I play a lot, and to keep my GPU temperature sane I often have to turn on or even force v-sync on individual games.

It would be much easier for me to just force it on everything instead of keeping track of what I install/uninstall, etc. So I do want to force v-sync on the entire system but it sounds like a really bold move.

So are there any pitfalls or problems it could cause? is it something I should avoid?

  • The pitfalls would be the pitfalls of v-sync period – Ramhound Nov 22 '14 at 20:48

There should be no pitfalls unless your graphics driver accidentally turns it on for applications that somehow works our GPU so hard it dips below your monitor's refresh rate.

Turning on vSync from your graphics driver control panel (either nVIDIA Control panel or AMD Catalyst, I only talk about these 2) will only force it on on OpenGL dependent applications, so it won't help with the majority of modern games (which usually just use Direct3D anyway). Both nVIDIA and AMD do not allow forcing vSync on Direct3D applications, they state that you need to enable vSync from the respective games' menu.

Applications like Adobe Photoshop IIRC uses OpenGL for its GPU acceleration, but I do not know whether vSync will hamper their ability. Considering that even low-end GPU is usually capable of rendering 2D surfaces at awesome framerate (and it will disable higher level of GPU acceleration anyway), I do not think vSync will be a problem there.

However, like I said the majority of modern games use Direct3D instead of OpenGL, so forcing vSync on globally is not a good idea anyway.

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  • Are you sure? I have been forcing v-sync from AMD Catalyst on Direct3D games successfully. – MasterMastic Nov 26 '14 at 10:32
  • If you're referring to the "wait for Vertical Refresh" option in Catalyst, it will only work for OpenGL applications. Direct3D applications are unaffected. This has been going on for quite some time: 2010, 2013, and as recent as 2014. – Raestloz Nov 26 '14 at 11:16
  • That's odd. Well, I really am referring to wait for vertical refresh, but it's not in an OGL category, and last time I really had to force vsync on a game it was Far Cry 3 which uses D3D11, and it worked (and my GPU temperature reflected it as-well), so I think it may have changed, at least for some cards (or maybe AMD has a special preset for FC3 -- I have no idea). What would happen when my GPU would work too hard for my monitor's refresh rate? and will I experience evil mouse lags? – MasterMastic Nov 26 '14 at 11:40
  • Check your Far Cry 3 in-game settings, most probably you turned vSync on there. I don't understand your last question. If your GPU can pump out frames faster than your monitor's refresh rate it'd be just fine; if your GPU can't pump out frames fast enough, vSync will limit your frame rate at half your refresh rate. vSync inherently carries a small input lag, Triple Buffering is there to help mitigate this – Raestloz Nov 28 '14 at 3:34
  • Notice that I said I had to force v-sync on Far Cry 3. It doesn't have a v-sync setting. In fact my temperature struggled until I forced it via Catalyst. Thank you for your answer :) I'll keep it globally enabled. – MasterMastic Nov 28 '14 at 5:17

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