FreeSync

Update 2017: AMD has revealed FreeSync 2, which builds on the already successful FreeSync technology and adds support for HDR content. AMD says FreeSync 2 offers two times the color space and brightness over sRGB.

Traditional monitors operate at a fixed refresh rate, commonly 60Hz, 120Hz or 144Hz. In games, frame rate (amount of generated frames per second) fluctuates accordingly to the intensity of the work required by the graphics card. This introduces a dilemma for gamers in particular. They can usually choose one of two main options that determines how the graphics card passes frames to the monitor: “VSync OFF” or “VSync ON”.

  • VSYNC OFF: The GPU sends frames to the monitor as soon as they are rendered, whether or not the monitor has finished its refresh and is ready to move on to the next frame.
    This will cause screen tearing (picture below) if things become unsynchronized, even on a 120Hz or 144Hz display.
  • VSYNC ON:  The GPU holds the frame until the monitor is ready to display it. This will eliminate screen tearing, but will increase input lag. This even happens on 120Hz and 144Hz monitors, but the input lag penalty is much shorter on these types of displays. If you have a great GPU, then input lag with this option will not be a significant problem.

 

 

The solution: AMD FreeSync

 

AMD has worked on a solution to the problems connected to the “VSYNC ON” option: FreeSync. 

They have worked with VESA (Video Electronics Standard Association) to add support for Adaptive Sync into the DisplayPort 1.2a standard, which AMD then utilizes in their FreeSync technology.

Actually, FreeSync monitors began shipping as of March 2015 and it will be exciting to see how well the developers and gamers will adopt it.

It is an optional feature, however, so we won’t expect a lot of monitors with this feature built in them.

AMD is working with monitor manufacturers, so we will see a handful of displays hit the market soon.

With AMD FreeSync, you will not get screen tearing or visual latency, you typically know from having VSYNC disabled.

You won’t get the stuttering and input lag associated with VSYNC enabled either. Therefore, a good gaming monitor should have Adaptive Sync technology.

To take advantage of the benefits of AMD FreeSync technology, users will require: a monitor compatible with DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync, a compatible AMD Radeon GPU with a DisplayPort connection, and a compatible AMD Catalyst graphics driver.

AMD plans to release a compatible graphics driver to coincide with the introduction of the first DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync monitors.

The technology can not be used if you have a NVIDIA GPU, but NVIDIA has their own version labelled G-SYNC. AMD FreeSync have some advantages over NVIDIA G-SYNC, however.

  • No licensing fees for adoption
  • No expensive or proprietary hardware models
  • No communication overhead

The last benefit is essential to gamers, as AMD FreeSync technology does not need to poll or wait for the display in order to determine when it’s safe to send the next frame to the monitor.

AMD FreeSync technology uses industry-standard DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync protocols to pre-negotiate supported min/max refresh rates during plug’n’play, which means frame presentation to the user will never be delayed or impaired by time-consuming two-way handshakes.

The best part is that all this works up to a refresh rate of 240Hz, so we will see lots of 144Hz monitors compatible with AMD FreeSync soon, if they’re not already in the market already.

Major monitor manufacturers are extremely excited about this innovating technology.

AOC, LG, ACER, ASUS, BenQ, Philips and ViewSonic all plan to release AMD-FreeSync compatible PC monitors or they already have.

We will see a lot more of these kind of displays in the future, I promose you that! Some models will even have QHD (2560 x 1440) and UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution. AMD FreeSync is not limited to TN panels, so we will also see monitors with IPS panels who supports this feature.

Confirmed AMD FreeSync monitors

This is a list of monitors, which have or will have the AMD-FreeSync technology /

