Nvidia’s Kepler sports a ‘game-changing’ adaptive vertical sync feature; pushed by John Carmack

The first benchmarks of Kepler will be released in the following days and we can’t wait to see what the green team has in store for us. It is said that the card is a beast when it comes to raw performance numbers and features some pretty interesting features. One of them is the dynamic framerate function when played in Surround and another one is an adaptive vertical sync solution. But did you know that John Carmack was the one that has pushed for such a feature?
But what is exactly this adaptive vertical sync solution? Adaptive Vsync reduces stuttering when using Vsync by having vsync on when you are gamingĀ at 60 fps or more and vsync off when you are under 60. In order to understand it, we’ll have to talk a bit technically. When you’ve enabled Vsync, your framerate is synced with your monitor’s refresh rate. Monitor’s support specific numbers/amounts of refresh rates. A typical monitor supports 60,40,30 refresh rates at a given resolution. When you’ve enabled Vsync and your framerate drops to 59, the game will drop all 19 frames and get to 40 due to Vsync and the fact that is synced to your refresh rate.
Therefore, adaptive Vsync is acting like a Vsync switch. When the game runs at over 60s, it is Vsynced. When it drops, Vsync is disabled and the game runs with its maximum framerate (in our example, 59 instead of 40). This is one of the best solutions and was introduced in RAGE by John Carmack. This also means that triple buffering won’t be needed in our future games.
It seems weird that Nvidia implemented such a feature for their latest GPU cards, right? Well, according to John Carmack himself, he was one of the few that have pushed for the sync-at-60-tear-below extension. And he is damn right, as RAGE included it via OpenGL. Now we don’t know whether Nvidia worked together with Carmack or simply borrowed his code. The fact is however that PC gamers will have a better gaming experience with this feature.
Let’s hope that adaptive vertical sync will be available to all Nvidia cards via their control panel and that AMD will implement it too!