Deciding whether a G-SYNC monitor is worth it depends on many things, including what’s your PC configuration and budget, what FreeSync monitor alternatives are available and what resolution/refresh rate you’re interested in, among other things.
NVIDIA G-SYNC displays feature a special module integrated into the monitor, which provides a variable refresh rate (VRR) as well as variable overdrive for compatible NVIDIA cards. This module also increases the monitor’s price.
In contrast, AMD’s FreeSync and NVIDIA’s G-SYNC Compatible technologies do not increase the cost of the monitors as they’re based on royalty-free Adaptive-Sync protocols of HDMI and/or DisplayPort.
Additionally, just like G-SYNC, Adaptive-Sync provides you with a variable refresh rate for tear-free gameplay, but usually, the supported VRR range is narrower and the overdrive implementation is not as good.
Of course, there are exceptions.
Some FreeSync/G-SYNC Compatible monitors have just as wide VRR range as G-SYNC models as well as flawless overdrive implementations, which is why there’s no simple answer to the question: is G-SYNC worth it?
Generally, most G-SYNC monitors are not worth it.
In many cases, for the extra price you’d have paid for a G-SYNC monitor in comparison to its Adaptive-Sync counterpart, you could simply buy a better display with FreeSync/G-SYNC Compatible.
Sure, it wouldn’t have a G-SYNC module, but it might have a higher resolution, a faster refresh rate, or a higher-quality panel, which would provide you with an overall better gaming experience than G-SYNC.
Here are some examples.
Full HD G-SYNC Monitors
The cheapest G-SYNC monitor is the Acer XB241H. It’s a 1080p 144Hz (overclocks to 180Hz) display with a TN panel and 1ms GtG response time. It goes for $350 – $400.
Is it worth it?
No — because at that price range, you can get a 1080p 240Hz IPS gaming monitor with FreeSync/G-SYNC Compatible, which would provide you with a significantly better image quality and smoother performance.
So, what about 1080p 240Hz monitors with G-SYNC?
Well, since it’s mostly competitive gamers who pick 240Hz displays, G-SYNC is not worth the extra ~$150 as they usually prefer to play with uncapped frame rates (over 240FPS which disables VRR) for minimal input lag.
At such high refresh/frame rates, screen tearing is barely visible, too. And if they want to play some more demanding games as well, regular VRR will do just fine here as most 1080p 240Hz IPS models have excellent overdrive implementations and a wide enough dynamic range to support LFC (Low Framerate Compensation).
The same applies to 1080p 360Hz monitors. For instance, the Acer XV252QF with FreeSync is not only $100 – $200 cheaper than the G-SYNC variants, such as the Dell AW2521H – it also offers better MBR implementation and an overclockable refresh rate of 390Hz, all while having just as good image quality, pixel response time and VRR performance.
Quad HD G-SYNC Monitors
Another good example is the Acer XB271HU 1440p 144Hz IPS gaming monitor with G-SYNC, which goes for ~$500. For the same price, you can get the MSI MAG274QF-QD with a newer IPS panel that boasts a wider color gamut and a faster response time speed.
Dell’s model offers a slightly better HDR image quality, but it also has some downsides. It lacks an sRGB mode, DSC and MBR — all of which is supported by the M27Q-X at a much lower price.
4K UHD G-SYNC Monitors
If you want the absolute best 4K HDR image quality, you’ll need to invest in a G-SYNC monitor, such as the ASUS PG32UQX.
Besides the G-SYNC module, this monitor has an 1152-zone full-array local dimming (FALD) solution. These zones can individually dim parts of the image that need to be dark without affecting the bright parts, thus, significantly increasing the contrast ratio and improving the HDR viewing experience.
However, the PG32UQX isn’t cheap as it goes for ~$3000 and there are no FreeSync or G-SYNC Compatible 4K monitors available with FALD at the moment, though there are several such displays announced for 2022, at a lower price too.
So, if you want a 4K gaming monitor with the best HDR picture quality, you’ll need to invest in a G-SYNC model or wait for one of the upcoming models; whether the display itself is worth the price is another question, which you can learn more about in our PG32UQX review.
UltraWide G-SYNC Monitors
The Dell Alienware AW3423DW is currently the only QD-OLED gaming monitor and it features a G-SYNC module, so if you want the best gaming monitor, G-SYNC is definitely worth it in this case.
However, Samsung is set to release a monitor based on the same panel without the G-SYNC module, though the release date and pricing are unknown at the moment.
The lack of the module will allow Samsung to address some shortcomings of the AW3423DW, such as the audible cooling fan and lack of DSC support. It should also be cheaper, but the variable refresh rate performance might not be as good.
What’s the bottom line?
As you can see, whether G-SYNC is worth it mainly depends on what resolution and refresh rate you’re interested in, what kind of panel or features you prefer, as well as on your budget and PC configuration.
The examples above should give you an idea of when it’s worth it or not, but feel free to leave us a question below if you’re not sure which monitor to get!