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Nvidia G-Sync bug is causing high power draw at high refresh-rates

Nvidia’s G-Sync technology is designed to be a replacement for the much-hated, age-old Vsync frame rate synching technology that helps prevent screen tearing. As the more expensive, higher-quality solution when compared with AMD’s Freesync, it’s supposed to perform this function without impacting GPU usage, but a bug in its programming is causing those running it on high refresh-rate monitors to run into an irritating issue.

The bug in question seems to stem from running G-Sync on monitors at refresh-rates of 144Hz and above. In those cases, users reported that even idling frequencies of the GPU jumped to much higher levels and the power draw from the GPU increased dramatically, despite there not being much going on with the PC as a whole.

The difference can be quite stark, too, with PCPer reporting that while raising the refresh-rate from 60Hz to 100Hz and 120Hz makes almost no difference to the system’s power draw, jumping up to 144Hz or more sees it almost double.

Related: G-Sync promises to make games buttery smooth, but does it really work? We tested

This is surprising since Nvidia’s solution for syncing frame rates takes place within the monitors themselves, meaning the system shouldn’t be affected by the monitor syncing higher frame rates, as other solutions might. But in this case that’s exactly what’s happening.

Nvidia has acknowledged the issue, stating that the tests conducted showed that there was a bug in the way the GPU was managing clocks for G-Sync at high refresh-rates. It’s promised that a fix is in the works however, so those with the latest hardware and the newest high refresh-rate monitors won’t be affected for long. Users suffering with this problem can expect a fix to appear in the next driver release from the green GPU maker.

Have you got one of the new high refresh-rate monitors released by the likes of ASUS? If so, have you run into any issues with higher power draw than expected?