorting out understanding the techs on synching refresh rates.
 

GoldenTiger

Fully [H]
Joined
Dec 2, 2004
Messages
26,041
Gsync and free sync are basically interchangeable, nowadays, for monitors, so you should be fine with a panel advertising either one.

Your existing video card supports gsync. A monitor saying activesync is just using the technical technology name.
 

hardware_failure

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
1,305
Thanks. From what I have read its basically a (stupid) licensing thing. I am assuming the support for gsync/freesync/activesync is done on the hardware side vs software?

Thanks again GoldenTiger.
 

ZodaEX

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 17, 2004
Messages
4,463
Thanks. From what I have read its basically a (stupid) licensing thing. I am assuming the support for gsync/freesync/activesync is done on the hardware side vs software?

Thanks again GoldenTiger.

It's not stupid. Licensing makes me a lot of money. It's my livelihood.
 

hardware_failure

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
1,305
It's not stupid. Licensing makes me a lot of money. It's my livelihood.
Oh. Like you make alot of money off gsync/freesync licensing or some other licensing?

Wasnt saying licensing in general was stupid just that its silly that basically the same VRR tech under different names cost different amounts.
 

Comixbooks

Fully [H]
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
19,311
Get a 280hz or 240hz Samsung VA 144hz is ok but 240hz is alot better I use 144hz but its a VA and not a overated IPS.

Right now OLED monitors are all the rage but unless you want the 34 inch Alienware which is way too large for some people but the tech is so good it might be ok less harsh.
 

Armenius

Extremely [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
34,336
Thanks. From what I have read its basically a (stupid) licensing thing. I am assuming the support for gsync/freesync/activesync is done on the hardware side vs software?

Thanks again GoldenTiger.
If you want to go with an Adaptive Sync/FreeSync monitor, reference this list and filter the first column to G-SYNC Compatible. Those have official driver support. If a monitor isn't listed there is a good chance it will still work, but it may have some issues with GeForce cards. An unlisted monitor would need to have G-SYNC enabled manually in the driver control panel.

https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/products/g-sync-monitors/specs/
1662133093998.png
 

GoldenTiger

Fully [H]
Joined
Dec 2, 2004
Messages
26,041
Get a 280hz or 240hz Samsung VA 144hz is ok but 240hz is alot better I use 144hz but its a VA and not a overated IPS.

Right now OLED monitors are all the rage but unless you want the 34 inch Alienware which is way too large for some people but the tech is so good it might be ok less harsh.
I'd actually recommend an ips. VA has viewing angle issues and often black smears during quick motion due to the tech.
 

hardware_failure

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
1,305
Thank you everyone for the great info!

I agree OLED might be overboard for me but I am indeed on the fence about VA vs IPS.

If Im going to spend a chunk of change inky blacks are a big deal for me. (I know thats OLED but Im not sure I want to go "crazy" $ wise just for casual gaming) I used to be a plasma TV buff until they were a) stopped being made b) had my Panasonic VIERA 65" burn out :( (that was my "baby") c) had a Samsung 55" plasma knocked over by a 4 year old.

Now all my panels in the house (with family etc = like 10 of them) are cheapos due to potential damage/failure/whatever.

I think I will def aim for max refresh possible.
 

Flogger23m

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
12,895
120 or 144 refresh should be fine. I'd go for 144, I know some are 165 these days which might not be much more expensive. VA or IPS both have advantages or disadvantages. I'd probably look for overall features and figure out which actual panel your monitors of choice will use and go from there.
 

Tamlin_WSGF

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 1, 2006
Messages
3,069
Getting buttery smooth gameplay is a science in itself. Half of the equation is hardware, the other half is software.

Did you ever wonder why consoles seems smooth even on lower refresh rates? It boils much down to frame rate consistancy, controller and because of viewing distance consoles can get away with using motion blur (which can make you want to puke when sitting close to the screen as with PC). Since consoles have a fixed hardware, developers can tune their games to get a good frame rate consistancy. On PC, you must do some of the work yourself if you want buttery smooth gameplay.

