FreeSync Monitor support promises superior gaming experience under 4K as Samsung embraces it in its monitors

by on November 24, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – November 24, 2014

Graphics technology in PC screens has been fairly stagnant for several years, sitting at the 28nanometer scale for at least three years. However, this doesn’t mean that two of the biggest giants in the graphics processing industry have been doing nothing in the meantime.

To the contrary, both AMD and Nvidia, which make some of the best and most powerful GPUs currently on the market have both been busy developing new game graphics-enhancing software during this same time and also even releasing much of what they create.

One of these technologies, from the laboratories at AMD is called FreeSync and it is now being unveiled in some of the latest 4K Ultra HD monitors from electronics giant Samsung.

FreeSync is designed to promise a truly superior game rendering experience when used in conjunction with AMD hardware and in terms of style and capability is extremely similar to the technologies of two other software makers who are in the same race; these being Microsoft, with its DirectX 12 API and Nvidia with its already released G-Sync technology that’s also designed to go into 4K monitors (as well as their HD counterparts) used in conjunction with the company’s GeForce Gaming cards.

In terms of what it does, FreeSync is designed to be AMD’s solution to the problem of screen stuttering and tearing, particularly in 4K screens that give their PCs and GPUs a much harder time when it comes to smoothly displaying graphics.

The specific problem that FreeSync is designed to address involves the fact that most 4K PC displays refresh at fixed rates, usually between 30 and 60 Hz while their GPUs on the other hand will push forward as many frames as their power and design permits. Thus, when a GPU pushes out more frames than can fit into a screen’s built-in refresh rate, suddenly there is massive image tearing that cuts apart what’s being displayed on the screen.

FreeSync (just like the competing G-Sync technology from Nvidia) then steps in and forces both 4K screen and a PC’s GPU to synchronize their refresh rates so that everything flows smoothly and the tearing no longer appears. This in turn results in a nice, smooth gaming process that doesn’t screw up.

Nvidia G-Sync for 4K Gaming PCs

AMD FreeSync is getting stiff competition from the already established G-Sync technology from Nvidia

This is why Samsung has decided to embrace AMD’s technology and insert it into its very latest 4K displays which are slated for release in March of 2015. These are the UD590 and UE850 monitors and while they will be the first Samsung models to include FreeSync for 4K gamers, all ultra HD monitors from the company will follow in their pioneering footsteps.

Considering that Samsung could have just as easily gone for the extremely reputable competing G-Sync technology that Nvidia produces, or even for Microsoft’s DirectX API, this is a major victory for the people at AMD.

However, a key factor to keep in mind in terms of eventual market dominance in the growing 4K gaming display market is the fact that while there are still no FreeSync enable monitors on sale at all (until December at the earliest) Nvidia’s G-Sync technology is already creeping into the ultra HD Monitor market and models from companies such as Acer have already been available for some time. However, FreeSync is expected to be cheaper than its Nvidia counterpart.

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