VSync: History, Origin, and More

VSync: History, Origin, and More

Key Points

  • VSync is used to make stability of your game by synchronizing the frame rate of the image.
  • If VSync is not well synchronized, it leads to screen tearing, this affects the image by duplicating it horizontally.
  • The official manufacturer of VSync is GPU Manufacturers and it was authored by Ken Birman.
  • Even by enabling the VSync option, it doesn’t improve the levels of brightness, color or even resolution just like HDR.
  • It is compatible to be used on both graphic cards of Nvidia and AMD.

VSync, also known as Vertical synchronization is a graphic design technology that was invented to synchronize the frame rate of each game by using a refresh rate of a gaming monitor. The VSync tech was designed to offer a solution to screen tearing, which occurs when your screens show parts of multiple frames at once. Screen tearing can occur at any time and as high-speed games have constant rate changes, screen tearing can break the flow of the game and produce an unsatisfactory look. Instead, VSync works by limiting the output of the frame rate by using the graphics card at the refresh rate of the monitor.

Since it was invented in 2010, vertical sync technology has been in the industry for a while offering solutions to different problems for gamers when playing games. Read on to explore the full history of VSync, including what it does and how it works. We’ll also explain the pros and cons of VSync and how VSync compares to other graphic design technology, including AMD, G-Sync, and adaptive sync. We even explain how to use it and how to switch it on and off.

Quick Facts

Creator (person)
Ken Birman
Release Date
Original Price
Operating System
Developed By (company)
GPU Manufacturers

What is VSync?

 gaming PC
VSync is technology which is used to synchronize game frame rates


Vertical sync, which is mostly referred to as VSync, is a graphics-design technology that is used to synchronize each game frame rate with a gaming refresh rate monitor. This product was manufactured by GPU manufacturers.

The VSync tech was designed to offer a solution to screen tearing, which occurs when your screens show parts of multiple frames at once. This may result in the display appearing to be split along the horizontal line. Tearing mostly happens when the refresh rate of the monitor is not in sync with the frames per second.

Screen tearing can occur at any time and it can be seen in vertical elements such as trees and buildings. In the process of high-speed games, which have constant rate changes, screen tearing can break the immersion of the viewer and bring an ugly look to the games.

With the VSync technology, it alleviates this problem by performing a few tasks for the game. The first thing it ensures is it limits the output of the frame rate by using the graphics card at the refresh rate of the monitor. This makes it easy to avoid some of the higher frames per second than what can be handled by the monitor.

It does this by ensuring that it prevents the GPU from performing any task on the memory display until the current refresh cycle is concluded on the monitor. It doesn’t even feed any necessary information until the process is completed and ready for it.

By combining page flipping and buffering, it synchronizes the frames directly to the display monitor once they complete the refresh cycle. When you enable VSync, you will never see tears again.

By enabling the VSync, it doesn’t improve your brightness levels, resolution or even colors like the way HDR does. It offers only preventive measures, whose main aim is to stop a certain problem but not modify it.

Pros and Cons of VSync

Every invented technology always has a positive and negative side to it. VSync has proven to be more helpful compared to its harm, but it has its ups and downs too. The best option for gamers who are experiencing high refresh rates and frame rates is VSync. Here are some of the pros and cons of VSync.

It is free to use because it is software that is built directly into your GPU.The drop in frame rate can spoil gameplay.
It lessens the strain on the GPU.It leads to an increase in input lag, such as mouse clicks and key presses.
It functions well with different gameplays and decreases screen tearing.
It can work with both AMD and NVidia graphics cards.

How to Use VSync

Vertical sync is just a setting in software used on display monitors. It works well with almost every type of display, but it needs a certain type of graphic card that is VSync supported. Most of the recently invented monitor models have VSync in many of their product lineups. Users can use VSync on their NVidia and AMD cards’ drivers. For new users, you need a tutorial that will show you how to turn it on and off. 

In the settings, this option is offered as a toggle. Enabling VSync by using the NVidia card is very easy. Here is a simple tutorial to help you turn it on and off.

  • In the Windows search, look for the NVidia control panel.
  • Tap the button to manage 3D settings.
  • On the Global Setting tab, they mention Vertical Sync. Direct from the drop menu, choose Force on.

Here are the tutorial guidelines to follow to enable VSync on AMD.

  • First, you need to tap on the Windows icon or Start button.
  • In the search bar, search for AMD Radeon Software.
  • On your keyboard, press Enter.
  • Tap the cog wheel directly on the top right.
  • Press the graphics tab.
  • On the Wait for vertical refresh rate, select “Always on.”

Depending on the different types of GPUs, the settings may vary, but the two methods can be used on most of the devices.

The Difference Between VSync vs. G-Sync

These two technologies have been in the industry for a long time now. They both have similar uses and similar names, which really confuses clients looking for a gaming monitor.

