FreeSync vs. G-Sync: everything you need to know | Digital Trends Spanish
If you’ve ever experienced that “split screen” effect in a video game, then you already know how annoying it can be. Similar to when a game stutters, which, although it has a solution – activate V-Sync, or in Spanish, the call Vertical Sync-, Those who do not have a high-end system can seriously affect the performance of the game, reducing the image quality even more.
Separately, both AMD and Nvidia have invested time and effort to solve the problem of cracked screen and jerky or choppy games. Next we want to explain their technologies and see their results: FreeSync vs. G-Sync.
G-Sync and FreeSync are designed to smooth gameplay, reduce lag in controls, and avoid the split screen effect called tearing. They both use different methods to achieve these goals, but what distinguishes them is that one is closely protected and the other is openly shared.
Nvidia G-Sync It is enabled by including a chip in the manufacture of the monitor. Instead, AMD FreeSync uses the functionality of the video card to manage the monitor’s refresh rate using the Adaptive Sync standard built into DisplayPort – the result is a difference in performance.
Users have noted that although the tearing and the famous jerks – known as stuttering- are reduced with FreeSync enabled, some monitors exhibit another problem: ghost images known as ghosting. As objects move on the screen, they leave behind the image of their last position as a shadow. This is a video effect that some people don’t notice at all and instead others are very annoying.
The physical reason for this is power management. If not enough power is applied to the pixels, there will be empty spaces between each frame; on the other hand, if too much power is applied, the ghosting. Balancing adaptive refreshment technology with proper power distribution is difficult.
Both FreeSync and G-Sync start to suffer when the frame rate is not constantly syncing within the monitor’s refresh rate. G-Sync can show flickering issues at a very low frame rate and while technology generally tries to compensate and adjust for this, there are exceptions.
FreeSync, meanwhile, has problems with stuttering if the frame rate falls below the minimum refresh rate set by the monitor. Some monitors have an extremely narrow range, and if the video card cannot deliver frames within that range, problems arise.
Most of the reviews that compared the two technologies in parallel, seem to prefer the quality of G-Sync, which shows no problems of stuttering at low frame rates and therefore more consistent in real-world situations.
One of the first differences you’ll hear people talk about when it comes to adaptive refresh technology, aside from the general rivalry between AMD and Nvidia, is the difference between a closed standard and an open one.
While G-Sync is proprietary technology and requires the company’s permission and cooperation to implement, FreeSync is free to use. Therefore, more monitors are available with FreeSync support.
In most cases, it is not possible to combine both technologies. There are some monitors that offer support for both technologies and also work regardless of the graphics card you connect to, but G-Sync is available only on Nvidia cards. FreeSync, on the other hand, works on all AMD cards and also some Nvidia, although it will only work correctly on compatible monitors and certified by Nvidia. These cards go through rigorous testing and are Nvidia approved to ensure FreeSync works correctly on each one.
If you go the Nvidia route, the module in the monitor will handle much of the work related to adjusting the image refresh rate. That will be reflected in the price you pay, as each manufacturer has to pay Nvidia for the hardware, although currently you can already find monitors at more affordable prices such as the Acer Predator XB241H.
Newer generation Nvidia video cards support G-Sync. In Blue Busters have a very comprehensive list of video cards in which you can review the supported models while on the Nvidia website requirements for desktop and laptop video cards are specified.
Unlike G-Sync, you won’t end up paying much more for a FreeSync monitor, as there is no manufacturer premium to include. As such, a FreeSync monitor will typically cost you around $ 150 with a 1440p resolution display and a 144Hz refresh rate (there are no G-Sync counterparts at that price), and monitors without those features can cost as little as $ 160. Dollars.
G-Sync and FreeSync are not just technology, but also a certification that manufacturers have to integrate. The most basic specifications allow to synchronize the refresh rate but there are also premium versions of both and when manufacturers comply with them, users also ensure that the monitors are of higher quality.
AMD’s premium options include:
- FreeSync Premium: It requires monitors with native support for 120 Hz in resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels. It also adds compensation for low frame rates per second, which copies and replicates a frame if the rate is reduced too much; thus, it helps to smooth the experience in case it is seen in jumps.
- FreeSync Premium Pro: Formerly known as FreeSync 2 HD, this version is designed specifically for HDR content and, if supported by monitors, should guarantee at least 400 nits of brightness for HDR, in addition to all the benefits found in the Premium version.
The G-Sync options are divided into segments. The first is the one that offers basic functionality on monitors that are not designed for technology. And then comes the segment G-Sync Ultimate, which is similar to the Premium Pro version and is available for the most powerful cards and monitors with support for HDR and ultra-low latencies. Initially, this segment required a minimum of 1,000 nits of brightness, but recently that number was reduced to 400 nits, similar to the VESA HDR 400 standard.
The two technologies, G-Sync and FreeSync, offer enough to enhance the gaming experience. But the question is which of the two is better? Monitors with G-Sync Ultimate are better, but the difference is not so much as to choose them by default over one with FreeSync. The important thing is always to choose a monitor that can take advantage of the capabilities of the video card.
Without taking into account the cost of other components, the minimum to pay for a monitor with G-Sync is approximately $ 330 dollars. Prices for G-Sync compatible video cards can vary significantly due to the current shortage of these products. Mid-range video cards like the RTX 3060 will be released in no time and, on paper, will offer very good performance for just $ 400; Instead, other next-gen cards could cost more than $ 500, in the rare event they find one.
On the other hand, FreeSync-compatible monitors and cards are somewhat cheaper. A card like the Radeon RX 590 from AMD costs around $ 200, but the more powerful cards are very difficult to find on sale in the first months of 2021. Therefore, it would be best to wait a few months for the cards. RX 6000 cards drop a bit in price.