Nvidia seeks to sharpen gaming on laptops with G-Sync

The display technology could also land on VR headsets and mobile devices

Nvidia's G-Sync for laptops

Nvidia's G-Sync for laptops

Nvidia is bringing its G-Sync desktop display technology to laptops, which should lead to dramatic improvements in gaming for portable PCs.

Nvidia's G-Sync technology synchronizes monitors and display panels to the refresh rate of games, which reduces stutter and lag time. With G-Sync, GPUs are connected directly to displays, so images of a game appear almost instantly on a monitor as they are drawn up on a computer.

As a result, games can run at more frames per second, improving the overall experience. The instantaneous refresh of screens also resolves the age-old problem of conventional monitors and displays being a bottleneck in the gaming experience.

"It used to be that the monitors ran on a fixed refresh rate. By switching that we can dramatically improve the [gaming] experience," said Tom Peterson, director of technical marketing for Nvidia.

Until now, G-Sync was available only in external monitors from Asus and Acer, but bringing it to laptop display panels sets the stage for expansion of the technology. But for now, G-Sync will only work if PCs have Nvidia's GeForce graphics processors.

G-Sync is flexible, and it will permeate across product lines, Peterson said. Nvidia didn't say where the technology would appear next, but mobile devices and headsets could be targets.

"I can imagine someday when it works on virtual reality headsets," Peterson said.

During a short hands on test, some gaming laptops with G-Sync panels showed faster refresh rates. There was little stutter or lag as characters moved into new scenes and environments.

Asus, Gigabyte, Clevo and MSI are expected to show laptops with G-Sync panels at the Computex trade show in Taipei. All those companies will show laptops with 17.3-inch 1080p screens and GeForce GTX 980M and 970M graphics cards. Laptops with 15.6-inch screens will be shown by Gigabyte and Clevo.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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