[The Scuu Paradox] - Chapter 50 (1 of 2)
At the Beginning Previously on The Scuu Paradox… Gilerio System, Cassandrian front, 623.11 A.E. (Age of Expansion)
I launched another salvo of probes. The experience felt strange. This was the first time that I had constructed any probes, let alone eleven thousand. Launching such an amount made me feel like a science ship, only without the relevant data.
“Wave seven en route,” I informed the bridge. “Preparing wave eight.”
Nearly a third of my subroutines were dedicated to the construction of probes—the schematics of which I had no access to. All requests had been flatly rejected. My only goal was to transform my existing missiles—if the missiles ran out, escape pods were to follow—and launch them towards a pair of pre-set coordinates in the system. So far, the focus had been the inner asteroid belt, but the scope was increasing.
“Wave eight en route,” I said as I finished launching the next salvo. “Preparing wave nine.”
“Estimated completion?” Augustus asked.
“Approximately nineteen minutes, sir.”
I ran a long-distance scan. No Cassandrian activity detected. For once, intelligence had done its job. It was sad that BICEFI involvement was required for it to happen. The details had been vague, as usual. I hadn’t been given any explanation or access to any restricted memories. All orders were issued via my captain, although there wasn’t a soul aboard who didn’t know who stood behind them.
“Wave nine en route. Preparing wave ten.”
Augustus winced as I spoke. He hated when the obvious was stated. Someone higher up the chain—likely a bureaucrat—had probably forced him to receive reports every step of the way. The rest of the bridge officers didn’t seem to care much. Half of them, along with Wilco, had taken advantage of the opportunity to get some sleep. The ground troops and all non-essential personnel had also been allowed eight hours of personal time. Engineering and communications hadn’t.
“Test signals from wave one coming in,” Lieutenant Elvon Lisha said. She had been on the ship for less than a year, despite having the third longest service record. The term ‘ship hopper’ freely applied to her. Given that she had been recruited to the fleet at the age of fifteen, she didn’t seem overly bothered. In fact, she tended to regard everything as nothing but the ‘same old.’ There was no denying her capabilities, though. “No disruptions. Ninety-nine-point three percent success rate.”
“Elcy?” Augustus asked from his seat.
I isolated a dozen sub-routines and instructed them to run a blind comparison. The results matched the findings. It would still have been better to know what I was receiving, though.
“Confirmed, captain,” I said. The presence of disruptions concerned me slightly. So far, there was nothing in the system that could account for them, and the percent was too large for mechanical malfunctions. “Still no Cassandrian activity detected.”
“You can stop with the scans now, Elcy,” Elvon said.
“Do you want me to go dark?”
“No, just stop all scans. HQ will keep an eye on us.”
There was a seventy-one percent chance that that was a lie. I doubted HQ knew of this mission, though someone in the BICEFI probably did. Either way, I dedicated a quarter of my remaining subroutines to what remained of my battle system. Without missiles or sensors, the risk factor for my crew jumped up by a factor of ten.
“Link to the data streams,” Augustus ordered. The lieutenant gave him a strange look. “What now?” he barked in her direction.
“Cut the crap, Lisha.” There was less a bark and more annoyance in his voice. As far as I could tell, the two hadn’t served together before, but that hadn’t kept them from coming to an unspoken understanding.
“I tend to ask for permission before doing something,” the woman replied, focusing on her command screen.
Augustus let out a grunt, almost as if he’d have said that that was why she wasn’t captain.
“Links to first wave established, sir.” I decided to bring the tension down. “Receiving data.” Not that I know what the data actually is.
“Data quarantine off,” he barked.
The readings suddenly made sense. It took me less than millisecond to make out what the gathered data was, and just as much to feel slightly disappointed. The info streams were unencrypted, containing nothing but mineral composition readings. Based on the numbers, I could tell this was a test run… though I didn’t see why a battleship had to be doing a system mineral survey. In the best-case scenario, this would fall under the Salvage Authorities’ purview.
