NVIDIA’s G-SYNC and AMD’s FreeSync technologies aim to improve framerates and responsiveness of a computer’s video output. AMD use the DisplayPort 1.2 Adaptive Sync feature to synchronize the refresh rate of the video card with that of the monitor, bringing it from 60Hz to 144Hz while NVIDIA’s technology is proprietary with embedded controllers in the monitors. This is a big improvement over the monitor refresh rate being the bottleneck and beneficial to playing video games where pushing the frames-per-second can improve the smoothness of the gameplay. The variable refresh rate can also increase the responsiveness to cursor movement.
This problem has previously been worked around with a v-sync feature but it resulted in horizontal tearing of the image. G-SYNC and FreeSync eliminate tearing and allow you to run the game at its full framerate. Select notebooks are utilizing G-SYNC with the GTX 980M, 970M, or 965M GPUs.
To utilize the new features, you must have:
- Video card that supports G-SYNC (GeForce GTX 650 Ti or higher) or FreeSync (AMD Radeon HD7000, HD8000, R7 or R9 series) with DisplayPort output
- Windows 7 or higher
- G-SYNC/FreeSync-compatible monitor with DisplayPort input
It can be a pricey setup to get all of the working parts but if you’re in the market for a new gaming rig, a compatible system should be in your checklist.
There are a number of monitors available that support these features and they vary from 23″-37″ with resolutions of 1920×1080 to 4K (3840×2160). If you have a video card that supports the feature and you are looking to improve the visual experience, you will want to pair it with a compatible monitor.
NVIDIA G-Sync compatible monitors
Dell Gaming S2716DG 27.0″ Screen LED-Lit Monitor (pictured above)