Is G-SYNC Worth It?

Whether G-SYNC is worth it or not mainly depends on what type of games you play, your computer rig and your budget. This guide will help you make the right decision.

Answer:

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. 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

G Sync Module

Nowadays, most 1080p 144Hz and 1080p 240Hz G-SYNC displays are discontinued, but you can still find a few 1080p 360Hz models, such as the Dell AW2521H. Initially, this gaming monitor went for ~$700, but now it can be found on sale for $400 – $500.

Even at its discounted price, we find that it’s not worth the price as there are $300 – $400 FreeSync models with actually better features.

The Acer XV252QF (or the cheaper Micro Center exclusive Acer Aopen 25XV2QF variant) is not only cheaper, but it’s also overclockable to 390Hz and offers better backlight strobing support (works all the way up to 390Hz, whereas the 1080p 360Hz G-SYNC models are limited to 240Hz with MBR).

There’s also the cheaper Dell Alienware AW2523HF 1080p 360Hz IPS variant without MBR support.

However, the G-SYNC models were available before the FreeSync versions, so if you wanted to be one of the first gamers with a 360Hz display, you had to invest in it.

In case you want the absolute best 1080p 360Hz monitor for competitive gaming with the fastest response times and the best MBR implementation, there’s the BenQ XL2566K with a TN panel. It doesn’t have a G-SYNC module.

When it comes to 500Hz models, there’s the Dell AW2524H with G-SYNC and the Dell AW2524HF variant with AMD FreeSync.

The G-SYNC version is usually over $300 more expensive yet both models offer similar gaming experience. Incidentally, we don’t recommend either model as their IPS panel isn’t fast enough to keep up with such a high refresh rate.

Now:

The ASUS ROG Swift PRO PG248QP is the first (and currently the only) 540Hz gaming monitor available with a rapid TN panel. It has a G-SYNC module, but it also has NVIDIA’s exceptional ULMB2 backlight strobing technology. So, if you want the fastest display available right now, G-SYNC is the way to go.

Other 540Hz models without G-SYNC are yet to become available in the US.

So, if you don’t mind waiting, G-SYNC might not be worth the premium cost for you – and you should wait for the FreeSync models, such as the Acer Nitro XV242F and the BenQ ZOWIE XL2586X.

Related:New Monitors In 2024: What To Expect

So, when it comes to 1080p displays, G-SYNC monitors are usually not worth it.

You’re either looking for a budget gaming monitor (in which case G-SYNC adds too much to the price) or a display for competitive gaming where input lag, response time speed and potentially backlight strobing implementation are a lot more important than VRR performance.

Now, if there’s no FreeSync counterpart available, a 1080p G-SYNC monitor with a high refresh rate is worth it if you want the best performance right away and don’t want to wait and see when and if FreeSync models using the same panel will be available.

Quad HD G-SYNC Monitors

Dell AW2721D Monitor Front

Another good example is the Acer XB271HU 1440p 144Hz IPS gaming monitor with G-SYNC, which goes for ~$500. The newer Acer XV271U M3 with FreeSync has a higher 170Hz refresh rate, a wider color gamut and a faster pixel response time speed for $200.

Now, when we get to 1440p 240Hz models, you have a choice between something like the Dell AW2721D and the ASUS PG279QM with G-SYNC and HDR600 or the HP Omen 27qs with FreeSync and HDR400.

The G-SYNC variants offer a slightly better HDR image quality, but they’re over $250 more expensive. The difference in HDR image quality is not worth the extra money as these G-SYNC models don’t really offer a true HDR viewing experience.

If you’re looking for a 1440p 360Hz gaming monitor with an LED-backlit panel, they’re only available with G-SYNC modules, such as the ASUS PG27AQN. It also offers exceptional ULMB2 backlight strobing implementation. It’s unknown whether there will be any FreeSync versions.

1440p 360Hz OLED models, on the other hand, are only available without G-SYNC, but since they don’t benefit from variable overdrive, VRR provided by G-SYNC Compatible, HDMI 2.1 VRR or AMD FreeSync is all you need anyway.

Therefore, when it comes to 1440p G-SYNC monitors, they’re not worth the price unless you want a high-end model with a 360Hz refresh rate.

Other 360Hz+ 1440p monitors are also only available without the G-SYNC module, such as the upcoming ASRock PG27QFW2A (400Hz), the MSI MPG 272QPX (500Hz, mini LED), and the ASUS PG27AQDP (480Hz, OLED).

When it comes to 1440p monitors, G-SYNC is not worth it unless you want a 1440p 360Hz IPS monitor for backlight strobing.

4K UHD G-SYNC Monitors

ASUS PG32UQX Monitor

When it comes to 27″ – 32″ 4K SDR high refresh rate gaming models, there are no particularly good G-SYNC options. Luckily, most FreeSync variants offer excellent performance with properly optimized overdrive and reasonable pricing.

We recommend the MSI MAG323UPF and the MSI MAG274UPF for SDR.

When it comes to HDR monitors, the G-SYNC Ultimate models are way too expensive. There are the ASUS PG32UQX and the ViewSonic XG321UG with 1152-zone mini LED solutions. Sadly, they go for ~$2,500 yet have a few major flaws, such as subpar pixel response time and lack of HDMI 2.1.

The FreeSync models are much more affordable and offer excellent HDR image quality and performance. We recommend checking out the Samsung Neo G7, the Innocn 32M2V and the Acer XV275K P3.

Finally, larger 4K gaming monitors are only available as FreeSync variants, such as the Gigabyte Aorus FV43U.

UltraWide G-SYNC Monitors

Dell Alienware AW3423DW Monitor

If you’re looking for a 34″ OLED gaming monitor, the Dell AW3423DWF and the Dell AW3423DW are the most popular models. The main difference between them lies in the G-SYNC module and the $200 price difference – you can see a detailed comparison in our review.

In case you’re interested in a larger ultrawide monitor, the Dell AW3821DW 38″ 3840×1600 144Hz model with G-SYNC is actually more affordable than the inferior FreeSync models, so it’s what we recommend.

As for the 49″ super-ultrawide displays, you’ll have to settle with FreeSync models, such as the Samsung Odyssey G9, the Neo G9 and the LG 49WQ95C since there are no G-SYNC equivalents.

Other popular ultrawide monitors are also only available with FreeSync (Adaptive-Sync and/or HDMI 2.1 VRR), such as the Neo G95NC (57″ 7680×2160 240Hz Mini LED VA), the Corsair Xeneon Flex (45″ 3440×1440 240Hz OLED) and the ASUS PG39WCDM (39″ 3440×1440 240Hz OLED).

Conclusion

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!

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Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.