Seven more waves of probes sped out in the system. Close to eighty percent of them were far from any scannable bodies; the rest were in vicinity to the system’s asteroid belt. As I waited for the last few ones to get into place, I reran a few of my recent battle simulations. With the losses on the front, it was certain that a lot more action was to come. There were rumors of changes taking place in the upper fleet echelons pushing for a change in war policy. Aurie and a few other ships of my original cohort had shared that an all-out charge to obtain a choke point was looking more and more probable. Supposedly, certain organizations had been given the authority to do what was needed to turn the war, leading to a rise in dark ops. Based on the increasing number of BICEFI involvement as of late, there could be some merit to those theories. Then again, Aurie tended to gossip too much.
“All probes launched, captain,” I said. Twenty-four thousand and six hundred were out there, leaving me virtually defenseless until the next station reequip. “Orders?”
“Readings look fine, fail rate is under half percent,” Elvon said. “Waiting for the go ahead.”
“Full defenses,” Augustus stood up. “Shields, outer hull, countermeasures…” He moved his hand in circular motion as he enumerated. “The works.”
“Yes, captain.” I dedicated several thousand of my subroutines to my defenses. “Countermeasures are low. I can cannibalize a few shuttles.”
“Keep the shuttles. Focus on electronic countermeasures.”
That was unexpected. “Firewalls and countermeasures ready. External sensor and data streams are isolated.”
“Simulations done,” Lieutenant Lisha said. Interestingly enough, I didn’t register any simulations other than my battle runs. Just to be on the safe side, I ended all active simulations. The lieutenant didn’t react. “Results put us out of the danger zone.”
“Not this time,” Augustus whispered. ”Start the scan. Elcy, observe. If you detect any wave readings or large cobalt deposits, shut down the probes.”
“All of them?” This is unusual, even for you.
“The affected ones. And be ready for an emergency engine burst. We might have to get out of here fast…”
Nothing of interest happened during that survey. In total, I had spent thirty-eight hours examining the area of the asteroid belt with nothing to show for it. The mineral deposits had been scarce and there hadn’t been any observable anomalies whatsoever. I had found some cobaltite ore, though nothing else remarkable. Now I knew exactly what I had been searching for: the same thing for which I was searching at this very moment. The difference was that, this time, I didn’t have thousands of automated probes to do the work for me. Here, I was equipped with nothing more than an auxiliary shuttle and a hand scanner. However, I had many more cobalt artifacts.
A message appeared on my visor, replacing three warning messages as it did. The oxygen warning, though, was still there, despite my many attempts to remove it.
All the protocols at my disposal, and I can’t override a warning system…
“What’s your status?” Kridib asked through the comm.
“Nearly done,” I said as I slowly floated towards a Scuu ship fragment. “One more spot to check out, then I’m heading back.”
“Sure.” What’s happening? “Any changes on the front?”
“No.” We’re at the half point. Don’t take too long.
“Save me a calcium tube.”
Comm link closed.
Things on the shuttle were getting tense. Even with the artifacts stored on the auxiliary shuttles, the grunts were still nervous without me there. No matter the advancement in weapons or the number of missions they had been to, they still remained children, and everyone now and then needed reassuring.
Time to pick up the pace.
I did a brief burst with the suit’s thrusters, tripling my speed. Four seconds later—three meters before the Scuu ship fragment—I did a reverse burst, then grabbed hold. The piece was quite large, three times the size of the shuttle, based on my preliminary calculations. Not a model I had seen in my SR battles with Radiance; it seemed to be a somewhat older design, possibly of the first decades of the war. The design was much more ship-like than the current enemy classes, making it easier to enter. Often, there were more rods to connect.
The emergency hatch of the ship was closed. Using short bursts, I slid over the side until I came to a section breach. As I approached, I tried to match it to anything caused by a missile, but the shape was too different. Whatever weapon had been used, it had torn the hull out without leaving any scorch marks. Once in, I took hold of the nearest solid equivalent of a safety railing and checked my connection cable. According to the suit’s system, I was thirty-two meters in, leaving me another eighteen.