G-Sync happens to perform better than VSync. Even though G-Sync is expensive, it is a direct path to VSync and it provides clients with the same solutions with just a few problems. 

The primary distinction between VSync and G-Sync is that G-Sync is a completely separate piece of technology that is permanently attached to a monitor. On the other hand, VSync is just a software setting that can be accessed within a certain game.

Since VSync is just a software setting, users only have access to it for free without any charges. You only need to buy a game that has the VSync option.

In order to use G-Sync, you need to buy a monitor that is equipped with G-Sync, which will probably cost you more money. Most users would rather spend money on their GPU than on a G-Sync-enabled monitor.

Most monitors that are equipped with G-Sync have the VSync setting option, though it is a redundant feature that is not necessarily needed if the monitor with G-Sync is functioning as it should.

In conclusion, G-Sync is just a technology that is built into some monitors, while VSync is an in-game software setting that performs some software tasks.

VSync vs. AMD FreeSync

Largest GPU Companies
AMD uses FreeSync technology to synchronise the frame rates with the Radeon graphics card


AMD FreeSync is designed to eliminate the need to perform a different approach by eliminating inconsistencies in gameplay. The purpose of VSync is to ensure it adjusts frame rates while FreeSync offers dynamic refresh rates that help in synchronizing the monitor’s frame rates with the Radeon graphics card. This process effectively eradicates stuttering and reduces input latency.

VSync vs. Adaptive Sync

VSync caps the frame rate on your GPU in order to match it with the refresh rate on your display. By using Adaptive Sync, it changes the refresh rate of the monitor dynamically in response to the frame rates that are required for certain games to render.

Adaptive Sync doesn’t only perform the task of annihilating screen tearing, but it also addresses the effect of juddering that is mostly caused by VSync when there is a fall in FPS.

VSync Release History

Ken Birman is the primary author of VSync. He is a professor at the Cornell University of Computer Science. The VSync series is now the fourth Cornell software-developed series in the libraries that is multicast reliable.

The Isis toolkit was the first series that was launched back in 1985. It was mainly used in the stock exchange of New York, the control system for French air traffic, the US Navy AEGIS, and other different settings. This series of technologies includes Ensemble Systems and the Horus System.

In 2010, VSync was officially released as the Isis2. Ken Birman had to find a new name for it in order to avoid confusion with this name being used by ISIL. The VSync name is just a reference to the model that was used by the system. It was called virtual synchrony.

VSync was invented to offer a solution to screen tearing. Screen tearing is simply a visual distortion that occurs directly in the game graphics. It occurs when the screen refresh rate and the graphic card FPS fail to sync. It also synchronizes the frame rate of each game with the refresh rate of the monitors.

VSync: End of Development

VSync is used to limit the output software of the GPU to be able to match the maximum refresh rate of the monitor. Over the years, this has been a perfect solution, but different problems have occurred that have been the reason why VSync is considered by many people to be obsolete in 2022.

One of these problems happens when the GPU fails to work at the refresh rate of the monitor. Due to this, the monitor will have to leave the previously used image on display till the next image is ready. This results in visual stuttering.

The biggest problem is that the VSync technology has just an input lag. When this occurs, it leads to frustration in games where quick response reactions are needed, like shooter games. It becomes a big problem when the game in the process is a multiplayer game, and when the opponent might end up winning because they have a better syncing solution.

With the improvement in technological inventions, there are better technologies available that are better than VSync, which can help solve this problem. In the coming years, VSync might be completely out of date.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is VSync?

Vertical synchronization is a graphic technology that was invented to synchronize the frame rate of each game by using a refresh rate of a gaming monitor.

What does VSync do?

 The main purpose of VSync is to arrange frame rate as well as refresh rate of a monitor. This new technology was developed to help in screen tearing.

When did VSync come out?

This product was officially released in 2010 but as Isis, but the author of VSync Ken Birman decided to change its name to ISIL in order to avoid name similarity.

What was the original price of VSync?

The original price of VSync is not yet known. 

What is VSync in games?

VSync synchronizes the frame rate and refresh rate of a monitor. This technology was invented to come up with a solution for screen tearing. The main cause for screen tearing is when multiple frame parts are displayed on your GPU at once, due to this, displays appear to be splinted across a horizontal line.

Is it better to have VSync on or off?

It is advisable to always keep your VSync off. It doesn’t over process or tear to fix, the only effect that VSync will have on your frame rate is to worsen it. When VSync is correctly used, it can help to smooth out some issues and ensure your graphics processor doesn’t run red-hot.

Is VSync good for FPS?

VSync is really good for FPS. The main work for VSync is to assist with screen tearing, to be able to do this, it has to limit fps if necessary. If your monitor fails to keep up in a particular game with the fps, then you can use VSync. VSync can’t improve colors, brightness level or resolution like HDR.

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