Samsung 2018 QLED TVs update adds FreeSync, but limits refresh rates

Samsung has released a free firmware update for a number of its 2018 QLED TVs (it’s different from OLED) that enables the FreeSync adaptive frame synchronization technology. The option has been added to the TVs’ game mode menu, meaning that Xbox One S and X owners can take advantage of its ability to eliminate screen tearing during times where the system struggles to meet the maximum refresh rate of the display.

Frame synchronization is something that PC gamers have contended with for years, with V-Sync being the classic option for preventing the tearing that often occurs when the frames per second your graphics card is able to pump out doesn’t match the refresh rate of your display. G-Sync and FreeSync are more modern alternatives with far less of a performance overhead and as support grows on consoles and TVs, more gamers than ever can reap the benefits.

Although Samsung does sell FreeSync TVs, they are not something its entire range typically supports. As of firmware update 1103 though, it appears that more of its lineup than ever can now make use of it. According to Rtings, Samsung’s QLED Q6FN, Q7FN, Q8FN, Q9FN, and NU8000 all now support FreeSync technology. If you have your AMD graphics-equipped PC or an Xbox One S or X hooked up to one of those TVs, you should now be able to enjoy FreeSync.

To make use of the new FreeSync mode, you’ll need to head into the TV’s settings menu, followed by General, External Device Manager, Game Mode Settings and ultimately, select “FreeSync.” Set it to “On.” Options include “Ultimate,” which has a range of 48-120Hz, while “Basic,” supports 90-120Hz.

Digital Trends reached out to Samsung to confirm supported resolutions and refresh rates. The affected TVs supported 1,920 x 1,080 at 120Hz, 2,560 x 1,440p at 120Hz, and 3,840 x 2,160 at 60Hz.

Samsung does warn that the mode isn’t necessarily perfect and there may be some noticeable discrepancies with brightness during FreeSync operation due to frequency variation.

While that is a disappointment considering many of the newly FreeSync supporting TVs are natively set to 4K resolution, this does add another notable feature to the QLED displays. As PCPer points out, it makes Samsung one of the only companies selling FreeSync TVs with support for high-end HDR, too.

Updated 05/31/2018 to clarify supported resolutions and refresh rates.

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