What is FreeSync Monitor? | Everything You Need to Know About the Benefits

FreeSync monitor is built-in adaptive synchronization technology and has a variable refresh rate that matches the framerate of the AMD graphics card. The monitor mobilizes this unique technology to eliminate screen tearing and stuttering common in LCD and OLED displays. 

It works by synchronizing its variable refresh rate (VRR) with graphics card frame rate (FPS) to eliminate choppy gameplay. By connecting a compatible graphics card to your monitor, the display will change its refresh rate dynamically.

You will then match it with the compatible GPU's frame rate and improve the screen's performance. Ultimately, there is a lot to know and learn about FreeSync monitors. Read on.

Understanding What is FreeSync Monitor - An Overview

Have you ever played a favorite video game on a monitor, and the images don't appear as you expected? You may start seeing blurry images that make gaming a challenge.

Fret not. It is not just a bug and not a visual improvement on your screen monitor. It is the most common sign of screen tearing and stuttering. 

This screen problem occurs when the frame rate of the display content in FPS doesn't match the monitor's refresh rate. 

monitor on the table

You have to take probable action to solve the problem. 

At this moment, the monitor is refreshing its display content to restore the buffering frames in place. But the imperfections in loading the frames cause the screen stuttering or tearing effect ruining your gaming experience. 

Many gamers use the old trick to fix the issue- enabling virtual sync. Unfortunately, you will reduce the effects of the screen tear, but it will worsen the situation and cause UGLY input lag. 

Here is where FreeSync technology comes in and saves the day.

FreeSync is variable refresh rate technology primarily supported by AMD. AMD F reeSync is a hardware-software solution that uses provided protocols to enable tearing-free, smooth, and low-latency gameplay when TURNED ON. 

AMD FreeSync was released in 2015 to compete with G-Sync. It embraces the adaptive synchronization technology exceptionally used for liquid-crystal displays.

The technology embraces the adaptive sync standard designed based on the VESA (Video Electronics Standard Association) technology. It's built into the DisplayPort 1.2a standard, allowing the panels to control their refreshing system. 

Most of the modern monitor graphics processing units support AMD technology. However, proper power management is essential to prevent the shadow-like image FreeSync leaves behind. 

Should I Use FreeSync on My Monitor? 

Yes. FreeSync is a standout technology that will change your gaming experience. It helps prevent ugly tearing, juddering, and stuttering on your computer monitor

FreeSync or no FreeSync has been an old-time battle that has changed many experts' and manufacturers' perceptions. It has also changed many people's perceptions about purchasing gaming monitors

A monitor with FreeSync will gain a variable refresh rate to match the AMD graphics card's frame rate. Ideally, you will optimize the frame rate of your graphics card to enjoy a smoother performance.

If you still have doubts about using FreeSync on a monitor, you should pay attention to what the technology can do. However, it wholly depends on the different ways you use your monitor. 

If you are an avid gamer and do everything possible to explore various video games, a FreeSync monitor is worth it. As a gamer, you have more reasons to have FreeSync than if you only use your monitor for browsing social media. 

If you are a novice in the gaming world, it is satisfying to use FreeSync on your monitor because of its basic concepts. These are its key influences, and include:

gaming setup

Screen Tearing

Screen tearing happens when your display device shows information from multiple frames in a single screen draw. It occurs when the video feed to the device is not in sync with the display's refresh rate. 

You will experience a horizontal split at one or more places of the image displayed on the screen. A gamer will be seeing a torn look as the edges of objects don't line up. 

Your graphics card will produce frames too quickly and fail to match the frame rate of your monitor. Hence, the monitor cannot display images it receives, and the effect will be blurry visuals. 

It's pretty frustrating. But there is no need to stress when FreeSync can help fix the problem with ease.

V-Sync and G-Sync

On the market, V-Sync and G-Sync technologies influence the usefulness of FreeSync monitors. They are all mainstream technologies that help display smooth pictures. They help achieve stuttering and tearing-free effect. 

When properly used, they fix display issues, but their effectiveness will depend on your monitor or PC support. Having a G-Sync monitor, V-Sync, and frame rate controller working in tandem, you will quickly eliminate stuttering without any input lag. 

Screen Lagging

AMD FreeSync will also aid in eliminating screen lagging. A standard monitor will have a 60 Hz refresh rate, meaning the 60 frames displayed per second. 

If the frames start appearing faster than what the monitor can guarantee, your display may show more blurry visuals with more than on the frame. So, you need to enable FreeSync for a better game refresh rate.

3 monitors for gaming on the desk

How to Enable FreeSync on Your Monitor

Enabling AMD FreeSync is the best way to resolve issues between GPU and supported displays. But here are a few things to consider.

The Key AMD FreeSync Requirements

FreeSync is a game-changer, and here are vital requirements for smoother performance.

