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AMD says no to budget 60/75/120/144Hz FreeSync and G-Sync compatible monitors and TVs

FreeSync on vs Off
Image via BenQ

AMD has announced updated requirements for FreeSync. A major selling point for FreeSync was that it was the cheaper alternative to Nvidia's proprietary G-SYNC. The reason for the former being cheaper had to much more with how it functioned and less to do with performance.

Unlike Nvidia's G-SYNC, which relied on a dedicated hardware module inside the monitor to do adaptive framerate synchronization processing, FreeSync was a software-based approach built on top of VESA's Adaptive Sync solution.

Typically, the vast majority of 60, 75, 90 and 120Hz monitors come FreeSync certified nowadays. And while it generally worked via DisplayPort initially, over time, a lot of FreeSync monitors started supporting HDMI as well. HDMI seems to be a lot more common, especially in the budget segment, and as such, most monitors do come with an HDMI cable by default.

FreeSync has been such a success that Nvidia was forced to introduce a "G-SYNC Compatible" standard.

However, with new requirements, AMD has made it mandatory that monitors and TVs have a refresh rate of at least 144Hz for FreeSync to work. This applies to all monitors and TVs with a horizontal resolution of less than 3440 pixels.

Thus, monitors with an aspect ratio of 16:9, whether 1080p (1920X1080)—the most popular resolution—or 1440p (2560x1440) or anything below that, will now have to support 144Hz to be classified as FreeSync. This means future budget monitors will soon lose the FreeSync moniker.

For higher-resolution FreeSync Premium monitors, the refresh rate has been set to 120Hz. In its announcement blog post on the AMD community forum, the company writes:

For Monitors and TVs, the maximum refresh rates required for AMD FreeSync™ technology certification have been increased to reflect today’s best in class standards, and HDR requirements have been aligned with ecosystem specs.

Requirements for notebooks remain the same, and existing AMD FreeSync™ technology certified displays will continue to be supported.

You can view the new requirements in detail in the table below:


Monitors and TVs


Max. Refresh Rate: 40-60 Hz

Max. Refresh Rate: ≥ 144 Hz

FreeSync™ Premium

Max. Refresh Rate: ≥ 120 Hz

Max. Refresh Rate: ≥ 200 Hz

≥ 3440 Horizontal resolution:
Max. Refresh Rate: ≥ 120 Hz

FreeSync™ Premium Pro

AMD FreeSync HDR on top of FreeSync™ Premium requirements.

AMD FreeSync HDR on top of FreeSync™ Premium requirements.

Hence, while desktop monitors and TVs now need to be beefier, AMD has kept the same requirements for notebooks and laptops, which also makes sense, given that desktops are also generally far more capable at similar price points.

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