AMD has been busy rebranding its FreeSync monitors over at CES 2020, in order to better categorize what these various displays are capable of, and has introduced a scheme whereby there are three different tiers of hardware.
The aim is to make it easier for gamers to understand what they’re getting when they buy any given product, so the old system of having FreeSync and FreeSync 2 HDR monitors has been scrapped, and there are now three levels of display: FreeSync, FreeSync Premium and FreeSync Premium Pro.
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That said, two of those levels remain essentially the same, but just renamed, although the new middle-ground tier is a fresh introduction.
So, plain FreeSync remains the baseline tier, naturally enough, and simply reflects that the monitor has FreeSync tech (which as you doubtless know, aims to combat stuttering and tearing in games – much like Nvidia’s G-Sync).
With FreeSync Premium, the new middle tier, you know you’re getting a display which has at least a 120Hz refresh rate (at a minimum of Full HD resolution) with low frame rate compensation (LFC) technology on-board. LFC, as the name suggests, keeps gameplay smooth when the PC is struggling and the game is running at sluggish frame rates below the display’s minimum supported refresh rate.
Then the top tier is FreeSync Premium Pro – previously known as FreeSync 2 HDR – which carries everything that Premium offers (unsurprisingly), but further insists that the monitor has HDR support.
FreeSync has been around for six years now, and AMD notes that there are in excess of 1,000 monitors which have been certified as of January 2020.
Part of the reason for the change is doubtless because there weren’t all that many monitors which had a high (120Hz+) refresh rate plus LFC until growth of these kind of displays took off during 2017, and speeded up considerably in recent times. Now, there will be over 300 monitors categorized as FreeSync Premium, so almost a third of the FreeSync monitors out there.
For the full details on all the changes, and a whole host of other info, you can check out AMD’s freshly updated FreeSync FAQ.
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