Published in Graphics

AMD’s FreeSync beating Nvidia’s G-Sync

by on13 October 2016

Kitchen sink beating N-Sync

Monitors supporting AMD’s FreeSync adaptive sync tech are cleaning Nvidia’s G-Sync clock.

According to PC World, FreeSync monitors are not only cheaper, but offer a wider range of vendors, screen size, refresh rate, and resolution.

Part of the problem is Nvidia’s proprietary G-Sync hardware module jacks up the price but the biggest issue is apparently G-Sync’s limited availability. Yep, despite the fact that Nvidia’s steel capped boot has been on the GPU’s throat for ages, it is thin on the ground and in any event monitor designers don’t like it.

Some display makers report that Nvidia’s module requires more room inside the monitor enclosure. Minhee Kim LG’s PC and monitor marketing and communications bod said that this also jacks up the price. AMD’s approach is more open, in that monitor makers can include the technology in their existing designs.

“Set makers could adopt their technology at much cheaper cost with no need to change design,” Kim says. “This makes it easier to spread models not only for serious gaming monitors but also for mid-range models.”

Look at the price list. LG’s FreeSync monitor has several 1080p monitors under 30 inches diagonal with an ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio, priced as little as $279. With G-Sync, the only 1080p ultrawide monitor is a 35-inch curved panel from Acer with a much higher refresh rate and it costs $900. The cheapest ultrawide 1080p G-Sync monitor will set you back nearly $1000.

Nvidia’s G-Sync is about as flexible as Italian tax laws, and as a result gets similarly ignored. Smart Insight adjusts gamma and brightness on the fly, helping to improve visibility in light and dark areas. But it will not work with G-Sync, because Nvidia’s module insists on handling all the colour adjustments itself.

Tom Petersen, Nvidia’s director of technical marketing admits that that the high cost to develop G-Sync monitors puts them into a pricier segment of the market. But it is supposed to be a premium product.

G-Sync is superior to FreeSync in some ways such at its ability to handle any drop in refresh rate and Nvidia’s complete control over things like monitor colour and motion blur, which Petersen argues are superior to what monitor makers are offering outside the module.

Last modified on 13 October 2016
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