AMD Unveils FreeSync - A Free Alternative To Nvidias G-Sync

Written by Jon Sutton on Wed, Jan 8, 2014 4:30 PM

AMD has announced its direct competitor to Nvidia’s G-Sync tech, appropriately dubbed ‘FreeSync.’

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise where AMD have got the upper hand in this particular battle, with AMD’s take on variable refresh rate technology not requiring any hardware modifications to implement…

Aware from the glare of the main conferences at CES 2014, AMD presented a special demonstration of its FreeSync technology using a pair of Toshiba Satellite Click notebooks.

Both of the laptops were displaying graphics demos of windmill blades in motion. One of the laptops was using traditional Vsync, whereby the display refreshed at a fixed rate that causes a slight juddering and screen tear. The other laptop was making use of the FreeSync tech and is noticeably smoother with an apparent total lack of screen tearing.

The technology is still some way away from being finalised but AMD was making it clear that it didn’t believe that extra hardware is at all necessary to replicated a similar experience to that seen when using Nvidia’s G-Sync.

AMD revealed that it has had the support for dynamic refresh rates built into its graphics cards for the last three generations, original as a power-saving measure. The FreeSync technology works in much the same way as G-Sync by varying the length of the vertical blank period between display refreshes, so that when the GPU has a frame read to be displayed it can be drawn on-screen.

It’s not known exactly which displays already support this tech or indeed when it’s going to arrive to end users, but it certainly looks to take the wind out of Nvidia’s sales somewhat.

Has this rendered Nvidia's technology pointless?

Is screen-tearing a noticeable enough issue for you to want either of these options?

Let us know below....

Login or Register to join the debate

Rep
2
Offline
06:58 Jan-10-2014

I'm glad AMD came into the fight :-D

0
Rep
4
Offline
23:08 Jan-09-2014

Gotta love competition!

0
Rep
216
Offline
admin approved badge
15:37 Jan-09-2014

So no mouse lag anymore? :D
Yay! :P

0
Rep
65
Offline
15:44 Jan-09-2014

yep ahahaha ☻☺

0
Rep
57
Offline
12:13 Jan-09-2014

ahahahahahahahahaha :]

0
Rep
65
Offline
12:18 Jan-09-2014

why laughing ?

0
Rep
57
Offline
12:21 Jan-09-2014

forget it goblin u won't understand xD

0
Rep
65
Offline
12:29 Jan-09-2014

this red stuff won't win ☺ :P

0
Rep
57
Offline
12:34 Jan-09-2014

we will see :{

0
Rep
35
Offline
admin approved badge
10:00 Jan-09-2014

Update on this. Nvidia countered this - This technology works only for Laptops at this moment and people have to hope that DisplayPort 1.3 includes variable refresh rate support if they want it for Desktops. And even then, now you have to hope on display manufacturers to let it work.

0
Rep
216
Offline
10:26 Jan-09-2014

Well we don't know much yet but there's a fair chance it's just to cover their asses for the coming time. We'll see.

0
Rep
48
Offline
admin approved badge
10:40 Jan-09-2014

Why would it work only with laptops? It works with all AMD GPU's and APU's from the past couple of generations. Also VGA, DVI, HDMI and DP all support VBLANK which is needed for the variable refresh rate. Most monitors and TVs already support the VBLANK feature, it isn't a new thing. Where did you get your information from?!

0
Rep
216
Offline
10:54 Jan-09-2014

Nvidia said it :)

0
Rep
48
Offline
admin approved badge
12:04 Jan-09-2014

Where? Because they're wrong :P

0
Rep
35
Offline
admin approved badge
13:24 Jan-09-2014

http://techreport.com/news/25878/nvidia-responds-to-amd-free-sync-demo This is the article that i was talking about - Note the third paragraph mostly. Laptops have a more direct connection between the display and GPU, unlike desktops. (apparently, there is a scaler in the middle, curious)

0
Rep
48
Offline
admin approved badge
15:14 Jan-09-2014

It just seems like they're trying to point out every possible down-side to AMD's FreeSync while there's still an inherent lack of information released about it. I'm sure it came as a shock to Nvidia when AMD released it as they weren't expecting it and now they're worried.

0
Rep
382
Offline
15:38 Jan-09-2014

They're worried? Let's be real about it: they've probably pooped their pants 23 times.

