Skip to main content

Vizio’s 2021 TVs get a major gaming upgrade with FreeSync

Vizio has good news for gamers who are considering buying a new TV. The company is pushing a free firmware update to its 2021 TV models that will enable compatibility with AMD’s FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) technology, which should enable much smoother graphics when the TVs are used with compatible gaming consoles and PCs.

Both Sony and Microsoft’s latest generation of gaming consoles use AMD graphics cards, which makes FreeSync an especially popular choice for console gamers.

“Today’s games are more demanding than ever, and so are today’s gamers,” said Bill Baxter, chief technology officer at Vizio, in a press release. “We worked side by side with AMD to ensure AMD FreeSync technology would be available on our 2021 Collection, in turn giving our users a smooth, high refresh rate gaming experience.”

These are the 2021 Vizio models that will be getting FreeSync technologies with the update:

  • M-Series Quantum
  • P-Series Quantum
  • P-Series Quantum X

The update also brings some picture performance improvements for Vizio’s new OLED series, including up to 120Hz at 4K resolutions, smoother VRR, and improved judder reduction.

The update is an enhancement of Vizio’s ProGaming Engine, and the benefits vary slightly from one model to another. The M-Series Quantum get standard AMD FreeSync, which reduces latency and flicker and eliminates screen tearing. Meanwhile, the P-Series Quantum and Quantum X get AMD’s FreeSync Premium, which provides these benefits, plus a minimum of 120Hz at FHD resolution (1080p) and low frame rate compensation.

With this update, the Vizio M-Series Quantum becomes the most affordable TV with FreeSync technology.

Who needs VRR?

The reason you’re seeing more and more TVs with VRR is that it’s an essential ingredient in order for modern games to look their best on a display. Graphically demanding games often end up being rendered at different frame rates depending on how complex the on-screen action is. This can become a problem when your monitor or TV can’t adapt its refresh rate to stay in sync. When that happens, you get screen tearing — a jarring visual effect that can make some games unplayable.

Monitors and TVs that are equipped with VRR can read these frame rate changes and adapt their refresh rates accordingly. Theoretically, this can and usually does eliminate the tearing effect completely.

Do all TVs have VRR?

No. Even new 2020 high-end models from companies like Sony often ship without this feature, so if you’re a gamer who plays high-performance PC or console titles, it’s worth reading the fine print to make sure you get a TV with VRR (Sony’s X900H and Z8H do support VRR).

VRR vs. FreeSync vs. G-Sync

Some newer TVs, like TCL’s 2020 6-Series, have VRR built-in as part of the HDMI 2.1 specification. It provides a very good level of optimization for gaming. FreeSync is AMD’s version of VRR. It provides a few more advantages over VRR when a FreeSync display is mated with a FreeSync console or PC.

G-Sync is Nvidia’s version of VRR. It provides many of the same benefits as FreeSync, but it uses proprietary hardware. For a deep dive of the differences, here’s a handy FreeSync vs. G-Sync explainer.

So far, only LG’s 2020 lineup of OLED TVs offer both FreeSync and G-Sync VRR technologies.

Editors' Recommendations

Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
The best TVs of 2023: from Sony, Samsung, LG, TCL, and more
An image of a bird on the Sony A95L QD-OLED.

2023 has been an excellent year for TVs, and we’ve had the great privilege of testing several top-notch QLEDs, OLEDs, and QD-OLEDs ourselves. That being said, if you’re thinking about upgrading your living room set, plan on purchasing one as a gift, or simply want to add multiple screens to your home, we’ve put together this list of all the best TVs you can buy right now. These are available in stores and online from popular retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, and Amazon. And considering the time of year, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to score an awesome deal or two on some of our favorite 2023 sets as we eagerly await CES 2024 to see what the TV world will have in store for us next year.

OK, so what’s the best TV you can buy? Well according to our own editor-at-large Caleb Denison, the flagship king of 2023 has got to be the Sony A95L. This QD-OLED has got it all, folks; from amazing brightness levels and ultra-rich colors, to pulse-pounding sound and terrific 4K upscaling. By and large, Sony TVs are usually pretty amazing, but the A95L truly changes the game. Let’s just say it’s going to be tough to beat this model come 2024.

Read more
Best soundbar deals: Save on Bose, Samsung, Vizio, and more
Bose Smart Soundbar 600.

Any home theater setup will benefit from adding a soundbar, because the slim design of modern TV's don't leave enough room for high-quality speakers. Whether you just want a basic soundbar to augment your TV's audio, or a complete surround sound system that will bring the theater into your living room, there's something for you in these soundbar deals that we've rounded up. These offers don't usually last long, especially the ones that involve the best soundbars, so you're going to have to hurry with your purchase if you don't want to miss out.
Best soundbar deals

A simple soundbar can spell all the difference in enjoying your favorite shows and movies, as the extra volume and improved sound quality will definitely be noticeable compared to your TV's speakers. Most soundbars are easy to connect to your TV, especially the ones with HDMI ARC and eARC technology, some can also function like Bluetooth speakers as you can connect your mobile devices to them, and some also have smart features through voice assistants like Amazon's Alexa. If you're searching for soundbar deals with huge discounts, take a look below.

Read more
The best subwoofers for 2023: SVS, Klipsch, KEF, and more
The Fluance DB10W next to a tower speaker.

A surround sound system just isn’t complete without a subwoofer. This isn’t to say that you need to invest in the type of low-frequency woofer that’s going to have your neighbors calling the cops whenever you fire up your Zathura Blu-ray, but many home theater speakers sound their best when paired with some kind of bass box. Even soundbars perform at their peak when accompanied by extra bass, which is why a majority of them are packaged with a wireless sub.

Of course, we can understand how daunting it can be to explore the immense world of subwoofers. Like most consumer tech items, subs come in all shapes and sizes, with prices ranging from as little as $75 in some cases to upwards of $3,000 for premium models. We’re here to help. As vetted AV experts, we’ve put together this roundup of the best subwoofers you can buy right now. We’ve done our best to consider low and high shopping budgets, and made sure to highlight some brands that may not receive the same kind of limelight as big names like Klipsch.

Read more