VOGONS


First post, by bestemor

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So, while looking to upgrade my ancient monitor, to my dismay it seems that Windows 7 does not do 'software' G-sync, as in needing VRR support or whatever which is only found in Windows 10 and up...
https://winraid.level1techs.com/t/help-me-pic … or-win7/37792/9

Apparantly Windows 7 needs the monitor to have the hardware chip embedded for it to work. And after much googling I stumbled onto this disappointing page:
https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/products … monitors/specs/
Where all(?) the 'good'* models seem to be unavailable for actual purchase anymore, or have recently gone into the post sale price hike stage.
(...after prices dropping for a long while, now suddenly have doubled or worse, due to availability etc, the oh-so-annoying bath tub curve)

*: https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/products … -sync-monitors/
...where the G-sync compatible ones are software only, which is supposedly useless in Windows 7.

Anyone know how to work around this obstacle ?
Know which good IPS models still exist in normal sale/with non-inflated prices ? (I'll even consider checking out 'luxury' models)
I did find this one here, but.... at £1000/$1300 😫 (and it is not in stock anywhere anyways):

- Or is G-sync not really that important when pushing 100-200 frames with a somewhat underpowered CPU/overpowered GPU ?
(me having an RTX 3600 I wanna use for this, which I assume does not work with 'Freesync' or whatnot)

I have never tried using G-sync, or even played a modern game of late, so my experience on this topic is sadly lacking.

Reply 1 of 20, by DosFreak

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IIRC, Windows 7 and 8 don't support VRR. Doesn't matter if you have an Nvidia or AMD card.
If you want to use Gsync on Windows 7 you'll need an Nvidia card and a monitor with the module.
I don't see an obstacle here it's really not that big of a deal (especially if you've never used it), if you have a 3060 your CPU is likely more than fast enough to provide enough minimum fps unless you slapped that video card in a C2Q heh.

Just make sure when you buy a new monitor that it at least supports VRR so it will be available when you use an OS that supports it.

I use these, the acer has a module the LG doesn't.....I like the LG more but the Acer is great too 😀
Monitor 1: Acer XB271HU 27" 2560x1440 "Acer Predator XB1"
Monitor 2: LG 38GN95B

Last edited by DosFreak on 2023-06-06, 22:19. Edited 2 times in total.

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Reply 2 of 20, by bestemor

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DosFreak wrote on 2023-06-06, 22:11:

IIRC, Windows 7 and 8 don't support VRR. Doesn't matter if you have an Nvidia or AMD card.
If you want to us Gsync on Windows 7 you'll need an Nvidia card and a monitor with the module.
I don't see an obstacle here it's really not that big of a deal (especially if you've never used it), if you have a 3060 your CPU is likely more than fast enough to provide more than enough fps unless you slapped that video card in a C2Q heh.

Yes, that is exactly what I finally also concluded by my googling.

So, I then take it if my GPU is sitting idle and waiting for input from the CPU, G-sync is not really needed then ?
I am planning on catching up on my extensive backlog of games, at some point, playing whatever new/modern 'heavy' games there that will still work on Windows 7.
Hence my research into this topic, getting the hardware needed before it is too late (as it seems it now is for these module based monitors).

Reply 4 of 20, by DosFreak

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bestemor wrote on 2023-06-06, 22:18:
Yes, that is exactly what I finally also concluded by my googling. […]
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DosFreak wrote on 2023-06-06, 22:11:

IIRC, Windows 7 and 8 don't support VRR. Doesn't matter if you have an Nvidia or AMD card.
If you want to us Gsync on Windows 7 you'll need an Nvidia card and a monitor with the module.
I don't see an obstacle here it's really not that big of a deal (especially if you've never used it), if you have a 3060 your CPU is likely more than fast enough to provide more than enough fps unless you slapped that video card in a C2Q heh.

Yes, that is exactly what I finally also concluded by my googling.

So, I then take it if my GPU is sitting idle and waiting for input from the CPU, G-sync is not really needed then ?
I am planning on catching up on my extensive backlog of games, at some point, playing whatever new/modern 'heavy' games there that will still work on Windows 7.
Hence my research into this topic, getting the hardware needed before it is too late (as it seems it now is for these module based monitors).

Your best bet would be to post the specs of your computer and what games you are thinking of playing.
Make sure your fps are >= your refresh rate as you should be doing anyway..... So with a 3060 for the latest and greatest games then should be 60hz @ 1080p mabye 1440p depending on settings.
AFAIK DLSS doesn't work on Windows 7 but image scaling does.
Please don't buy a 360hz monitor, just don't.
Remember to install the 474.36 drivers.

