Screen tearing is one irritating moment when it happens on the screen, and it is a main cause of frustration for all hard – core gamers today. For players looking for quick response time and no lag, this thing can get pretty annoying. Do note that this problem is not only prevalent in low cost computers, but can be seen in the expensive ones as well. This crisis is now being fixed by two graphic synchronization technologies in the market, FreeSync and G-Sync facing of each other intensely.
Although the FreeSync by AMD and the G-Sync by NVIDIA work in the same niche, they market the technologies they employ in a completely different way. The hardware content of the two devices slightly differs. Also, note that the graphics card only work for the computers for which they are manufactured, they cannot be interchanged with each other. As a result, the customer will have to make the choice between the wisely.
What is frame tearing?
Gamers who possess higher end monitors also face the problem of frame tearing. This is primarily caused when the refresh screen on the monitor does not match the frame rate as rendered by the graphics card. Do remember that a monitor that has a specification of 60Hz will refresh only at 60 frames per second constant, but the graphics rate produced by the card varies with the stuff that happens on the screen. Because of this, the moment your screen refreshes, maybe the graphics card has rendered a partial refresh only until then. As a result, the computer screen displays multiple frames at once that decrease the quality of the images rapidly and causes lag with the motion of the fast moving objects.
How to solve this?
In order to prevent the graphic card from being out of sync with the monitor, it has to be forced to match its power with the refresh rate of the monitor. That is what the AMD FreeSync and the NVIDIA G-Sync does. But many of the graphic devices are unable to keep up with the consistent need of 60 frames per second; as a result, the frames get repeated in sequence. This leads to lagging which can get even irritating than screen tearing.
The problem also arises because the graphics cards don’t really communicate with the monitor when anything is in progress. The two technologies solve this problem by enabling the communication. That is, the graphics card is given the command to control the frames per second, the monitor is running at. For instance, the monitor’s frame per second might reduce to a 49, 50 so that it syncs with the frame per speed as rendered by the graphics card. This removes the screen tearing effect and also removes the possibility of any screen lag from the monitor with FreeSync and G-Sync. The impact is incredible, the images are much more seamless and even fast motion can be captured fluidly onto the screen. This benefits both the medium end machines and the higher end machines.
Now, let us get to the burning question. How is G-Sync different from FreeSync?
NVIDIA was the first entrant into the market and this was supported by Asus and Acer. The technology is amazing, but again, just like other great things, even this has a drawback. If the computer has to be fitted with the G-Sync, then the hardware in it must be compatible with the technology. And installing the hardware set like that is on the expensive side.
FreeSync on the other hand, employs the Adaptive Sync Standard. Although even this graphics card requires an external hardware, but since, many companies other than AMD also produce the same, the pricing is less due to the increased competition.
Another difference between the two is the handling of the graphics card, especially when the produce more frames than the computer. The G-Sync locks a value of the frame rate as the upper limit for the computer, whereas the FreeSync will enable the graphics card to render the higher rate frames. This brings in screen tearing to some extent, but the lag is pushing for a minimum.
Which graphics cards are compatible with the G-Sync and the FreeSync?
Since both the technologies are extremely similar, the selection of either depends on the model of the computer you may have and what the requirement exactly is. Do note that some of the old NVIDIA and the AMD cards may be compatible with their respective technologies. Look out for them in your monitor because if you have an old version of them, then you would not need to revamp the graphics card at all.
As reported by the company, the following are the Graphics Processing Units that will be compatible with the FreeSync: Radeon R9 295X2, 290 series, 285X and 260 series. Other cards may still support the technology, but only while playing video and to save power.
A lot of the older NVIDIA graphics cards like the TITAN, 780, 770, 760, 660, 670, 680, 690 and many more cards are compatible with the technology.
The conclusion from the above review is that there are a lot of older cards which does support the AMD FreeSync and the NVIDIA G-Sync so it is not necessary to overhaul the entire hardware system to accommodate one. Also, although the modern computer compatibility for FreeSync is more than compared the G-Sync, the latter also has some good brands under its name like Acer and Asus.
It may get a bit confusing for customers who prefer the adaptive technology at its finest. For this, you have to wait, compare the different monitors available in the market and see where the graphics game is progressing before making the decision. If you want to start afresh with a new graphics card, we recommend you AMD Free-Sync over G-Sync. This works great with even medium – range computers and the other extra costs are also minimized.