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Acer's Not-New But New XG270HU Offers FreeSync (Updated)

Just a couple days prior to CES, Acer announced a 27-inch monitor with a 2560 x 1440 resolution that had a refresh rate of 144 Hz, a super-thin bezel, and support for Nvidia G-Sync. This was the XG270HU, and today Acer announced the XG270HU. Hold on, isn't this the same monitor?

The answer to that question is yes! Sort of. It has the same panel, the same frame, and so on, except that this one is a variant with support for AMD's FreeSync.

It has a fast response time of 1 ms, and it comes with an HDMI 2.0 port, Dual-Link DVI and DisplayPort 1.2a. (The spec sheet says it's just DisplayPort 1.2, but FreeSync uses the optional Adaptive-Sync protocol in the DisplayPort 1.2a specification.) It also comes with two 2W built-in speakers.

FreeSync is AMD's answer to Nvidia's G-Sync, and the company uses open standards in the DisplayPort spec in order to remove screen tearing and reduce stuttering during gameplay. AMD's angle is that FreeSync accomplishes the same thing as Nvidia's proprietary G-Sync technology, but it comes at a lower price by using these open standards.

Exactly why Acer decided to give this monitor the same model number as the G-Sync version is curious, although its red bezel design is a little more fitting now that it supports AMD's stutter- and tearing-reducing technology.

Either way, as confused as we may be about the naming choice, having two identical monitors, one supporting G-Sync and the other supporting FreeSync does offer a nice opportunity where we can use the monitor as a control variable. This gives us a direct comparison of the two technologies so that we can test which of the two is superior while changing as few variables as possible in testing – the only differences would be the graphics card and the scalar in the monitor.

The FreeSync variant of the XG270HU should be available in March, although there is no word on pricing yet.

Update, 18 Feb, 12:15pm PST: As it turns out, this isn’t a second version of the XG270HU. This is simply the announcement where Acer revealed that the XG270HU will support FreeSync. Acer's XB270HU, which was announced along with the XG270HU in January, supports G-Sync. We thank our commenters for pointing out our error.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • mojobear
    I think there may be an error here. The G-sync version is XG27HU and the now free-sync revealed version is XG270HU. I think this has been the nomenclature since their announcement in Jan 2015
    Reply
  • mojobear
    Sorry I meant XB270HU is the g-sync version and XG270HU was the recently announced free-sync version

    http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/press/2015/151682
    Reply
  • funguseater
    Yeah, the G-sync model is XB270HU and the Freesync was added to the XG270HU with eye-protect or something, both announced together and out this march. Makes most of the story kinda pointless eh??
    Reply
  • segio526
    I guess we will see how much of a premium G-Sync carries. My guess is not a lot until Adaptive Sync becomes more integrated with mass produced DP chipsets.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    Nice!! Any word on pricing?

    If G sync monitors don't go down in price, ill have to consider buying freesync monitors instead for my GTX 750 ti.
    Reply
  • dennphill
    Wow. I guess g-sync would be nice (have a 750ti) or free-sync (if you're of the other persuasion), but is the new announcement showing a more reasonable price...or do I just have to go with a new Qnix, goose it, and do without sync?
    Reply
  • Xenophage
    A simple Internet search reveals this article to be completely false. The two monitor models are not the same name, nor even the same panel technology. They are completely different in just about every way. The XG model that supports FreeSync is a TN panel with no bezel and the SB model with G-Sync is an IPS panel.
    Reply
  • jessterman21
    OMG if I paint red accents on my monitor (Acer G247HL) will that make it go faster??? And smoother?
    Reply
  • Mike Coberly
    This would be the panel I have been waiting for. 1440P @ 144Hz with 1ms response time. This is the perfect replacement for my Acer GN246HL
    Reply
  • Ahoygo
    Interested only in half of the channels provided in the $25/month package. Why not give us a list of channels for us to pick the ones we like? Choose 12 channels for the $25/month package is more interesting.
    Reply