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Reply 5 of 20, by bestemor

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As for what games exactly, I'll have to get back to you, but it wont be the most recent ones.
Probably from 5 years ago or much older. Say from modded Oblivion/Skyrim to Fallout 3/4, Witcher2/3, Prey, Metro2033, PillarsEternity2, EndlessSpace2, Dishonored2 etc etc.
(just picked randomly from my 'collection'/backlog some I figure are most likely to need any 'power')

Would've been fun to also try say Elden Ring, or perhaps Cyberpunk2077, but I strongly doubt this PC+OS will allow for that 😅

Hardware: Ryzen 2700X/X470 mobo/RTX 3060 Ti/16-32gb RAM.... and all this running only Windows 7 of course!

Want to try 1440p@120-144hz as well, whenever possible, but suppose 1080p also works.
(I'm guessing the cpu will bottleneck the gpu most of the time anyway)

PS: Since I forgot to specify I have the 3060 Ti version earlier, the 474.36 driver will most likely not(?) work.
But thankyou for digging up this one!, I did not know they'd gone and made yet another 'new' one.
(only saw the special '3090 Ti only' one a year ago)

Reply 6 of 20, by The Serpent Rider

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VRR works in Windows 7 just fine. At the very least FreeSync. Also only Kepler and Maxwell GPUs are picky about Gsync module. Pascal GPUs and higher will enable Gsync on practically any FreeSync Premium certified display.

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Reply 7 of 20, by bZbZbZ

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bestemor wrote on 2023-06-06, 22:02:

- Or is G-sync not really that important when pushing 100-200 frames with a somewhat underpowered CPU/overpowered GPU ?
(me having an RTX 3600 I wanna use for this, which I assume does not work with 'Freesync' or whatnot)

I have never tried using G-sync, or even played a modern game of late, so my experience on this topic is sadly lacking.

I don't have experience with variable refresh in Windows 7, but I have used variable refresh with modern GeForce (RTX 2060super) and Radeon (RX 6800XT) cards.

I'm not a competitive player of twitch shooters, but I would say that moving from a 60Hz panel to a 120Hz VRR panel was night and day incredible. Of course 120Hz is visibly superior to 60Hz. But what impressed me most is the many games that tax my GPU somewhat, where the performance is borderline (eg flows between 45 to 65 fps) are now playable... whereas before those sorts of scenarios were very unpleasant (because dips below 60fps would cause either an awful tear under VSYNC OFF or an horrible judder under VSYNC ON).

Now, since your system appears to be overpowered for the games you're interested in playing... you might not need G-sync (or freesync) as much... here's why: If your GPU utilization is low enough that you can guarantee that your fps never dips below your monitor's refresh rate, you can basically just cap your framerate at the refresh and get smooth gameplay without VRR. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Turn on V-Sync (easy but maybe might introduce some input lag), or
  • Cap the framerate (nVidia control panel or RTSS), or
  • Use RTSS Scanline sync (maybe the best option but I don't know if this works in Win7... it doesn't seem to work in WinXP)

I've been playing retro games on a CRT monitor at 85Hz refresh (not VRR obviously) with RTSS Scanline Sync under Windows 10. I use a GeForce 980 and for the XP-7ish era games I play it's excellent.

There's some good info here.

Reply 8 of 20, by mothergoose729

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Yeah it's really the situations where your framerate dips below 60fps (however briefly) that VRR really shines.

There are patches for it now, but for a long time bethesda games were capped at 60fps because of physics. Even when framerate is unlocked, it's a bethesda game and optimization is something they heard about at a conference once. My laptops built in display has 300hz but no VRR. I bought a 175 hz display with a gsync module... and the difference in fallout New Vegas before and after was incredible. The average framerate stayed the same but the dips in framerate become virtually imperceptible. Basically perfect (well it is a bethesda game so not perfect but quite good 😁).

I am messing around in PCem a lot right now. The fastest processor I can emulate is a PII at 233mhz, which is not bad at all for 1998 but not nearly good enough to play any 3d titles at 60fps. With VRR it's honestly fine. I get somewhere between 25-55 fps in quake II and it feels not bad because even though the framerate is pretty low and pretty unstable, I don't really notice. VRR makes the worst part of unstable framerates not a problem. It's so nice. Game changer for emulation.

Reply 9 of 20, by The Serpent Rider

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Scanline sync also works just fine in Windows 7 and probably could work in Windows XP with some tinkering. That being said, VRR is better than scanline sync when you cap frame rate to be always below refresh rate.

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Reply 10 of 20, by bestemor

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2023-06-07, 02:10:

VRR works in Windows 7 just fine. At the very least FreeSync. Also only Kepler and Maxwell GPUs are picky about Gsync module. Pascal GPUs and higher will enable Gsync on practically any FreeSync Premium certified display.

So maybe FreeSync could be an alternative to hunting down elusive/unavailable G-sync moduled displays for this Windows 7 PC ?

