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NVIDIA Reflex Guide : How To Reduce System Latency!

NVIDIA Reflex is being integrated into games, reducing system latency for GeForce graphics cards.

Find out what NVIDIA Reflex is all about, and how to use it to reduce system latency in supported games!


NVIDIA Reflex : What Is It?

NVIDIA describes Reflex as “a revolutionary suite of GPU, G-SYNC display and software technologies” that measure and reduce system latency.

System latency is basically the click-to-display latency – the delay between a key press or a mouse click to the actual action appearing on the display.

It is important for competitive e-sports gamers, because high system latency can impact their performance :

  • Delayed responsiveness : When you move your mouse, but your aim on the screen lags.
  • Delayed shots : When you shoot, the shot and weapon recoil lags.
  • Delayed enemy positions : peeker’s advantage is impacted by system latency


NVIDIA Reflex : How Does It Reduce System Latency?

A careful reading will reveal that the key to this technology is the NVIDIA Reflex SDK – a new set of APIs for game developers.

The NVIDIA Reflex Latency Analyzer, which is being integrated into the new 360 Hz G-SYNC Esports monitors, is only eye-candy, and not necessary for Reflex Low Latency Mode to work.

Once integrated into a game, the Reflex Low Latency Mode adjusts the game engine work to complete “just in time” for rendering. This eliminates the GPU render queue, and reduces CPU back pressure.

Like NVIDIA Ultra Low Latency (NULL) mode, Reflex prevents the CPU from processing faster than the GPU, eliminating extra frames from being queued up for rendering, which would normally increase render latency.

The difference really is this – by integrating with the game, the NVIDIA graphics driver can control the amount of back pressure the CPU receives from the render queue and other later stages of the pipeline.

This makes NVIDIA Reflex superior to NULL, but only with games that integrate the SDK.


NVIDIA Reflex : How Much System Latency Does It Reduce?

This NVIDIA chart shows the amount of system latency that Reflex shaves off in the first four games to support it.

The biggest improvement was seen with Destiny 2 and Fornite – system latency was down by about ⅓.

System latency was down by 22% in Apex Legends, and 18% in Valorant.


NVIDIA Reflex : Requirements

Reflex is only supported by NVIDIA GeForce GTX 900 series graphics cards onwards, using the GeForce Game Ready 457.09 driver or newer.

It is currently supported on these games :

  • Apex Legends
  • Destiny 2
  • Call of Duty : Warzone, Black Ops Cold War
  • CRSED : F.O.A.D.
  • Enlisted
  • Fortnite
  • Mordhau
  • Overwatch
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Valorant
  • Warface


NVIDIA Reflex : Automatic, With Max Performance Option

There is really nothing much to set for NVIDIA Reflex. Games that support it will enable it by default, if it detects the presence of a compatible NVIDIA graphics card.

The latest GeForce Experience also comes with an automatic performance tuning option, that will turn on low latency options for supported games.

NVIDIA Ultra Low Latency mode is still there, to support games that do not support Reflex.

It is recommended that you enable NULL by selecting the Ultra option. Reflex Low Latency mode will automatically take priority over NULL in games that support it.

There is, however, a “hack” of sorts for those who want to squeeze every last microsecond of latency out of the pipeline.

The NVIDIA Control Panel has a Power Management Mode option that defaults to Adaptive, allowing the GPU to clock down and save power when the load isn’t high.

You can set this to Prefer Maximum Performance, to override the power saving feature. This forces the GPU to always run at the higher clocks, reducing latency in CPU-bound instances at the expense of higher power consumption.


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How To Setup NVIDIA NULL For G-SYNC Monitors Correctly!

NVIDIA NULL (NVIDIA Ultra Low Latency) Mode now supports G-SYNC monitors. However, you need to set it up right to actually enjoy the benefits.

In this guide, we will share with you the benefits of turning on NVIDIA NULL, and how to set it up properly for G-SYNC monitors!


NULL : NVIDIA Ultra Low Latency

NVIDIA introduced NULL (NVIDIA Ultra Low Latency) Mode in the Gamescom Game Ready Driver in August 2019.

Before introducing NULL, NVIDIA let gamers reduce the number of frames in the render queue – allowing new frames to be sent to the GPU sooner, reducing latency and improving responsiveness.

NVIDIA NULL introduces just in time frame scheduling, submitting frames to be rendered just before the GPU needs them. This further reduces latency by up to 33%.

NVIDIA NULL mode has the most impact when the game is GPU-limited, with frame rates between 60 and 100 fps. It will let you enjoy better response times at high frame rates, without reducing graphics quality.



From NVIDIA Game Ready Driver 441.08 onwards, NVIDIA NULL will support G-SYNC for a better tear-free, extra-responsive variable refresh rate gaming experience.

This chart shows how end-to-end system latency is reduced by up to 20% when VSYNC is turned on, with both NVIDIA NULL and G-SYNC enabled.

Lowering the end-to-end system latency by 20% means a 20% faster reaction time from when you click the button on your mouse, to when the action appears on the display.

However, you cannot just turn on NVIDIA NULL for it to work with your G-SYNC or G-SYNC compatible gaming monitor.

Recommended : Learn How To Add ReShade Filters To GeForce Experience!


How To Setup NVIDIA NULL For G-SYNC Monitors Correctly

Here is the proper method to setup NVIDIA NULL correctly for G-SYNC monitors :

  1. Download and install GeForce Game Ready 441.08 driver or newer.
  2. Open the NVIDIA Control Panel, and click on Manage 3D settings.
  3. Scroll down the Global Settings tab to Low Latency Mode.
  4. When you click on the options, you will have three choices :
    Off : The game’s engine will automatically queue 1-3 frames for maximum render throughput
    On : Limits the number of queued frames to 1
    Ultra : Submits the frame just in time for the GPU to start rendering
  5. Select the Ultra option for NVIDIA NULL

  1. Scroll down to Vertical Sync and select On.

  1. Navigate to Set up G-SYNC on the left navigation list of the NVIDIA Control Panel.

  1. Enable G-SYNC for both windowed and full screen mode.
    Note : If your monitor supports both G-SYNC and ULMB, make sure G-SYNC is selected under the Monitor Technology drop-down list in Manage 3D settings.
  2. In your games, you must disable V-SYNC. This will allow the NVIDIA Control Panel to correctly enable NULL for your G-SYNC monitor.

That’s it! Now you can enjoy ultra low latency response times with a tear-free gaming experience on your G-SYNC monitor!


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