What is with Tearing in current video games? I know its something with frames overlapping and the display being out of sync with the system, but what the hell? This has got to be the most annoying thing i have ever seen. I have never noticed it before this generation of gaming (maybe because i was too stupid to notice) but nothing pisses me off more than to be looking at a beautiful scene in a game, only for the whole image to shredded to hell and look like ass. I cringe every time i move my gun side to side, or rotate the camera around a character.
I play my 360 on a old projection TV, but i have hooked it up to lcds and the tearing is just as bad. Do some TVs have settings to address screen tearing? Is there some magical setting in the 360 that i don't know about (i know PC games and the such have sync options or whatever to stop it)? I see tearing ALL the time! I see it in quick looks and video reviews, and it is so bothersome.
Also, why in gods name do some games tear like there is no tomorrow, and others NEVER do it
I have never seen Halo 3, Oblivion, GTA IV, The Orange Box, Bioshok, or the COD series screen tear. On the other hand, Lost Planet, ALL Tom Clancy games, Red Faction, Gears of War (to an extent), Battlefield, and 3/4 of the games i have ever played and seen footage of screen tear, some are just so bad i don't want to play them. Is this a result of quality and polish?
So, am i just crazy, or are other people totally bummed out by screen tearing?
This is what i mean if you don't know what screen tearing is....it can get far worse and looks very bad when the game is actually playing.
I think that there is an option to v-sync on consoles, but it's probably up to the developer whether to utilize it or not. Unfortunately by utilizing v-sync, you also limit the frames per second, and in some cases it can have a pretty big impact on the fps. The more work the GPU has to perform, the harder it will be for it to maintain a steady framerate when v-sync is enabled. So for some games it is necesary to disable v-sync to maintain a steady framerate.
And the sad reality is that touting the FPS is far more important than having v-sync enabled, so more often than not developers will choose not to use it just so they can say that their game runs at, "a steady 60 frames per second."
I noticed a lot of it in Battlefield: Bad Company and LEGO Indiana Jones. In fact, for the latter, if I walked outside the college hub area the screen would just produce all these waves that annoyed the hell out of me. I wish I could see less of it, yes, but it is here sometimes and a nuisance.
Yeah, there are too many games these days that have screen teaing and when it is encountered it really makes a game look bad. I don't know exactly which consoles support v-sync but I know that it does exist in Xbox 360s and PS3s, however just having v-sync is not always the answer to the problem. When v-sync is in operation, when refreshing the screen, most consoles wait for a signal from v-sync to tell them that the screen can be safely refreshed without the player noticing, but there is often a small amount of lag caused by the console having to wait for the v-sync signal. Some games choose to cut the timing extremely tight to get more into each game frame and if for any reason a frame is not ready for the v-sync they change the frame anyway, causing screen tearing but meaning the gameplay stays smooth. Some games prefer to set a maximum frame rate which means that they can render graphics more accuracy with only very occasional screen tearing. I hope that has helped shed some light on things.
It's difficult to do things like triple buffering on consoles because available vram is so tight. You either have to draw everything in the v-blank period (oldschool-style), meaning your scene is very simple, or simply throw out frames when they're done (double buffering) resulting in tearing. Enabling v-sync on a double buffered game introduces timing problems that can do terrible things to your framerate.
There's a great explanation of what tearing is and what double and triple buffering do here.