AMD says FreeSync will be a cheaper way to get smoother gameplay
AMD has officially announced FreeSync, a standard for open technology whose mission is to make games displayed more fluidly on PC monitors by adapting to the monitors refresh rate. The new Catalyst drivers released in March 19 will include the FreeSync upgrade.
FreeSync is being dubbed as the logical next step from the vertical synchronization (V-Sync), and is derived from the free proprietary analogue technology from NVIDIA, G-SYNC. FreeSync manages to synchronize the monitors refresh rate to the GPU found in a system, resulting in an optimal gaming experience without stuttering or tearing.
FreeSync is definitely a step up from V-Sync, a feature that I did the opposite process: to adapt the performance of the GPU to the refresh rate of the monitor (when enabled, games run at 60 FPS monitors 60 Hz, for example), preventing the common tearing effect. This however caused input-lag and stuttering when the GPU was not able to achieve the necessary FPS to synchronize with the refresh rate of the monitor, which is finally being solved with FreeSync, this time around its the monitor that adapts to the FPS that the GPU is able to offer (logically only up to the maximum that is supported by the monitor, ie a 60 Hz monitor will not work at 100 Hz because the GPU would allow it).
FreeSync Vs G-Sync
What makes FreeSync different from G-Sync and the rest is that it is a VESA standard created by AMD, and has already been integrated into the standard DisplayPort 1.2a, currently only supported by AMD Radeon graphics cards and the coming iGPU that is said to integrate the Intel Broadwell processors. Unlike G-Sync, FreeSync does not require any proprietary technology or any dedicated hardware, so all monitor manufacturers who wish to participate may implement it and you will not have to pay a penny to AMD or VESA. Also as mentioned you do not need an additional hardware module for this to work, the monitor manufacturer only has to implement the DisplayPort 1.2a. standard. There are already a handful of monitors that support it (as AMD says it will soon have be over 12 monitors that support FreeSync from leading manufacturers such as Acer, LG and BenQ).
This is what everyone wants to talk about, AMD says FreeSync produces a small penalty compared to NVIDIA G-Sync, and also the performance is more consistent (less drops in FPS). The company has shown a handful of internal benchmarks to prove its progress.