MonitorSizeResolutionFreeSync Range
Acer ​​XG270HU​​27"2560x1440 TN40-144Hz
Acer XR341CK34"3440x1440 IPS30-75Hz
Acer XZ350CU35"2560x1080 VA144Hz
Acer XF270HU​27"2560x1440 IPS40-144Hz
Acer XF270H​27"1920x1080 TN48-144Hz
Acer XF240H24"1920x1080 TN48-144Hz
AOC ​G2460PF24"1920x1080 TN35-144Hz
AOC G2770PF27"1920x1080 TN144Hz
AOC G2260VWQ621.5"1920x1080 TN48-75Hz
AOC G2460VQ624"1920x1080 TN48-75Hz
AOC AG271QX27"2560x1440 TN40-144Hz
ASUS MG278Q27"2560x1440 TN40-144Hz
ASUS ​MG279Q27"2560x1440 IPS30-90Hz
Asus MG248Q24"1920x1080 TN40-144Hz
BenQ ​XL2730Z27"​2560x1440 TN40-144Hz
EIZO FORIS FS273527"2560x1440 IPS56-144Hz
LG 29UM67​29"2560x1080 IPS40-75Hz
LG 34UM67​34"​2560x1080 IPS40-75Hz
LG ​27MU6727"​3840x2160 IPS40-60Hz
LG ​34UM57​34"​2560x1080 IPS40-75Hz
Nixeus NX-VUE2424"1920x1080 TN30-144Hz
Samsung U24E590D24"​3840x2160 TN40-60Hz
Samsung U28E590D28"​3840x2160 TN40-60Hz
Samsung U24E850R23.6"​3840x2160 PLS40-60Hz
Samsung U28E850R28"​3840x2160 PLS40-60Hz
Samsung U32E850R32"​3840x2160 PLS40-60Hz
Samsung S27E370DS27"1920x1080 PLS48-75Hz
Samsung S24E370DL24"1920x1080 PLS48-75Hz
Samsung C32F391FW32"1920x1080 SVA48-75Hz
ViewSonic VX2701mh27"1920x1080 TN30-144Hz
Iiyama GB2788HS-B127"1920x1080 TN48-144Hz
Acer XZ321Q32"1920x1080 VA48-144Hz
Acer BE270U27"2560x1440 IPS48-75Hz
Acer VE240Y​24"1920x1080 IPS48-75Hz
Acer XF240YU​24"2560x1440 TN40-144Hz
Acer XF290C​29"2560x1080 IPS48-75Hz
Acer BX340CK​34"3440x1440 IPS30-75Hz
Acer BX340C​34"3440x1440 IPS48-75Hz
Acer BX320HK​32"3840x2160 A-HVA30-75Hz
Acer BE240Y​23.8"1920x1080 IPS48-75Hz
Acer XZ271​27"1920x1080 VA48-75Hz
Acer H277HK​27"3840x2160 IPS40-60Hz
AGON AG322FGX​32"1920x1080 48-144Hz
AOC AGON AG251FZ25"1920x1080 TN48-240Hz
AOC G2778VQ6​27"1920x1080 TN48-75Hz
AOC G2770PGF​27"1920x1080 TN48-144Hz
AOC U2879VF​28"3840x2160 TN40-62Hz
HP ENVY 32​32"2560x1440 WVA+48-70Hz
HP Pavilion 32​32"2560x144048-75Hz
Iiyama GE2288HS​22"1920x108047-75Hz
Iiyama GB2488HSU​24"1920x1080 TN35-120Hz
Iiyama GB2888UHSU​28"3840x2160 TNTBA
Iiyama B2783QSU​27"2560x1440 TN48-70Hz
LG 29UM58​29"2560x1080 IPS45-75Hz
LG 29UM68​29"2560x1080 IPS40-75Hz
LG 34UM68​34"2560x1080 IPS40-60Hz
LG 27UD68​27"3840x2160 IPS40-60Hz
LG 27UD88​27"3440x1440 IPS40-75Hz
LG 34UM88​34"3440x1440 IPS40-75Hz
LG 34UC98​34"3440x1440 IPS55-75Hz
LG 29UC88​29"2560x1080 IPS40-75Hz
LG 27MP68HM​27"1920x1080 IPS40-75Hz
LG 27MP68VQ​27"1920x1080 IPS40-75Hz
LG 24MP68VQ​24"1920x1080 IPS40-75Hz
LG 23MP68VQ​23"1920x1080 IPS40-75Hz
Lenovo Y27F​27"1920x1080 VA48-144Hz
Lenovo LI2264d​22"1920x1080 IPS48-75Hz
Lenovo LI2364d​23"1920x1080 IPS48-75Hz
Samsung C27F591​27"1920x1080 48-72Hz
Viewsonic XG2401​24"1920x1080 TN48-144Hz
Viewsonic XG2701​27"1920x1080 TN30-144Hz
Viewsonic XG2700-4K​27"3840x2160 IPS40-60Hz
Viewsonic VX2257-mhd​22"1920x1080 TN48-76Hz
Viewsonic VX2457-mhd​24"1920x1080 TN48-76Hz
Viewsonic VX2757-mhd​27"1920x1080 TN48-75Hz
Viewsonic VX3218-shdw​32"2560x1440 AD-PLS47-75Hz
Samsung C24FG7024"1920x1080 SVA48-144Hz
Dell SE2717H27"1920x1080 IPS48-75Hz
AOC AGON AG272FCX27"1920x1080 VA48-144Hz
AOC AGON AG322QCX32"2560x1440 VA48-75Hz
Philips 328M6FJMB32"2560x1440 VA48-144Hz
LG (43UD79-B)43"3840x2160 IPS48-146Hz
LG 38UC99-W38"3840x1600 IPS48-144Hz
Philips 349X7FJEW34"3440x1440 VA56-61Hz
LG 24GM79G24"1920x1080 TN57-75Hz
LG 27UD69P27"3840x2160 IPS40-100Hz
Samsung U32H85032"3840x2160 VA48-60Hz
LG 32UD9932"3840x2160 IPS40-60Hz
Viotek GN32C32"1920x1080 VAUnknown
Microboard M340CLZ32"3840x2160 IPS40-60Hz
Samsung C22F39032"1920x1080 VA40-144Hz

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