What is a freesync monitor

Fortunately, Nvidia is slowly but surely opening up its G-Sync technology to allow owners of FreeSync monitors to use the Adaptive Sync approach with their Nvidia graphics card, and even allowing AMD Radeon GPUs to take advantage of the proprietary green team technology. Don’t worry, we’ll show you how it all works.

What is AMD FreeSync and How Does It Improve Gaming?

What is AMD FreeSync and how does it improve the game?

As a gamer, a great visual experience is essential for you to be completely immersed in the world of your game. If there is something wrong with the display, you’ll immediately exit the game world, distracting you from defeating the boss or seeing the enemy.

Great gaming takes more than a great monitor

The display is more than a mouse, keyboard or sound system, but the key to the best games. And even if you have a great gaming monitor, you might not get the most of it if your visual performance is inferior.

Screen tearing

One of the biggest issues gamers face when playing the latest AAA game is screen tearing. This is a visual artifact that occurs when the frames displayed during gameplay appear to be halved and do not match.

In some cases of serious screen tearing, the frame can be even more fragmented. It’s impossible to focus on the next mission when you can’t see properly, so it’s a serious problem for players ranging from amateurs to professionals.

Screen lagging

Standard monitors typically have a refresh rate of 60 Hz, which means that 60 frames can be displayed per second. 1

A very fast gaming PC, on the other hand, can have an even higher refresh rate. If frames start popping up faster than the monitor can refresh, the display may show visuals containing more than one frame.

Screen stuttering

Another common problem is “stutter”, where visual effects seem to stutter due to multi-GPU configurations due to frames flowing in on an uneven timeline. So how do you fix these problems? One way is to use AMD FreeSync which helps to resolve any inconsistent visual experience.

While FreeSync is a significant improvement over the V-Sync standard, it is not a perfect technology. The most notable disadvantage of FreeSync is ghosting. This happens when an object leaves part of its previous position in the image, causing a shadow-like image to appear.

What Is FreeSync?

AMD worked with VESA (Video Electronics Standard Association) to add Adaptive Sync support to DisplayPort 1.2a and later HDMI, which they then used on FreeSync technology.

With AMD FreeSync, you won’t get the screen tearing or visual lag you usually get when you turn on V-SYNC.

To take advantage of AMD FreeSync technology, users will need a FreeSync compatible monitor and a FreeSync compatible AMD graphics card (Radeon R9 / R7 200 series or later – except R9 270 / X, R9 280 / X, R9 370 / X models, R7 370X, R7 265).

You can also use FreeSync with compatible NVIDIA graphics cards (GTX 10 series or later) via DisplayPort on FreeSync and G-SYNC compatible monitors.

which means freesync

To understand how FreeSync works and what FreeSync does, you need to know how your monitor and graphics card communicate with each other to create an image.

In short, the GPU renders the frames and sends them to the display, which then refreshes them a specified number of times (60 times if it’s a 60Hz monitor, etc.) to create an image.

However, sometimes the GPU sends redundant frames to the display while the monitor is still displaying the previous refresh cycle. This causes the screen to be broken (picture above).

You can get rid of screen tearing by turning on the V-SYNC option in the driver or video game settings.

V-SYNC forces the GPU to wait until the monitor is ready to display the next frame, thus eliminating screen tearing.

However, this introduces additional input lag, and if the tab cannot render frames before the next refresh, it will redisplay causing the screen to stutter.

After all, you choose between no screen tearing at the expense of input lag (V-SYNC on) or screen tearing and a lower input lag (V-SYNC off).

This is where FreeSync comes in and makes the GPU and display work in perfect harmony within the specified refresh rate range.

LFC (Low Framerate Compensation)

what is freesync in monitors

As long as you’re within FreeSync’s dynamic refresh rate range, you won’t experience stuttering, screen tearing, or a noticeable increase in input lag. However, if your FPS (Frames Per Second) drops below this range, FreeSync will stop working.

The main problem is that many FreeSync monitors have a narrow dynamic refresh rate range; for example 48-75 Hz or 40-75 Hz instead of 30-75 Hz for monitors with a maximum refresh rate of 75 Hz.

It is possible to increase the dynamic range on some monitors by using third party CRU (Custom Resolution Utility.

Some FreeSync monitors, however, feature AMD LFC technology, which multiplies the refresh rate when the FPS drops below the lower end of the range, thus ensuring a smoother operation without tearing.

For example, if the FPS drops to 37 FPS, the LFC will change the display refresh rate to 74 Hz on a 75 Hz monitor for smoother operation.

All monitors that have a variable refresh rate range of at least 2: 1 (for example, 50Hz-100Hz) automatically support LFC. So if you are looking for a FreeSync monitor, you should look for a wide range of variable refresh rate and LFC support.

Despite the lower price, FreeSync monitors provide a broad spectrum of other gaming-enhancing features, such as 4K resolutions, high refresh rates, and HDR. Our favorite gaming displays have many of these technologies, although not all are compatible with FreeSync. AMD has a list of FreeSync monitors on its FreeSync page.