Heres my experience and advice when it comes to getting buttery smooth gaming:

Hardware

Having a good screen with high refresh rates, as suggested in this thread, is a very good advice. It will mitigate a lot of the problems and give you a much smoother gameplay by itself. Gsync/freesync will also remove some of the tearing thats caused by partially rendered frames. But its not a magic bullet to get things buttery smooth in all situations as you wish for in OP.

As for the PC itself, you want a balanced system. There is always a bottleneck somewhere, but you don´t want it to be severe in any part of the PC. The most important part that can ruin your smooth gameplay is the CPU however. Having a GPU pegged at 97% isnt that much of a problem compared to having a CPU pegged at 97%. That doesnt mean that you should go and buy the fastest CPU on the marked. On higher resolutions, the CPU have more overhead and you should put more money on the GPU to get decent framerates at that resolution. The point here is that you always want to make sure the CPU is up to the task in the games you play. Its easy to dial down some settings and get smooth gameplay for the GPU, but if the CPU is not up to the task, frame consistency will suffer much more. There are other aspects too, like some games favor SSD for texture loading (like Horizon - zero dawn), but it would take much time to go into detail for all the hardware.

Main takeaway for PC is: make sure the CPU is never severly bottlenecked in the games you play and make sure the GPU can play the games on your chosen resolution with decent framerates.

Your 8700 CPU with a 1080 TI is a pretty balanced combo for 1080P with the GPU being a tad faster then the CPU.

Software

Here is the part where you have to tune the game to your hardware. The goal here is to get a good frame rate consistency. This means you want to avoid any large fluctuations in frame rate most of the time. This must be done per game basis, as some there is no universal frame rate your games are guarrantied to run on. You need to find the framerate YOUR system can maintain most of the time and then CAP the framerate at that number.

There are a lot of examples on youtube on how to get smooth frame rates, but some of them are garbage with system settings that begs for unstability. This one is one of the better you can find that explains this pretty well. As you can see, he got an average of 150fps+, but capped it at 125fps. Smooth 30fps is often better then choppy 60fps. Don´t be afraid to loose some frames. Even if you play FPS games, you will find it smoother having solid 125FPS with his system, then getting 150fps+ on shorter period of times. This is because shooters are much adapt and predict type of gaming. Consistency improves your ability to adapt and predict other players (even though there are a little input lag with FPS caps).

You can try this out right now!



A video of why you want to CAP fps even with a gsync/freesync display:

 
Last edited:

hardware_failure

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
1,305
dfgsdfg
Getting buttery smooth gameplay is a science in itself. Half of the equation is hardware, the other half is software.
Yes I have noticed this for quite some time, seems to be a PITA.

Did you ever wonder why consoles seems smooth even on lower refresh rates? It boils much down to frame rate consistancy, controller and because of viewing distance consoles can get away with using motion blur (which can make you want to puke when sitting close to the screen as with PC). Since consoles have a fixed hardware, developers can tune their games to get a good frame rate consistancy. On PC, you must do some of the work yourself if you want buttery smooth gameplay.
OMG you are so right - ALWAYS wondered why a console with shatty specs can look better than a PC. Does seem to be partly due to controller analog sticks motion speed is just a joke compared to a mouse.