But do that monitor then need a 'Premium' version, or are the regular FreeSync enabled ones enough for the GPU to enable G-sync ?
https://www.amd.com/en/products/freesync-monitors

And are you sure VRR just works on Win7 with my RTX3060 ti ? Won't it need to use this mysterious 'WDDM2.0' thingie which is seemingly only available on Win10++ ?
Sorry for stupid questions, but my monitor is quite old, and my display knowledge with it... 😊

Reply 11 of 20, by bestemor

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bZbZbZ wrote on 2023-06-07, 05:45:

...Now, since your system appears to be overpowered for the games you're interested in playing... you might not need G-sync (or freesync) as much... here's why: If your GPU utilization is low enough that you can guarantee that your fps never dips below your monitor's refresh rate, you can basically just cap your framerate at the refresh and get smooth gameplay without VRR. There are a few ways to do this:

Thankyou for the explanation. 👌

Though I do really want to try out say 120-144hz refresh@1440p at some point, not sure how my games will fare with such framerates... or even at a lowly 1080p.

Reply 12 of 20, by The Serpent Rider

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Some regular FreeSync monitors are quite old and might not work, but majority of FreeSync Premium displays are usually also certified as G-Sync compatible or tested and proven to work.
"G-Sync compatible" displays probably would not work in Windows 7 though, because it's not officially supported, but I've not tested it or searched some workaround. Any modern official G-Sync (module) display should work fine, they are usually pricy though.
As I've mentioned, FreeSync works fine on AMD cards. AMD also has integer scaling support in W7, unlike Nvidia.

Vsync is the worst possible option even if your card is capable to maintain stable frame rate, due to lag. RivaTuner Scanline Sync is superior option for such scenario, if adaptive sync is not available.

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Reply 13 of 20, by bestemor

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2023-06-07, 08:19:

As I've mentioned, FreeSync works fine on AMD cards. AMD also has integer scaling support in W7, unlike Nvidia.

Heh, I think you forgot to mention that though... And you are correct, G-sync 'compatible' will not do it for Windows 7.
Anyway, seems G-sync module monitors still is the best bet then, albeit very few options available and way too costly at that, ach.

Reply 14 of 20, by bZbZbZ

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Monitors which are labeled as FreeSync Premium have:

  • Support for 120 Hz or more
  • Low framerate compensation (if the game’s fps drops below the monitor’s lowest supported refresh rate, frames automatically display multiple times. This means you’ll stay in your monitor’s supported refresh rate range and, therefore, maintain smooth gameplay. This is a big deal if your GPU isn't overpowered for the game.)

My understanding is that any monitor with the G-Sync module, when paired with a G-Sync capable GeForce card, would be at least equivalent to a FreeSync Premium monitor + Radeon card.

I agree with Serpent Rider that VRR is superior to Scanline Sync, and Scanline Sync is superior to VSYNC. I would say though... that in your scenario where you are using an overpowered GPU, if you have a high refresh rate (120Hz+) monitor AND your game is built to run at high framerates, you can still have a good experience even without VRR. There will definitely be edge cases (someone mentioned Fallout New Vegas) where the game is coded in a way that it won't run at high framerates nomatter how much hardware you throw at it... in which case VRR will help a lot.

My personal opinion (others may disagree) is that an AMD card + FreeSync Premium monitor is the cost-effective way to get a good experience. I have had poor results pairing a 49" ultrawide FreeSync Premium monitor (which was not officially on nVidia's G-Sync Compatible List) with a GeForce RTX 2060 Super... I got a lot of flickering when certain applications were running, and I basically had to keep G-Sync off and only re-enable for games that it worked okay with. I actually upgraded my GPU to an AMD Radeon partly because I got sick of these issues. Now it's flawless.

If you insist on using Windows 7 instead of Windows 10, and you insist on using your RTX 3060Ti instead of a Radeon, it seems like your only option for VRR is to pay the price for a G-Sync monitor...

Reply 15 of 20, by bestemor

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As for Windows 7, that is not going to change, for 'reasons'.

But, I AM currently also looking at a couple of Radeon RX 6950 XT models (the only ones in stock), which are the only 6000 Radeons worth buying around here, at 660 Euro.
Mostly because of their 16gb RAM (which I probably don't need, but who knows what the future might bring), but also as a different option from Nvidia. And as a bonus are much much faster of course (!). Though I really don't like their heavy power draw vs my 3060 Ti, as longevity also is a factor here. And it is strange how one model states 850W as minimum and the other 950w, and 1 has 2x 8pin power connectors and the other 3x 8pin, while speed etc doesn't look that much different.

(I was looking for RX 6900 XT which had a lower power draw etc but not much difference in performanse, but they actually cost way way MORE, go figure.... at around 940 Euro!, and the RX 6800 XT's cost the SAME as the 6950 XT, so....)

