NVIDIA graphics drivers now offer an “Ultra-Low Latency Mode” for competitive gamers and anyone who wants the fastest input response times in their games. This functionality is available for all NVIDIA GeForce GPUs in the NVIDIA Control Panel.
What is ultra-low latency mode?
The graphics engine queuing engines must be rendered by the GPU, the GPU renders them, and then they appear on your PC. Like NVIDIA Explain, this feature builds on the “Maximum number of pre-rendered images” feature that has been in the NVIDIA Control Panel for more than a decade. This allowed you to limit the number of images in the rendering queue.
With “Ultra-Low Latency” mode, images are submitted to the rendering queue just before the GPU needs them. It’s “just in time programming,” as NVIDIA calls it. NVIDIA says it [reduce] latency up to 33% ”compared to using the Maximum number of pre-rendered images option.
It works with all GPUs. However, this only works with DirectX 9 and DirectX 11 games. In DirectX 12 and Vulkan games, “the game decides when to queue the queue” and the NVIDIA graphics drivers have no control over that.
Here’s when NVIDIA says you may want to use this setting:
“Low latency modes have the most impact when your game is linked to the GPU, and the frame rates are between 60 and 100 FPS, allowing you to get the responsiveness of high speed games without having to decrease graphic fidelity. “
In other words, if a game is linked to the CPU (limited by your CPU resources instead of your GPU) or if you have very high or very low FPS, it won’t help too much. If you have input latency in games (mouse lag, for example), this is often just a result of low frames per second (FPS) and this setting will not solve this problem.
Warning: This will potentially reduce your SPF. This mode is disabled by default, which NVIDIA says results in “maximum rendering speed”. For most people, most of the time, this is a better option. But, for competitive multiplayer games, you will want all the little edges you can get, and that includes lower latency.
How to activate ultra-low latency mode
You will need version 436.02 or later of the NVIDIA graphics driver to take advantage of this. You can update your graphics driver via the GeForce experience application or download the latest graphics driver directly from the NVIDIA website.
Once you have, launch the NVIDIA control panel. To do this, right-click on your Windows desktop and select “NVIDIA Control Panel”.
Click “Manage 3D Settings” under 3D Settings in the left sidebar.
Select how you want to activate ultra-low latency mode. To activate it for all games on your system, select “Global Settings”. To activate it for one or more specific games, select “Program settings” and choose the game for which you want to activate it.
Locate “Low Latency Mode” in the list of parameters. Click the setting box to the right of the setting and select “Ultra” from the list.
With the default “Off” settings, the game engine will queue one to three images at a time. The “On” setting will force the game to queue only one image, which is equivalent to setting Max_Prerendered_Frames to 1 in older NVIDIA drivers. The Ultra setting submits the frame “just in time” for the GPU to retrieve it – there will be no frames sitting in the queue and waiting.
Click the “Apply” button to save your settings. You can now close the NVIDIA control panel.
Remember, as we pointed out above, this option can actually affect performance in many situations! We recommend activating it only for specific games and testing your settings to see how it actually works.
If you want to discard your changes and use the NVIDIA graphics driver default settings, come back here and click the “Restore” button.