Compatible Monitor

Make sure you have an AMD FreeSync compatible monitor that can adequately configure the AMD display on the monitor. However, consider the model of the monitor as not all are compatible with the technology. 

Compatible AMD Graphics Driver

If you are using a PC monitor, ensure you install a compatible AMD graphics driver. Such a step will make it easy to take the full capabilities of the gaming monitor. 

Compatible GPU with a DisplayPort Connection

You will also need a compatible graphics processing unit. The best GPUs will include the AMD graphics card, especially the Radeon HD 7000 series. FreeSync also works with Nvidia GPU, primarily the GeForce 10 series.

To turn FreeSync on, here is what to do:

  1. Open AMD Radeon settings.
  2. Right-click and select the DISPLAY table on the top of the settings page.
  3. Find a box labeled AMD FreeSync.
  4. Toggle the switch to turn ON 
  5. Confirm if AMD FreeSync is turned on or enabled.
  6. When finished, close the Radeon software.
a person sitting in front of the monitor

Does FreeSync Improve FPS?

Yes. When frame per second (FPS) drops and below the lower end of the VRR range, FreeSync will save the day. 

The monitor display will multiply its refresh rate and maintain a smooth performance until the frame rate improves. For instance, if your FPS decreases to 46FPS, the monitor will immediately change its refresh rate to 138 Hz.  

This improvement results as you multiply (46FPS x 3) on a monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate. This is within a 48-144Hz VRR range. The technology is commonly known as low framerate compensation (LFC).

LFC strengthens FreeSync monitor performance when under the minimum refresh rate making gaming more fun. Another good example is:

  • If your GPU synchronizes at 50 FPS, your monitor will match it at 50Hz
  • If the GPU is at 60FPS, the AMD sync technology will match it at 60Hz 

Many gaming newbies may not know that AMD FreeSync works within a 48-755Hz window. So, be cautious if playing a console game with 100-200 FPS.

You won't relish the many benefits of FreeSync technology. This is simply because you are not within the perfect window for smooth gameplay and performances.

monitor with a game displayed

G-Sync vs. FreeSync Explained- Which One Suits Your Needs?

G sync and FreeSync are both standout technologies that help display smooth pictures. Both try to achieve free tearing and stuttering effects on monitors. 

Still, there is a difference between these two mainstream technologies. FreeSync is designed and developed by AMD, while g sync is by Nvidia. 

To get the most of the FreeSync variable refresh rate, ensure your PC or laptop monitor is compatible with an AMD graphics card. The console should also have an AMD processor. 

On the other hand, g sync technology easily synchronizes a monitor's refresh rate using the framerate of the Nvidia graphics card. With this in mind, here are the pros and cons to help you make the right decision.

Pros And Cons of FreeSync

Pros:

  • It is free for use (It uses an open standard known as adaptive sync, and any manufacturer can use it).
  • Has no performance penalty.
  • It's royalty-free (You don't have to fight any intellectual property right breach issues).
  • The open standard configuration keeps monitor prices low.
  • No license cost (low cost of implementation).
  • High-quality gaming experience
  • Improved connectivity thanks to a wide selection of ports.

Cons:

  • Only support adaptive sync with a specified frame rate range (48-75Hz).
  • Compatible only with AMD graphics cards.

Pros And Cons of Nvidia G Sync

Pros:

  • No communication overhead required 
  • Have more choices for monitors to use
  • No licensing fees
  • Don't need a manufacturer-specific hardware

Cons:

  • It's a closed-off design
  • Requires a g sync model
  • Modules quite expensiveThe monitor paired with cost moreLimited to only HDMI and DisplayPort

What Are the Benefits of FreeSync? 

To clearly understand the benefit of FreeSync, look at its three tiers. The basic FreeSync will guarantee a lower refresh rate than 120Hz and no lower framerate compensation. But there is a lot to know about the other modules, and they include:

  • FreeSync Premium

The FreeSync premium requires LFC and at least a 120Hz refresh rate. This is at an FHD resolution (1920 x 1080). It is also tear-free and guarantees low latency.

  • FreeSync Premium Pro

FreeSync premium pro improves the requirements of FreeSync premium. It raises the bar to the next level of gaming displays

In addition, it has HDR capabilities, guarantees LFC, is tear-free, has low latency, and runs at least 120Hz at minimum FHD. It has imperative refresh rate variation to match the output of your graphics card.

a monitor, keyboard and a mouse

To Sum Up

Are you tired of sub-par gaming? Say goodbye to the stuttering and tearing effect by investing in a FreeSync monitor. You will have a standout monitor designed using the AMD FreeSync technology to guarantee smooth performance and mind-blowing visuals. Most importantly, it is a worthwhile investment you will never regret.

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

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