OpenGL triple buffering: what is it & to include or not

You may notice triple buffering in AMD or NVIDIA graphics settings. The options allow you to enable it in OpenGL applications. It is recommended to use it in parallel with vertical sync. The function is needed to reduce delays in data preparation.

This article will explain what OpenGL triple buffering is. In theory, it gives an increase in productivity and a decrease in the number of friezes. In practice, you need to test everything yourself. Enabling it can reduce latency, but it depends on the application and the PC.


What is OpenGL Triple Buffering

OpenGL Triple Buffering is an alternative vertical sync mode for OpenGL applications only. Three levels of buffering, each one prepares graphical data that is used without waiting.

In general terms, how it works:

no triple bufferingtriple buffered
The central processor transmits graphics data to create the scene.The processor also sends commands, the video card creates the image.
Immediately after preparing the scene, the video card displays the image on the monitor.The video card displays a picture, a certain number of frames per second.
The processor again sends the data to the video card, it prepares the picture for display.While the display is in progress, new images will be placed in a special buffer.
Since the display of the previous picture is still incomplete, the CPU and GPU are waiting to complete.Upon completion of the show, the finished scene will be retrieved from the buffer without waiting.

In NVIDIA panel : triple buffering improves performance, only in vertical sync mode. Also, see if you should enable vertical sync .

Enabling AMD & NVIDIA Triple Buffering

Actually, in the Games section,  select, for example, World Of Tanks . In the Graphics card subsection, select Advanced . Drag OpenGL Triple Buffering to Enabled .

whether to enable triple buffering

Or open Settings> Graphics Card> Advanced . And here OpenGL Triple Buffering is already activated for all applications. Enabled by simply dragging the slider.

In the NVIDIA Control Panel, open 3D Settings> Manage 3D Settings . Look for the Triple buffering option (it allows you to enable buffering in OpenGL applications).

opengl triple buffering to enable or not

By the way, World Of Tanks is a great example. You can enable vertical sync in it, and then triple buffering is recommended to you. Without driver software …


In practice, it is useless to use triple buffering without vertical sync. The more data is buffered, the greater the latency and the increased video memory usage. In theory, it softens the jumping of the image when changing frames.

See also how to configure AMD Radeon Settings  or configure your NVIDIA graphics card for gaming. Now I try to avoid buffered vertical sync. I prefer AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync, plus I bought myself a monitor with Adaptive-Sync …

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