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AMD is preparing Display Port 1.3, HDR GPUs and other technologies for PC gaming beyond 4K UHD

by on December 9, 2015

Stephan Jukic – December 9, 2015

The best possible gaming experience is possibly just around the corner if the words of AMD representatives are to be believed.

The Processing chip and PC technology maker has some serious plans for their already renowned GPUs and one of the biggest new advanced will be the inclusion of the much-vaunted DisplayPort 1.3 connector.

According to AMD, rather than putting continued focus on clock speeds for their next graphics cards, they will instead put more effort into developing the new DisplayPort standard into a monster of graphics handling power. DP 1.3 is fully expected to be capable o powering even 5K displays at high frame rates with just a single cable and will also allow the next generation of 2016 AMD GPUs to psh HDR-enabled 4K monitors at frame rates of 144Hz, a spec that many gamers would love considering that all current 4K monitors only reach 60Hz, with 144Hz still exclusively the domain of Full HD or lower resolutions.

Currently, Thunderbolt is the dominant “best” solution for driving multiple UHD 4K displays since the connectivity spec supports bandwidths of as many as 4KGbps. However, with its arrival DisplayPort 1.3 is expected to reach 32.4Gbps. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of high-caliber 4K-ready GPUs today don’t come with Thunderbolt connection ports anyhow.

DisplayPort 1.3 however will definitely start arriving in 2016 GPUs from AMD and, as a rule of the fierce competition between the two major chip makers, Nvidia as well. And with the arrival of DP 1.3, we’ll see not only 4K UHD monitors running at 144Hz but also 1080p displays that run at a whopping 240Hz and 1440p monitors that can manage 170Hz. All of these potential specs are extremely good news for high frame rate gamers who want those refreshes to also apply to the highest possible pixel counts.

Some of the possible refresh rates for different monitor resolutions running graphics via DisplayPort 1.3

Some of the possible refresh rates for different monitor resolutions running graphics via DisplayPort 1.3

Another great piece of news for 4K PC gaming from AMD will also be the addition of FreeSync technology to HDMI 2.0 in 2016. Currently, FreeSync (and its Nvidia counterpart G-Sync) are only available to PCs and GPUs via DisplayPort 1.2 connections. FreeSync allows for a PC monitor and the GPU running a game to synchronize their frame rates for maximal smoothness of gameplay and a heavy reduction in judder and artifacts.

AMD has also been working with major 4K and other UHD monitor makers like LG, Samsung, Acer and others to deliver FreeSync over HDMI.

Finally, we can also report that AMD is busy with the introduction of high dynamic range to their plethora of GPU technologies for enhancing the gaming experience.

However, HDR compatibility criteria for an HDR-compatible display will be strict and will include:

  • A monitor brightness of at least 600 cd/m2
  • Contrast ratios that are close to human visual sensitivity
  • The ability to display 10-bit color and over 21 billion colors in total
  • Finally, users will need to make sure their GPUs are from AMD’s Radeon R9 300 series

In other words, anybody looking to play their 4K UHD PC games in HDR via AMD’s GPUs has a lot of work ahead of them. The simple act of complying the first of these above criteria, a monitor with at least 600 cd/m2 of luminance is very difficult, with virtually all 4K monitors we’ve reviewed to date on this site rarely reaching over 350 cd/m2.

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  • to miss the forest for the trees
    January 29, 2016 at 3:19 am

    [QUOTE]DP 1.3 is fully expected to be capable of powering HDR-enabled 4K monitors at frame rates of 144Hz[/QUOTE]

    HDR @ 144Hz is only doable with DP 1.3 @ 3.440 x 1.440 pixels