How to enable FreeSync

After connecting your computer to a FreeSync compatible monitor, download the latest AMD Catalyst drivers from the company’s website. You can manually select your card or APU model using Manually Select Your Driver – just make sure it is compatible with your version of Windows. You can also use the autodiscover tool if you are unsure.

Note that you don’t need a second driver to enable FreeSync. If you have compatible hardware, it is included in this download. Install the driver and restart your computer if necessary.

When you’re ready, open AMD Radeon Settings by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting it from the pop-up menu. Then select Display from the top menu and enable the Radeon FreeSync setting. Depending on your display, you may also need to turn it on in your monitor settings.

Periodic firmware updates are required to keep your GPU and FreeSync working properly, so make sure you manage your drivers well and update them as needed.

Note: Some FreeSync displays only work within a predefined FPS range, so depending on your game, you may need to limit your FPS to stay within this threshold. If there is a predefined range, AMD should indicate this in the FreeSync dashboard, where you can always check to be sure.

What is FreeSync Premium?

The original FreeSync service helps you troubleshoot tearing, flickering and lag issues. However, there are also more advanced versions of FreeSync technology, one of which is FreeSync Premium. Devices and content must be FreeSync Premium certified to offer additional features. With this certification – and a compatible GPU – Premium offers important benefits:

  • Extended delay protection for SDR (Standard Dynamic Range).
  • Maintaining the refresh rate at or above 120Hz with FHD (full HD.
  • Offers LFC or low frame rate compensation to help stabilize the frame rate when the display is having issues.

These additional features may be useful for gamers who are concerned about the quality of their games, but are not essential to getting FreeSync’s original benefits.

Rob is a software engineer with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He currently works full time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects.

What Is FreeSync?

Released in 2015, FreeSync is a standard developed by AMD that, like G-Sync, is an adaptive timing technology for liquid crystal displays. This is to reduce screen tearing and stuttering caused by the monitor out of sync with the content’s frame rate.

Since this technology uses the Adaptive Sync standard built into the DisplayPort 1.2a standard, any monitor equipped with this input can be FreeSync compatible. With that in mind, FreeSync is not compatible with older connections like VGA and DVI.

FreeSync is “free” from an open source standard, which means that other vendors are able to incorporate it into their hardware without paying AMD a royalty. This means that many FreeSync devices on the market cost less than similar devices with G-Sync.

Since FreeSync is a standard developed by AMD, most modern GPUs support this technology. Various other electronics manufacturers support this technology as well, and with the proper knowledge you can even run FreeSync on NVIDIA hardware.

While FreeSync is a significant improvement over the V-Sync standard, it is not a perfect technology. The most notable disadvantage of FreeSync is ghosting. This happens when an object leaves part of its previous position in the image, causing a shadow-like image to appear.

The main cause of the ghosting effect in FreeSync devices is imprecise power management. If the pixels are not powerful enough, slow motion gaps appear in images. On the other hand, when too much power is applied, a ghosting effect occurs.

To overcome these limitations, in 2017 AMD released an enhanced version of FreeSync known as FreeSync 2 HDR. Monitors that meet this standard must support HDR; low frame rate (LFC) compensation capabilities; and the ability to switch between support for standard definition range (SDR) and high dynamic range (HDR.

The key difference between FreeSync and FreeSync 2 is that with the latter technology, if the frame rate drops below the supported monitor range, Low Frame Rate Compensation (LFC) is automatically enabled to prevent stuttering and tearing.

Since FreeSync is an open standard – and it has been from day one – people buying FreeSync monitors have a wider choice than those looking for native G-Sync displays.

G-Sync vs FreeSync: Solutions to Fit a Variety of Needs

If performance and image quality are your top priorities when choosing a monitor, G-Sync and FreeSync hardware come in a variety of offerings to cover virtually any need. The main difference between the two standards is the levels of input delay or burst.

If you want low input lag and you don’t mind tearing then FreeSync is a good solution for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for smooth, tear-free movements and don’t mind slight input lag, monitors with G-Sync technology are the better choice.

For the average individual or business professional, G-Sync and FreeSync provide exceptional quality. If cost is not an issue and you absolutely need top-notch graphics support, G-Sync is the overall winner.

Choosing a gaming monitor can be a challenge, you can read more about our complete guide here. For the best graphics performance, try ELITE Gaming Monitors.

While V-Sync worked well with older monitors, it often prevents modern graphics cards from running at peak performance. For example, gaming monitors often have a refresh rate of at least 100 Hz. If your graphics card is outputting content at low speeds (e.g. 60Hz), V-Sync will prevent it from running at peak performance.

What is the G-Sync Compatible initiative?

