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AMD unveils FreeSync 2 with Low Framerate Compensation and HDR

If you have been shopping around for a FreeSync display then you may want to hold off for a bit as today, AMD officially unveiled FreeSync 2, an updated and improved version of the open-source adaptive sync technology which aims to deliver pixel perfection. With this update, AMD wants monitor makers to create higher quality displays that deliver a ‘plug and play’ experience to deliver excellent quality and a higher colour gamut with no manual tweaking required.

Monitors capable of supporting FreeSync 2 will harness low-latency pixels, so we may end up seeing more gaming monitors sporting OLED or Quantum Dot panels, which are capable of achieving greater black levels and a wider colour gamut with HDR, though HDR will be handled differently on monitors compared to TVs. Current HDR transport formats were designed primarily for movie content displayed on TVs with tone mapping handled by the displays, often leading to higher-than-acceptable latency for PC gaming. AMD’s new API for FreeSync 2 tackles this by offering over twice the brightness and colour volume over sRGB, as well as a lower-latency alternative pipeline, shifting the HDR workload from the display over to a supported Radeon GPU.

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FreeSync 2 also brings along Low Framerate Compensation (LFC), which works by monitoring render rates and inserting additional frames where needed to force a smooth image. This lowers the minimum frame rate required for FreeSync to remain active. With FreeSync 2, LFC will kick in and keep things smooth once you start dripping below 30 frames per second.

FreeSync and FreeSync 2 will coexist in the market according to AMD, it has also been revealed that all Radeon graphics cards that support the original FreeSync will also support the updated version. Display makers are already putting up monitors for FreeSync 2 qualification so expect to see the first monitors to hit the market later this year.

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KitGuru Says: FreeSync was already pretty solid but it is great to see AMD improving on it further with these new additions. It sounds like FreeSync 2 should lead to some higher quality gaming displays overall too, which should be nice to see, though it could be a while before we see the first monitor hit the market. Are any of you currently looking to get a FreeSync monitor? Will you be holding out for FreeSync 2 now that it is announced?

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