If you’re not familiar with AMD’s FreeSync setup, it consists of a FreeSync-compatible AMD graphics card, a FreeSync-enabled monitor made available by various manufacturers, and a FreeSync driver. In a normal setup, the refresh rate of the monitor (how many times the screen is rendered per second) is typically different than the output framerate of a PC game, even with VSync activated. This causes all that annoying stuttering and screen tearing. However, with FreeSync, the monitor matches the game’s framerate, providing fluid visuals even if the framerate fluctuates.
FreeSync also uses a technology called Low Framerate Compensation (LFC). This is made available through AMD’s free Radeon Software Crimson Edition driver suite that promises smooth gaming down to 30 frames per second or less on AMD FreeSync displays. According to a chart provided by AMD, there’s no VSync judder when using LFC, thus gamers will supposedly see smooth motion down to nearly 15 frames per second before the rate just gets too low and visual issues begin to plague gameplay.
A good number of monitors listed on AMD’s FreeSync page support LFC, such as Acer’s 27-inch XG270HU, which sports 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, a TN panel, a refresh range of 40HZ to 144HZ, and a DisplayPort interface. Acer also has a larger 32-inch VA panel, the XZ321Q, that has 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, a range of 48HZ to 144HZ over the DisplayPort interface, and a range of 48Hz to 120Hz over an HDMI interface.
What’s great about this list is that AMD shows what types of panels these monitors use. As previously stated, Acer’s XG270HU uses a TN panel, which is not only the oldest but is commonly used in displays and is good for gaming because it has a short response time. An IPS panel offers better viewing angles and better color reproduction, while a VA panel tries to offer the best of both TN and IPS panels. There’s also the PLS panel that’s supposedly better than IPS and costs less.
That said, the type of panel used in a monitor is important when hunting down a gaming solution, as well as for refresh rates. PLS technology is Samsung’s baby, and you’ll see that on AMD’s list. The majority of monitors listed on AMD’s site use either TN or IPS panels. There are a few VA panel variants like the A-HVA and the WVA+. Some of the Samsung solutions show TBA, meaning the company hasn’t revealed the full specs on those units.
AMD has certainly made it easier for customers to choose the right FreeSync monitor. Everything you really need to know is spelled out save for actual product links and pricing. The company also doesn’t list which generation of protocols these monitors use: DisplayPort 1.2 or DisplayPort 1.3? Unfortunately, customers will still have to do a bit of research before taking the final plunge, but the list certainly does reduce the amount of work needed to find the right solution.