Discussion Community Questions: Do You FreeSync or G-Sync?

Johnny5

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Building a PC has changed dramatically in recent years. While it may be physically easier to build a PC, the number of items to consider for a build list has gone up dramatically. Back in the day, the prime considerations were the number of Mhz, the amount of RAM the GPU and system required, your monitor and if you needed a sound card. The purchase process is a bit different nowadays. Today, a builder needs to decide their monitor's resolution, color depth, refresh rate and form factor, as well as the form factor and size of the system itself, networking considerations and more.

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What are your thoughts on G-Sync and FreeSync? Are either worth the investment? How does the experience gaming at a lower resolution with VRR compare to 4K? Which refresh rate tech is better? Let us know your thoughts below.

Joshua Simenhoff @Johnny5
 

mitch074

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Well, technically FreeSync doesn't require an investment, as both GPU makers support it and the technology is basically free - so, the only reason to go for a G-sync solution now is a primal need to pay the Nvidia tax instead of benchmarking screens...
Some people may object that either G-Sync or FreeSync has technical advantages over the other, but once you've taken everything else, a good Freesync solution and a good G-Sync solution will be pretty much equal and in both cases far better than a fixed rate refresh rate screen;
 
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Soaptrail

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Freesync is great and I would not buy another monitor without it. I got a LG ultrawide that does not support LMB but this is no worse than my previous monitors so the next one I get will support it and freesync 2 with HDR. I will only get 4K once the monitors and large enough and affordable enough to not need Windows scaling.
 

Arkane-BLUE

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I have freesync 144hz monitors and AMD freesync capable cards but I seldom enable it.
I couldn't use g-sync if I wanted to and have no intention of paying the Nvidia tax.
*Sync is a way of helping fast cards with slow displays.
The range on my monitors don't make sense to enable it, so I simply do not 'use' it.
 
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I have a Nvidia card and a freesync monitor that is G-sync compatible and it works great. I felt no need to pay 50% extra for the G-sync version.
 

Phuntasm

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Got an AW3418DW ultra-wide with G-Sync. What a difference! Having frame synchronization is beautiful. Don't think I could go back. I never liked tearing so I'd go for VSync, but that sucks too because it eats up frames and stutters sometimes. G-Sync gives me perfectly smooth image regardless of framerate. Though obviously framerate drops are noticeable still, it's due to the fact that there are just fewer frames per second, as opposed to any visible artifacts
 

FUNANDJAM

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i've got gsync, but only because I got it 3 years ago when I got a 980ti and a dell s2716dg. At the time, Nvidia's offerings were superior in both GPU and VRR displays and I had the budget.

with how things are these days, IF I had waited until now it would be quite a bit different on what components to choose, but most likely would go with a good 1440p 144hz freesync display with whatever GPU I chose.
 
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Dylan Shekter

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I have a gtx 1080 and use a 4k display for image editing and stuff. I got it when 4k@60 was the most you could have in a monitor for under a few grand. For some reason my control panel doesn't allow me to turn on freesync even though the monitor supports it. I posted on the nvidia driver forums to no avail and I check the program after each update. So atm, no-sync. But I'd like to be using freesync.
 

barryv88

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Went from an old 24" 1080p/60hz to a 27" Gsync 1440p/144hz screen. It seemed like the most logical choice as 4K 144hz gaming is simply too expensive. The difference in gaming was instantly and quite dramatically different. It's like the floodgates towards better gaming have opened! :)
Otherwise I have no issues with Gsync - its smooth, fluid and reduces input lag considerably. Haven't had the opportunity to compare it with a Freesync screen, but I'll definitely get one for missus's PC that has a Radeon card in it.
 

smokem420

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For me it was about paying the Nvidia tax and weighing my options. It is bad enough that the pricing of video cards are insane and then have to pay more for a monitor with G sync just didnt make sense. I used the extra money l saved getting a free sync monitor for other upgrades that needed to be done. For me it always has been the cost/performance issue for me. Since l got the Viewsonic XG2702 my playing fps games my kdr has gone up. The image is crisper, sharper, and no input lag. When asked about what upgrade made the biggest difference in my playing and l tell them get a better monitor.
 

tennis2

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Tom's need to get their story straight regarding Nvidia cards and FreeSync monitors. This and the recent GSync article are spreading misinformation to the masses regarding the issue.

Nvidia 10xx and 20xx GPUs can utilize VRR on ALL FREESYNC MONITORS (Ed.* that have display port*). The list of 15 (now) "GSync Compatible" displays are the ones that NVidia have coded into the driver to AUTO-ENABLE FreeSync for. The rest you have to enable manually (a few clicks). Coincidence that NVidias "compatible" list is SLOWLY being populated in alphabetical order?!? This is a campaign by Nvidia to spread misinformation in order to prolong the sale of GSync monitors even though they're officially obsolete and Tom's is right there helping them.

And no, there is no functional difference between GSync and FreeSync. The difference is the monitor panel quality. GSync modules are only going into the most premium panels because the hardware cost of the module makes the sale of cheaper panels using GSync modules uneconomical.
 
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eojhet

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I bought an LG ultrawide (29UM69G-B) which has FreeSync for my old computer which supported neither technology. Just built a fresh rig with an RTX 2060 and decided to try using the FreeSync over G-Sync capability and it definitely works. I even modified the monitor driver to allow for a slightly lower sync frequency threshold with no issues at all. So my answer is that I use both technologies together for my 75hz monitor and I am loving it!
 
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I had AMD cards up until a year ago.

My monitor is Acer's 38” XR382CQK. 48-75Hz, 3840x1600

My son's monitor is LG's 34" 34UC79G. 50-144Hz, 2560x1080

My previous video card, moved to my son's computer later, was an R9 285.