Let’s see what’s here.
I took the hand scanner from my belt and activated it. The readings were as expected—basic ship alloys, including a small amount of cobalt. Slowly, I moved it across the entrance, aiming further inside. This wasn’t the standard way to use such a tool. Thanks to some quick modifications and software changes on my part, however, I had increased its range to the point where I could locate third-contact rods. The moment the scanner was pointed towards the inner wall, the cobalt values peaked; not the best haul I’d had, but pretty close. I reattached the scanner to my belt, then proceeded forward.
If anyone had told me that I would find myself in a cornucopia of third-contact artifacts before this week, I would have considered it unlikely. Now I viewed it as something expected. From what I could tell, every Scuu ship was full of third-contact tech, and in the debris field, there were thousands of destroyed ships. In the vast majority of cases, the artifacts had been modified—cut up into smaller fragments for a purpose I couldn’t imagine. The composition remained as pure as before, but new sizes had deprived the artifacts of their normal function. Now and again, hidden among the rest, there were fragments which held what I needed.
The pod-like capsules were the most useful. Fractionally larger than the auxiliary shuttle, they were easy to find and virtually brimming with rods and pyramid artifacts. Even centuries old, they were identical to the probe I had seen on the prison planet. I had come across five so far, three of them in almost perfect condition, the remaining two cracked like an egg on concrete. If Salvage or the BICEFI were here, they’d spend years picking the debris field clean of anything of value. Under different circumstances, I would have done the same. Sadly, I had to be picky. Sixty-seven rods remained for me to construct my makeshift dome, all of specific shapes. I could not risk taking anything else or spending more time in the debris zone than I had to.
The corridors were human-sized, though bare. There was an obvious lack of doors and hatches, and if there had been panels of other devices, they had been removed, leaving nothing but an empty husk behind. Instead, there were circles etched on every surface, making it look like a circuit board crossed with post-expressionism. Based on what was happening on the Gregorius, they were also lethal.
I changed the settings of my visor to use audio imaging. There was no telling what effect they might have on me, even if I self-quarantined my thoughts.
As I walked further in, new corridors began to appear. This was the seventh Scuu ship I had been on. Like all the previous ones, standard architectural logic barely applied. Comparing the outer shape and the sections I had gone through, there was a ninety-three percent probability I was in a boarding section, leading to where, according to the standard design, the support personnel would be. On my old husk, it would be filled with crew quarters, the size of a square box, where engineers and the lower ranks would sleep. Here, there was nothing but space and columns.
The comparison with existing ship schematics gave me two paths with an equal chance to reach my destination. One thing that was common with all Scuu ships was that the artifacts were always located near the engine section. My theory was that the Scuu used them as an auxiliary energy source. If I ever managed to get in touch with Lux again, I would have to share my findings and let someone else figure it out.
It took me less than a minute walking through the empty maze to reach my spot. The closer I got, the more rods I saw sticking from the walls. I checked the first few with my scanner just to confirm they were cobalt, then continued to the heart. When I reached it, I stopped and remained still for several three thousand milliseconds.
There were hundreds of ways I could describe the sight before me. Its allure made me turn on my helmet light to get a better look, despite the danger. I knew that every glimpse brought with it the chance of contamination, and still I allowed myself one which I froze in my memory. Back when I was a battleship, I had monitored a personal call between a non-commissioned officer and his wise. She was a bio-geneticist, overseeing the development of new species in zero gravity. That time, she had shared a video of a three-dimensional spider web created by a new specimen. The web was fragile, completely useless, and at the same time an aesthetic marvel of strands aligned in a near perfect matrix. The Scuu heart was similar, but also so much more. Rod construction came from the walls like helixes, spiraling around a large cube as they held it gently in the air. Nothing connected the artifacts other than themselves, and yet I could also see the empty spots as if they were more material than matter.
