How does freesync work?

Nov 20, 2018
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I know that freesync makes the monitors refresh rate the same as the GPU's and it stops screen tearing but doesn't screen tearing happen when the GPU does more than the monitor can handle. How does it being able to change refresh rate affect screen tearing?
 

derekullo

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Usually the monitor runs at a set refresh rate regardless of what the gpu can do. (No freesync or gsync)

With Freesync the gpu is able to tell the monitor to slow down its refresh rate to match the amount of frames per second the gpu is sending.

A screen tear happens when the monitors refresh rate is a non-whole fraction of the frames per second being rendered.

For example if you had a 60 hertz monitor and you locked your fps to 30 hertz you wouldn't see any frame tearing.

The action won't be particularly smooth but you shouldn't see screen tearing, you would just show every frame twice.

60/30 = 2 no tearing

Now if you had a 60 hertz monitor and you locked your fps to 45 hertz you would be seeing tearing like crazy due to every frame having the last 33% of it having to wait to be displayed till the next screen refresh.

60/45 = 1.33

Edit: had to correct math in last example.

https://www.techspot.com/article/1668-how-many-fps-do-you-need/

Has a nice visual of that above.
 

derekullo

Distinguished
Jan 25, 2009
2,223
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Usually the monitor runs at a set refresh rate regardless of what the gpu can do. (No freesync or gsync)

With Freesync the gpu is able to tell the monitor to slow down its refresh rate to match the amount of frames per second the gpu is sending.

A screen tear happens when the monitors refresh rate is a non-whole fraction of the frames per second being rendered.

For example if you had a 60 hertz monitor and you locked your fps to 30 hertz you wouldn't see any frame tearing.

The action won't be particularly smooth but you shouldn't see screen tearing, you would just show every frame twice.

60/30 = 2 no tearing

Now if you had a 60 hertz monitor and you locked your fps to 45 hertz you would be seeing tearing like crazy due to every frame having the last 33% of it having to wait to be displayed till the next screen refresh.

60/45 = 1.33

Edit: had to correct math in last example.

https://www.techspot.com/article/1668-how-many-fps-do-you-need/

Has a nice visual of that above.
 

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