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View Full Version : Screen-tearing and SLi


Xion X2
06-11-06, 01:14 AM
My question is in regards to computer monitors/HDTV's, etc. Any help that could be offered would be greatly appreciated.

I recently purchased an SLi system and lost the ability to do vsync/triple-buffering with my games through the great DXTweaker. Since I can't stand having my frame-rate compromised (after all, I didn't pay 600$ for a video card to run my games at 30-40 FPS--we all know how great Microsoft's implementation of double-buffering, instead of triple-buffering is in Direct3D), I've chosen to run without v-sync in my games.

The problem is I can't stand screen-tearing, and it's happening badly on my monitor. I have a 20.1" ViewSonic LCD @ 1680x1050 w/ 8ms response time and refresh rate of 60Hz.

The problem has gotten so bad that I'm thinking of dumping my entire system because of this mess. It may sound dramatic, but I absolutely cannot stand the screen-tearing I'm getting in games and want to make sure there's not a monitor out there that can sincerely improve this problem I'm having before I part out my system and go w/ a 360.

In fact, the 360 is sitting here on my computer desk as of last night, just above my computer. One of these items I paid 400$ for; the other 2,000$. One of these items will put out great graphics with no screen-tearing; the other puts out great graphics with a crapload of screen-tearing.

See if you can figure which is which and if the price is right. I have until the end of the month to return the 360, but right now it has the stronger hold on me.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

MaXThReAT
06-12-06, 12:20 PM
There are ways to get rid of screen-tearing without Vsync. You basically need to cap your FPS by whatever means you can to match your refresh rate as closely as possible or vice versa. Say you play at 80fps at 1600x1200 in FEAR. Then set your refresh to 80mhz or cap your FPS at 60 and lock your refresh to 60mhz. I haven't gamed without Vsync since I got my 6800 a few years back. I remember back when I would put up with tearing but all this power has spoiled me. I had two 7900gt's and could have kept the second but...I didn't need to have 180 fps with tearing, I hated it. All I needed was 60fps+ without tearing. A single 7900GTX can hardly be slowed down. @ 1680x1050 in some games like Oblivion or GRAW I see SLI as useful but everything ells right now it's just overkill to me. Sure I would like to play Fear at 2048X1536 but I couldn't stand the tearing and 1920x1440 with 2xaa and 16AF looks very good or even 1600x1200. It's a trade off. But try the refresh rate matching.

Xion X2
06-12-06, 04:41 PM
How do you cap your FPS w/o using v-sync to do it? Is there a backdoor?

I would need to cap it at 60, since my monitor only goes to 60Hz at 1680.

There are ways to get rid of screen-tearing without Vsync. You basically need to cap your FPS by whatever means you can to match your refresh rate as closely as possible or vice versa. Say you play at 80fps at 1600x1200 in FEAR. Then set your refresh to 80mhz or cap your FPS at 60 and lock your refresh to 60mhz. I haven't gamed without Vsync since I got my 6800 a few years back. I remember back when I would put up with tearing but all this power has spoiled me. I had two 7900gt's and could have kept the second but...I didn't need to have 180 fps with tearing, I hated it. All I needed was 60fps+ without tearing. A single 7900GTX can hardly be slowed down. @ 1680x1050 in some games like Oblivion or GRAW I see SLI as useful but everything ells right now it's just overkill to me. Sure I would like to play Fear at 2048X1536 but I couldn't stand the tearing and 1920x1440 with 2xaa and 16AF looks very good or even 1600x1200. It's a trade off. But try the refresh rate matching.

MaXThReAT
06-12-06, 06:24 PM
Unfortunately it will very from game to game. I remember in MOH you could just use the console and type in com_maxfps 60 There is a similar command in Doom3 and Fear. I think COD is also com_maxfps and a few other EA games. I'll keep looking for a program but I don't think I'll find one. I think it has to be built in to the game. I've never used a program myself. Some games have a built in frame limiter separate from vsync. I'll keep looking. Anyone ells have any ideas?

Stevedroid
06-12-06, 06:59 PM
Capping your FPS will not prevent screen tearing. Tearing happens anytime a frame is drawn out of sync with the refresh rate. Yes, typically we associate tearing with framerate being higher than your refresh, but really it can happen at any framerate. Even if your framerate and refresh are integer multiples of each other, you can still get tearing. Just because 80 frames are rendering in a second doesn't mean that the time between each frame is uniform like the time between a monitor's 80Hz refresh cycle.

Capping the framerate may help things, but it is not guaranteed to prevent tearing.

All that being said, Vsync is working fine for my SLI setup so I don't know what you're on about. I don't know about triple bufferring through DXTweaker, but it's not really nVidia's fault that a particular game developer didn't implement it in their game. Is there a particular game your having trouble with?