Heres my experience and advice when it comes to getting buttery smooth gaming:

Hardware

Having a good screen with high refresh rates, as suggested in this thread, is a very good advice. It will mitigate a lot of the problems and give you a much smoother gameplay by itself. Gsync/freesync will also remove some of the tearing thats caused by partially rendered frames. But its not a magic bullet to get things buttery smooth in all situations as you wish for in OP.
Okay something to look into... (wish there was that magic bullet lol)

As for the PC itself, you want a balanced system. There is always a bottleneck somewhere, but you don´t want it to be severe in any part of the PC. The most important part that can ruin your smooth gameplay is the CPU however. Having a GPU pegged at 97% isnt that much of a problem compared to having a CPU pegged at 97%. That doesnt mean that you should go and buy the fastest CPU on the marked. On higher resolutions, the CPU have more overhead and you should put more money on the GPU to get decent framerates at that resolution. The point here is that you always want to make sure the CPU is up to the task in the games you play. Its easy to dial down some settings and get smooth gameplay for the GPU, but if the CPU is not up to the task, frame consistency will suffer much more. There are other aspects too, like some games favor SSD for texture loading (like Horizon - zero dawn), but it would take much time to go into detail for all the hardware.
Interesting, I always though that GPU was 90% of the battle with game performance. But makes sense how you can greatly adjust GPU speed/settings vs not really at all with a locked CPU. But having said that I havent really been playing anything that pegs either. (tho I did recently try God of War - that thing brought my system to its knees)

Main takeaway for PC is: make sure the CPU is never severly bottlenecked in the games you play and make sure the GPU can play the games on your chosen resolution with decent framerates.

Your 8700 CPU with a 1080 TI is a pretty balanced combo for 1080P with the GPU being a tad faster then the CPU.
I know its a bit dated but for the time I bought it couldnt beat the price (it was pre-built) I have 0 problems building my own systems but sad days just cant beat the bang for the buck of the right on sale pre-built systems.

Software

Here is the part where you have to tune the game to your hardware. The goal here is to get a good frame rate consistency. This means you want to avoid any large fluctuations in frame rate most of the time. This must be done per game basis, as some there is no universal frame rate your games are guarrantied to run on. You need to find the framerate YOUR system can maintain most of the time and then CAP the framerate at that number.
Sigh, so true. Still learning about "capping" frame rates. For example, GTA V runs smoother on my sons system with significantly lesser specs (even the monitor) and I suspect its due to better consistency and an appropriate cap (natively being slower lol). Still havent figured it out.

There are a lot of examples on youtube on how to get smooth frame rates, but some of them are garbage with system settings that begs for unstability. This one is one of the better you can find that explains this pretty well. As you can see, he got an average of 150fps+, but capped it at 125fps. Smooth 30fps is often better then choppy 60fps. Don´t be afraid to loose some frames. Even if you play FPS games, you will find it smoother having solid 125FPS with his system, then getting 150fps+ on shorter period of times. This is because shooters are much adapt and predict type of gaming. Consistency improves your ability to adapt and predict other players (even though there are a little input lag with FPS caps).
Makes sense, would much rather have smooth gameplay at any fps vs a crazy rate.

You can try this out right now!



A video of why you want to CAP fps even with a gsync/freesync display:


Thank you kindly for such an informative post! Looks like I have some reviewing and testing to do.
 

Tamlin_WSGF

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 1, 2006
Messages
3,069
Sounds complicated, but its easy once you get the basics.
Its fun to test with MSI Afterburner/Rivatuner. :D You can change the cap on the fly. Just alt-tab out of the game, change settings and it will immediately change ingame. Make sure you have the frame time graph in OSD as shown in the videos and watch that line get smooth.

GPU is still where most gamers should put their money, only as long as they can maintain being GPU limited. If you have an overpowered GPU vs the CPU, you can experience in some cases gameplay being worse due to an underpowered CPU. Average framerate will seem very high, but the dips will make it so stuttery that you will have problems enjoying the game. CPU needs to have some breathing room.

Here is a video showing driver overhead in 1080P between different CPUs. The suprising part, is that in some of the cases, a Radeon 5700XT beats a RTX 3090 by a good margin due to driver overhead burdening the CPU. In the end, he describes the stuttering this caused as well.



