Interview With AMD
The following are excerpts from our conversation with Robert Hallock, head of global technical marketing at AMD:
Tom's Hardware: How are you feeling about the market momentum FreeSync is seeing?
Hallock: Great. We went from three monitors (actively sold in the market) in March to 19 in July. We've fixed all of the early issues that surfaced in the market through firmware or driver updates. We've introduced a quality certification program, and have already failed certain displays, to further guarantee the quality of displays sporting the FreeSync logo.
(Ed.: We were not satisfied with pure product range figures, so we tried asking both Newegg and Asus about actual sales volumes. Unfortunately, both companies declined to comment on relative sales volumes of G-Sync-equipped versus FreeSync-equipped displays.)
TH: What standards does a display sporting the FreeSync logo need to meet?
Hallock: Certain standards pertaining to, for example, a minimum variable refresh rate range of operation in FreeSync mode. We cannot disclose the details, for competitive reasons.
TH: The Adaptive-Sync standard you promoted, and VESA adopted as an optional standard, feels like a rather "light" standard. Is there an aspiration to expand that standard further?
Hallock: Adaptive-Sync as a VESA standard deals with the DisplayPort protocol only. FreeSync is the (higher order) standard, licensed free of charge to display OEMs, that deals with all other aspects of the technology.
TH: Why is the Asus MG279Q limited to a 35 to 90Hz variable refresh rate in FreeSync mode?
Hallock: That's a question for Asus. FreeSync, as a technology, supports a 9 to 240Hz native variable refresh rate range. It's important to not confuse limitations of FreeSync as a technology with the design choices that display OEMs choose to make, or to associate specific issues or limitations with individual products with the technology more broadly. For instance, the upcoming Nixeus Vue 24″ will support FreeSync over a 30 to 144Hz range.
TH: Will you be promoting and/or supporting frame time prediction in future displays (to support pixel overdrive and variable-timed strobing)?
Hallock: These are display-OEM choices. We are aware that Asus recently introduced pixel overdrive in combination with FreeSync. We are not aware of the details of Asus' implementation.
(Ed.: Hallock told us that one thing AMD will never do is buffer frames or do anything that introduces greater latency.)
TH: Will FreeSync support windowed mode?
Hallock: We are looking into (windowed functionality). We don't have a timetable for that yet.