Salvage would have loved to be here. They and the BICEFI had been trying to capture an intact Scuu ship for centuries, and if the rumors were true,they had never succeeded. It was said that each time they got close, the Scuu ship would self-destruct, disintegrating into particles, very much like the combat devices Kridib had seen. Here I was surrounded by so much… and yet able to take so little.
I moved closer to the cube. It was larger than me, its side twelve millimeters short of two full meters. If I had a chance to take it with me, I would.
Sorry. I wrapped my fingers round one of the rods, then pulled it.
The instant the connection was broken the helix structure collapsed, removing the support of one corner. Losing its balance, the cube tilted. For fifty-seven milliseconds it remained in this state, as if trying to redistribute its weight on the other parts of its support, hoping that they and zero gravity might save it. A futile battle. Another support breaking apart, the rods filling the air, as if scattered by a gentle breeze. Two more followed, leaving an entire side of the cube without support. An instant later, the object burst into dust.
Warning! Foreign particles detected!
Warning messages flashed on my visor as the wave of cobalt gently swept over me. I didn’t move. There was no logic in my action, if anything it was a poor reaction to a potential threat. At the same time, I felt compelled to do so, as if I was witnessing the final shutdown of a Scuu core. There was nothing that suggested I was right… other than an unexplained feeling.
“Some other time.” I brushed the layer of cobalt off my helmet. For the moment, I had rods to gather.
There were one thousand five hundred and thirty-six separate rods at this location. Of them, I only needed sixty-seven. As I had found in my previous attempts, this wasn’t always a given. Turning on the light, I used the thrusters to lift myself slightly higher from the ground. Of the artifacts in immediate vicinity, none had the shape I was looking for. After several minutes of moving around, I finally found a cluster of nine near the ceiling. After I floated to them, I took a thin layer of polymer fabric from the utility belt and wrapped it around the first rod I grabbed. It was almost funny—months ago, I followed a strict procedure of handling the rods. Now I treated them as any spare pipe. As long as they didn’t make contact with one another and I didn’t subject them to extreme force, there was no danger.
Seven minutes in, I received the standard warning that all communications had been severed. Five and a half minutes after that, I made my way out of the Scuu wreck with a stack of eighty-one rods. Not a bad haul; if nothing else, it meant we wouldn’t have to go searching for another fragment. All that remained was to return to the shuttle and eat.
“I’ve got the lot,” I said although I knew no one would hear. The one time I would have appreciated the comm window lasting a bit longer.
Stacks of artifacts filled the inside of the auxiliary shuttle, taken from my previous three hauls. Originally, I had been provided with a stack of sample cases for fragments. Some of those I’d modified to keep the more dangerous artifacts. The rods, though, were too large and numerous for that.
Just like the time I had to fix the house, I thought. Sev had made a big deal about it, complaining about how it disrupted his schedule while at the same time going out every half an hour to glance at the progress.
I placed the new rods among the rest, then flew back to the main shuttle. The spot that we had chosen to hide was in proximity to a medium-sized Shield fragment—large enough to cover the shuttle, but small enough to allow us ease of navigation in case we had to get out of there fast. I had offered that the team explore the ship piece while I was gone. No one seemed enthusiastic about it. A pity, since this was an opportunity they’d never have again.
A slight bump, accompanied by a series of beeps filled the cabin as I initiated the docking procedure. Anywhere else the sequence of events would be inverted. With all communications severed, I needed to manually achieve contact with the main shuttle, so the AI could trigger its emergency procedure.
Shuttle connection complete. Lock stable.
“Hello to you too,” I said as I left my seat. “Prepare the airlock.”
Decontamination was longer than usual. The number of cobalt particles on my dust triggered the safety system requiring me to manually brush several areas off before I could proceed. On the fourth time, the AI decided I presented an acceptable threat and let me enter. Once I went in everyone’s helmets were set to full opacity.
