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What are FreeSync and FreeSync 2? How are They Different?

BenQ
2019/05/13

As a gamer, you probably know how distracting and annoying it is to have screen tearing. You have invested a lot of money into your system to have high fps and every detail in your favorite games. Now image stuttering is ruining your gaming experience.

FreeSync is a variable refresh rate technology that solves this problem. Recently, FreeSync 2 was introduced with new features that improve on the success of the first version. These are the most important ones: HDR support, low framerate compensation, and low latency.

Read this article to learn more about FreeSync and FreeSync2 and their differences.

Why do I Experience Screen Tearing?

Your monitor operates at a fixed refresh rate of 60, 120 or 144 Hz meaning that is it refreshes the image 60, 120 or 144 times per second. Your graphics card`s framerate, on the other hand, fluctuates depending on your system as well as the game you are running. As a result, your monitor and graphics card framerates might be out of sync and multiple frames might be displayed on your screen at once. This results in screen-wide horizontal tears.

 Smooth image with FreeSync on; tears on the screen with FreeSync off.
What is FreeSync?

To solve the problem of screen tearing, variable refresh rate technologies, also known as dynamic refresh rate, were introduced. FreeSync is AMD`s variable refresh rate technology. It allows your display to vary its refresh rate in order to match the framerate of your AMD graphics card. It prevents broken frames and ensures a smooth gaming experience.

What is FreeSync 2? And How it is different from FreeSync?

FreeSync 2 might sound like it is a direct successor of FreeSync, but it is not. FreeSync 2 is not a successor or substitute to FreeSync. Both these technologies are created for different purposes and expected to co-exist in the market.

FreeSync 2 was designed to provide a standard for higher quality monitors that support variable refresh rate as well as additional premium features. If you are, however, a casual gamer and you are not interested in investing in a high-end monitor, there is nothing wrong with getting a FreeSync monitor. It does not mean that you are getting out-of-date technology. Rather, it means that you are purchasing a more affordable mainstream version.

Three additional characteristics provided by FreeSync 2 are high dynamic range, low framerate compensation, and low latency.

HDR Support

The major difference between FreeSync and FreeSync 2 is that the latter supports both dynamic refresh rate as well as high dynamic range (HDR) content.  FreeSync 2 also ensures wider than standard RGB colour gamut and higher brightness.

In this demo by AMD, you can experience image quality on a FreeSync 2 supported monitor compared to FreeSync one.

Low Latency

Monitors that support FreeSync 2 are guaranteed to have low latency in order to have an impeccable gaming experience.

Low FPS Compensation

The final key feature is low framerate compensation. Displays can only vary their refresh rates within a certain range, and, if you want to run a game below the minimum supported rate, you are most likely going to experience image tearing. Low framerate compensation or LFC, for short, solves this problem simply by multiplying frames and as a result extending the supported refresh rate window.

Summary

FreeSync benefits gamers by eliminating a major problem of image tearing that happens when the graphics framerate is out of sync with the display's framerate.  For some good FreeSync monitors options, make sure to check out BenQ EL2870U that has only 1 ms input lag and supports FreesSync.

FreeSync 2 supported monitors have to undergo a validation process and they are a technology that supports variable refresh rate and other additional premium features: HDR and low latency support as well as low framerate compensation.  If you would like to go for a FreeSync 2 supported display, take a look at BenQ EX3203R curved monitor with HDR and FreeSync 2 support.

 

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