What is FreeSync: An Easy Explanation of this AMD Technology

By Jonny Lin  Others  AMDWindows   0 Comment

Not very clear what FreeSync is? It may sound like a complicated term you won’t be able to understand. But in fact it’s not. The following explanation will help you know what FreeSync is and what it does easily.

FreeSync helps you fix your screen tearing issue.

FreeSync is an adaptive sync technologies that can fix your screen tearing issues. Before we explain how they works in details, you should first know why screen tearing occurs.

Why does the screen tearing issue happen?

The tearing screen

Screen tearing usually occurs when multiple video frames are displayed at once. And this is because your computer video frame rate isn’t in sync with your monitor refresh rate.

Let’s say your monitor is using a fixed refresh rate of 60 Hz (refreshes every 1/60 second). When you are gaming, your game frame rate often goes above or under 60 frame per second (FPS). This causes the mismatch between your monitor refresh rate and your game frame rate. And sometimes you’ll have two frames shown at the same time on your monitor, which is the screen tearing issue.

What are the fixes for the screen tearing issue

There are two common fixes for this issue: V-Sync and adaptive sync.

a. V-Sync

V-Sync or Vertical Sync is a software solution to the screen tearing problem. It’s usually an option or switch you can find on your program graphics settings or your graphics driver settings. It fixes tearing by stopping the frames from being displayed when the monitor isn’t ready to refresh.

Although this is an easy fix for your screen tearing issue, it reduces the number of frames being drawn. This sometimes leads to the stuttering issue, especially when your video frame rate is lower than your monitor refresh rate.

b. Adaptive sync

To put it simply, the adaptive sync technology makes your monitor refresh at the same rate of your system output frame rate. For example, your monitor will refresh at 75 Hz if your game is running at 75 FPS. This fixes your screen issue, without reducing smoothness.

FreeSync is AMD’s adaptive sync technologies

FreeSync is a royalty-free, open adaptive sync technologies, developed and released by AMD. 

To use FreeSync, you have to have the FreeSync-supported graphics adapter and monitor. FreeSync is only compatible with some AMD graphics card. (See the list of FreeSync-enabled AMD GPUs.) But because it’s open, there are a lot of FreeSync-supported monitor for you to choose. 

What are the features of FreeSync?

Because it’s a royalty-free technology, the monitor manufacturers don’t have to pay a premium fee to AMD for supporting FreeSync. So this makes FreeSync an affordable choice. Also, FreeSync can be used over the DisplayPort and HDMI connections (while some similar technologies, such as G-Sync, doesn’t support HDMI).

There are also downsides to FreeSync. Although you have multiple choices of monitors, you should note that some monitors implement FreeSync poorly. And for many monitors, FreeSync works within a narrower refresh range (usually 40-75 Hz).

That said, If you choose the right monitor, you’ll still be able to enjoy the power of FreeSync.

Hopefully this guide helped you. If you have any questions or suggestions, you’re more than welcome to leave us a comment below.

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