I now have a GTX 1080, and my son now has an RX 580 8GB.

I think that Nvidia's driver's are running my Acer with FreeSync, as I've seen a game drop the refresh down to about 50-51Hz at times based on the OSD information while playing a game.

In the past, I sort of regretted not getting a 3440x1440 with GSync instead (I probably could've gotten away with that for my needs at work), but I got the monitor BEFORE I got the GTX 1080. Still, with Nvidia starting to support FreeSync, I guess I'm ok. Plus I'm not gaming as much as I used to. And I know I would absolutely resent paying Nvidia's premium for GSync.

Adaptive sync is wonderful.
 

cewhidx

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I just today tried out hooking my PC to a 4k tv with a gaming mode setting for low input lag. Although the higher resolution and enormous screen was pretty, the fixed framerate on it annoyed me too much. I guess I'm now spoiled on my lower resolution (1440p) Gsync monitor. I didn't realise what an impact it made on gaming until I tried a display without the variable refresh. I haven't tried Freesync yet, but I'd wager the experience would be the same going from that to a fixed refresh display.
 
This is a campaign by Nvidia to spread misinformation in order to prolong the sale of GSync monitors even though they're officially obsolete

And no, there is no functional difference between GSync and FreeSync.
I'd suggest leaving the tinfoil hat at the door.

There is a reason there are different 'tiers'. G-Sync "certified" will work just the same as any G-Sync panel. Compatible etc may have issues. Equally, it may just work.
Some of the issues can be very narrow adaptive refresh ranges, in other instances it's flickering etc. Doesn't mean they 'can't' work, or have G-Sync enabled, but Nvidia are not standing behind those for any performance issues, nor should they (hence G-Sync being off by default).

G-Sync still has a place, but it's firmly on the absolute higher-end of the monitor spectrum now. For the money, a FreeSync panel that has been tested/verified to work well is usually a heck of a lot cheaper than a 'true' G-Sync panel with module.



To the question at hand, I use neither - and have never actually used either. I've purposely avoided testing either FreeSync or G-Sync for a couple of reasons.
  1. I only play a couple of specific games and mostly work on my system. So it doesn't seem "worth it" to replace my monitor.
  2. I suspect it's much like an SSD - once you've tried it, you'd never want to go without.
I currently run a 1440p 144Hz 32" panel (no FS or GS) with a 1070 and I'm perfectly happy with it.
 
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Johnny5

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Not going to answer until you restore comments to main story.
Our comments system is under construction! Our developers are steadily working to bring it back to the editorial site. For now this is our work around, so if you have knowledge to share post it in the forums.
 
Nvidia 10xx and 20xx GPUs can utilize VRR on ALL FREESYNC MONITORS.
While I agree with your point in general, this statement isn't 100% accurate either. More precisely, FreeSync should work on displays that support the feature over a DisplayPort connection, which is the vast majority of them. There are some that only support FreeSync over HDMI though, and those won't provide the feature with Nvidia cards, at least for now.

There is a reason there are different 'tiers'. G-Sync "certified" will work just the same as any G-Sync panel. Compatible etc may have issues. Equally, it may just work.
Some of the issues can be very narrow adaptive refresh ranges, in other instances it's flickering etc. Doesn't mean they 'can't' work, or have G-Sync enabled, but Nvidia are not standing behind those for any performance issues, nor should they (hence G-Sync being off by default).
From everything I've heard, a monitor that supports FreeSync via DisplayPort on an AMD card should support the feature equally well on an Nvidia card. The "performance issues" Nvidia highlighted in that presentation are not compatibility issues. Monitors that exhibit issues with an Nvidia card will tend to exhibit them on an AMD card as well. When the feature first launched, there were a couple monitors that had problems like flickering, but that's because those monitors had design flaws, and it hasn't been a common issue on FreeSync displays.

And for something like a narrow refresh range, that's simply a matter of what features a particular screen supports, since not all variable refresh displays are designed for high refresh rates. Even if a screen only offers a 75Hz refresh, with a FreeSync range of something like 48-75Hz, that's still functioning as intended, and people can still benefit from it, even if they don't get low-framerate compensation to provide wider coverage.

Nvidia's G-Sync Compatible certification program is fine, though the way their marketting department has exaggerated the differences between certified and non-certified monitors could be considered a bit questionable. Of course, the fact that they finally support FreeSync displays at all is good, and at least they don't lock people out of activating the feature on non-certified displays.
 

gorbehnare

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None - Nvidia cards and G-sync monitors are too expensive, and AMD cards are power hungry and not as good as nVidia cards. Unfortunately this might be another one of those times that technologies may die (just like 3D vision and 3D TVs, and now VR). I'll wait a couple of more years. Either the technology becomes standard or it will die.
 
And for something like a narrow refresh range, that's simply a matter of what features a particular screen supports, since not all variable refresh displays are designed for high refresh rates. Even if a screen only offers a 75Hz refresh, with a FreeSync range of something like 48-75Hz, that's still functioning as intended, and people can still benefit from it, even if they don't get low-framerate compensation to provide wider coverage.
Personal experience with a 3840x1600 monitor with EXACTLY that FreeSync range. Even when I was playing a simple game like Don't Starve, sometimes it couldn't manage to maintain 60fps constantly at that resolution. My card at the time was the R9 285. There would occasionally be some jittering.

Setting the FreeSync range to min-48, max-60 smoothed things out, as the game would sometimes drop to the low-50s in how fast it could render. But, it remained butter-smooth. Definitely well worth it.
 

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