Milliseconds can make a difference between victory and defeat in esports. So Nvidia is unveiling new G-Sync displays with a 360Hz refresh rate, or six times the speed of traditional game displays and TVs.
Before you ask yourself if we really need this, consider that it’s probably not for you. It’s for gamers, or competitive gamers to be exact, and they need the fastest gaming displays ever made.
The G-Sync 360Hz tech is on display at CES 2020, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas this week, where Asus is showing of its G-Sync 360Hz-based Asus ROG Swift 360 display. At 360 Hz, the screen is refreshed 360 times a second, or about once every 2.8 milliseconds. The display will debut later this year.
Most TVs operate at 60Hz. In a study published at Siggraph Asia, Nvidia studied how much better esports players could do with faster displays. A 60Hz display with a 100 millisecond was the base line. In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, flick shot performance improved 28% with 120Hz displays at 54.7 milliseconds and 33% with 240Hz displays at 34.5 millisecond refresh rates.
Bu with 360Hz operating at 20 milliseconds, the performance improvement was 37%. And Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert, a five-time CS:Go Champion, said he could tell immediately how good the 360Hz display was, said Jason Paul, vice president of GeForce platform marketing at Nvidia, in a press briefing.
Esports isn’t just a niche. The Esports and competitive gaming communities continue to expand at a phenomenal rate. More than 60% of GeForce gamers worldwide play competitive games every month, and $211 million was awarded in esports prize money in 2019, up 29% from last year.
Esports viewership has skyrocketed as well, with more than 450 million gamers tuning in to watch competitive tournaments played in real-time, according to market researcher Newzoo. More than 100 million people watched the finals of the League of Legends Championship Series — more than watched the Super Bowl.
First introduced in 2013, Nvidia G-Sync chips have been the brains of gaming monitors, and they’re known for the Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) technology that eliminates tearing by synchronizing the refresh rate of the display with the graphics processing unit’s frame rate.
While esports pros previously accepted frame tearing on their display to avoid waiting for the next frame to update, with G-SYNC’s 360Hz and VRR technologies, frames now refresh in less than 3ms, so esports pros can get both tear-free frames and incredibly low latency.
Developed in conjunction with Nvidia, the Asus ROG Swift 360 is specifically designed for esports competitions and features a 24.5-inch form factor to keep every pixel of action in the field of view.
Nvidia certified the display, as it does with all G-Sync displays, with 300 image-quality tests. I’m going to check out this display at CES, and I’ll see if it can keep up with me.