Question Can't get Freesync to work properly on an Nvidia GPU

Nov 7, 2019
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I'm trying to enable Freesync on the Philips 276E8FJAB/00 IPS monitor with a 1080 Ti, but it doesn't seem to do much. The monitor is listed as 60hz but also has a 75hz option, and I'm not sure if 75 has any drawbacks since it's not advertised.

I followed all the guides I could find, enabled G-sync in the Nvidia control panel, checked the indicator under "display" to show the G-Sync symbol very time I open a game, yet it doesn't do anything. The monitor is not Nvidia certified but with every guide I see people claiming it doesn't matter and get theirs working regardless if it's checked in the NCP. I tried both Vsync on and off and it's the same thing, when I cap the framerate in RTSS, I instantly get tearing.

So Freesync for me manages to eliminate tearing but doesn't make fps drops any better, I can still feel every drop. I checked the range in CRU and it shows 48-76, if I try to edit it monitor loses the signal every few seconds. Is there anything I'm missing?
 
Are you sure it´s the Philips 276E8FJAB/00 ? This monitor doesn´t provide Freesync/gsync
Do you mean the 278E8QJAB ?

remove all nvidia drivers with DDU uninstaller

75Hz is advertised on the philips homepage of the 278E8QJAB monitor model ;)

if it doesn´t work, your monitor is not "gsync compatible". Not all free sync monitors are working with the gsync compatible feature.
 
Nov 7, 2019
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Are you sure it´s the Philips 276E8FJAB/00 ? This monitor doesn´t provide Freesync/gsync
Do you mean the 278E8QJAB ?

remove all nvidia drivers with DDU uninstaller

75Hz is advertised on the philips homepage of the 278E8QJAB monitor model ;)

if it doesn´t work, your monitor is not "gsync compatible". Not all free sync monitors are working with the gsync compatible feature.
It's this 1440p model, https://www.philips.co.uk/c-p/276E8FJAB_00/qhd-lcd-monitor-with-ultra-wide-color, it lists Freesync as a feature on their website and my local retailer that I got it from.
I did all that and there is a "Gsync ON" logo in every game I open after enabling the option to show it. Does that prove anything or does it literally only mean that it's enabled in the settings?
 
Nov 7, 2019
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The data sheets are really wrong in some specifications, everywhere are different values for it. Very
confusing.

Try the monitor drivers and eventually the smart control software from this site:
https://www.philips.co.uk/c-p/276E8FJAB_00/qhd-lcd-monitor-with-ultra-wide-color/support
Thanks I already did but nothing really changed afterward.

I'm not sure what to make of it as I think it does have Freesync because it does remove tearing with Vsync off, and in CRU I can clearly see the adaptive sync range for the monitor (48-76), but it doesn't feel any smoother in that fps range...

I'm also not sure whether Vsync should be on or off in the control panel, I've seen like 20 different people claiming differently
 

MadsModsat

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Oct 10, 2019
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What FPS are you actually getting in-game? You have a fairly high-end graphics card, and it should certainly be capable of pushing FPS above 75FPS / 75Hz in 1440p.

Adaptive Sync doesn't really have an impact on performance if you are running FPS around or above your monitors refresh rate.

How severe are these drops actually? What's the FPS range you experience in-game? How low does the FPS drop in the worst cases?

If it doesn't feel smooth, maybe the 75Hz refresh rate is what gives you that feeling
 
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Nov 7, 2019
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What FPS are you actually getting in-game? You have a fairly high-end graphics card, and it should certainly be capable of pushing FPS above 75FPS / 75Hz in 1440p.

Adaptive Sync doesn't really have an impact on performance if you are running FPS around or above your monitors refresh rate.

How severe are these drops actually? What's the FPS range you experience in-game?

If it doesn't feel smooth, maybe the 75Hz refresh rate is what gives you that feeling
Well I was trying it in a few MMOs like GW2 or ESO that run horribly without really utilizing hardware where I'm getting drops to low 40s in cities and such, specifically to test Freesync.

But yeah for most regular games it can easily hold at least 60hz so I can only test in poorly optimized ones without using DSR to force 5k
 

MadsModsat

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Have you tried to add the games' .exe files to Nvidia Control Panel under the "Manage 3D Settings" tab, and then specifically set the .exe files settings to use Gsync / Gsync compatible? (I made a quick example linked below). It is usually not necessary, but I've seen a few people stating it helped them.

For example like this : Disable in-game v-sync and set the eso64.exe to use adaptive sync in the nvidia control panel

Manage 3D Settings

You can also tell tthe driver to always use the highest possible refresh rate of your monitor, even if it is set to a lower refresh rate.

