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What is AMD FreeSync? All you need to know about AMD’s display tech and where to find it

AMD FreeSync is a popular display feature found on over 950 gaming monitors, but what does it actually do? And, what is FreeSync Premium?

Read on to discover what AMD FreeSync is, what Premium tiers are available and the devices that support them.

FreeSync is AMD’s syncing technology which is designed to eliminate choppy gameplay and broken frames created by issues such as screen tearing. Screen tearing is the effect that occurs as the result of a mismatched refresh rate and frame rate, as you can see below.

AMD FreeSync Off

Without AMD FreeSync. Image: AMD

AMD FreeSync On

With AMD FreeSync. Image: AMD

Much like Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, FreeSync uses a variable refresh rate (VRR) to ensure your display’s refresh rate remains synced up with the frame rate from your Radeon graphics card. The result is less input latency, less screen tearing and less stuttering during gameplay and video playback.

FreeSync is compatible with both DisplayPort and HDMI connections and is available in three tiers, including regular, Premium and Premium Pro.

AMD announced two Premium FreeSync tiers at CES 2020: FreeSync Premium and FreeSync Premium Pro (previously called FreeSync 2 HDR).

The base level of FreeSync offers tear-free, low latency playback, while FreeSync Premium also promises an at least 120Hz refresh rate at FHD resolution and low frame rate compensation (LFC). LFC ensures the frame rate of a game remains below the minimum supported refresh rate of a display for smoother gameplay.

AMD Premium Pro takes it a step further by offering all of the above as well as HDR for supported games and displays, highly accurate luminance and wide colour gamut testing, and low latency playback with SDR and HDR.

AMD wasn’t the first company to sync frame rates and refresh rates to combat screen tearing and stuttering.

Nvidia launched G-Sync in 2013 and it achieves a similar result for those with Nvidia graphics cards.

G-Sync also comes in three tiers: G-Sync, G-Sync Ultimate and G-Sync Compatible. G-Sync Ultimate sits at the top of the line with lifelike HDR support and ultra low-latency gameplay, while G-Sync Compatible is the most affordable option for those without a Nvidia processor.

While FreeSync monitors used to only work with AMD GPUs and G-Sync monitors Nvidia GPUs, Nvidia announced an update back in 2019 to allow Nvidia GPUs to work with AMD FreeSync technology.

Recent Nvidia graphics cards are now compatible with many AMD FreeSync displays. You can find a full list of supported G-Sync compatible displays on Nvidia’s website.

There are currently over 950 monitors and 50 TVs on the market that boast AMD FreeSync-compatibility, meaning you’ve got plenty of choice.

These include a number of TVs in Samsung’s 2020/2021 QLED range and LG’s OLED range, as well as Vizio TVs in the US. Some of our favourites include the Samsung Q95T, the Samsung Q80T (55-inches and up) and the LG 48 CX OLED.

Buy: Get a seller refurbished Samsung Q95T TV for just £799.99

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Buy: Get the LG 48 CX OLED TV for just £1279

You can find the full, slightly daunting, lists of FreeSync-compatible monitors and TVs on AMD’s website, as well as the company’s guide to gaming laptops with embedded FreeSync panels.

If you’re in the market for a new display, make sure to check out our guides to the best gaming monitors, best gaming TVs and best gaming laptops too.

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