“Haul was good,” I said and went to the only free seat. “Over a thousand rods.” I knew they had no interest in that, but past experience showed that any piece of news might improve morale somewhat. “I’ve marked the coordinates for when HQ gets in touch with us again.”
The silent stirring told me that not everyone shared my enthusiasm.
“Got all you need?” Kridib asked and handed me a food tube. It was labeled as having calcium additives, the first one I’d seen since we left Radiance.
“Yes.” I put the tube in my utility belt. “I’ll get to building it once I load up on oxygen.”
“You need to eat.”
I analyzed his voice. There were no distortions, moments of hesitation, or pitch change. Still, I didn’t entirely trust him. The probability of him saving a calcium food tube for me was nine-percent; offering it immediately after a communications window decreased the likelihood of coincidence to less than point-seven.
“It’ll take a while to build. I’ll eat out there.” I went to the back of the cargo section. Oxygen was one of the things that we had an excess of. With everyone spending most of their time sleeping, we had exhausted less than a quarter of our reserve. Checking the tank indicators, I plugged my suit into the one which was half full and started the recharge. “I’ll need both shuttles,” I said as the oxygen indicator of my suit began to increase.
“Can’t you move all the parts in one?” Kridib asked.
“No. And I don’t want to leave them unattended,” I preempted his next question. “Safest way is to get everything there and have it done in one go.”
“You know best.” This time, the disapproval was apparent. “What distance will you keep?”
“Too close.” Kridib removed the opacity of his helmet.
“It’s safe.” The chances of mistakes were negligible.
“I’ll go with you.”
“That won’t be safe.” I looked straight at him. “Do you know something I don’t?”
There was an eighty-two percent chance for me to have had another quarantined conversation. It would only take a few minutes with my mind scalpel to be certain of that. Anywhere else it would be the optimal solution… except here. Hundreds of Scuu ships were fighting one another, not to mention the third-contact artifacts in vicinity. The odds were against me. In the past, that had never stopped me.
“No.” Kridib returned the opacity to his helmet.
“Okay.” I wasn’t going to risk it. “Look after the crew while I’m gone.”
My oxygen level was eleven percent from full. I stopped it regardless—the sooner I got off the shuttle, the better. Kridib didn’t do anything as I walked past him. The rest of the team were either sleeping or pretending to. No one reacted as I unattached one of the auxiliary shuttles. Taking a final look, I then walked to board the remaining shuttle. I made an attempt to bypass the quarantine procedure, but the AI wouldn’t let me. Without a confirmation from Radiance, it was set to ignore any external input, even coming from the BICEFI. By the time I was aboard, there was no telling what actions Kridib had taken. The only relief was that the other auxiliary shuttle was still outside and untampered with.
When I was a ship, I never had to worry about shuttle attacks. Breaches occurred in less than five percent of battles and were vastly unsuccessful. Right now, a single soldier with sniper training had me alarmed. At this distance there was no way for him to cripple me or the shuttle, but one direct hit of an artifact would kill everyone in the vicinity.
I navigated my way to the other shuttle and gave it a gentle bump. If Kridib made an attempt it would be now. Five hundred meters later, I went in front of it and pushed it back, slowing the progress to a halt. Finally, I could start my actual work.
The initial plan was to move out of the debris field and assemble the dome there. Once done, I was going to wait for the next comm window and activate it. As far as I had discussed with the team, time was never an issue, but with Kridib’s recent behavior, I was aiming to catch the first window, which gave me approximately two hours to get everything done. A rough calculation showed that in order for me to have a realistic chance, I would have to decrease the safety distance from the main shuttle by half. The thought hurt me, but it was an acceptable risk. As long as I copied everything from my memories, there was a high chance that things would be fine.
It took me thirty-seven minutes to exit the debris field. Towing a shuttle with volatile cargo was more difficult than the simulations suggested. From there, I accelerated to full speed for the next fifteen, before engaging in a gradual deceleration. In standard circumstances, I wouldn’t have bothered; being unable to operate the other shuttle by remote made me rely on physical contact. The theory was simple, though the procedure wasn’t taught at the academy or in ship training. If nothing else, I had come up with something new.