But also, don't expect more than FreeSync / Gsync is actually capable of. In my experience it smoothes out transitions, panning and if you turn around quickly for instance in low FPS situations, and it narrows the gap between minimum and maximum FPS, but it doesn't make 40 FPS feel as smooth as 60 or 75 FPS gameplay.

With my old i7 4790K and GTX980 SLI setup, and my current 144Hz 1440p Gsync monitor, I could only hit around 55 - 85 FPS in Battlefield V (since it doesn't support SLI), which is in a good range for Gsync.
It did even out the FPS somewhat, and did help when turning around quickly etc. - but it never felt completely smooth as the 110+ FPS I was getting in Battlefield 1.
Now I play Battlefield V on a better setup, but the same monitor, and it feels a lot more smooth.

Gsync and FreeSync work very well sometimes, but it has its limitations as well, 40 FPS is never going to feel particularly smooth, with or without any kind of adaptive sync.
 
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Nov 7, 2019
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Have you tried to add the games' .exe files to Nvidia Control Panel under the "Manage 3D Settings" tab, and then specifically set the .exe files settings to use Gsync / Gsync compatible? (I made a quick example linked below). It is usually not necessary, but I've seen a few people stating it helped them.

For example like this : Disable in-game v-sync and set the eso64.exe to use adaptive sync in the nvidia control panel

Manage 3D Settings

You can also tell tthe driver to always use the highest possible refresh rate of your monitor, even if it is set to a lower refresh rate.

But also, don't expect more than FreeSync / Gsync is actually capable of. In my experience it smoothes out transitions, panning and if you turn around quickly for instance in low FPS situations, and it narrows the gap between minimum and maximum FPS, but it doesn't make 40 FPS feel as smooth as 60 or 75 FPS gameplay.

With my old i7 4790K and GTX980 SLI setup, and my current 144Hz 1440p Gsync monitor, I could only hit around 55 - 85 FPS in Battlefield V (since it doesn't support SLI), which is in a good range for Gsync.
It did even out the FPS somewhat, and did help when turning around quickly etc. - but it never felt completely smooth as the 110+ FPS I was getting in Battlefield 1.
Now I play Battlefield V on a better setup, but the same monitor, and it feels a lot more smooth.

Gsync and FreeSync work very well sometimes, but it has its limitations as well, 40 FPS is never going to feel particularly smooth, with or without any kind of adaptive sync.
Thanks, I'll try to force specific game settings to use G-sync, didn't try that one yet. That's also another problem that I'm not entirely sure what to expect as people lose their minds over it on the internet with insane hype for every one of these features, and it's not something you can really see on a video.
 

MadsModsat

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Sometimes those kinds of statements should be taken with a grain of salt. When someone buys an expensive G-sync monitor, they want to see it work, and sometimes people tend to overexaggerate the efffects of it.
My main monitor is also capable of 165Hz, but it looks awful, so I keep it at 144Hz. But I've seen people swear by the 165Hz of this model, and I honestly think they focus so much on the number 165Hz, that they ignore the lesser quality picture.

I haven't been fortunate enough to observe FreeSync in action, but do enjoy the G-sync performance of both my monitors and how it works when it is needed - for example when I had old-ish hardware that didn't perform incredibly well in modern high paced games. But with my new setup, the FPS I get almost makes G-Sync irrelevant, since the FPS count is above the gap where G-Sync really shines. But I liked G-Sync enough to buy a second G-Sync monitor, so it is not like it is completely useless, not at all.
But there are different factors at play, that also has an impact on performance. G-sync help narrow the gap between minimum and maximum frames, and like I said, it also helps smoothe out transitions, panning and turning around - but it just doesn't make low FPS feel smooth all the time. It is more like it makes low FPS gaming tolerable.

If you run 3DMark benchmarks for example, with G-Sync on, you get lower maximum FPS, but more minimum FPS.
If I run the same benchmark, same settings, except G-Sync disbaled, I get a lower minimum FPS, but also higher Max FPS compared to G-Sync on - and even with the improved minimum FPS, my 3DMark score is lower when G-sync is on.
So in that sense, it is not really a performance booster, and such a test illustrates a little bit what G-sync does, although very simplified.

I did read up on G-Sync, but it was when I bought my first G-Sync monitor 5 or 6 years ago, so I'm no technical expert, but what I have written are my personal experiences with G-sync, and I may use the wrong terms, but my point is still the same. Adaptive sync works, but it isn't witchcraft that can perform miracles.

