Unlike G-Sync, AMD’s FreeSync doesn’t cost as much; in fact, with most of the newer LG, Samsung, and BenQ monitors the FreeSync technology comes free of charge. NVIDIA G-Sync requires a proprietary chip to be installed inside the monitor, which adds a premium to the monitor, but it is also a little bit better than AMD FreeSync. It’s really not noticeable and not worth the extra $150 that NVIDIA G-Sync adds to the cost of the monitor. With AMD FreeSync, you will experience no screen tearing and stuttering in your games.
FreeSync is available for free in a lot of newer LG, Samsung, and BenQ monitors and will continue to be supported in the future by monitor manufacturers. if you already have a compatible AMD graphics card (R7 260 series and above), you’ll be able to use the FreeSync feature. Since you wouldn’t be paying any extra cash for a monitor that supports the amazing FreeSync technology, it’s safe to say that it is worth it. FreeSync is simply a must these days if you have a FreeSync-compatible AMD GPU. You’re not going to replace your monitor anytime soon, so why not make a good investment out of it?
If you have a NVIDIA GPU, you should instead be opting for a monitor that supports NVIDIA G-Sync, although that adds a premium to the monitor’s original price tag.
What is FreeSync?
You may have noticed a feature called Vsync in some video games. Once enabled, this feature allows you to have a more steady frame rate, which eliminates screen tearing, however, it may introduce a slight amount of input lag – what can be unnoticeable to some but can be unbearable to others. Vsync will limit the frame rate to the maximum refresh rate of your monitor so that if your GPU renders more frames than this, the frames will not be displayed and thus avoiding screen tearing altogether. However, if the GPU renders fewer frames, you are going to encounter screen stuttering. FreeSync takes care of both issues in addition to reducing the input lag.
While regular monitors have fixed refresh rates, usually at 60Hz, 120Hz, and 144Hz, PC monitors with the Adaptive Sync technology feature a dynamic refresh rate. For instance, a 60Hz monitor refreshes the image on the screen 60 times per second. If the GPU can send 60 rendered frames per second to the monitor, the images will look clear. That’s not the case, however as even small mistimings can cause screen tearing since some frames are going to be repeated.
When an Adaptive Sync technology is enabled, your monitor synchronizes the refresh rate of the display to the output of frames that your graphics card produce. As a result, all screen tearing and stuttering are eliminated, and you will experience a fluid and crystal-clear gaming experience, even if your FPS dropped or increased suddenly.
FreeSync vs G-Sync
Ever since AMD made FreeSync available, people would either deem FreeSync as useless or G-Sync as overpriced. Of course, there is more to these technologies and both can satisfy the different type of gamers. G-Sync is more expensive because it needs a proprietary chip to work, while FreeSync doesn’t, as it uses the VESA DisplayPort standard. G-Sync also comes with Ultra Low Motion Blur, also known as ULMB. That feature can not be used while G-Sync is active, so it’s not a big deal for most people. While FreeSync lacks this kind of feature, some LG and BenQ FreeSync monitors do provide you with some kind of built-in blur reduction feature inside the monitor.
Furthermore, FreeSync features a rather low dynamic range which usually starts at around 40Hz, while G-Sync starts at or below 30Hz. If the FPS drops below that, FreeSync will stop working and you will encounter screen stuttering again. In order to solve this, you will have to reduce image settings, which affect the performance. Some of the newer FreeSync monitors, however, feature LFC (Low Framerate Compensation), which takes care of this problem. Additionally, there are some tweaking guides for AMD drivers so that you ca modify the FreeSync range even further. This undertaking is somewhat experimental but people say that it works, although I haven’t personally tried it.
FreeSync can now also be used via the HDMI port while G-Sync is strictly bound to the DisplayPort connection. AMD aims to make FreeSync open-source and available to everyone in the future. G-Sync, on the other hand, is basically a chip which is integrated into the monitor while FreeSync relies on open standards.
If you’re looking for a new gaming monitor and wondering if you should buy one that supports FreeSync, the answer is definitely yes. It doesn’t hurt, as it doesn’t increase the price tag of the monitor’s original price. If you have a GPU from NVIDIA, you should perhaps instead invest in a G-Sync monitor, which is NVIDIA’s counterpart for a FreeSync monitor. FreeSync will allow you to have a smooth gaming experience without screen stuttering and tearing with
You don’t need to have a large budget to buy a FreeSync monitor, as you can go with a budget-friendly FreeSync monitor to begin with if you need an affordable monitor or if you’re on a budget. You should also take a look at FreeSync 2, which adds support for HDR (High Dynamic Range).