Full stop achieved.
The local AI informed me. So far so good. As Gibraltar would say, “Now the fun part begins” I was to reconstruct what Rigel had built, only this time in vacuum. The absence of gravity was of an advantage; I didn’t need to construct a scaffolding to hold the artifacts. At the same time, I had to be very precise with every action.
Stack by stack I took the rods out of the shuttles. The series of simulations I had run showed me the exact angle and position I had to place them. In order to increase speed, I started similar to how Rigel had—completing three quarters of the outer layer before moving to the inner ones. Every action required absolute thruster precision. Due to the limitations of my human body, I was slower than initially expected. Running the numbers, I was still going to be able to manage within the needed time frame.
Two hours and nine minutes after I left the main shuttle, the construction was complete. Technically, it couldn’t be called a construct; none of the artifacts were physically connected, although I knew that they formed one device. Rigel and Tilae had used it to get in touch with the Scuu. It was still questionable whether they had succeeded. This time I was going to use it for the task I was originally sent here: send a message with the third-contact race. The BICEFI knew that, which was why they refused to send a fleet here. Should a new fleet get involved in the battle, they would be content to observe from a distance… and hope it didn’t come their way faster than they could top it.
“I’ve completed a dome approximation,” I said. The suit’s system was going to see to it that my words and actions were recorded. “I’ve copied the design from my last mission, using four fractal pyramids. The command sequence will be the same as shown to me by Rigel.” Hopefully, they would accept input through the suit’s gloves. If not, I was going to have to make some modifications to the suit and likely lose my fingers to exposure. “Commencing sequence now.”
Two, one, one, four, three, three, one…
My fingers started tapping simultaneously on the sides of all pyramids. Initially, there was no response. On the twenty-fourth number of the sequence, a blue line flickered between two of the rods.
“Jigora!” I shouted, hoping the vibration in my helmet would be sufficient. It was.
Blue fractals emerged, filling the space between rods with faint blue light. This wasn’t the first time I had witnessed such a scene, although it was just as mesmerizing. Technology that was able to create a bubble or reality without contact, without sound, without air.
…one, three, four.
I inputted the final three numbers and stopped. The blackness of space around me was no longer there, replaced instead by endless strands of light, similar to what I had seen the last time I had looked into the Scuu network. This time, I wasn’t looking at a handful of Scuu ships; there were thousands, each part of a jungle of vortexes and connections. Rather, I was observing two masses of connections, each trying to consume the other and also be consumed. This was how they fought, not the actions I’d seen when they faced the fleet ships round the penal planet, nor the simplistic simulations I had gone through with Radiance. Patterns within patterns, combining to the point where they were beyond my current processing power to follow. Fountains of info bursts, twisting around each other like vines.
Not my battle. I focused elsewhere. The Scuu network allowed me to view the entire system. I could see the planets, the debris field, and the remaining fleet ships in—
Scuu circles filled my vision. Reality around me began to fracture.
Structural integrity critical!
Security mode initiated.
submitted by LiseEclaire
What should you upgrade next for your gaming rig? CPU or GPU? It might surprise you but your Monitor will most likely be your biggest upgrade for your system!
So we see this all the time on the forums and Reddit. Budget, mid-range and even high-end upgrade suggestions are asked about frequently, and the parts in question are the pieces that go exclusively inside of the computer case, but that is not the only hardware that makes up our system. PC hardware is everything that we connect to our system to function to our desire. But the one thing the is criminally left out of the discussion is a High Refresh Rate Monitor, specifically Adaptive Sync displays; And many users are unaware of the gains you can achieve by making this simple upgrade.
A quality mouse can have software that bypasses acceleration so you get that raw input every time, along with polling rates that help fluidity as you increase your resolution. A quality keyboard can give you a great competitive edge by having a more shallow actuation point. Why do I bring these 2 things up? Because they are hardware components and they are beneficial especially for gamer's and now we can move onto the next bit of hardware, High Refresh Rate Displays(HRR).
