Nvidia graphics cards now also support FreeSync

Nvidia GeForce works with FreeSync
(Picture: Mockup PCBC)

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Nvidia announced at the CES to support Adaptive Sync and thus FreeSync as variable refresh rate technology with the GeForce graphics cards.

The problem with G-Sync

Monitors with high refresh rates are becoming increasingly popular. Gamers often use a 144 Hz monitor. A variable refresh rate technique such as G-Sync or FreeSync then provides the finishing touches. Nvidia has developed G-Sync for this, the competitor AMD uses the VESA standard Adaptive Sync and calls it FreeSync. Both techniques work very similar. The monitor continuously adjusts the refresh rate to the actual FPS of the graphics card. Tearing and ugly streaks when playing are a thing of the past.

But Nvidia has gone its own way. While AMD simply uses the Adaptive Sync standard of VESA with FreeSync, Nvidia has developed its own G-Sync technology, which the company wants to be paid for. G-Sync monitors must be equipped with their own G-Sync modules, which make the monitors one thing above all else: expensive. FreeSync monitors, on the other hand, are much cheaper, since most panels already support the Adaptive Sync standard by default. The GeForce graphics cards do not support FreeSync in favor of G-Sync, except for a few tricks. But that’s changing now.


GeForce graphics cards can now support FreeSync

At the Consumer Electronics Show Nvidia has now announced in parallel with the announcement of the third G-Sync generation that it will also support the Adaptive Sync standard in the future. The company has tested more than 400 of the more than 550 variable refresh monitors available without a G-Sync module. Nvidia has certified 12 models as G-Sync compatible. With them, the variable refresh rate works automatically when the Nvidia driver detects the monitor. Specifically, they are the Acer XFA240, Acer XG270HU, Acer XV273K, Acer XZ321Q, Agon AG241QG4, AOC G2590FX, Asus MG278Q, Asus XG248, Asus VG258Q, Asus XG258, Asus VG278Q and BenQ XL2740.

But that’s not all. The function can also be easily activated by the user himself on all other FreeSync monitors. However, Nvidia emphasizes that only these 12 monitors would meet the high demands of G-Sync. On January 15th the driver with this function will be officially released, from then on every Nvidia user with a FreeSync display can test for himself if his monitor works. According to Nvidia, non-certified models can cause pulsating images or black dropouts. The company explicitly mentions all models of the GTX 10 and RTX 20 series as compatible graphics cards.

G-Sync Ultimate is the highest class

With this announcement, Nvidia is opening up significantly to the market for cheaper monitors. This also happens in view of the increasing pressure from AMD, which supports a much cheaper alternative with FreeSync. But G-Sync is not dead at all. The company also presented the third generation of G-Sync at the event. With G-Sync Ultimate there is now also a new standard, which should represent the absolute pinnacle of variable refresh rate monitors. A variable refresh rate of 1 Hz up to the maximum refresh rate must be possible. In addition, G-Sync Ultimate monitors must provide a refresh rate of 144 Hz at UHD resolution and HDR at 1,000 cd/m². It is not yet known when such monitors will be launched on the market.

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