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New G-Sync support makes LG's 2019 OLEDs the best TVs for gaming

But you'll need an RTX 20-series or GTX 16-series graphics card.

Nvidia and LG have announced G-Sync support for some recent LG OLED models, making them the first TVs to support variable refresh rate (VRR) gaming with Nvidia graphics cards. This technology synchronises game frame-rates with TV refresh rates, producing a smooth and tear-free experience without the excessive input lag of traditional v-sync. This is the first time that Nvidia graphics cards have supported VRR over HDMI instead of just DisplayPort, something rival AMD has allowed for years, so this is a big step forward for Team Green.

We already recommend LG's 2019 OLEDs as the best TVs for HDR gaming thanks to their superb contrast, excellent colour fidelity and minimal input lag, so this new feature addition makes them an even stronger pick - especially when compared to what used to be the only large displays with G-Sync support, Nvidia's $5000 Big Format Gaming Displays. Of course, as the feature is set to arrive as an over-the-air update, a physical G-Sync module isn't present in the TVs and therefore VRR is limited to a window of 40-120Hz.

While the news is exciting for LG OLED owners, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. First, only two models from the top end of LG's 2019 OLED range are officially recognised as G-Sync Compatible and therefore work out of the box: the E9 and C9. That means the less-capable (but otherwise better value) B9 are not officially supported, and LG's popular previous-gen B8 and C8 TVs also miss out. Secondly, you also need a recent Nvidia graphics card, from the company's RTX and GTX 16-series ranges; GTX 10-series owners need not apply.

However, Nvidia do note that once these new capabilities are added in a GeForce driver update "later this year", owners of other monitors and televisions that support VRR over HDMI will be able to enable the option manually in the Nvidia Control Panel. Nvidia notes that these other displays "haven't yet been through our comprehensive validation process" and therefore the company "can't guarantee VRR will work, or work without issue."

We saw a similar statement upon the release of the first driver to support G-Sync Compatible displays, so it seems logical to expect that community testing will reveal which TVs mesh best with Nvidia graphics cards in the weeks following the driver's release. Right now, Samsung has a number of entries in our Best 4K HDR TVs buyers guide, so we'll be testing the new driver ourselves on a 55-inch Samsung NU8000 - our current pick as the best value 4K HDR display. Look out for that!

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Will Judd avatar

Will Judd

Deputy Editor, Digital Foundry

A bizarre British-American hybrid, Will turns caffeine into technology articles through a little-known process called 'writing'. His favourite games are Counter-Strike, StarCraft and Fallout 2. Will also tweets the latest tech deals at @DigitalFoundry.

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