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AMD Clarifies FreeSync 2's Raison d'Etre

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(Image credit: AMD)

Buying a monitor used to be simple. Now people have to figure out what 4K, HDR, and their various permutations actually mean for them. Do they want 4K UHD? What's the difference between that and normal 4K? What the heck is HDR10 and who needs that many HDRs? AMD plans to simplify the answers to those questions--at least as they relate to FreeSync 2 monitors--over the coming months.

The company acknowledged all these questions about various display technologies, then added that "we also recognized feedback from all of you that it wasn’t perfectly clear to you what FreeSync 2 stands for." So it's moving from the AMD Radeon FreeSync 2 Technology name to AMD Radeon FreeSync 2 HDR Technology. (Which, let's be honest, most people will still just call FreeSync 2.)

That change is supposed to make it clearer that FreeSync 2 (see?) exists because AMD wants to take us "one step closer to gaming pixel perfection" by allowing people to combine the "wide variable refresh rate range and low framerate compensation" of FreeSync with the "gorgeous pixel quality HDR rendering offers." Basically: to make sure games look good in motion while HDR is enabled.

But that probably won't be enough to convince people they need a FreeSync 2 monitor. (Of which AMD said 11 are currently available.) Display technologies, perhaps more than any other product advancements, have to be seen to be believed. That's why the company's developing what it called the (deep breath) AMD Radeon FreeSync 2 HDR Technology Oasis demo for use in stores.

Oasis was made in Unreal Engine 4 with support for FreeSync 2 HDR and HDR10. AMD wants the demo to serve as a showcase for both technologies in retail stores where people can walk in, see an HDR display next to its non-HDR counterpart, and immediately spot the differences between the two. (And then in all likelihood buy their monitor of choice from an online seller.) See, believe, purchase.

The company also updated the FreeSync page on its website to clarify the differences between the two generations. These pages now highlight the Oasis demo, feature the new FreeSync 2 HDR branding, and prominently display videos explaining the advantages of using the technology as well as select FreeSync products. AMD said to "stay tuned for more" about when Oasis will debut.