I have a conundrum with these three factors that I’d like some advice on.
I have a G-Sync monitor that works flawlessly with RetroArch. I set my display rate to the estimated refresh rate value given by RA, turn on “Sync to exact content framerate” and every game I play from any system works flawlessly. I get perfectly smooth scrolling and no audio pops/crackles whatsoever.
The issue with this is that many retro games before the GCN/PS2/XBOX era never ran at a perfect 60 FPS, but instead fluctuated around the 60 Hz mark, meaning that when I try to capture game footage from older consoles and handhelds that either run slightly above or below 60 Hz, I get irregular frame pacing and judders on my OBS recordings. This is unfortunately just the nature of trying to capture sources that don’t exactly match the output OBS prefers for a 60 FPS recording.
One solution that isn’t ideal but works almost perfectly for getting smooth recordings is to manually set my display rate to 60 Hz in RA. Doing this allows my monitor to automatically toggle to 60 Hz as soon as RA is launched, and every game I play then has perfectly mirrored output to OBS. The issue with this, though, is that I’m having issues with certain games having audio popping. So far the most notable example is Donkey Kong Country 2; I haven’t tested any other SNES games yet, but I think that SNES games usually output to 60.100 Hz and this discrepancy from the display rate being 60 Hz is causing the audio buffer to keep overflowing every few seconds (please let me know if I’m completely wrong on this).
I also tried keeping my monitor at its reported display rate in RA, but turning “Sync content to exact framerate” off so G-Sync does not have an effect, but this is oddly the worst solution so far; RA automatically sets my refresh rate from the estimated 239.70 Hz to 60.100 Hz to match the output of DKC2, but the game has far more frequent and louder audio popping than when I just ran it at 60 Hz (frequent but lesser popping) and with “Sync to exact content framerate” enabled (zero popping).
N64 games are also causing strange pacing issues. I’ve tried recording Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon in an area which has an estimated 59.94 FPS but also occasionally jumps just over 60 FPS, and the pacing issues are horrible on OBS with “Sync to exact content framerate” on. Running the game at a display rate of 60 Hz is perfect; no audio pops, OBS is smooth as butter.
The most bizarre thing is that by alt-tabbing out of RA and simply playing it out-of-focus (so it’s not in exclusive fullscreen anymore) seems to fix these problems entirely. I can run the game with G-Sync active to eliminate pops (even though it’s no longer active once the window is not focused) and OBS plays nicely as well. I have no clue what alt-tabbing is doing to the refresh rate itself aside from disabling G-Sync, but it’s clearly helping.
Any advice on why alt-tabbing seems to work so far (with what I’ve tested, at least) or how else to balance all three entities would be greatly appreciated!