Radeon™ FreeSync technology is an AMD effort to leverage industry standards, like DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync, to deliver dynamic refresh rates. Dynamic refresh rates synchronize the refresh rate of a compatible monitor to the framerate of a user’s Radeon™ graphics to maximally reduce input latency and reduce or fully eliminate stuttering/juddering/tearing during gaming and video playback.
What is DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync?
DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync is a new addition to the DisplayPort 1.2a specification, ported from the embedded DisplayPort v1.0 specification. DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync provides an industry-standard mechanism that enables real-time adjustment of a monitor’s refresh rate of a display over a DisplayPort link.
How are DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync and Radeon™ FreeSync technology different?
DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync is an ingredient DisplayPort feature that enables real-time adjustment of monitor refresh rates required by technologies like Radeon™ FreeSync technology. Radeon™ FreeSync technology is a unique AMD hardware/software solution that utilizes DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync protocols to enable user-facing benefits: smooth, tearing-free and low-latency gameplay and video.
Is DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync the industry-standard version of Radeon™ FreeSync technology?
The DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync specification was ported from the Embedded DisplayPort specification through a proposal to the VESA group by AMD. DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync is an ingredient feature of a DisplayPort link and an industry standard that enables technologies like Radeon™ FreeSync technology.
What are the requirements to use Radeon™ FreeSync technology?
To take advantage of the benefits of Radeon™ FreeSync technology, users will require: a monitor compatible with DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync, a compatible Radeon™ GPU with a DisplayPort connection, and a compatible Radeon Software graphics driver.
When can I buy a monitor compatible with Radeon™ FreeSync technology?
There are now over 200 monitors shipping in the market that have support for Radeon™ FreeSync technology worldwide.
Which AMD Radeon™ GPUs are compatible with Radeon™ FreeSync technology?
Radeon FreeSync™ technology utilizes DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync protocols to enable dynamic refresh rates for video playback, gaming and power-saving scenarios.
How is Radeon™ FreeSync technology different from NVIDIA G-Sync?
There are three key advantages Radeon™ FreeSync technology holds over G-Sync: no licensing fees to monitor OEMs for adoption, no expensive or proprietary hardware modules, and no communication overhead.
The last benefit is essential to gamers, as Radeon™ FreeSync technology does not need to poll or wait on the display in order to determine when it’s safe to send the next frame to the monitor.
Radeon™ FreeSync technology uses industry-standard DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync protocols to pre-negotiate supported min/max refresh rates during plug’n’play, which means frame presentation to the user isn’t delayed or impaired by time-consuming two-way handshakes.
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Why should gamers purchase a system that utilizes Radeon™ FreeSync technology?
Radeon™ FreeSync technology’s ability to synchronize the refresh rate of a display to the framerate of compatible Radeon™ graphics cards can eliminate visual artifacts that many gamers are especially sensitive to: screen tearing, input lag, and stuttering. Radeon™ FreeSync technology aims to accomplish this through an open ecosystem that does not require licensing fees from monitor OEMs, which encourages broad adoption and low end-user costs.
What is the supported range of refresh rates with Radeon™ FreeSync technology and DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync?
Radeon™ graphics cards will support a wide variety of dynamic refresh ranges with Radeon™ FreeSync technology. Using DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync, the graphics card can detect and set an appropriate maximum and minimum refresh rate based on the capabilities reported by the display.
What is the basic function and benefit of Radeon™ FreeSync technology?
The basic benefit of Radeon™ FreeSync technology is the dynamic refresh rate (“DRR”), which allows a compatible Radeon™ graphics card to synchronize the refresh rate of a monitor 1:1 with the card’s framerate. With DRR, gamers can experience the full range of framerates produced by a compatible Radeon™ graphics card without clamping to some divisor of the monitor’s refresh rate (e.g. 30 or 45 FPS). Because Radeon™ FreeSync technology can eliminate the large jumps in framerates induced by traditional v-sync, the result in noticeably smoother gameplay.
Gamers especially sensitive to input latency — a delay between mouse movement and cursor movement — will also see a distinct increase in responsiveness.
Finally, running a game at full framerates (e.g. without v-sync) would typically introduce nasty horizontal tearing, but Radeon™ FreeSync technology also eliminates tearing as a rule. Radeon™ FreeSync technology is a “best of all worlds” solution from the perspective of smoothness, image quality and responsiveness.
Will every monitor eventually support Radeon™ FreeSync technology?
AMD has undertaken efforts to encourage broad adoption for Radeon FreeSync technology, including:
- Royalty-free licensing for monitor manufacturers;
- Open and standardized monitor requirements (e.g. no non-standard display controllers or ASICs);
- Industry-standard implementation via the DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync amendment to the DisplayPort 1.2a specification; and
- interoperability with existing monitor technologies.
AMD is presently advocating these benefits to display manufacturers and working with their respective design teams to expand the capabilities of high-performance/gaming-oriented monitor lineups to include Radeon FreeSync technology. While AMD cannot possibly guarantee that “every monitor” will adopt Radeon FreeSync technology, we do believe that this approach is best to achieve wide industry support.
Additionally, it must be established that all dynamic refresh rate technologies require robust, high-performance LCD panels capable of utilizing a wide range of refresh rates without demonstrating visual artifacts. Such LCD panels naturally cost more to manufacture and validate than less capable panels, which may render dynamic refresh rate technologies economically unviable for especially cost-conscious monitors. Economies of scale and the maturation of dynamic refresh rate technologies could help alleviate this concern and further promote adoption in the future.
Does Radeon™ FreeSync technology work over HDMI®?
Yes. In addition, the latest HDMI specification has adopted Variable Refresh Rate technology, and Radeon™ graphics will support that functionality as well.