VSYNC for PAL Games with 60HZ LCD TV

I actually configure retroarch to play my old megadrive pal games.

I would like to use Vsync but my LCD TV refresh rate is 60Hz. If i do that my pal game will run with 60fps, because retroarch will display a new frame every 1/60 second, ignoring the refresh arte from the genesis core?

I have right? In this case is technically possible to adjust my lcd tv refresh rate to 50hz directly from retroarch?

No, it will run at [email protected] Meaning you get stutter. It’s much better to play the 60FPS NTSC versions of the games. There is no reason to use the PAL versions.

If you still want to use PAL games, then you might try to add a custom 50Hz resolution in your GPU’s graphics driver. You can search the web on how to do that. But again, there’s no point in using PAL games. The NTSC versions of the games offer 60FPS so just use those.

I want play pal games at their original speed and because some games are translated into my native language.

So if i understand good the core will generate 50 fps and retroarch will distribuate this 50 fps between the 60 fps of the second (for example will skip a frame every 5 frames?)

It will repeat a frame twice every 5 frames.

The native speed of these games is almost always the 60FPS NTSC version. The PAL conversions usually run slower than what the developers intended.

@RealNC “…There is no reason to use the PAL versions…” Of course, but there are dozens of PAL exclusive games. Or games which were only released on Japan and PAL territory, and you have to choose between 60fps and understanding what happens on screen.

For Genesis and SuperNES there is the possibility to patch PAL games to run at 60fps, but unfortunately, for PSX and Saturn this possibility does not exist.

Of course I always use the NTSC-U version of the game if it’s an option, but a lot of times, it isn’t.


@RealNC : I don’t understand why you force me to use NTSC version of game. That does not answer my question. If i ask this question is to understand how retroarch works technically too.

if you have a 60 Hz display (like all modern displays) it isn’t possible to run a 50 Hz game without getting stutters. You can either run the 50 Hz game at original speed with stutters or play the 60 Hz version at its original speed without stutters.

This isn’t a RetroArch thing. It’s a math thing.

@hunterk : Ok but what exactly happen when you run 50hz game with 60 fps vsync display (with vsync on and audio sync on)? What you mean by “stutter” (sorry for my english)? The 50 frames of emulators will be distribuate on the 60 fps monitor with frame display skipping?

As cubatilles said there are PAL exclusives but there are also other cases where the PAL version of games are better than the NTSC version, like Soleil/Crusader of Centy for example which has a superior English translation, bug fixes and less censorship.

Frames are duplicated to make up the difference.

1 Like

Thanks butanebob for your answer. That help me to understand !

To be fair, nearly every LCD TV I’ve worked with will happily display 60Hz… but also 50Hz, and frequently “59”, 30, 25, 24, and “23”. All that’s needed is for the video driver to expose these modes, but they often don’t by default. For example, I have to set a “custom resolution” in the Radeon settings panel to get 50Hz to show up. (Even then, it frequently disappears on driver updates.)

Once you’ve got that mode added for whatever display driver you’re working with, it’s just a matter of selecting that in RA’s video settings. I’d recommend putting PAL games in their own folder, then setting the 50Hz mode and saving it as a “content directory override”; that’s what I do. It took a few tries for me to get it to work, but as long as there’s a “video_refresh_rate” line in the config file, it does!

Side note: A VRR (FreeSync, G-Sync) monitor can make things easier for cores that will set region based on the ROM’s info. Turn on “sync to exact content framerate” and no more worries, so long as everything you do is within the monitor’s range. Sadly, my monitor’s range is only 40–60Hz, and that makes NES, SNES, and the like stutter like mad because they run slightly above 60 and there’s no way to set a cap in RA to throttle it to range, so I use the solution above.


I already put pal games in PAL folder with core overide option file. I’ve just tried to set my display driver with 50 hz mode with vsync and it works nice in retroarch ! Very good! What could be good would be the driver switch automatically in 50hz refresh rate when i lanuch pal game. Perhaps with a command in batch file?

After more careful testing, I… must amend this. I thought the “video_refresh_rate” worked… but it does not. I’d left FreeSync on in the Radeon settings, which seems to override RA’s setting (?). After turning that off, I started getting normal RetroArch behavior, which is… to go with whatever the monitor’s already running at.

This is a RetroArch thing, and a baffling one.

RetroArch will go with whatever the current modeline is set to unless you have exclusive fullscreen (i.e., windowed fullscreen OFF) and then use video_fullscreen_x/y and video_refresh to switch to a different pre-existing modeline.


Ah, that did sort it all out!

Side note: I have found that to get a ~59.94Hz mode (as distinct from ~60.0Hz), the video_refresh_rate has to be set somewhere below 59.5 so it rounds to 59. Any idea if that’s a Windows issue, a video driver issue? I know it’s a nitpick…

I think that’s just how RetroArch does it. I think it rounds to the nearest whole number.

@hunterk : srry for my english. If i understand your words you said that in fullscreen mode you can control the refresh rate of the display driver directly in retroarch with the option video_refresh_rate?

Use Custom Resolution Utility to set a more accurate refresh rate. Gpu drivers just round because the average use case doesn’t need such specificity.

You can use CRU to set almost any exact refresh you want within .000 though due to the math involved afik there is still slight rounding. As you type in what you want you can automatically see the rounded result to the right.

While you are at it I would delete HDTV resolution support from your displays edid extension block. Resolutions for video timings do nothing but cause problems on a PC. And you can manually create any mode such as 23.976 or 50hz that doesn’t come with the baggage of the drivers and the display trying to use a limited range HDTV signal instead of a normal pc one.

Using testufo.com and a camera with adjustable shutter you can verify using a test whether the resulting refresh will display properly without dropped frames on the display end.

1 Like

Just in case you don’t have it, I made a patch for that long time ago but I didn’t post it anywhere, here it is: Soleil (Europe) [NTSC v1.0] - Patch


Yes, but only if the modeline already exists. RetroArch can’t create new modes on its own (in Windows, at least).