We met with AMD and among other things, one item they wanted to show us was the essentially final versions of several upcoming FreeSync displays. Overall AMD and their partners are still on target to launch FreeSync displays this quarter, with AMD telling us that as many as 11 displays could hit the market before the end of March. For CES AMD had several displays running, including a 28” 60Hz 4K display from Samsung, a 27” 144Hz QHD display from BenQ, and a 75Hz 2560x1080 34” display from LG. The three displays mentioned were all running on different GPUs, including an R9 285 for the BenQ, R9 290X for the Samsung display, and an A10-7850K APU was powering the LG UltraWide display.

More important than the displays and hardware powering them is the fact that FreeSync worked just as you’d expect. AMD had serveral demos running, including a tearing test demo with a large vertical block of red moving across the display, and a greatly enhanced version of their earlier windmill demo. We could then enable/disable FreeSync and V-SYNC, we could set the target rendering speed from 40 to 55 Hz in 5Hz increments, or we could set it to vary (sweep) over time between 40 Hz and 55 Hz. The Samsung display meanwhile was even able to show the current refresh rate in its OSD, and with FreeSync enabled we could watch the fluctuations, as can be seen here. [Update: Video of demo has been added below.]

Having seen and used G-SYNC, there was nothing particularly new being demonstrated here, but it is proof that AMD’s FreeSync solution is ready and delivering on all of AMD's feature goals, and it should be available in the next few months. Meanwhile AMD also took a moment to briefly address the issue of minimum framerates and pixel decay over time, stating that the minimum refresh rate each monitor supports will be on a per-monitor basis, and that it will depend on how quickly pixels decay. The most common outcome is that some displays will have a minimum refresh rate of 30Hz (33.3ms) and others with pixels quicker to decay will have a 40Hz (25ms) minimum.

On the retail front, what remains to be seen now is just how much more FreeSync displays will cost on average compared to non-FreeSync displays. FreeSync is royalty free, but that doesn’t mean that there are not additional costs involved with creating a display that works with FreeSync. There’s a need for better panels and other components which will obviously increase the BoM (Bill of Materials), which will be passed on to the consumers.

Perhaps the bigger question though will be how much FreeSync displays end up costing compared to G-SYNC equivalents, as well as whether Intel and others will support the standard. Meanwhile if FreeSync does gain traction, it will also be interesting to see if NVIDIA begins supporting FreeSync, or if they will remain committed to G-SYNC. Anyway, we should start to see shipping hardware in the near future, and we’ll get answers to many of the remaining questions over the coming year.

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  • FlushedBubblyJock - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    AMEN !
    Thank you, a MILLION THANK YOUS !
  • Will Robinson - Sunday, January 11, 2015 - link

    Speaking of FUD...
    Where is your apology for claiming that no games were shown using Free Sync...?
    (As confirmed by Jarred)
  • chizow - Sunday, January 11, 2015 - link

    @ Will Robinson,

    Who are you referring to again? I've made no such claim, they showed non-interactive demos of games at CES, but they did not do so before then, so again, if you're going to try to catch me in a lie, you're going to have to try a lot harder.

    Whereas I can just go through pretty much any of these pro-AMD posts and pull out oodles of bullshit that you will subsequently have to backtrack on.
  • Will Robinson - Monday, January 12, 2015 - link

    Go right ahead..I'll wait....
  • chizow - Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - link

    You won't need to wait for anything, I've already called out all the nonsensical BS from like-minded AMD fanboys like yourself.
  • FlushedBubblyJock - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    Thanks Chizow - and the TheJian as well secondarily.
    It really is true it doesn't matter one whit what AMD actually does, the fanboys are so deranged and so locked in, if anything doesn't work they either totally deny that fact for YEARS, or just say "I don't even care about that crap nVidia has, it's no good anyway." - then they march on over the cliff in absolute bliss, screaming and pointing their finger before the splat sound. After the splat, of course they are still ranting and screeching in ethereal form.
    I just want to say:
    1. If just one single holy souled earth loving honest and not greedy AMD fanboy in the whole world gets one single firmware upgrade on a single monitor for his lifetime savings Hawaii gpu to use freesync with, well then AMD's marketing was 100% honest and reasonable.

    See, 1/10,000,000th of what was promised is good enough if you're a good guy. You may have gotten it wrong nine million nine hundred and ninety nine thousand times, but that single AMD fanboy made happy is worth it, it's OK, no it's GREAT, even if it's the son of AMD's CEO.

    On the other hand, if you are the evil demon the AMD fans war against in the name of all that is good and honorable and as worthy top level knights in shining armor, nVidia getting it right on 7 out of 8 memory octants is not good enough, and by golly, that R290x price destroying MASSIVE release of a card MUST BE PUNISHED IN THE MOST SEVERE METHODS AND WAYS ACHIEVABLE...

    Yes, we won't hear a single word about " AMD LIED, and it will take some time for them to earn the trust of their loyal customers back..." repeated, over and over and over, ad nauseum... NOPE - that is a fantasy(meaning fair) world that just not exist(because lying con artists and amd fools are common).

    I mean, yeah, it's amazing
  • Death666Angel - Friday, January 9, 2015 - link

    Unless we get IPS x-Sync monitors, I don't care. TN panels are just not worth it for me anymore. For the time being, 105Hz IPS will do the trick.
  • chizow - Friday, January 9, 2015 - link

    There are IPS versions of both panel techs coming, although they may be PLS or AHVA in actual implementation and not true "IPS".
  • Oxford Guy - Saturday, January 10, 2015 - link

    What is "true" IPS? S-IPS? H-IPS? e-IPS?

    There are plenty of variations on IPS. The subpixels aren't even shaped the same way. S-IPS has chevrons. H-IPS has rectangles.
  • chizow - Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - link

    Yes you're right, there's multiple variations of IPS, but my main point is, the more these technologies evolve in an attempt to match TN for gaming, the further they deviate from the characteristics that made them more attractive to some users (viewing angles, IQ, color reproduction).

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