What is FreeSync?

Updated: Feb 16, 2024 7:13 AM

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AMD FreeSync is one of the strongest innovations to hit gaming in years. FreeSync monitors help synchronize your display’s refresh rate to your game’s FPS, which works to get rid of stuttering and screen tearing.

Screen tearing refers to a visual mix-up where images from multiple frames of video show up on screen at the same time at different vertical points, leading to a choppy and disjointed image. Vertical sync, or V-sync, arose to address this problem by ensuring that the output and input would .

Technology soon evolved past this basic implementation, which simply held on to each frame until the display was ready to show it, to improve speed and responsiveness. That’s where AMD’s FreeSync technology comes in.

What is AMD FreeSync for Monitors?

AMD FreeSync works to eliminate screen tearing, which manifests itself as light horizontal breaks in an image on the panel. This is the result of monitors and HPUs being out of sync. As opposed to standard monitors with fixed refresh rates that move from frame to frame, AMD FreeSync lets the monitor alter the monitor refresh rate dynamically based on how slow or fast new frames are created by the GPU.

STAT: While V-Sync usually targets 60hz at the lowest, FreeSync and G-Sync technologies support even low refresh rates of 30hz and below.

All of this action helps reduce tearing and stuttering as well as the input latency usually introduced by basic V-Sync tech. Thus, AMD FreeSync is integral to smoother gameplay and applies to not just monitors, but laptops and televisions.

Illustration of Screen Tearing

A similar technology to AMD FreeSync belongs to nVidia’s G-Sync. Although the two competitors’ technologies differ slightly in technical details, their end goal is the same. FreeSync tends to be more widely compatible, though, and the costs of G-Sync monitor models tends to be higher than FreeSync ones.

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How Do I Enable FreeSync?

Sometimes, AMD FreeSync is already integrated with a computer monitor’s default setup like what you’d find in the top-rated FreeSync monitors. Other times, you will need to access your AMD computer settings, selecting Display, and flipping AMD FreeSync to the ‘on’ position. It can also be turned off.

What is FreeSync Premium and FreeSync Premium Pro?

FreeSync Premium is an upgraded version of FreeSync. It allows for improved performance using monitors with at least a 120Hz refresh rate and low framerate compensation (LFC) support.

FreeSync Premium Pro is an upgrade over FreeSync Premium, suitable for HDR games with at least a 120Hz refresh rate and enables low latency in both HDR and SDR formats.

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