Today at AMD's Future of Compute event in Singapore, AMD announced partnerships with several companies. One of the more noteworthy announcements is that Samsung will be making FreeSync enabled displays that should be available in March 2015. The displays consist of the 23.6" and 28" UD590, and there will be 23.6", 28", and 31.5" variants of the UE850. These are all UHD (4K) displays, and Samsung has stated their intention to support Adaptive-Sync (and thereby FreeSync) on all of their UHD displays in the future.

FreeSync is AMD's alternative to NVIDIA's G-SYNC, with a few key differences. The biggest difference is that AMD proposed an extension to DisplayPort called Adaptive-Sync, and the VESA group accepted this extension as an amendment to the DisplayPort 1.2a specifications. Adaptive-Sync is thus an open standard that FreeSync leverages to enable variable refresh rates. As far as system requirements for FreeSync, other than a display that supports DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync, you need a supported AMD GPU with a DisplayPort connection and a driver from AMD with FreeSync support.

FreeSync is also royalty free, which should help manufacturers in controlling costs on FreeSync capable displays. There are other costs to creating a display that can support Adaptive-Sync, naturally, so we wouldn't expect price parity with existing LCDs in the near term. On the FreeSync FAQ, AMD notes that the manufacturing and validation requirements to support variable refresh rates without visual artifacts are higher than traditional LCDs, and thus cost-sensitive markets will likely hold off on adopting the standard for now. Over time, however, if Adaptive-Sync catches on then economies of scale come into play and we could see widespread adoption.

Being an open standard does have its drawbacks. NVIDIA was able to partner up with companies and develop G-SYNC and deploy it about a year ago, and there are now 4K 60Hz G-SYNC displays (Acer's XB280HK) and QHD 144Hz G-SYNC display (ASUS' ROG Swift PG278Q) that have been shipping for several months. In many ways G-SYNC showed the viability of adaptive refresh rates, but regardless of who gets credit the technology is quite exciting. If Adaptive-Sync does gain traction, as an open standard there's nothing to stop NVIDIA from supporting the technology and altering G-SYNC to work with Adaptive-Sync displays, but we'll have to wait and see on that front.

Pricing for the Samsung displays has not been announced, though the existing UD590 models tend to cost around $600 for the 28" version. I'd expect the Adaptive-Sync enabled monitors to have at least a moderate price premium, but we'll see when they become available some time around March 2015.

Source: AMD

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  • chizow - Friday, November 21, 2014 - link

    Or you can leave the $100 there and get the better adaptive frame syncing technology, the trade-off may very well be the same as spending on a better GPU or CPU, quite possibly even more noticeable than $100 towards a GPU or CPU upgrade.
  • RussianSensation - Friday, November 21, 2014 - link

    Oh now the truth comes out. "Or you can leave the $100 there and get the better adaptive frame syncing technology,"

    0 real world testing has been done by any professional review site in the world to conclude that G-Sync monitor is superior to FreeSync, yet here we have a typical Pro-NV suppporter shouting this as if it's a fact. If this was true, why wouldn't NV support both G-Sync and FreeSync? Since as you say G-Synch is "better", then the market would rule and people with NV cards would still buy G-Sync monitors.

    For starters, 4K IPS + FreeSync is not way comparable to Asus G-Sync TN ROG. If we see FreeSync on 4K IPS monitors, that's the death of G-Sync since G-Sync/FreeSync are most beneficial in the <60 fps area not from 60-144 Hz, and naturally a modern 4K IPS at 60 fps or below >>>> any 1080P/1440P/4K TN panel.

    Secondly, since FreeSync is an open standard, it should be available on a lot more monitors giving users choices instead of 2-3 monitors for G-Sync.

    If NV was onboard with FreeSynch like any normal company support open industry standards would have been, then we could be buying NV or AMD GPUs for our next gen 4K monitor, but because NV wants to lock us into buying NV only GPUs, they are purposely not supporting FreeSync. In some ways NV has become worse than Apple in their business practices.
  • chizow - Friday, November 21, 2014 - link

    LMAO and why has there been 0 real world testing done by professional reviewers? What we do know, and has corroborated by professional reviewers, is that G-Sync is available TODAY and does what it says it does, and is by all accounts: AWESOME.

