Which Variable Refresh Technology is the Best in the Present Day?

Martin Wilson

Jun 28, 2022

Recent years have seen the popularity of high-resolution gaming displays (opens in a new tab). Before Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync, performance-minded gamers could only aspire for greater resolutions or a refresh rate over 60 Hz to improve their gaming experience. Nvidia and AMD have been improving their technology, and today we have displays that can run at 144 Hz or higher.

G-Sync vs FreeSync: Which Adaptive-Sync technology reigns supreme in this era of gaming displays? This means that the refresh rate on your display is synchronised with how fast your PC's graphics card generates each video frame, even if that rate fluctuates.

A game's frame rate might vary greatly depending on your PC's graphics card's processing capability. A monitor's refresh rate can be fixed, which means that the display can begin generating a new frame before the current one has finished rendering.

G-Sync vs. FreeSync:

G-Sync and FreeSync are fundamentally the same. Both monitors are connected to the graphics card, which controls the refresh rate. Each certification has its standards that a monitor must achieve to be recognised. However, a monitor might also go above and above what is required.

Certain FreeSync displays don't require HDR, and others use proprietary partner technology, like Asus ELMB Sync, to reduce motion blur. Is the user able to tell the difference? When frame rates are the same, there is no noticeable difference between FreeSync and G-Sync. In 2015, we conducted a blind test and discovered that when all other factors are held constant, G-Sync monitors outperform FreeSync monitors.

Features of G-Sync

As a result of the additional hardware required by Nvidia to enable G-Sync, G-Sync displays often cost more. It used to cost $200 more to buy a monitor with G-Sync when Nvidia first released it in 2013. All other features and specifications remained the same. Until recently, the disparity was around $200.

Nevertheless, G-Sync Compatibility can be granted to FreeSync displays. Although Nvidia's proprietary scaler technology isn't present, a certified monitor may still use G-Sync within Nvidia's restrictions. Nvidia's website provides a list of G-Sync-certified monitors that may be purchased. Even though you have a G-Sync-compatible monitor, you won't get the best results if you try to run G-Sync on it.

Features of FreeSync

FreeSync is less expensive than G-Sync since it uses Adaptive-Sync, a VESA-created open-source technology that is also part of the DisplayPort specification. Any DisplayPort interface supports adaptive refresh rates with a 1.2a or higher version. There is no additional production cost for a manufacturer to integrate FreeSync, even though the hardware is already in place.

FreeSync compatibility is also possible with HDMI 1.4. Check out our comparison of DisplayPort vs HDMI for additional information about which connection type is superior for gaming. Due to the fact that it is an open standard, FreeSync may be implemented on a wide variety of screens in a variety of various methods. Screens at a lower price point often come equipped with FreeSync and a display rate of the at least 60 Hz.

The HDR Debate: FreeSync vs G-Sync?

HDR (opens in a new tab) and expanded colour are key advancements to display technology that justify this. For Nvidia, the "Ultimate" certification is not required for a monitor to enable G-Sync HDR and extended colour. Nvidia uses the term "lifelike HDR" to describe displays capable of providing what Nvidia refers to as "lifelike" HDR capabilities. Nvidia informing us that these monitors are expected to be factory-calibrated for HDR colour space, P3, while enabling 144Hz and greater frame rates and "best-in-class" image quality and HDR compatibility.

If you're still curious about it, AMD has replaced FreeSync 2 with FreeSync Premium Pro. They're identical in terms of how they work.


G-Sync or FreeSync, therefore, is the superior option? There's no need to choose a monitor because it runs faster than the competition. The battle is a tie in the current state of affairs because neither technology offers a distinct advantage.

People looking for PC monitors(opens in new tab) must choose what extra features are most essential to them before making a purchase. What is the ideal refresh rate for this app? Is your graphics card capable of handling a high enough resolution? Is it necessary to have a lot of light? Is HDR and expanded colour something you'd want to have?

You don't need to know which adaptive sync technology is used to influence the game experience. In the end, you'll get a better gaming display if you spend more money. You certainly get what you pay for these days in terms of displays. However, you don't have to shell out hundreds of dollars to have a seamless and enjoyable gaming experience.

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