0
Rep
319
Offline
admin badge
16:44 Jan-09-2014

although i dont think nVidia were not expecting AMD to design something equivalent to their G-SYNC. but probably they didnt expect it to be as promising and they are pooping their pants as emilsz said :p

0
Rep
425
Offline
16:47 Jan-09-2014

:P

0
Rep
35
Offline
admin approved badge
08:41 Jan-09-2014

Iam not interested in either

0
Rep
216
Offline
08:55 Jan-09-2014

Why not, it can make your gameplay less stuttery :)

0
Rep
35
Offline
admin approved badge
11:01 Jan-09-2014

i dont care
lol :P

0
Rep
216
Offline
15:54 Jan-09-2014

You don't care your gameplay is better? Ok then, suit yourself :0

0
Rep
35
Offline
admin approved badge
02:13 Jan-10-2014

iam such a guy like that.
a bi---

0
Rep
382
Offline
08:23 Jan-10-2014

If you didn't care, you wouldn't have a rig like that. :P

0
Rep
35
Offline
admin approved badge
09:27 Jan-10-2014

LOL

0
Rep
319
Offline
admin badge
09:28 Jan-10-2014

rekt

0
Rep
10
Offline
06:04 Jan-09-2014

Fair play, AMD

0
Rep
25
Offline
05:55 Jan-09-2014

I love how AMD always future proofs there tech, so that when they do release it, there hardware can already use it.

0
Rep
5
Offline
08:47 Jan-09-2014

I know. First Mantle and now this. My card is getting better with each announcement AMD makes! :)

0
Rep
327
Offline
admin approved badge
04:54 Jan-09-2014

What exactly is the point of either technology? I guess I just don't get it. Current V-sync tech keeps me from getting screen tearing, & my rig has enough horsepower that I never notice any performance drops from using it. Is this just something for weaker systems, or is there something special that I am missing here?

0
Rep
14
Offline
06:03 Jan-09-2014

instead of buying a g-sync monitor just buy a decent graphic card and processor like a hd 7970, 7990 , r9 290x, gtx 770 gtx 780 , or 780ti there is no need for either of it. any of these card can easily get 60fps constant on 1920x1080p

0
Rep
327
Offline
admin approved badge
06:12 Jan-09-2014

See that was what I was thinking. I am currently gaming with a laptop that has 2 x GTX 780M. So of course a new monitor isn't even something I would need anyway. Sometimes when I am home I connect to my 47" 120Hz HD TV, but as I said before I never get screen tearing with the current V-sync tech.

0
Rep
25
Offline
06:13 Jan-09-2014

For FreeSync, at the moment it's AMD only, though by the name Nvidia could adopt it, they probably should since G-Sync would cost more than it is worth now, without FreeSync, sure G-Sync would have been a good investment, now, well not really.

0
Rep
319
Offline
admin badge
08:39 Jan-09-2014

well the 780 SLI or the 7990 are too expensive for us mere humans you know -.- everyone can have a simple monitor which supports freesync though...

0
Rep
327
Offline
admin approved badge
08:47 Jan-09-2014

So this is aimed at weaker systems?

0
Rep
216
Offline
08:55 Jan-09-2014

It's aimed at any system :)

0
Rep
14
Offline
09:37 Jan-09-2014

yea i agree with free-sync though but the g-sync i guess its no need for g-sync
http://www.geforce.com/hardware/technology/g-sync/supported-gpus
Price
http://www.digitalstormonline.com/nvidia-g-sync.asp

0
Rep
319
Offline
admin badge
12:12 Jan-09-2014

this can be useful to all systems and it can be even more useful to weaker systems.

0
Rep
48
Offline
admin approved badge
10:29 Jan-09-2014

V-sync has a noticeable amount of input lag with is why a lot of people don't use it, FreeSync and G-Sync give all the benefits of V-Sync - possibly in a better way - but without any increased input lag.

0
Rep
63
Offline
admin approved badge
03:59 Jan-09-2014

Wow, that's a competitive move from AMD. As an AMD user, looking forward to them getting this tech out there, it'll be nice to not have to put up with tearing anymore.

0
Rep
2
Offline
02:29 Jan-09-2014

to clarify as in this link here http://www.geforce.com/hardware/technology/g-sync/technology
you do not have to buy a new monitor. also there is only 1 thing thats the same on these 2 new technology and that's just the screen tearing nivida is actually lowering power consumption with this g-sync from what i have

0
Rep
2
Offline
02:32 Jan-09-2014

http://www.asus.com/Monitors_Projectors/VG248QE/ this type of monitors are what you can get the kit for and have it installed and its only for asus brand from what nivida is saying

0
Rep
48
Offline
admin approved badge
10:26 Jan-09-2014

You do need to buy a new monitor if you want to use G-Sync as it needs to have the module installed. The use of G-Sync also increases the power consumption range of the monitor so it could use less power but also increases the power draw as you need to provide power to the module as well.

0
Rep
10
Offline
02:28 Jan-09-2014

oooooo burn NVidia. (no hate :P)

0
Rep
0
Offline
02:15 Jan-09-2014

kind of off subject, but will i be able to use AMD's maltle API?

0
Rep
1
Offline
06:24 Jan-09-2014

This is a no way bro, your rig dont support it.

0
Rep
216
Offline
08:31 Jan-09-2014

Nope, it's only for GPUs with GCN architecture, so the next gen kaveri, HD7000, HD8000, Rx-200 and HD8000m and Rx-M200 series

0
Rep
1,041
Offline
senior admin badge
08:39 Jan-09-2014

depends on drivers.

