Presented by NVIDIA
A deep dive into NVIDIA Reflex, what system latency really is and how NVIDIA’s innovation and focus on performance is driving the games we play.
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Lag-Free Living - A System Latency Primer
When an experience is smooth, the result isn’t questioned nor is the journey to get there. It’s hardware and software working as intended. With multiplayer games, latency, or lag – especially in Australia – is usually associated with network speeds and connecting to servers located across vast bodies of water. Times when even the speed of light isn’t quite good enough -- the curse of 300ms pings. Latency is merely a measure of time it takes for digital things to do their digital thing, and it comes in many forms.
System latency, in relation to the games we play and technology like NVIDIA Reflex, comes down to the CPU and GPU, and how they work together to render a frame. The best way to think of it is as communication between the CPU to GPU both working on a line. You click the mouse and then they scramble to make sure it reaches the end of the production line with minimal fuss – your display. And it’s here, in the hypothetical factory, where a queue forms around all the different rendering tasks being passed on from the CPU to the GPU. A GPU who works through each task one at a time.
If communication breaks down or the flow is interrupted, render times increase, latency grows, and efficiency drops. Factory-like comparisons aside, system latency in this specific Reflex instance is something players have known about for some time. It’s also something NVIDIA has offered backend tools in its Control Panel to manage in various ways over the years.