After over a year of development, preparations, testing and other work, AMD’s FreeSync technology will officially be enabled in AMD’s drivers later this month. At present graphics cards, APUs and displays supporting FreeSync technology are already available in select regions, which means that it is about time for AMD to release drivers that support the highly-anticipated feature.
“We are pleased to announce that a compatible AMD Catalyst graphics driver to enable AMD FreeSync technology for single-GPU configurations will be publicly available on AMD.com starting March 19, 2015,” a statement by AMD reads. “Support for AMD CrossFire configurations will be available the following month in April, 2015.”
AMD’s FreeSync technology dynamically synchronizes refresh rates of displays with the frame rate of AMD Radeon graphics adapters to reduce input latency and decrease or fully eliminate visual defects during gaming or video playback. Since FreeSync is based on industry-standard panel self-refresh (PSR) technology, it does not require any expensive custom hardware. As a result, monitors feature FreeSync promise to be less expensive than displays featuring Nvidia Corp.’s G-Sync tech, which has similar functionality.
AMD started to talk about FreeSync in early 2014 and in less than a year it managed to convince multiple manufacturers of displays and their components to support its technology. The results are rather good: three makers of display scalers and six makers of displays are ready with FreeSync-supporting products.
To build monitors supporting Adaptive Sync and FreeSync technologies special display scaler chips are required. Major makers of scalers either have already started or plan to start shipments of FreeSync-supporting scaler chips in Q1 2015.
By now Acer, BenQ, LG Electronics, Nixeus, Samsung, and Viewsonic have already announced FreeSync-supporting monitors. The new displays range in size between 24” to 34”, supporting refresh rates of 30 to 144Hz, and resolutions of 1920*1080 up to 3840*2160.
To take advantage of AMD FreeSync, one needs a supporting display and a supporting graphics card with a DisplayPort 1.2a output. Not all AMD Radeon graphics cards support the company’s FreeSync. At present only AMD Radeon R7 R260/260X (Bonaire), R9 285 (Tonga) and R9 290/290X (Hawaii) support the technology.
Availability of FreeSync-supporting displays is pretty limited. Overclockers UK has BenQ XL2730Z for £497.99 in stock and offers to pre-order LG Flatron 34UM67 and Acer Predator XG277HU for £499.99 and £429.95 respectively. Stores in the U.S. yet have to start selling FreeSync-supporting monitors.
“AMD is very excited that monitors compatible with AMD FreeSync technology are now available in select regions,” the statement by AMD reads. “We know gamers are excited to bring home an incredibly smooth and tearing-free PC gaming experience powered by AMD Radeon GPUs and AMD A-Series APUs.”
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KitGuru Says: Looks like one of the most anticipated technology from AMD is finally around the corner. It will be interesting to see how quickly will it be adopted by mass gamers.