NVIDIA Launch ‘G-sync Pulsar’ Allowing ULMB at the Same Time as Variable Refresh Rates

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NVIDIA have announced at CES 2024 their new ‘G-sync Pulsar’ technology, allowing the use of their ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur) technology at the same time as variable refresh rates. ULMB is a feature made possible by their Native G-sync module that some monitor manufacturers incorporate into their screens and that offers a strobing blur reduction backlight, but to date it has not been available at the same time as when you want to use G-sync for variable refresh rates (VRR). Some manufacturers, most notably Asus, have come up with their own solutions for allowing their equivalent ELMB blur reduction mode at the same time as VRR on adaptive-sync displays (those without the G-sync) module (via their ELMB-sync tech), but now NVIDIA will bring this capability to their hardware module as well for premium, top-tier motion blur reduction performance. We already saw decent improvements with ULMB2 last year, and so it’s great news to see further innovation to make these technologies available with VRR.

The press release says that “No longer will users have to choose between the smooth variable refresh, or the improved motion clarity of Ultra Low Motion Blur (ULMB) – our new G-SYNC Pulsar technology delivers all the benefits of both, working in perfect harmony to deliver the definitive gaming monitor experience.”

G-sync Pulsar Details

Strobing the backlight at a frequency that is not fixed causes serious flicker—which, until now, had prevented effective use of the technique in VRR displays. For over a decade, NVIDIA engineers have apparently pursued the challenge of marrying the fluidity of VRR timing with the precise timing needed for effective advanced strobing. The solution was a novel algorithm that dynamically adjusts strobing patterns to varying render rates. NVIDIA’s new G-SYNC Pulsar technology marks a significant breakthrough by synergizing two pivotal elements: Adaptive Overdrive and Pulse Modulation.

With Adaptive Overdrive, G-SYNC Pulsar dynamically adjusts the rate at which pixels transition from one colour to another, a vital technique to reduce motion blur and ghosting. This process is complicated by VRR technology, where the refresh rate fluctuates in tandem with the GPU’s output. G-SYNC Pulsar’s solution modulates overdrive based on both screen location and refresh rate—ensuring that clarity and blur reduction are maintained across a spectrum of speeds, and across the entire screen space.

Furthermore, G-SYNC Pulsar simplifies the user experience by eliminating the need to switch between different monitor settings for either VRR or strobing technologies. Whether it’s for the high-stakes environment of competitive gaming, or the rich, detailed worlds of immersive titles, G-SYNC Pulsar delivers a superior and convenient visual experience tailored to all facets of gaming.

Motion Blur Reduction Benefits

In the video below, a 1000 FPS high-speed pursuit camera recorded Counter-Strike 2 running identically on a 360Hz G-SYNC monitor with Pulsar technology enabled, versus with Pulsar technology disabled. Played back at 1/24 speed, the reduction of monitor-based motion blur on the G-SYNC Pulsar display is immediately evident, greatly improving clarity, fidelity, target tracking and target acquisition, helping improve hit rate, and more, making users more competitive online.

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Reducing Flicker

Complementing this, the technology also intelligently controls the pulse’s brightness and duration—key to maintaining visual comfort and eliminating flicker. Flickering, often a byproduct of strobing methods used to diminish motion blur, can disrupt the gaming experience and cause viewer discomfort. By adaptively tuning backlight pulses in response to the constantly changing game render rate, G-SYNC Pulsar creates a consistent and comfortable viewing experience, effectively accommodating the display’s dynamic nature.

Merging these two adaptive strategies, G-SYNC Pulsar transcends previous challenges associated with enhancing VRR with strobing backlight techniques. Prior attempts have often stumbled, leading to flickering and diminished motion clarity. However, G-SYNC Pulsar’s innovation ensures perfect synchronization between overdrive and backlight pulse with the screen’s refresh cycle.

This represents a leap beyond incremental updates or a combination of existing technologies: it is a radical rethinking of display technology—necessitating the development of new panel technology, and representing a fundamental reengineering at both hardware and software levels.

The resulting gaming experience is transformative, where each frame is delivered with both stutter-free smoothness, and motion clarity that is effectively the quadruple of its baseline refresh rate—enabling a truly immersive and uninterrupted visual journey for gamers. Even in the most intense and fast-paced games.

G-sync Module Update?

We’ve confirmed with NVIDIA that this is an addition to the existing G-sync module, as opposed to there being any new module (with new connections etc) at this stage. There are no announcements about a new module at this time.

Monitors with G-sync Pulsar coming later this year

While quite a few monitors are discussed in the G-sync Pulsar press release, this is more generally promoting NVIDIA’s cooperation with a range of manufacturers, and the ‘G-sync Compatible’ certifications that many of them will carry. For G-sync Pulsar specifically to be available, a screen must be using the Native G-sync module which is much less common.

As far as we can tell, only one model is announced so far and that’s a forthcoming “PG27 series” monitor form Asus later in the year. This looks like it will be a 2560 x 1440 resolution IPS screen with a 360Hz refresh rate according to the provided spec table, and so likely an updated model to their existing ROG Swift PG27AQN that we reviewed last year. More information and details when we get it.

Source: NVIDIA

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