0
Rep
25
Offline
15:18 Jan-09-2014

You wont have Mantle support, but most people can use FreeSync, because AMD future proofed, and made it already compatible with there last gen cards of GPU's. Now if only mantle did that XD.

0
Rep
247
Offline
admin approved badge
23:48 Jan-08-2014

Can nvidia's use FreeSync?

0
Rep
48
Offline
admin approved badge
00:16 Jan-09-2014

I don't think so as Nvidia's GPUs might not have support for variable VBLANK which is built in to AMD GPU's and APU's and is needed for FreeSync.

0
Rep
247
Offline
admin approved badge
10:07 Jan-09-2014

Ah,ok :)

0
Rep
59
Offline
admin approved badge
23:38 Jan-08-2014

If I can use it with my Nvidia card sure as i'm buying my 27" soon and I would not want to buy a new monitor just for G-Sync

0
Rep
48
Offline
admin approved badge
00:19 Jan-09-2014

You might not be able to use it. If you're getting a 27" monitor then get a resolution above 1200p.

0
Rep
35
Offline
23:21 Jan-08-2014

I hope Nvidia don't go as far as its own low level API. That would ruin everything

0
Rep
48
Offline
admin approved badge
23:26 Jan-08-2014

No doubt they'd keep it just for their own cards as well.

0
Rep
17
Offline
22:01 Jan-08-2014

I think we are witnessing the rebirth of AMD

0
Rep
132
Offline
22:14 Jan-08-2014

Lol, AMD emerges from the darkness Queue epic music

0
Rep
2
Offline
21:20 Jan-08-2014

AMD seem to be on a roll lately; first mantle and now freesync with no hardware changes if you're an AMD owner. Nothing like some healthy competition, I'm glad AMD have stepped up their game recently. This will help graphics card and associated technology improve at a much faster rate

0
Rep
48
Offline
admin approved badge
21:48 Jan-08-2014

It's definitely a welcomed improvement from AMD since not long ago they were on the edge of going under, they've come leaps and bounds recently and it's great for everyone. :)

0
Rep
1,041
Offline
senior admin badge
20:57 Jan-08-2014

again, I don't really care, prefer to use 60fps constant target in EVGA Precision X :Đ

0
Rep
5
Offline
21:58 Jan-08-2014

That's not what it's about it's for when you drop a few frames or your computer is good enough to keep a constant 60fps or if your computer if buffering frames to quickly giving you tearing. This makes it not as noticeable

0
Rep
382
Offline
19:58 Jan-08-2014

Someone really want to wipe the Nvidia freaks from the Earth. :)

0
Rep
140
Offline
admin approved badge
21:17 Jan-08-2014

I want both to exist and compete, I love good competition, it is the year of AMD right now though (well on the graphics card side)

0
Rep
382
Offline
21:40 Jan-08-2014

I know many will disagree, but it's hardly a competition when Nvidia makes you pay 500$ for a feature that is somewhat similar to this one, which is going to be free.
Either Nvidia makes G-sync, like, totally better than Freesync, or they can stop at whatever they're doing right now. Who exactly is going to pay that price premium if AMD offers a very similar feature at no cost? Even if one is an Nvidia user, for the price of a Gsync monitor one can buy a high-end AMD GFX :)
I wouldn't call it a competition, not for the consumers' side.
Hopefully you can see my point.

0
Rep
216
Offline
21:43 Jan-08-2014

I see your point, and nvidia is also their own competitor with the 780 and 780 ti which are in the same price point, and can use FreeSync if I'm right :)

0
Rep
48
Offline
admin approved badge
00:21 Jan-09-2014

How are the 780 and 780ti in the same price point? They are £200 apart.

0

Can They Run... |

| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 7 4800H 8-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-9300H 4-Core 2.4GHz GeForce GTX 1650 8GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3060 16GB
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Radeon RX 470 Sapphire Nitro+ 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Asus ROG STRIX Gaming 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3400G 4-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 7 3750H 4-Core 2.3 GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-6800K 6-Core 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1080 Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 8GB Edition 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10700 8-Core 2.90GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Gigabyte D5 2GB 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2070 Gigabyte Windforce 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 9 3900X 12-Core 3.8GHz GeForce RTX 3070 EVGA FTW3 Ultra Gaming 8GB 32GB
80% Yes [5 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 720p
APU A8-7410 Quad-Core Radeon R5 7410 8GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1080 MSI Gaming X 8GB Edition 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Ryzen 5 3400G 4-Core 3.7GHz Radeon RX Vega 11 6GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile 8GB
66.6667% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium,
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
| 30FPS, Low,
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
50% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-10400 6-Core 2.90GHz GeForce GTX 1650 16GB
25% No [4 votes]