The G-Sync compatible initiative, or “Nvidia FreeSync” as we like to call it, was first announced at CES in 2019, initially launched with the RTX 2060 and its associated driver update. Now any Nvidia 10-series graphics card and newer that supports G-Sync as standard can use FreeSync panels by enabling this feature in the monitor settings.

Nvidia is expanding its growing list of certified monitors in which displays receive the “G-Sync Compatible” badge only when they meet the high expectations of the green team.

If your screen doesn’t appear in the list, don’t lose hope though. The company said it “may work, it may work partially, or it may not work at all,” which may not inspire you with certainty, but we are working with a few unverified FreeSync monitors in the office and it looks fantastic. At worst, you may experience screen flickering or blurry with the G-Sync Compatible setting turned on, but it’s as simple as digging through the control panel to quickly set up and try it yourself.

How to enable G-Sync compatibility on a FreeSync monitor

The first thing you need to do is make sure you’re connecting via DisplayPort (or HDMI 2.1 if you’re using a GTX 16 / RTX 20/30 series card) as older HDMI standards don’t support the variable refresh rate feature. You must also have the latest version of Windows 10. It is also a good idea to run the Display Driver Uninstaller first to ensure a completely clean installation of the new Nvidia driver.

After you connect correctly and install the latest driver, you may need to enable FreeSync in your monitor settings. It will likely be in the on-screen image section. Now, if the bar next to the Windows clock is missing the Nvidia logo, click the up arrow to show hidden icons and right click on the Nvidia eye. Select “NVIDIA Control Panel” and click “Change Resolution.’

Choose a refresh rate

Select a FreeSync monitor (it will likely be the one with the Nvidia logo) and adjust the refresh to the highest available. In our Asus ROG Strix XG32VQ monitor, it changes the maximum refresh rate from 144Hz to 120Hz with this driver to provide support, so be prepared to do so.

Now select the “Configure G-Sync” tab under “Display” in the Nvidia Control Panel and make sure the “Enable G-Sync, G-Sync compatible” option is checked.

Enable G-Sync Compatibility

Select the FreeSync display, it will be the one with the Nvidia eye logo again and check the “Enable settings for selected display model” option. At the bottom right corner of the Nvidia Control Panel window, click “Apply” and the monitor should reconnect to all the G-Sync compatible magic and you can test to see how compatible it is.

If you’re lucky, it’ll be over and you’ll be able to play your favorite games without tearing the image up, plus the smoothness of your monitor refresh is synced across Nvidia cards.

Nvidia made a handy little demo for G-Sync in 2013, and the Pendulum Demo is still a useful tool for checking if your dream G-Sync / FreeSync combination is working.

Nvidia Pendulum GSync demo

If you’re unlucky, you may experience the blurring and flickering that Nvidia says are possible with some weaker FreeSync-enabled displays.

Custom Resolution Tool

As it’s a relatively new brand, some monitors’ product pages may skip the FreeSync Premium certification, but as long as the monitor has a refresh rate of at least 120Hz and a VRR range of at least (2: 1), such as 60-120Hz, technically this is “FreeSync Premium.’

How to enable FreeSync

How to enable FreeSync

To enable FreeSync, you must first make sure you have the latest graphics drivers for your AMD graphics card (www.amd.com). After making sure, follow these steps:

There are three steps to enable FreeSync: 1. In AMD Radeon, go to Global Settings and then, under Display, turn on FreeSync. 2. Set your monitor to FreeSync mode (usually labeled “FreeSync”). 3. Apply the system changes by clicking “yes” and waiting for the computer to restart

Unlike traditional monitor technologies, FreeSync does not require any hardware modifications to your AMD graphics card or APU. Current AMD graphics cards and all-in-one processors with integrated graphics support Adaptive-Sync VESA. This means you most likely already have everything you need to experience the magic of FreeSync.

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What is AMD FreeSync?

Don’t require any license fees or agreements from participating parties. Accordingly, the production cost will be lower and you will spend less budget to enjoy playing games and watching movies without the hassle of tearing and stuttering. FreeSync also supports a wide range of potential refresh rate ranges, letting you choose the right model for your special gameplay.

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Why is AMD FreeSync interesting for gamers?

Are you one of the victims who suffer from tearing and stuttering in the script? AMD FreeSync will save you from this painful experience. Having an AMD graphics card with FreeSync and a compatible monitor gives you a fresh taste of the smoothest experience that becomes reality. Moreover, this combination is also beneficial in terms of optimizing the performance of the graphics card for display as long as FresSync is enabled.

To access the benefits of AMD FreeSync, you need a DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync compatible monitor, a compatible AMD Radeon GPU with DisplayPort connection, and the latest AMD Catalyst graphics driver. AMD FreeSync compatible monitors have been introduced to the market since the announcement of this state-of-the-art technology. As a result, there are many models you can choose from and start a smooth, tear-free gameplay!

To help get you started, we’ve already updated the product pages of our AMD Radeon R9 and R7 GAMING series to show which cards support AMD FreeSync technology so that you can enjoy playing or watching videos.

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