If you play at 4K 120 hz with VRR, there's a couple of things broken on the Xbox Series X/S

Hi! I don’t expect much from this thread, but I want to post it anyways. If you use a 4K 120 hz panel with VRR, there’s a couple of things broken with the Xbox Series X (I assume this applies to the S as well)

The Xbox Series X is a fantastic console, with a couple of sleek tricks under its belt, like Quick Resume, VRR, 120 hz native support and so on. However, there are a couple of things that seem to be broken, chief among them is the ability to play at 120 hz without major issues. I own an LG CX and I’ve noticed a lot of stuff going wrong, which seems to be a problem with the console, as I haven’t noticed this with the PS5. OK, I’ll list those problems:

  • When you play at 4K 120hz, some games look stuttery even when their internal framerate is solid. I noticed this as I downloaded Maneater and it seems to stutter quite often. Then, I changed the input to 60 hz and the stutter was over. How did I notice this? I used the freesync info panel and the game kept showing drops on the hertz refresh part. I have no idea if there are any other games with these issues. Native XB1 games at 60 or games with FPS Boost seem to work fine. It looks like games with the X/S tag can be prone to this issue.

  • While using 120 hz, some games won’t engage on VRR, while they do once you play at 60 hz. How did I notice this? While playing RE Village I kept seeing drops even with VRR. I changed the input to 60 hz and VRR started working.

  • The Dashboard seems to engage at 120 hz and from then on almost every game runs at that same frequency. This is basically the source of the issue, as some apps seem to be designed for 60 hz play only (Maneater being an example of this)

  • When you calibrate the HDR game settings from the dashboard, the calibration app runs at 60 hz, but the games themselves seem to play at a 120 hz. I need to look more into this, but at first glance it seems to not apply those settings. How did I notice this? If you have a CX open the Freesync info panel. You will notice that at 60 hz, the app runs at a different subsampling than your dashboard setting.

Is there any solution to this, you may ask. Well, it seems like turning 120 hz off is the only option for 60 hz games that show stutters. When you change the setting from 4K to 1440p, at least I my case, it seems like it won’t engage 120 hz anymore, so you are basically trapped. The source of this issue seems to be how apps (games) are played on an OS level. On PS5, apps and games engage on a 60 hz basis, and whenever you change to a 120 hz configuration on a game (let’s use Fortnite as an example) the game engages on a 120 hz signal. On Xbox, 120 hz are engaged from the get go, whether the game is running at 30, 60 or 120. This means that game app is displaying a 60 hz signal on a 120 hz output, and that might be the source of our problem.

Is MS aware of this? It seems so! It seems like after a Digital Foundry comparison of Xbox and PS5, MS made a statement and aware of this. I can’t find a source tho.

Is there any way to make some noise (respectfully!) about this issue? Well, maybe? I’m sure that people from Xbox, like Phil and Larry, use 120 hz panels with VRR, so I hope they are really aware of this and it’s fixed one day. I do have to add that if you game at 60 hz this won’t affect you. I’m also aware that the % of people gaming at 120 hz on Xbox is probably not that much, so maybe this isn’t a priority.

Sorry for the long ass post. If you are experiencing this issues, please post about them!

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The HDR calibration app doesn’t change HDR implementations for games (maybe for Auto HDR, have no info on that). It only saves 3 values: minimum HDR luminance and maximum HDR luminance for 10% or the whole screen. Games can read these values to skip their own HDR calibration. That is all.

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120hz stutter? That would be very messed up, the only issues I’ve had with 120hz is that I see flickering in some games. I had it with Desperados 3 and Shadow Tactics, it would flicker constantly when pausing and resuming the game. But no stutters.

At times I wonder if I should just put it at 60hz and leave it there, it’s annoying to have to change it for some games and then enable it again. Especially when I don’t care for 120hz in games. But according to AVSforums you do still benefit from 120hz even if the game doesn’t support it.

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I’ve noticed some issues trying to play games at 120HZ on my LG B9 and have recently decided to switch my console to play games at 4K60. I assumed this was an issue with television sets supporting the new tech through HDMI 2.1 that would eventually get better through further firmware updates.

I don’t own a PS5 so I can’t speak to the difference, but I don’t think it supports VRR whatsoever.

I know! I was referring to how Xbox handles HDR on a system level.

As I said, it doesn’t happen with every game. At the moment, I’ve only seen Maneater having this issue. If I change the console to 60 hz, the stutter is gone. Yes, it does benefit you if your panel is running at 120 hz in terms of input lag. I haven’t seen flickering that much. I think only during the loading screens of the first Mass Effect and that’s it.

It seems like the best option at this moment. Of course the ideal scenario would be MS fixing these issues.

I tried Maneater and I’m noticing some very brief hiccups here and there whether I use 120hz or 60. Do I have to quit the game and restart it first? Because I kept the game running when I switched to 60hz.

I agree - best option. I’m sure there will be improvements over time with the console and televisions. They’re also testing Dolby Vision for games through the Xbox Insider program which is supposed to be an improvement over HDR however that too will only work at the 60HZ option from what I’ve read for the time being.

I tried multiple games in 120hz, like CoD Black Ops and Mass Effect Legendary Edition and didn’t have hiccups at all. I also think 120hz output all the time is a design decision to minimize input lag. So whether you run a 30,60 or 120hz game. The console will always output 120hz. So inputs with your controller are always faster. Could be wrong on this but that’s how I understand it. Btw .in the freesync info panel my TV often shows 5,5khz or something which I don’t understand what framerate this actually resolves into.

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I don’t think the 5.5 kHz has anything to do with the game refresh. That’s just how often the TV is able to refresh the screen, so if the signal to refresh from the Xbox comes it will take effect at the next 5.5 kHz window. The period for 5.5 kHz is 0.181 ms or 181 microseconds. So if the Xbox told the TV to refresh just after the last update, which is worst case, there would be 0.181 ms delay for the TV to update.

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I have same problem with my series x on lg TV nanocell 120hz In some game with 120hz i get stuttering and vrr seems broken…with It Turned on many game give me bad performance Disabling vrr resolve issue