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Xbox One X and One S update will bring FreeSync support to console gaming

Microsoft has announced that both the Xbox One X and Xbox One S consoles will shortly be receiving FreeSync support as part of the Xbox One Spring Update 2018.

FreeSync is a previously PC-exclusive technology that reduces screen-tearing and stuttering when a game is unable to keep a consistent frame rate.

However, in order to enjoy the technology, you’ll need a FreeSync-equipped display. Since no TVs currently support the technology, this means that you’ll have to use a FreeSync computer monitor if you want to see a benefit.

Screen-tearing and stuttering occurs when the frames being outputted by a console don’t match with the refresh rate of a TV or monitor. Most displays refresh at a constant 60Hz. If your console doesn’t have a new frame rendered by the time the display needs one, then you’ll experience screen-tearing, where half the display shows the old frame and half displays the new one – an annoyance, to say the least.

The announcement was made during Microsoft’s Xbox Season Premiere event, with FreeSync support set to land for Xbox Insiders (Alpha Ring) from next week, so casual gamers may still have to wait a bit for the update.

Related: AMD FreeSync review

Xbox One FreeSync Support: Why Variable Refresh Rates matter

Alongside Nvidia’s G-Sync, AMD’sFreeSync is what’s known as a ‘Variable Refresh Rate’ technology. It addresses the issue described above by only letting the display refresh once a new frame is completely ready, meaning you avoid having this half-and-half result. Games will feel as though they’re running nice and smoothly, even if their frame rate is all over the place.

With many games on the Xbox One X allowing you to choose between graphics that emphasise maintaining a stable frame-rate and maximising resolution, the addition of FreeSync should provide a best of both worlds solution.

However, the presence of these options should mean that you can still prioritise a stable frame-rate if you’re not lucky enough to own a FreeSync monitor, or even if you’d just prefer to continue using a TV rather than a monitor.

On PC, the technology is exclusive to AMD’s graphics cards. Since AMD produces the GPUs inside each Xbox One console, it makes sense that the technology has now made its way to the console.

FreeSync support for the console was actually announced months before the Xbox One X was released, back when it was still known by its codename ‘Project Scorpio’; however, it’s taken until now for Microsoft to have the technology ready for the console.

Related: Xbox One X vs Xbox One S

Do you prefer a stable framerate or do you like to maximise the resolution of your games? Let us know @TrustedReviews!

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