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Report: iiyama To Offer Free FreeSync Upgrade For 28" 4K Monitor

Iiyama's B2888UHSU-B1 has already been on the European market for a while now, and it's gotten some good feedback, but a post on Overlockers UK makes it seem like an even better buy. From the looks of it, a free firmware upgrade to enable FreeSync on it may be coming in the future.

The B2888UHSU-B1 is a 28" 4K monitor with a 60 Hz 10-bit TN panel. The panel has a response time of 1 ms, a static contrast ratio of 1000:1, and a 300 cd/m­­­2 brightness. To improve the image quality further, it gas flicker-free LED lighting and a low-blue light mode. It also has an overdrive mode to speed up response times as well as an excellent height-adjustable stand.

Overclockers UK's product page now says that the monitor will support FreeSync in the near future, and that you can buy it now and have it upgraded later, for free. All you'll have to pay for is shipping back and forth to iiyama. It's unclear whether you'll get a new model or whether it will be a firmware upgrade, but given the costs to hand out new monitors, we imagine that it's just a simple firmware upgrade; otherwise, this would be quite an expensive little stunt.

We reached out to iiyama to confirm the information, but unfortunately the PR manager was on vacation. The representative we spoke to did mention that there was indeed an email going around the office about this, although he wasn't aware of any details.

AMD's FreeSync technology is the company's effort to leverage industry standards -- in this case DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync to enable stutter- and tear-free gameplay on monitors. The technology will compete with Nvidia's proprietary G-Sync but should come at a lower price.

Iiyama's B2888UHSU-B1 is available in Europe for about £390, or just shy of €500, bringing its U.S. price to about $500 if it were to make it to the stateside market.

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

  • ShadyHamster
    If it's just a firmware upgrade why not just make it available to the public to download and install themselves. My guess is it's more then a firmware upgrade, possible hardware upgrade too?
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    I was thinking that too, seems like shipping and doing all this in the company is a lot more expensive and time consuming than just a firmware update and installing by a USB port or something. Could be they have to solder off a chip and replace it with a different one in order to make it work.
    Reply
  • childofthekorn
    ShadyHamster said:
    If it's just a firmware upgrade why not just make it available to the public to download and install themselves. My guess is it's more then a firmware upgrade, possible hardware upgrade too?

    They would already have at least DisplayPort 1.2a with the appropriate scalers so the hardware would be fine. The firmware would just allow the scalers to communicate with the video card in order to sync the frames as far as I can tell. There is some differences in hardware for monitors that use display port prior to 1.2A+ and those that use 1.2a but do not support freesync.
    Reply
  • Bondfc11
    It will require a new AD PCB - not just a firmware update. If it had the right scalar now then there would be no reason to update the scalar - the appropriate software would be there and waiting for AMDs side of things. Async, if properly built into the board, would be ready to go. The only part that no one has seen before is the current vaporware - Freesync. AMD has never actually shown variable refresh tech on anything to date. Async is reality, and has been for quite a while now, but the GPU software side is still no where to be seen.

    Still waiting on a working monitor. I assume we will see a bunch next month at CES. And I hope they are true variable rates - not the crap from last year.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    14923618 said:
    If it's just a firmware upgrade why not just make it available to the public to download and install themselves. My guess is it's more then a firmware upgrade, possible hardware upgrade too?
    Most monitors have no method for the PC to send a firmware update: display identification is often done by an EDID EEPROM which has no data connection to the rest of the display, the built-in USB hub is often an isolated module as well with no connection to the display controller either, and I doubt GPUs have support to stream firmware data over the pixel stream.

    The reason the displays have to be sent in for upgrade is most likely because the display has to be opened up to access the display controller board's JTAG/ISP headers. Most people would have no clue how to do that nor have the necessary JTAG/ISP programmer. Depending on how the display is put together, removing the front bezel to pop the LCD out may also be nearly impossible without breaking tabs. No point in going through the trouble of making the firmware field-upgradable when the vast majority of displays will never need a firmware update in their lifespan and this also eliminates the possibility of malware infestation.

    How often have you heard of firmware upgrades for non-smart displays?

    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    Cool, is it available in the U.S?
    Reply
  • clonazepam
    Cool, is it available in the U.S?

    I assume you would like one of these after its been updated, otherwise you'd be mailing it to maybe the Netherlends, Germany, Poland, or Japan. :)

    I'm going to just assume that by the time this product makes it to the states, if it ever does, there will be plenty more products available, and competitively priced *crossing fingers*
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    14924716 said:
    I'm going to just assume that by the time this product makes it to the states, if it ever does, there will be plenty more products available, and competitively priced *crossing fingers*
    And many of those will probably be exactly the same products already on people's desks except for the updated firmware and model number.
    Reply
  • renz496
    14923618 said:
    If it's just a firmware upgrade why not just make it available to the public to download and install themselves. My guess is it's more then a firmware upgrade, possible hardware upgrade too?

    THIS. also the shipping cost for the upgrade will be on consumer side. to me this is just a marketing tactic to make sure people buy monitors from them.
    Reply
  • Ninjawithagun
    Um fellas, do the math before jumping for joy. The Acer XB280HK is a 4K GSYNC enabled monitor that currently sells for $599 ($549 when it was on sale during Black Friday). The IIYAMA Prolite B2888UHSU 4K Freesync monitor cost is 389.99 GBP...which equals $605 (at today's exchange rate). Soooooo, not really any better of a deal than the GSYNC counterpart. Chances are the XB280HK will drop at least $100 when the IIYAMA becomes available in the US. And the warranty offered by Acer is way better than anything from IIYAMA. Have fun shipping the IIYAMA off for repairs in Japan. The Acer XB280HK can be serviced and repaired as needed in the United States. That is all. Have a nice day!
    Reply