    But how do we know AMD's solution is probably inferior? Because their VP of Graphics said it months ago. I know, I know, this guy has said a lot of things to about FreeSync that turned out to be false (being free, being supported on at last 3 gens of AMD displays, not requiring additional hardware, being supported by just a firmware update), but hey, he is AMD's VP of Graphics right? He should have some insight on what they were putting together?
    "According to AMD's Raja Koduri, the display controllers inside NVIDIA GPUs don't support dynamic refresh rates the way AMD's do, and hence NVIDIA had to deploy external hardware. ****Although the results of FreeSync will be close to those of G-Sync, NVIDIA's technology will have an edge with its output quality****, because the two are implemented differently, and by that we don't just mean how the hardware is laid out on a flow-chart, although the goals for both technologies is the same - to make a display's refresh rate slave to the GPU's frame-rate, rather than the other way around (with V-Sync)."

    And for starters, you do realize those Samsung panels are also TN right? And that Acer also has a 4K TN G-Sync panel available TODAY, that again, from all accounts is awesome. So why are you trying to compare it to a 1440p ROG panel? They both serve slightly different markets and use cases but I am sure that won't stop you from speaking ignorantly on the topic.

    Secondly, who cares if it is an Open Standard if no one besides AMD supports it? You still get a minority of the market supporting it in the end. And 2-3 G-Sync monitors? Its hard to tell if you are being obtuse or dishonest here. There's new G-Sync panels being announced daily, but even 2-3 would be way ahead of what AMD has shown us so far and even these Samsung panels are what? 5-6 months away?

    LMAO like any normal company, is this a joke? If Nvidia waited for an open standard to magically pop out of a hole in the ground like AMD and their fanboys tend to hope for, we STILL wouldn't have adaptive frame sync technology, because Nvidia invented it. So yes, AMD and their fanboys are welcome, again, because thanks to Nvidia and their proactive research and development in making gaming better, even AMD fans like yourself have a (hopefully) similar avenue to enjoy this technology, because it is truly impressive.

    And for the last bit hahaha I love it when AMD fans try to push the lock-out card regarding Adaptive Sync, I guess its time to pull the Raja Koduri card again:

    "According to AMD's Raja Koduri, the display controllers inside NVIDIA GPUs don't support dynamic refresh rates the way AMD's do, and hence NVIDIA had to deploy external hardware."

    So I guess it was actually AMD that decided to pursue a standard that locked out Nvidia's hardware, huh?
  • Pwnstar - Saturday, November 22, 2014 - link

    Raja didn't say it was worse, he said it was different. Your biases are showing.
  • chizow - Saturday, November 22, 2014 - link

    And your poor reading comprehension is showing, truncated and asterisked for emphasis....

    "Although the results of FreeSync will be close to those of G-Sync, *******NVIDIA's technology will have an edge with its output quality*******."
  • Alexey291 - Sunday, November 23, 2014 - link

    So how much do you get paid per post by NV's marketing?:)
  • chizow - Monday, November 24, 2014 - link

    Nothing, and certainly less than what you happily and willingly pay to consume AMD's BS, lies, and half-truths.
  • Horza - Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - link

    You mean "pay to consume" a product that not for sale yet? A product you are certain is inferior even though it isn't available to be purchased or reviewed yet? I'm finding it hard to see what else you could mean but I'm certain you're aware that this product hasn't been sold to anyone.

    If the product doesn't deliver when they actually start selling it, then sure rally against the liars and the BS. Until then it just reads like someone with an oddly emotional distaste for something they can't know enough about to make a objective judgement on.

  • dragonsqrrl - Monday, November 24, 2014 - link much misinformation about FreeSync. It's NOT part of the VESA standard. FreeSync does not = adaptive-sync. Adaptive vsync does not = adaptive-sync. Not all DP 1.2a/1.3 monitors will support adaptive-sync, and thus FreeSync. While cheaper than Gsync, FreeSync is not free and will have an additional cost to implement in DP monitors (right now it's looking like it'll be ~$100). The tech is not interchangeable. As much as people like to tout FreeSync as a free and open standard it's essentially proprietary.
  • xdrol - Sunday, January 4, 2015 - link

    It's part of the DisplayPort standard. An optional secion in 1.3a. It's exactly as proprietary as any other VESA standard: It's free for any VESA consortium member.

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