A balanced system gives the overall best gameplay I think. Making sure you are GPU bound and not CPU bound is most important. Capping framerate to the guarrantied substanable frame rate gives the most buttery smooth gameplay. :)

Oh, forgot to mention, GSYNC is not supported well over HDMI for Pascal GPUs, so make sure it has displayport. You need Turing or above for Gsync over HDMI.
https://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/ans...ork-on-both-displayport-and-hdmi-with-geforce
 
Last edited:

hardware_failure

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
1,305
Sounds complicated, but its easy once you get the basics.
Its fun to test with MSI Afterburner/Rivatuner. :D You can change the cap on the fly. Just alt-tab out of the game, change settings and it will immediately change ingame. Make sure you have the frame time graph in OSD as shown in the videos and watch that line get smooth.
Yeah playing with that, good advice :)

GPU is still where most gamers should put their money, only as long as they can maintain being GPU limited. If you have an overpowered GPU vs the CPU, you can experience in some cases gameplay being worse due to an underpowered CPU. Average framerate will seem very high, but the dips will make it so stuttery that you will have problems enjoying the game. CPU needs to have some breathing room.

Here is a video showing driver overhead in 1080P between different CPUs. The suprising part, is that in some of the cases, a Radeon 5700XT beats a RTX 3090 by a good margin due to driver overhead burdening the CPU. In the end, he describes the stuttering this caused as well.
Hrm. I have owned Nvidia and AMD (well actually back when ATI) and have for the most part had best luck with NVIDIA. Haha I remember the voodoo days!



A balanced system gives the overall best gameplay I think. Making sure you are GPU bound and not CPU bound is most important. Capping framerate to the guarrantied substanable frame rate gives the most buttery smooth gameplay. :)

Oh, forgot to mention, GSYNC is not supported well over HDMI for Pascal GPUs, so make sure it has displayport. You need Turing or above for Gsync over HDMI.
https://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/ans...ork-on-both-displayport-and-hdmi-with-geforce

Yes I always try for DP over HDMI when I can. Audio over hdmi.... pthhhhhh

Thanks for the input :)
 

hardware_failure

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
1,305
I have been working on frame capping and other settings with some minor improvements but nothing "game changing" - I think my monitor just sucks.

What are opinions on this for 230$?
https://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-Monitor-Display-Response-DisplayPort/dp/B09S5ZZ5V7

Im leaning towards VA panel vs IPS until OLED is more in budget. Deep blacks = important. Viewing angle = not so important, Im not playing a video game for the whole neighborhood, Im right in front of it. (family TV is diff)

Also I have read that while response time is very important and better on IPS, it can only accommodate so far for given refresh rate. Thus negating that high end advantage for IPS in that field.

Man I wish OLED tech would just be up to cheapness and all monitors could be as such lol
 

Armenius

Extremely [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
34,336
I have been working on frame capping and other settings with some minor improvements but nothing "game changing" - I think my monitor just sucks.

What are opinions on this for 230$?
https://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-Monitor-Display-Response-DisplayPort/dp/B09S5ZZ5V7

Im leaning towards VA panel vs IPS until OLED is more in budget. Deep blacks = important. Viewing angle = not so important, Im not playing a video game for the whole neighborhood, Im right in front of it. (family TV is diff)

Also I have read that while response time is very important and better on IPS, it can only accommodate so far for given refresh rate. Thus negating that high end advantage for IPS in that field.

Man I wish OLED tech would just be up to cheapness and all monitors could be as such lol
The M-series is IPS. The G-series is VA. I'd personally get the non-curved version, as I don't think the curve is very beneficial at the 16:9 aspect ratio. Either way the M32Q is a very good monitor, but the strobe functionality has a KSF phosphor artifact as explained here:
https://forums.blurbusters.com/viewtopic.php?t=9291

If you don't plan on using strobing + VRR, then there won't be an issue.
 

hardware_failure

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
1,305
The M-series is IPS. The G-series is VA. I'd personally get the non-curved version, as I don't think the curve is very beneficial at the 16:9 aspect ratio. Either way the M32Q is a very good monitor, but the strobe functionality has a KSF phosphor artifact as explained here:
https://forums.blurbusters.com/viewtopic.php?t=9291

