A background to high refresh rate displays

Many gamers may already be familiar with high refresh rates from playing games on PC monitors and in VR, with the most common refresh rate on gaming monitors at 144Hz (leading up to an eye watering 360Hz for very premium competitive gaming monitors), a real boost compared with the 60Hz standard of most TVs.

If you’re new to this area of TV & monitor tech, the refresh rate refers to the number of times the screen refreshes every second, e.g. for a 60Hz panel, the display will refresh 60 times per second, at 144Hz the display will refresh 144 times per second. For gaming the effect is dramatic, with much smoother motion and opportunity for a split-second response!

Whilst all of this is straight forward for traditional monitors, TV’s have taken some time to catch up with the progress, but we’re now beginning to see higher refresh rates from TV manufacturers and we anticipate 120Hz becoming the future standard in TV refresh rates.

A note on advertised TV refresh rates

One standout point to make here is that for many years, TV manufacturers have advertised incredible claims to their panels around refresh rates, with some advertising between 600Hz to 1000Hz! This is slightly disingenuous, as in most cases it refers to the backlight, which may indeed refresh at 1000Hz, whilst the panel itself refreshes at the standard 60Hz.

Some of these add ‘frame interpolation’, which slots a new frame in between two frames with an approximation of what comes in between. The idea behind this is to make movement more fluid, but the results can be very mixed depending on the processing applied.

Cnet has a great article on TV refresh rate marketing if you’d like to read up more on the subject.

Here and now – What TV’s support G-Sync?

Now we’ve differentiated between ‘advertised refresh rates’ and true high refresh rate TVs, here’s a list of current variable refresh rate (VRR) compatible TVs:

Model

Release Date

G-Sync Compatible

Refresh Rate

LG CX OLED

2020

Yes (Nvidia Certified)

120Hz

LG GX OLED

2020

Yes (Nvidia Certified)

120Hz

LG BX OLED

2020

Yes (Nvidia Certified)

120Hz

LG C9 OLED

2019

Yes (Nvidia Certified)

120Hz

LG E9 OLED

2019

Yes (Nvidia Certified)

120Hz

LG B9 OLED

2019

Yes (Nvidia Certified)

120Hz

LG SM9500

2019

Yes

120Hz

LG SM9000

2019

Yes

120Hz

Samsung Q800T QLED

2020

Yes

120Hz

Which Nvidia Graphics Cards are compatible with G-sync compatible TVs?

Armed with this knowledge on current VRR TV’s, here’s our current list of Nvidia graphics cards compatible with VRR TV’s:

Model

Release Date

Outputs

Max Res/Refresh

Nvidia RTX 3090

September 2020

  • DisplayPort 1.4
  • HDMI 2.1

3840x2160 / 120Hz

Nvidia RTX 3080

September 2020

  • DisplayPort 1.4
  • HDMI 2.1

3840x2160 / 120Hz

Nvidia RTX 3070

October 2020

  • DisplayPort 1.4
  • HDMI 2.1

3840x2160 / 120Hz

Nvidia RTX 3060

November 2020

  • DisplayPort 1.4
  • HDMI 2.1

3840x2160 / 120Hz

Nvidia RTX 2080 (inc. Ti & Super)

September 2018

  • DisplayPort 1.4
  • HDMI 2.0b

3840x2160 / 60Hz

Nvidia RTX 2070 (inc. Super)

October 2018

  • DisplayPort 1.4
  • HDMI 2.0b

3840x2160 / 60Hz

Nvidia RTX 2060 (inc. Super)

January 2019

  • DisplayPort 1.4
  • HDMI 2.0b

3840x2160 / 60Hz

Nvidia GTX 1660 (inc. Ti & Super)

March 2019

  • DisplayPort 1.4
  • HDMI 2.0b

3840x2160 / 60Hz

Nvidia GTX 1650 (inc. Super)

April 2019

  • DisplayPort 1.4
  • HDMI 2.0b

3840x2160 / 60Hz

As you can see, this mainly applies to newer Nvidia series cards, for the simple reason that they support HDMI 2.1. This standard allows for substantially higher refresh rates than the previous standard, including:

  • 4K - 120Hz
  • 8K – 60Hz

This is now equivalent to the DisplayPort 1.3 (and now 1.4) standard, which has existed since 2014. There are many reasons why TV manufacturers never took up the DisplayPort standard ranging from licencing costs to backwards compatibility, but in effect provides a clear explanation for why it’s taken so long for TV manufacturers to catch up with monitor displays.

Our final point on this is that Nvidia & LG collaborated to bring G-SYNC compatibility to the RTX-20 and GTX-16 series cards through HDMI 2.0b, however this was limited to 4K at 60Hz, or 2K at 120Hz due to the HDMI 2.0b bandwidth spec.

How to enable G-Sync on your TV

Now we’ve understood compatibility between TV’s and graphics cards for G-Sync, lets dive in and enable it for the TV:

  1. Make sure your TV firmware is up to date

    For LG TV’s, ensure you’re connected to the internet via wired or WiFi connection and go to:

    General > About this TV > Check for Updates

    Alternatively you can visit the LG website, find your TV model and download the firmware to a USB memory stick, plug it into your TV then follow the on-screen instructions.
     
  2. Make sure your Nvidia Game Ready Drivers are up to date

    Open GeForce Experience from the taskbar, or visit the Nvidia support website to download the latest driver.


     
  3. Connect your PC to the TV

    For this, you’ll need a HDMI 2.1 spec cable. Plug the HDMI 2.1 cable into the HDMI out on your graphics card, and plug it into the port on your TV.

    Note: What’s interesting to note here is that at the time of writing, we can only see cables up to 5m readily available. With the previous 2.0 standard, 10-meter cables were fairly common, but with the new ‘Ultra High Speed’ certification of HDMI 2.1 these may be some way off yet or require fibre optic cables to transmit such high bandwidth data over longer distances.
     
  4. Enable G-Sync

    Open the Nvidia Control Panel from your taskbar, and select the ‘Display’ tab, followed by ‘Set up G-SYNC’.

    Click the ‘Enable G-SYNC, G-SYNC Compatible’ checkbox, and then ‘Enable for windowed and full screen mode’ followed by ‘Apply’ at the bottom of the window.
     
  5. Set your resolution and refresh rate

    Still in Nvidia control panel, click the ‘Display’ tab again and click ‘Change Resolution’.

    Scroll through resolutions to ‘PC’ and select:

    Resolution - 3840 x 2160
    Refresh Rate – 120Hz

    Then click ‘Apply’ to set the resolution.

Testing G-SYNC

With your settings configured, you can now try out some games with G-SYNC enabled. The variable refresh rate will help to smooth motion between 40Hz and 120Hz (for the RTX-30 Series), eliminating lag, judder, and frame tearing for more fluid gameplay at 4K.

Have you tried G-SYNC on your LG OLED yet? Send us a tweet to let us know!

Replacement LG OLED TV Remotes

If you're looking for replacement remotes for the latest and greatest LG OLEDs, check out our smart model search or visit the LG brand page to see what's available, including: