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AMD Answers FreeSync Questions in New FAQ

AMD has posted a new FAQ section on its website. Normally, we would consider that completely unremarkable. However, this section is about Project FreeSync, so it might actually be the first FAQ about it you ever read.

AMD's Project FreeSync is the company's effort to use DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync, which is now an industry standard, to deliver dynamic refresh rates. The idea behind it is to compete with G-Sync, except AMD intends for the standard to be present on all graphics cards, including Nvidia's. Whether that will happen remains unknown, but it is what AMD wants, and it is certainly what would be best for us as consumers.

One of the problems with Project FreeSync, though, is that it has been difficult to get exact answers on a number of questions. This makes the FAQ particularly interesting, and if you're not fully informed about Project FreeSync yet, it might be worth a read.

We also interviewed an AMD spokesman a few weeks back to get some answers about FreeSync.

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  • f-14
    when will 75hz be standard refresh rate since thunderbolt will be able to support it?
    when will 4096x1600 become standard since thunderbolt can support it?
    what size will the video card memory bus have to be in order to use such large pixel display settings in triple monitor set ups or 108" displays?
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    None of those things are really important. 60Hz looks great how it is, 75Hz is just an extra and not something that should be a standard. Same for 4k resolutions.

    None of these questions have anything to do with what Freesync is or does. It is to fix one of the oldest problems, not to make changes to standards that 99% of the world would never have or use, at least not for many years to come.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    None of those things are really important. 60Hz looks great how it is, 75Hz is just an extra and not something that should be a standard. Same for 4k resolutions.

    None of these questions have anything to do with what Freesync is or does. It is to fix one of the oldest problems, not to make changes to standards that 99% of the world would never have or use, at least not for many years to come.

    And no one will ever need more than 640KB of memory!

    Stupid young'uns and their unnecessary new tricks.

    Cheers! :P
    Reply
  • husker
    The elephant in the room that isn't being talked about is the fact that monitor manufacturers will have to add special hardware in order to support fresync -- more than just an upgraded DisplayPort standard. From AMD's own FAQ:

    <i>"AMD plans to release a compatible graphics driver to coincide with the introduction of the first DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync monitors."</i>

    What manufacturers are planning such a monitor? That's the question that needs to be answered.
    Reply
  • Bondfc11
    Husker no idea why you are downvoted - silly - since you are dead on the mark with your comments. FS is not free since it will require OEMs to program, prototype, test, certify, and produce new AD PCBs. This is not a simple update to existing AD PCBs as many people wrongly assume. It requires a whole new board and programming. Those costs will be passed on to consumers to be sure.
    Reply
  • vaughn2k
    Downvoted fixed! Now you're down to zero! :D. But seriously, I will hold on to what I have right now, until price drops, so I will not feel the pain of being robbed... ;)
    Reply
  • Vorador2
    Husker no idea why you are downvoted - silly - since you are dead on the mark with your comments. FS is not free since it will require OEMs to program, prototype, test, certify, and produce new AD PCBs. This is not a simple update to existing AD PCBs as many people wrongly assume. It requires a whole new board and programming. Those costs will be passed on to consumers to be sure.

    You're wrong. Freesync is "free" because it is integrated in the displayport standard and doesn't cost a dime to license, nor requires additional hardware outside of a modern displayport controller. Unlike nvidia's g-sync, which is proprietary, only works with nvidia's cards and requires an additional chip.

    nVidia's solution does requires a new board, but Freesync doesn't.

    So the point is that Freesync IS a simple update. It cannot be added retroactively, but if you're manufacturing a new monitor with DisplayPort, adding Freesync is free.
    Reply
  • xyriin
    Before people start making outlandish claims about how 'awesome' Freesync is we should look at the facts.

    First off the VESA standard doesn't hit the higher refresh rates like 120/144hz. As such Freesync only works up to 60hz. So if you're looking for a gaming technology Freesync is useless, you might as well just beef up your GPU and turn vsync on.

    Freesync will be able to go beyond 60hz but only when new chips are introduced. So yes, there will be new hardware required just like Gsync in order to support higher refresh rates. Also, your current monitor, will NEVER support Freesync beyond 60hz no matter what firmware you might apply meaning just like Gsync you'll need to buy a shiny new 'Sync' compatible monitor.

    Because of the new hardware requirement for sync tech above 60hz, Gsync is already to market while Freesync doesn't even have model confirmation yet.

    Keep in mind that Freesync is based off hacking a battery saving standard, it was never designed from the ground up as a gaming technology. Additionally, nVidia has done all the hardware work for Gsync so monitor companies only have to implement it. On the other hand with Freesync all the monitor manufacturers have to do hardware design on the new chips from the ground up on their own.

    Think about it this way. If you currently game at high refresh rates then you don't need Freesync, you simply turn vsync on and lock in at 60hz because your hardware can handle it. Freesync without new hardware fills a gap no one needs.
    Reply
  • army_ant7
    I found a very important (and saddening for some) pair of statements in one of the FAQ pages.

    All AMD Radeon™ graphics cards in the AMD Radeon™ HD 7000, HD 8000, R7 or R9 Series will support Project FreeSync for video playback and power-saving purposes. The AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2, 290X, R9 290, R7 260X and R7 260 GPUs additionally feature updated display controllers that will support dynamic refresh rates during gaming.

    Sure, having dynamic refresh rates even in a limited state is still a bonus for "old" HD 7000 owners like myself especially since we didn't expect such a thing to come out back when we bought ours, but still I have to say that we really are missing out. :-(
    Reply
  • army_ant7
    13893862 said:
    ... As such Freesync only works up to 60hz. So if you're looking for a gaming technology Freesync is useless, you might as well just beef up your GPU and turn vsync on.

    Freesync will be able to go beyond 60hz but only when new chips are introduced. ...

    I don't really agree with the other statements you made, especially since you didn't link any sources to support your claims, but I will tell you this. Please remember to clean up your posts of contradictory statements such as the ones I've selectively quoted above. :-)

    Here's one of the FAQ pages that answers what refresh rate ranges could be supported, for anyone interested.
    What is the supported range of refresh rates with FreeSync and DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync?
    Reply