If you don't plan on using strobing + VRR, then there won't be an issue.
The more I think about it the more I think I agree - never really been a fan of curved monitors.
 

whateverer

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,782
Yep, it's hardware. You're welcome :).


or, if you want, you can try NVIDIA fast sync before you buy a new monitor!

https://www.alphr.com/what-is-nvidia-fast-sync/

think of it s a low-latency triple-buffer override that works in all games -,I use it for gaming on my LG b7 (no freesync, but I can hardly notice the slight bump in lag!)

fast sync means you can play tons of games at 30-40 fps without tearing from vsync off, or without the frame-time variations with sync on!
 
Last edited:

Armenius

Extremely [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
34,336
or, if you want, you can try NVIDIA fast sync before you buy a new monitor!

https://www.alphr.com/what-is-nvidia-fast-sync/

think of it s a low-latency triple-buffer override that works in all games -,I use it for gaming on my LG b7 (no freesync, but I can hardly notice the slight bump in lag!)

fast sync means you can play tons of games at 30-40 fps without tearing from vsync off, or without the frame-time variations with sync on!
Fast Sync should not be used if your average FPS is below the monitor's refresh rate. You get more input lag with Fast Sync the less the third frame buffer is used, and under the refresh rate the third buffer will almost never be used. That causes double buffer V-Sync behavior. The optimal conditions for Fast Sync to work is to have the third buffer be filled as much as possible, and that saturation occurs at 5x the refresh rate. So on a 60 Hz display you will need to be pushing 300 FPS to get input lag equivalent to G-SYNC + FPS limiter.

https://blurbusters.com/gsync/gsync101-input-lag-tests-and-settings/8/

Evident by the results, Fast Sync only begins to reduce input lag over FPS-limited double buffer V-SYNC when the framerate far exceeds the display’s refresh rate. Like G-SYNC and V-SYNC, it is limited to completing a single frame scan per scanout to prevent tearing, and as the 60Hz scenarios show, 300 FPS Fast Sync at 60Hz (5x ratio) is as low latency as G-SYNC is with a 58 FPS limit at 60Hz.

However, the less excess frames are available for the third buffer to sample from, the more the latency levels of Fast Sync begin to resemble double buffer V-SYNC with an FPS Limit. And if the third buffer is completely starved, as evident in the Fast Sync + FPS limit scenarios, it effectively reverts to FPS-limited V-SYNC latency, with an additional 1/2 to 1 frame of delay.

Unlike double buffer V-SYNC, however, Fast Sync won’t lock the framerate to half the maximum refresh rate if it falls below it, but like double buffer V-SYNC, Fast Sync will periodically repeat frames if the FPS is limited below the refresh rate, causing stutter. As such, an FPS limit below the refresh rate should be avoided when possible, and Fast Sync is best used when the framerate can exceed the refresh rate by at least 2x, 3x, or ideally, 5x times.
 

whateverer

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,782
Unlike double buffer V-SYNC, however, Fast Sync won’t lock the framerate to half the maximum refresh rate if it falls below it, but like double buffer V-SYNC, Fast Sync will periodically repeat frames if the FPS is limited below the refresh rate, causing stutter. As such, an FPS limit below the refresh rate should be avoided when possible, and Fast Sync is best used when the framerate can exceed the refresh rate by at least 2x, 3x, or ideally, 5x times.


hey, guess what happens when you aren't playing competitive fps games on a TV? why yes, the added input lag is unnoticeable.

I tend to notice the frame-rate shift from 25 to 40 when running vsync than with it set to fast(important when I'm still stuck on a 960)

Don't shit on something just because you saw benchmarks on a site like blur busters - the vast majority are less sensitive than those benchmark thresholds I just suggested the op test it out, before he bought a new setup, because free.
 
Last edited:
Top