You are enjoying gaming but after a few sessions, you're starting to get eyestrain. This is commonly caused by screen tearing. This is where Adaptive-Sync comes into play which is made possible thanks to AMD's FreeSync and NVIDIA's G-Sync technology.
Adaptive-Sync eliminates both screen tearing, stuttering, and latency all at the same time and does so with minimal input lag.
The real question is, do you need Adaptive-Sync? That's a big yes if you're a competitive gamer. In this guide, we'll discuss all the advantages & benefits you'll acquire if you use Adaptive-Sync.
Let's first discuss AMD's FreeSync.
What is FreeSync?
As mentioned above, FreeSync is AMD's Adaptive-Sync technology. It's aimed at competitive gamers who want the most precise picture while moving around, which is highly recommended for fast-paced shooter games.
Screen tearing will occur if your monitor's refresh rate isn't similar to the game's frame rate. Those who play games such as CS: GO, Fortnite, Valiant, and PUBG may notice screen tearing issues here and there, which will ruin the overall experience.
In most cases, the GPU renders frames faster than your display that causes some parts of displayed output as strips of different frames. Depending on the game's movement, it usually appears more frequently when it moves horizontally.
That means if the GPU isn't capable of outputting at your monitor's refresh rate, you'll experience significant stuttering effects.
By choosing a monitor with FreeSync, you'll be able to sync your monitor's refresh rate to your GPU at ease, eliminating screen tearing. With many FreeSync monitors available nowadays you can easily find monitors ranging from 75 Hz to 240 Hz at affordable prices.
Once You Enable It, You Won’t Go Back
FreeSync is a colossal gamechanger! Once you enable it, you won't go back. It's one of the most popular Adaptive-Sync technologies available that will dynamically refresh the screen, syncing within the current game's frame rate.
If your monitor only has a maximum of 60Hz refresh rate, then the maximum number of frames you'll get is 60 frames per second. If your frames drop below 60, your monitor will also lower the refresh rate accordingly.
Before you get started with AMD's FreeSync technology, you should first find a compatible AMD dedicated Graphics Card such as the AORUS Radeon RX 6900 XT Gaming OC 16G or an NVIDIA GPU and monitor that are compatible.
Finally, you should also check if your monitor supports it and which display cable to use. We highly recommend DisplayPort cables over HDMI, since these cables offer more bandwidth.
FreeSync Premium and FreeSync Premium Pro
The latest versions of FreeSync from AMD are FreeSync Premium and Premium Pro. These newer Adaptive-Sync technologies focus on those who want to play with crystal-clear HDR in-game. Moreover, it will also come in handy with AMD's Big Navi due to its Ray-Tracing capabilities.
FreeSync Premium and Premium make use of low framerate compensation (LFC) which means if your monitor is frequently dropping frames, it will be within the monitor's range. For example, you could be gaming on a 144Hz monitor but your GPU is struggling to hit 144Hz and only supports 120Hz. LFC will kick in and sync your monitor to 120Hz instead of leaving your graphics card to try and catch up. As a result, this will eliminate any screen tearing that you may have experienced otherwise.
The benefit of FreeSync Premium and Premium Pro is that they support monitors that are over 120Hz whereas the basic version of FreeSync was initially designed to support 60Hz. This makes the overall performance of HDR much smoother than ever.
G-Sync operates in a similar manner to FreeSync. It controls the display directly so that it will be able to handle the graphics card's video feed.
Over the years NVIDIA has focused on improving its G-Sync technology capabilities and now supports up to 144 Hz 4K panels.
G-Sync monitors are typically more expensive than FreeSync monitors due to the fact that they include special hardware in the monitor that works with NVIDIAs version of an adaptive refresh.
One of the key benefits of a G-Sync monitor is that you have multiple options when it comes to blurring reduction. Known as Ultra Low Motion Blur (ULMB), it is a feature developed by NVIDIA that works by strobing the backlight at the same rate as the refresh rate of your monitor which in turn removes ghosting from appearing in the image on your monitor.
The benefit of ULMB is that it works incredibly well and is reported to have a lower input lag. One thing of note however is that ULMB cannot be in conjunction with G-Sync Adaptive Sync.
G-Sync also provides you with the most solid performance when it comes to the reduction of screen tearing. Even at low refresh rates, NVIDIA has ensured that you will not notice any screen tearing. Once you hit a refresh rate that is lower than 30Hz, G-Sync will double the amount of frame renders which in turn doubles the refresh rate, ensuring that everything keeps running in the adaptive refresh range.
Although costing more than FreeSync monitors, G-Sync offers incredible performance and is a great option for gamers looking to get every bit of performance out of their monitors as possible.
If you would like to make use of some of the G-Sync features but you don’t have the budget for a dedicated G-Sync monitor there is now a solution available for you. NVIDIA has now offered support for G-Sync to be used on some FreeSync monitors such as the AORUS F127Q-X Gaming Monitor.
A G-Sync compatible monitor is an Adaptive-Sync display that has been tested and validated by NVIDIA to be working correctly with G-Sync technology
There are a few drawbacks to using a G-Sync compatible monitor over a native G-Sync monitor. You won’t be able to make use of NVIDIAs Ultra Low Motion Blur mode and it won’t come with factory colour calibration that native G-Sync monitors come with. In addition, the G-Sync will only work within the same FPS range that the FreeSync monitor that you are using is rated for.
There are a number of G-Sync-Compatible monitors out there in the market and they're very affordable. Even regular FreeSync monitors without certification may work correctly, so give it a shot and see if your monitor supports it.