Open the NVIDIA Control Panel, then go to Manage 3D Settings > Global Settings and set “Low Latency Mode” to “On” or “Ultra”. Low latency mode probably won’t help if your performance is limited by the CPU.
NVIDIA graphics drivers now offer an “ultra-low latency mode” designed for competitive gamers and anyone else who wants the fastest input response times in their games. This feature is available for all NVIDIA GeForce GPUs in the NVIDIA Control Panel.
What is ultra-low latency mode?
Frames are queued up by graphics engines for processing by the GPU, rendered by the GPU, and then displayed on your PC. As NVIDIA explains, this feature is based on the “Maximum Pre-Rendered Frames” feature that has been found in the NVIDIA control panel for over a decade. That allowed him to keep the number of frames in the render queue low.
With “ultra-low latency” mode, frames are sent to the render queue just before the GPU needs them. This is “fair time frame scheduling” as NVIDIA calls it. NVIDIA says it will “continue to [reduce] up to 33% latency” compared to using the Maximum Rendered Frames option.
This works with all GPUs. However, it only works with DirectX 9 and DirectX 11 games. In DirectX 12 and Vulkan games, “the game decides when to enqueue the frame” and the NVIDIA graphics drivers have no control over this.
This is when NVIDIA says that you might want to use this setting:
“Low latency modes have the biggest impact when your game is GPU bound and frame rates are between 60 and 100 FPS, allowing you to get the responsiveness of high frame rate games without having to decrease graphical fidelity. “
In other words, if a game is CPU-limited (limited by your CPU resources rather than your GPU) or has very high or very low FPS, this won’t help much. If you experience input latency in games (mouse lag, for example), it is often simply the result of low FPS and this setting will not resolve that issue.
Warnings: This will potentially lower your FPS. This mode is disabled by default, which according to NVIDIA leads to “maximum processing performance”. For most people, most of the time, that’s a better option. But, for competitive multiplayer gaming, you’ll want all the little advantages you can get, and that includes lower latency.
How to enable ultra-low latency mode
You will need NVIDIA graphics driver version 436.02 or later to take advantage of this. You can update your graphics driver through the GeForce Experience app or download the latest graphics driver directly from the NVIDIA website.
Once you’ve done that, launch the NVIDIA Control Panel. To do this, right-click on the Windows desktop and select “NVIDIA Control Panel”.
Click “Manage 3D Settings” under 3D Settings on the left sidebar.
Select how you want to enable ultra-low latency mode. To enable it for all games on your system, select “Global Settings”. To enable it for one or more specific games, select “Program Settings” and choose the game you want to enable it for.
Look for “Low Latency Mode” in the list of settings. Click on the settings box to the right of the settings and select “Ultra” from the list.
With the default setting of “Off”, the game engine will queue one to three frames at a time. Setting it to “On” will force the game to queue only one frame, which is the same as setting Max_Prerendered_Frames to 1 on older NVIDIA drivers. The Ultra setting sends the frame “just in time” for the GPU to pick up; there will be no box waiting in the queue.
Click the “Apply” button to save your settings. You can now close the NVIDIA Control Panel.
Remember, as we noted above, this option can affect performance in many situations! We recommend only enabling it for specific games and testing your settings to see how well it really works.
If you want to undo the changes and use the default NVIDIA graphics driver settings, come back here and click the “Restore” button.