G-Sync vs FreeSync: Which Variable Refresh Tech Should You Choose?

Variable Refresh Tech
Variable Refresh Tech

If you are thinking to buy a gaming monitor, you will see the use of two terms G-Sync and FreeSync in the features list. In this article, I will explain both the terms and will tell you key differences in G-Sync and FreeSync. If you were searching for G-Sync vs FreeSync, keep reading.

Gamers want smoothest possible gameplay. This is the reason they select monitors with a high refresh rate. Monitors with 144Hz refresh rates are popular but pro gamers use monitors with a 240Hz refresh rate. Here, the 144Hz refresh rate means the monitor refreshes 144 times a second. 240 Hz monitor refreshes 240 times in a second. Higher the value, smoother the refresh rate. The general purpose monitors come with 60Hz refresh are.

If the number of frames a graphics card renders honest line up with the number of times the monitor refreshes there will be screen tearing. Screen tearing is when a picture splits itself in two. It happens when a new frame arrives before the previous complete the render.

See the box and wall. That’s screen tearing.

To prevent the screen tearing, graphics cards offer an option for V-Sync (vertical synchronization). This feature reduces the refresh rate to match the monitor’s refresh rate. For example, if graphics can is outputting 90 frames per second but the monitor has a refresh rate of 60 Hz, V-Sync will max out the frame rate to 60 frames per second to avoid screen tearing. But this will cause another serious issue called “input lag”.

So V-Sync is not a solution. Then Nvidia and AMD came with their own adaptive sync solutions called G-Sync and FreeSync respectively. These technologies do the same thing but hardware implementations are slightly different. Both the technologies sync the monitor to the graphics card to prevent screen tearing and try to keep unwanted input lag as minimum as possible.

Not all Nvidia cards will work with FreeSync monitors. A few Nvidia cards with G-Sync started supporting FreeSync monitors starting 2019. AMD graphics cards don’t support G-Sync monitors. Most modern Nvidia or AMD graphics cards will support G-Sync and FreeSync, respectively. So, you need to check the monitor specs for G-Sync or FreeSync depending on the graphics card you use.

The most notable thing you should know is that G-Sync is proprietary technology while FreeSync is open to be used by every manufacturer. That means the manufacturer will have to use a specific module in their monitor if they want to make a G-Sync compatible monitor. There’s also a royalty-payment involve. Nvidia also ensures only quality products feature G-Sync technology, so it also checked quality before approving the use of G-Sync. So monitors with G-Sync are mostly costly.

On the other hand, FreeSync is royalty-free. It also uses VESA Adaptive-Sync that is a part of DisplayPort 1.2a. So, FreeSync is more accessible and any manufacturer can implement it without needing to go through AMD. This is the reason FreeSync is widely available. Since AMD isn’t monitoring products coming with FreeSync technology, you will have to check reviews to make sure if the monitor is worth buying. Monitors with Freesync are even available for less than Rs. 10000

Nvidia G-Sync Vs AMD FreeSync: which is better?

AMD FreeSync is an easy choice because it is available even in entry-level gaming monitors. FreeSync is available in a wider range and more spec combinations than G-Sync. Nvidia G-Sync is also widely available but monitors with S-Sync will have a bit higher price tag. Both technologies offer what they promise but G-Sync monitors come with quality assurance. So, you will surely find G-Sync monitors better. If already use an AMD graphics card, you can go with FreeSync monitors. Nvidia users should go for G-Sync monitors.

Wrap Up

It could be a personal choice since FreeSync and G-Sync both work fine. There is no specific reason why you should select a monitor with a particular tech. G-Sync monitors are Nvidia certified and ensure quality. But this isn’t the case with FreeSync. If there’s a motion blur issue in a monitor, Nvidia won’t certify it but the manufacturer can still implement FreeSync on it. That means cheap FreeSync monitors may not offer what they promise. So, you will have to be careful.

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