Adaptive-Sync technologies like G-Sync and Freesync have really taken the gaming monitor industry by storm. While FreeSync is cheap for monitor makers to implement due to its open-source nature, G-Sync is a little more complicated. In the early days of G-Sync, Nvidia’s proprietary module would add extra cost to manufacturing, and now with the new G-Sync HDR module hitting the market, the markup seems to be increasing.
In the early days of G-Sync monitors, modules would cost around $200 to implement, and in turn, consumers had to pay more. Now with G-Sync HDR debuting in the ASUS PG27UQ and Acer Predator X27, costs are increasing. Both of these monitors sit at around the $2000 mark, a chunk of that cost will be the 144Hz/4K panel, but it is now thought that G-Sync HDR modules make up for around $500 of the cost, which is a substantial increase over standard G-Sync modules.
Recently the folks at PCPer posted a very in-depth piece going over the internals of the new ASUS PG27UQ, one of the first monitors to house the brand new G-Sync HDR module. Their teardown reveals that the new module is a based on the Intel Altera Arria 10 GX480 FPGA, and also includes 3GB of DDR4 2400MHz memory from Micron.
This FPGA is being sold on various websites for thousands of dollars, but it is unlikely that monitor makers like ASUS and Acer are paying such a high price. The teardown piece speculates that the G-Sync HDR module is costing monitor makers somewhere in the neighbourhood of $500.
This would explain where a lot of the cost of the new ASUS PG27UQ monitor comes from, it was initially thought to be the panel, but its clear the G-Sync HDR module is very pricey.
KitGuru Says: As monitor makers turn their attention to HDR, the G-Sync tax is about to get much larger, but Nvidia users don’t really have another option. Would you pay an extra $500 for G-Sync HDR?