But even if I have found an official driver that supposedly(?) works fine with Win7, much of the other 'info'/forum posts etc I read seems to hint otherwise - so who really knows ?
https://www.amd.com/en/support/kb/release-not … 6750xt-rx6650xt
(and not a single one of the 74 comments there are even close to helpful, so.... )

As for paying for a 'real' G-sync monitor, well... I'll have to actually FIND one for sale first, that actually is in stock I mean..... 😝
But otherwise that seems like my only option for now, yes.

PS: here is a sample of 1 who has major issues with the official Win7 AMD drivers (recently), no idea if this also would happen to a 6950 XT:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Amd/comments/12temch … or_windows_7_a/
(and not even a single 1 of the 74 comments there are remotely close to helpful)

Reply 16 of 20, by bZbZbZ

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I definitely respect your decision to use Windows 7, you have the right to that choice.

I think it's worth understanding that Windows 7 is made/sold by Microsoft, and Microsoft publicly ended support for Windows 7 in January 2020.

AMD released the Radeon 6800XT & 6900XT (the lead RDNA2 products) in October 2020. So at the time of RDNA2 launch, Windows 7 was already out of support. The 6950XT is a derivative of the 6900XT. It wouldn't surprise me at all that the RDNA2 products weren't thoroughly tested under Windows 7, and it wouldn't surprise me that AMD has very little incentive to dedicate time/money toward testing these newer products under Win7. The number of paying customers who want to use an RDNA2 product under Win7 is probably very tiny.

I suggest that you'd encounter fewer issues under Windows 7 if you:

  • use a video card that was actively being sold/used before Windows 7 went out of support
  • primarily play games that were released prior to the video card driver version you select for the above GPU

Do you have to do it that way? No, of course not. But if you are mixing/matching products developed by different companies in a way that these companies didn't expect a lot of people to try... you are likely to discover issues that these companies have not solved (and probably will not solve).

Reply 17 of 20, by The Serpent Rider

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I see no reason why it should not work under Windows 7, if AMD officially claims that it works.

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Reply 18 of 20, by bestemor

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Oh, I am very very well aware of all the obstacles and the points that are made above, about my borderline choice of hardware/software combination.
After all, those are what the majority (99%) of commenters on almost every post/topic I these last years have found, already are making. Just take a look at the samples of comments in that last link here 🥺🤨.

Though for my use case, on the surface it should not be totally impossible, and I do at least want to try - and to set up the best possible (offline) retro Win 7 machine with hardware that will keep on working for years to come.
Just like my 20+ years old Win XP machine does, and hopefully will keep on doing... Heck, people on this very board are installing Win 7 on X570 mobos/Ryzen5000 and fight to (sometimes successfully) get them working properly.

But to save myself some grief, I have turned it down a bit and can live with using an X470/Ryzen2000 combo. All that is left is to find the 'best' (and affordable) graphics card to put in it.
Which most likely would be the RTX 3090 Ti , which have Win 7 drivers and more than 8GB VRAM. But currently it is not financially viable, and is also a total power hog, hence my more balanced RTX 3060 Ti choice.
CPU will be a major bottleneck regardless, but would be nice to have extra 'power' on tap even so, for bordeline cases/ultra settings/giga texture packs/mods.

Then I also wanted the luxury of some sort of refresh control/modern display amenities, which prompted this very topic to see if that could be achieved as well.
AMD was not on the table at that point, but I am open for using such alternatives, though perhaps not that keen on older (and used!) cards than the 6000 series (+want 16gb vram if Radeon).
Still, at some point I may find having some kind of VRR important, if it down the road turns out 'my' games actually suffer under the RTX 3060 Ti if lacking G-sync etc.

- And yes indeed, I both plan and will have to limit what era games I will be playing on this thing.
But that was mostly a given already, seeing the total lack of Win 7 support in the specs of all recent/year 2020+ games I am looking at.
(sure, one might try to install and play it anyway, but odds are that it would fail most of the time, in one way or another)

PS: Me too assumed if there was an official driver, Radeon 6000's would work fine. But then I noticed that unlucky fellow in my link above.
And even if that is just 1 person, it is hard to find any info at all on what to expect, seeing as such a 'frowned upon' combo (with Win 7) has an extremely marginal user group anyway... 😆

Reply 19 of 20, by bestemor

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Tried one these 'fancy' bottleneck calculators just to get a hint of how my balance is, and seems 2700X + 3060Ti is not that bad at all, even at 1080p.
And gets down to zero at 1440p, apparantly, if this data is to be remotely trusted. So looks good as is, bar the potensial VRR issues.
While the RX 6950XT is much more likely to cause stuttering(?) or whatever, if I understand this topic correctly.
https://pc-builds.com/bottleneck-calculator/

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