FreeSync vs G-Sync. Which One is Better?

When in the market for a high refresh-rate monitor, you will have to choose between FreeSync and G-Sync. Both are adaptive sync technologies and replace the V-Sync option that you can find in the graphics settings of games.

FreeSync and G-Sync balance the output of your graphics card and what you see on your monitor. If the graphics card is pushing out more frames than what the monitor is capable of then you experience screen tearing. FreeSync and G-Sync both eliminate this screen tearing issue.

While V-Sync is a fine solution to screen tearing if you are playing games at 60 FPS or slightly above, it is not good enough for 120Hz or higher displays. That is why higher-end monitors with high refresh rates come with either AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync.

AMD FreeSync vs Nvidia G-Sync: The Difference

For starters, FreeSync is a solution from AMD while G-Sync was created by Nvidia. While V-Sync is going to cap your graphics card to meet the refresh rate of the monitor, both FreeSync and G-Sync and are going to adapt the frames on the screen to what the graphics card is outputting.

For example, suppose that your graphics card can run a game at 70-90 FPS. V-Sync will limit your graphics card to 60 FPS (monitor’s refresh rate). FreeSync and G-Sync will make sure that the monitor refresh rate varies between 70 and 90 according to the output of the graphics card.

In essence, with V-Sync the monitor is the one with the control while the graphics card has the upper hand when using both FreeSync and G-Sync. If you have a decent graphics card then you might as well get your money’s worth of performance out of it and get the best possible experience when gaming.

As a rule of thumb, FreeSync is only going to work if you have an AMD graphics card. Likewise, you can only use G-Sync if you have an Nvidia graphics card. There are some exceptions to this rule but they are fairly limited.

When it comes to display technology, Nvidia requires OEMs to use its proprietary scaler modules. That is why G-Sync compatible monitors are generally more expensive when compared to FreeSync monitors. FreeSync is open-source so OEMs do not have to pay a licensing fee or buy scalers from AMD so the price of FreeSync displays is generally lower.

FreeSync vs G-Sync. Which One is Better?

While FreeSync monitors are more affordable, they only work as intended in a specific FPS range. For example, a FreeSync monitor might work between a 30 to 144 FPS range. This is due to AMD being flexible with the scaler tech that OEMs use in their monitors. Before buying a FreeSync monitor we recommend checking the FPS range that has been mentioned by the manufacturer.

Nvidia’s restrictions mean that there is no FPS range that you need to worry about. This also means that there is lower motion blur. Some displays can even be overclocked.

Conclusion

It all comes down to your budget. Yes, the best that money can buy is a G-Sync monitor but if you want the best value for money or are on a budget then you can look into FreeSync monitors and get a similar experience. Getting the FreeSync monitor that suits your needs might require a bit more research but you will be able to save some money.

About The Author

XbitLabs Staff

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