Monitor cost, its actually quite affordable:
Wow, remember when Gsync first launched and it was such a hefty premium out of your budget, yeah that mindset can still linger in the back of our minds even today, but the truth is HRR displays have become far less of an expense (unless you choose to splurge). With the maturation of Freesync, we have a vast array of less expensive options in the market and those even include HDR which most of the Freesync 2.0 displays come baked in with. If you have $250-$200 as a starting budget, you will be set! Not to mention there are always deals on displays online that can net you a great discount on an already great setup.
"But 60fps is fine for me, even though I can get higher framerates with my setup my system will do 60fps for years!":
I've seen this in my own experience for myself. I remember buying my 1080 TI and thinking "man I am good for the foreseeable future!" Problem is I spent $600 on that card and I was only getting a third of its value by governing the hardware to a specified limit, at the time I might as well have just bought a 1060. Many PC gamers do this, they spend big hard earned cash on an expensive component and dont even get the max potential out of their hardware! To put it bluntly, If I really wanted the best performance I could get out of my system as a whole it was never going to happen as a gamer because I was basically bottle necked by my own display! As a user who doesn't play a ton of AAA games but a hand full of them, I had so much headroom that I couldn't attain most of the time because of this matter. I spent a ton of money on my components and I was not even utilizing even 50% of what I had already paid for because my display wouldn't allow it (unless I wanted to deal with screen tearing YUCK!)
"Okay so I might consider it but what if some games drop below 60FPS? Wont I get stutter and tearing?":
Dropping frames in games is nothing new, but when you have invested in a HRR display you will want to make sure it has "Low Framerate Compensation" (LFC). This technology negates frame drops to a great extent, it reduces judder and draws multiple frames in order to eliminate screen tearing when you dropping below 60 giving you a much better experience when those instances happen and they feel far more natural compared to a 60hz panel that is dropping frames like crazy. Shop around for Displays that support LFC, most of them support this now.
"I have an Nvidia Card, I cant afford a HRR Gsync Display!":
Little secret. Nvidia GPUs released in the past couple generations (GTX 10 series and up) can run just fine on 95% of Freesync displays! Namely Freesync 2.0. Since there are so many GPU's and so many Freesync displays you will have to look up your combination in question online and seek the answers in the various forums online, or here on Reddit. But really Gsync and Freesync are just what is known as "Adaptive Sync". All you need is a supported GPU, the most common GPU on the market according to a recent steam survey is the GTX 1060, a card very capable and fully supportive of Freesync.
"Doesn't Freesync suck? Its a lesser alternative right?":
Lesser alternative? NO! Really, its very cost effective, and the hardware has all but caught up with Nvidia. Nvidia has recently adopted Freesync as the competition gap came to a very narrow margin. Freesync just simply has a wider range of quality now compared to Gsync to suit your taste. The technology is so much more improved over the years its just becoming a user preference between the bells and whistles.
"Your just talking about Freesync, why?":
Because AMD and Nvidia GPU's that support the technology both work on Freesync displays. If you have a Gsync Display, then you must buy an Nvidia card. A Gsync Monitor will not support an AMD GPU at the time of this posting. However, I do not hold any bias. If your now thinking of getting a HRR monitor and you want a Gsync Display, then GO FOR IT!
You might not have a GPU to always push out tons of Frames per Second, but with an upgrade down the road you certainly, inevitably will:
Unlike other pieces of hardware you feel are necessary to upgrade down the road, assuming you get a good quality display, then a display is not something you will have to worry about upgrading. In fact as time goes on and GPU's become more powerful and efficient, the your monitor will serve as the bridge to keep that gap filled. Needless to say, your Display will just get better and more value over time as GPUs become far more powerful and churn out far more frames with each generation.