But if you are completely unable to tell the difference in your case, wheter adaptive sync works when active compared to off, it does sound like it is not working.

If you turn around quickly, and perform similar high speed movements in a low FPS game, and there's even a subtle difference, then I'm sure it is active and working as well as can be expected.
 
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I tried enabling it on a per-game basis and it's basically the same thing, can't feel any difference. The logo is there "showing" that it works but there's no improvement.

View: https://imgur.com/a/I8et038


So at this point, it's either: 1) working but the monitor has a terrible Freesync implementation, which I can't test out as I have no point of comparison, 2) doesn't work with my Nvidia card but still shows the symbol because it's enabled, 3) works but the difference is so minuscule at this fps range that I can't feel any difference.

By the way, you said that you get worse picture quality on your monitor when you use 165 opposed to 144hz, is there any way to check the quality difference? This monitor has 60hz as default mode but also has 75hz, so I'm suspicious there is a quality drop that isn't immediately visible so I wanted to check this to avoid any placebo.
 

MadsModsat

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No, not really - only by looking at it in different usage scenarios. Personal preference also comes into play. But I doubt 75Hz would look worse than 60Hz, as 75Hz is a very common refresh rate - and while I'm not familiar with your monitor or how old / new it is, I don't believe using 75Hz would have any negative impact. Personally I would use the 75Hz refresh rate, as I believe it will result in an smoother gaming experience in the games you play that don't drop below 40 FPS or what it might be. You have a 1080 TI after all - when they were realesed I was only dreaming of owning such a high-end graphics card ;)

With regards to the 165Hz of my monitor, it is not the image quality as such, which causes problems, it looks great, also at 165Hz - when you are not gaming.
But my monitor has an IPS panel with a native refresh rate of up to 144Hz and a good response time at that frequency.
Asus has then made an option available - 165Hz - which is actually a factory overclock to the panel's native 144Hz refresh rate. It isn't readily available either, because it is an overclock to the refresh rate, you need to go through a (simple) procedure to activate 165Hz, probably only implemented so Asus has their backs covered regarding technical issues that might arise.

But htis OC alters the response time slightly, for the worse in this instance - that's not always the case, and if you look closely there is some ghosting and a little bit of color bleed.
I know I made it sound as if the image quality is terrible, this is not the case, it looks good, but it actually looks better at 144Hz compared to a slightly lesser quality of the 165Hz factory overclock option, that results in slight ghosting and color bleed.
But my point is still, that I think some are too focused on the 165Hz refresh rate option, that they don't notice some of the side effect this results in. A little bit like variable sync - som people experience stutters, other people complain of mouse input "disturbances" and all sorts of thing. My current setup doesn't even take advantage of G-Sync to a degree that is noticable, because I generally have high FPS output.

I think the 165Hz of this particular monitor is motsly a gimmick. Some e-sports titles on try-hard settings could probably easily output more than 165 FPS at 1440p, but most most AAA titles actualy takes quite a lot of horsepower to output 144 FPS at 1440p with good quality graphics settings, and taking advantage of a 165Hz refresh rate is even harder.

So I'll stick with 144Hz refresh rate and - in my opinion - a better image quality while gaming high paced titles.

But I'm very excited about this monitor, and the combination of a 1440p IPS panel, a decent response time, and a high refresh rate is great, so I don't mean to complain. I still have it's older brother, an Asus 1440p, 144Hz, G-Sync monitor, but with a TN panel instead. I'm also very happy with that monitor, but the IPS panel is just a lot better. Especially now that I use them side by side on a daily basis (and have them porperly calibrated).
But it just shows there are limitations to almost anything in the computer hardware world, and some things sound better on paper, than what they actually can deliver when it comes to functioning outside ideal factory circumstances. There are all kinds of variations in people's PC setups, and in software, and some combinations just aren't tested in the development phase, as it would be impossible to cover everything - sometimes certain features works on the majority of, but not all computers.

And with regards to FreeSync working with Nvidia, it probably works most of the time, but they do mention however, that there are exceptions.
 
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Thanks for the detailed info and help! I'm sticking to 75hz as there is a slight difference but noticeable.
I think now that helpstar's suggestion above was right and that Freesync on this model is either false advertisement or ignorance on the retailer's part. The other version of this monitor is the curved 1080p 278E8QJAB which looks and has nearly the same name and has Freesync/Gsync support, so I contacted them to make sure.
 

MadsModsat

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That sounds like a really good idea, you never know if it is just some specific setting, or something else.

I really hope you'll manage to either get the adaptive sync working, or find out why it doesn't, fingers crossed you get it working.
 

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