Written by Jos

Everything on G-Sync and FreeSync

Tearing and stuttering on your monitor are a thorn in the PC gamer's eye. Fortunately, these problems can be solved thanks to G-Sync from NVIDIA and FreeSync from AMD. These technologies adapt the refresh rate of your monitor to that of your video card, allowing you to enjoy smooth gameplay without hesitation. How G-Sync and FreeSync work exactly and what the differences between the two are, you can read here.

In short

G-sync

G-Sync

  • Fixes tearing and stuttering
  • Works with low refresh rate
  • Synchronization with NVIDIA video cards
  • Does not work with AMD video cards
  • More expensive than FreeSync
FreeSync

FreeSync

  • Reduces tearing and stuttering
  • Cheaper than G-Sync
  • Synchronization with AMD video cards and sometimes NVIDIA video cards. It differs per monitor.
  • Does not work with NVIDIA video cards
  • Risk of stuttering at too low refresh rate

What do G-Sync and FreeSync do?

G-Sync and FreeSync are technologies that combat tearing and stuttering. Both techniques are based on adaptive sync, a technique that gives monitors a variable refresh rate. This means that the monitor adjusts the refresh rate at any time to that of the video card. This allows you to enjoy a smooth gaming experience, without faltering images. Handy during fast actions in which you have to aim or shoot opponents.

What is tearing and stuttering?

Stuttering

The number of frames that a video card transmits can vary a lot, while a monitor always has a fixed refresh rate. It happens that your video card only passes a part of a new frame when your monitor refreshes the image. As a result, multiple images appear simultaneously on your screen, which produces annoying blocking effects: tearing.

V-Sync

Stuttering

To counteract this effect, you can enable 'vertical sync' (VSync) as a gamer, forcing the video card to reach the refresh rate of the monitor. Unfortunately, not many video cards can keep track of this, so some frames are repeated until the next frame is passed. This causes stuttering: the image then hangs for a moment, so that the image actually skips one or more frames and thus falters.

Important differences between G-Sync and FreeSync

Although the two techniques are very similar, there are a number of differences between G-Sync and FreeSync.

** 1. NVIDIA and AMD **

G-Sync is from NVIDIA and FreeSync is from AMD. This is the main difference and what it means is that in most cases you can only use both with a monitor and a video card of the same brand. Since January 2019 NVIDIA also supports a number of monitors with FreeSync, so that you can use the adaptive sync with these monitors.

** 2. Low frame rate **

The synchronization takes place between the minimum and maximum refresh rate of your monitor. This is roughly from 30Hz to 240Hz, but that differs per monitor. If the refresh rate of your video card is below that of your monitor, G-Sync offers a small advantage over FreeSync. G-Sync doubles the refresh rate when it falls below a minimum, so there is no stuttering at a low frame rate.

** 3. The price**

A G-Sync monitor is a lot more expensive than a FreeSync monitor. G-Sync monitors have a hardware chip, which increases the production costs. In addition, you pay for the activation of your G-Sync chip, while FreeSync is freely accessible.

** 4. The availability **

Partly because FreeSync monitors are cheaper than G-Sync monitors, they are better available. There are simply many more monitors that support FreeSync.


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