Nvidia has confirmed that future G-Sync displays released will now also support all AMD Radeon graphics cards. The G-Sync modules within these displays will work with AMD graphics cards right out of the box.
The variable refresh rate technology began as prohibitively expensive proprietary technology but has since been gradually expanded to FreeSync compatible displays which are compatible with G-Sync and now, the final frontier, so to speak, with the inclusion of AMD Radeon compatibility.
AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync are fairly interchangeable services, offering support for variable refresh rates which can help to eliminate screen tearing and stuttering. The threshold for G-Sync support is higher but, at their core, the two services are aiming at the same goal.
It’s an unusually open approach from Nvidia, which typically likes to keep things as locked down as possible. For us, the gamers, this open approach can only come as good news. It’ll mean that no matter what display we buy (G-Sync or FreeSync), or graphics card brand we choose, we will be able to utilise VRR technology, limiting screen tearing and skipped frames.
The benefits of a more open approach to VRR tech should also extend to the consoles as well. The Xbox One already supports FreeSync and both next-gen consoles are at least rumoured to support the technology. After this move by Nvidia, by default the next-gen consoles could support both FreeSync and G-Sync, an advance which could come in particularly handy if Microsoft and Sony begin targeting 120fps for certain titles. This would apply to both typical PC monitors and the latest high-end TVs which have begun rolling out with G-Sync support.
At some point it really does make sense for Nvidia to move towards an open standard such as AMD has pioneered with FreeSync but Team Green is digging in its heels for one last stand. However way you slice it, AMD and Nvidia are working toward the same goal and, while supporting both GPU brands is a step forward, at some point we have to question why are we even bothering with two distinct technologies aiming for the same goal? The obvious answer is Nvidia is still attached to the profit margins which come from G-Sync but the end result isn’t entirely beneficial to the end consumer. Still, this is all a move in the right direction at least, and it can only be so long until a shared standard reigns supreme.