User Interface Experience:
It has to be said, there is a very clear divide between 60FPS and 120FPS+, and the first time you will notice it is when are navigating through your operating system for the first time on your new display. Many users who have adopted HRR monitors will tell you that they spent most of their first minutes spent with their new display just sat there moving their mouse pointer around the screen aimlessly, they opened up their explorer tabs and moved the windows around for minutes at a time because they could not believe the fluidity and responsiveness of the display. It really was very jarring for me the first time and I can still appreciate it when I go to a friends house and they are still running a 60hz panel. HRR panels aren't just limited to games to reap the benifits. No, everything you do on your panel will run natively at its refresh rate (unless a piece of software isnt coded for it but that is very rare). Also you may notice that these kinds of displays can be much easier on your eyes, in my circumstance; my Fiance has bad vision in one eye but she only can use my computer when I'm away since she has told me it has made it so much easier on her eyes as she feels that she is not straining to see as much (one reason why I got her an Ipad Pro 120hz display). She can see so much better and she can feel the difference because she has told me. Eye strain for me is far more reduced as well but YMMV
UNBELIEVABLE! Now I can maintain a HRR, my GPU utilization is almost always maxing out so I'm getting my full values worth that I spent on it. My main components aren't being hindered or locked down in anyway for what I'm using it for. When it comes to gaming I am getting the most out of my system. Now Navigating through the Windows UI is one thing, but to experience a gaming session at 120,144,165 or even 240hz is something that will make your jaw drop the first time you ever fire up a fast paced game or any game for that matter. It will feel a little unnatural the first day, most gamers feel a sense of weirdness due to the fluidity but this all but goes away in one days time, after that it will feel like the most natural thing and on top of that you will feel like you just made a major upgrade to your system, you will almost feel as if you put a super charged GPU in your system and its running at incredible speed and responsiveness when really all you did what upgrade to a HRR Display. Its pretty incredible what a Monitor upgrade can do!
A bit of a word of warning. I played at 60fps for almost the past 30 years. I thought that was smooth. Now...60FPS feels very sluggish, and for me the input lag is a major reason for that. Input response times at 60FPS become apparent once you have moved onto a HRR Display. You will notice that your inputs are almost instantaneous when you click your mouse while gaming at HRR's. Quite honestly its very very VERY difficult for most users to go back to a 60hz Panel when they have been gaming at HRR's for a period of time. Though adaptive sync does help in this area, even still, games that are hard-locked at 60FPS I find are only playable on a controller for me now since the latency doesn't feel as prevalent on a game pad compared to a M/KB. So be aware, if you do get a HRR monitor and you decide down the road you want to upgrade to a 4k+ 60hz panel, its going to be pretty tough though YMMV.
I'm sorry for the long post, I had a small post in mind and it just blew up into bigger proportions than I wanted it to. If you read through and you have even mid range hardware and you have an itch to upgrade a component on your rig, but you dont know what that could be, and you dont want to spend a fortune, and you are still on a 1080p 60hz panel. I can confidently say that a HRR Monitor will be a massive upgrade to your existing hardware. It will be a breath of fresh air and a brand new experience for the average user who has been locked in the 60hz economy. Do yourself a favor and unlock more of your PC's potential and go for this upgrade. Your eyes and The PCMasterrace in you will benefit greatly!
Edited for grammer, wow 3 hour write up Jeezus!
I really could have gone on more, there are far more benefits to HRR Displays, if you have experienced it and want to chime in, sound off below as I have rambled on long enough.
TLDR - Your system as a gaming centric rig, if playing at 1080p 60FPS may be very underutilized. You are possibly not getting the full value of what you paid for as it translates to what you are seeing and experiencing on screen. If you are spending hundreds of dollars on a GPU alone and are limiting yourself to 60hz and possibly not even getting half of the value you spent on an expensive component. Shop wisely and dont limit your systems potential by overspending on a piece of hardware that you wont even get even 60% of its potential total value. There are many affordable options out there today and you dont have to worry about breaking the bank in order to find a great quality Display at a reasonable price.
submitted by WallyPC