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AMD reveals more about FreeSync, including monitor prices

AMD Simplified: AMD FreeSync™ Technology
AMD’s frame synchronization technique, FreeSync, has slowly taken shape over the last year. Though slow to roll out compared to Nvidia’s G-Sync, the initiative has the benefit of being free for manufacturers to use, which in theory means a wide selection of monitors at low prices. Now, we know that theory to be true.

First, though, a reminder: what is FreeSync? It’s a method of frame synchronization designed to ensure a video card outputs frames in conjunction with the refresh rate of the display while playing a 3D game. Communication between the two keeps them in sync, preventing unsightly screen tearing without adding input lag.

Related: AMD and Samsung partner on FreeSync

To me more specific, FreeSync uses part of the DisplayPort standard called Adaptive Sync. This puts it in contrast to Nvidia’s G-Sync, which uses a proprietary chip. Because it uses part of the DisplayPort standard there’s no extra hardware for monitor makers to purchase and include.

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We’ve know about the technology for awhile, but now for the first time we know the pricing of a range of monitors, including the following.

  • Acer XG270HU – 27-inch – 2,560 x 1,440 – TN Panel – $499
  • BenQ XL2730Z – 27-inch – 2,560 x 1,440 – TN Panel – $599
  • LG 34UM67 – 34-inch – 2,560 x 1,080 – IPS Panel – $649
  • LG 29UM67 – 29-inch – 2,560 x 1,080 – IPS Panel – $449

Other monitors that will support FreeSync include the Samsung UE590 and UE850 series, and the Viewsonic VX2701mh, but pricing for these has not been announced yet.

Related: Samsung shows off UE590 4K monitor at CES 2015

In addition to the retail price of the above displays, the latest announcement includes some new information about how FreeSync performs. AMD has announced a small performance boost compared to Nvidia’s alternative, which the company claims takes a performance hit of about 1.5 percent on average. In truth, that’s probably not worth worrying about, but a win is a win.

Finally, AMD stated that it will offer two modes for FreeSync, one of which is used with V-Sync and one which isn’t. In the former mode there’s absolutely no screen tearing, while the latter mode will allow screen tearing in the interest of absolute maximum responsiveness. The company thinks the latter mode could make Radeon video cards more popular with competitive gamers.

Matthew S. Smith
Matthew S. Smith is the former Lead Editor, Reviews at Digital Trends. He previously guided the Products Team, which dives…
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Tearing occurs when your monitor won’t refresh as quickly as the game’s frame rate. For players who deal with this issue regularly, it can quickly ruin the gameplay experience. There is a way to sync your refresh rate to your GPU rendering, but you’ll need to use FreeSync to do it. This program might be completely unknown to some, but using FreeSync shouldn’t be too complicated. Here's how to do it. 
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Notice the misaligned elements of the left-hand frame? Although this screen tearing is simulated, it displays the effect screen tearing can have on a game. AMD

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