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Comparing FreeSync vs. G-Sync – Specs and Differences

FreeSync vs. G-Sync

Before Adaptive-Sync technology emerged in the form of Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync, the only thing performance-seeking gamers could wish for was higher resolutions or a refresh rate above 60 Hz.

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Today, not just do we have monitors routinely handling at 144 Hz, and higher, but Nvidia and AMD have both been revamping their respective technologies. In this era of gaming displays, which Adaptive-Sync tech reigns supreme in the match between FreeSync vs. G-Sync?

If you have decided to buy a gaming monitor, the first thing you need to pay enough attention to would be to look for the differences between G-Sync and FreeSync.

The two technologies have been designed to improve the monitor performance and match it with a compatible graphics card. The two technologies, viz FreeSync and G-Sync, come with their pros and cons. Let us check out the differences between G-Sync and FreeSync.

Comparing FreeSync vs. G-Sync: Table – 1

ConnectivitySame as standard monitorsOnly 1 or 2 inputs
Input LagDepends on modelLow
Graphics CardsAMD GPUs and APUs, some NVIDIA GPUSNVIDIA GPUs
PriceSame as standard monitorsPremium
  • Released royalty-free under VESA Adaptive-Sync
  • It doesn’t require expensive proprietary hardware
  • Sync range up to manufacturer’s discretion
  • Requires expensive NVIDIA-made display interface
  • G-SYNC covers the entire refresh rate down to 30Hz (even lower with Low Framerate Compensation)


  • Low frame rate compensation
  • Windowed mode support
  • Hardware addressing HDR API
  • Low frame rate compensation
  • Windowed mode support
  • ULMB (Backlight Flicker)
  • Variable overdrive

What is G-Sync?

G-Sync is the proprietary solution coming from Nvidia. The technology is designed to provide you access to solving the issues such as screen tearing. This technique uses adaptive refresh technology and has been compatible with Nvidia graphics cards alone.

The G Sync technology is designed to sync frame and refresh rate together. This is achieved with the help of matching up the refresh rate of the monitor.

In case you have a GPU that offers you a frame rate of 98 FPS, and the monitor provides you a 120 Hz refresh rate, you will end up two syncing at 98 Hz.

The G-Sync technology provides you access to the best syncing by embedding the hardware module provided by Nvidia into the monitor. That would mean that G-Sync displays are generally observed to be more expensive because of the necessity for the licensing for each monitor.

Released in 2013, the G-Sync technology is designed to provide you with a better degree of smoother performance when it comes to enjoying the best quality gaming. You would find that the G-Sync technology eliminates screen tearing and other display-related issues.

The G-Sync technology manipulates the monitor’s vertical blanking interval (VBI) and thus reduces screen tearing more efficiently. VBI on a monitor is the time interval between one of the frames and the next frame. The G-Sync recognizes this difference or gap and holds sending the information. This will help prevent the frame drops more effectively.

G-Sync is available under three different versions – G-Sync, G-Sync Ultimate, and G-Sync Compatibility. The G-Sync Ultimate provides you with several advantages, including the built-in R3 module, high dynamic range (HDR) support, and the ability to display 4K quality images at 144Hz.

While G-Sync has been one of the excellent means for enjoying a far greater degree of technological advancement, you would find it suffering from the price. You must buy both G-Sync-equipped monitors and the Nvidia graphics card.

What is FreeSync?

FreeSync, as you would have guessed rightly, is the AMD alternative for the Nvidia G-Sync. The technology is applicable and compatible with the AMD graphics cards alone. It will use the same adaptive refresh rate as the G-Sync technology.

However, the FreeSync technology focuses primarily on the graphics card side. The technique uses the existing VESA Adaptive-Sync standard, which is part of the DisplayPort 1.2a technology.

That would make it a cheaper alternative as it does not need a chip inside your monitor to work with your AMD graphics card. It also does not require you to have any specific licensing.

That would mean FreeSync is open source, and you would find the monitors being made available quite wide enough. That would also make the monitors available at comparatively lower pricing.

FreeSync was launched in 2015 and is compatible with practically every monitor with an Adaptive-Sync standard built into the DisplayPort 1.2a standard. It should be noticed that the FreeSync technology is not available on legacy connections such as VGA and DVI.

However, the technique is not considered to be a perfect technology as such. The FreeSync technology may bring in unwanted disturbances such as ghosting. The power management on the FreeSync monitor is a little less precise, and this is what causes the ghosting on most of the FreeSync monitors.

FreeSyncFreeSync PremiumFreeSync Premium ProG-SyncG-Sync UltimateG-Sync Compatibility
No price premiumNo price premiumNo price premiumHDR and extended color supportRefresh rates of 144 Hz and higherValidated for artifact-free performance
Refresh rates of 60 Hz and higherRefresh rates of 120 Hz and higherRefresh rates of 120 Hz and higherFrame-doubling below 30 Hz to ensure Adaptive-Sync at all frame ratesFactory-calibrated accurate SDR (sRGB) and HDR color (P3) gamut supportMany G-Sync Compatible monitors can also run FreeSync
Many FreeSync monitors can also run G-SyncLow Framerate Compensation (LFC)HDR and extended color supportUltra-low motion blur“Lifelike” HDR support
It may have HDR support.It May have HDR support (Many FreeSync Premium monitors can also run G-Sync with HDR)Low Framerate Compensation (LFC)Variable LCD overdrive
No specified peak output, but most will deliver at least 600 nits.Optimized latency
Many FreeSync Premium Pro monitors can also run G-Sync with HDR.

Supported GPUs from AMD and Nvidia:

On a high level, let us check which GPU series support these techs.

AMD R7 Series and AboveYesNo
AMD RX SeriesYesNo
AMD 6th Generation APU and NewerYesNo
NVIDIA GTX 650 Ti and AboveNoYes
NVIDIA GTX 960M and AboveNoYes
NVIDIA GTX 10- and 20- SeriesYesYes
NVIDIA RTX 20- and 30- SeriesYesYes

What are the advantages offered by FreeSync?

The primary advantage offered by the AMDs FreeSync would mean that it provides you with a great degree of affordability. The broader availability of the monitors would make it a formidable choice. It can offer you a great degree of performance.

One of the enormous advantages you stand to gain with FreeSync is that it provides you access to a no-license functionality. This would mean precisely what would make it stand apart from the rest. The technology is focused on the graphics cards alone; thus, it does need you to go with any manufacturer-specific hardware.

More choice and a high degree of affordability can be a few features that you would find quite interesting.

What are the advantages of G-Sync?

The G-Sync has been around for a long. The G-Sync is known to be offering you a great degree of performance excellence. It can be an excellent option for providing you access to a genuinely formidable choice with the best performance. You would find the FreeSyncc monitors stuttering a little in demanding situations compared to the G-Sync monitors.

You would also find the market share enjoyed by the Nvidia a little on the higher side when compared to the FreeSync monitors. The G-Sync can come up with less requirement for hardware power on the PC end.

Which among them is better?

Both G-Sync and FreeSync rely upon the Adaptive-Sync technology and have been developed by Nvidia and AMD, respectively. These technologies have been designed to provide access to HDR and extended color support.

If the performance and image quality are the prime factors you want to consider, you will find the G-Sync, and FreeSync monitors with similar performance. The significant difference between the two technologies lies in screen tearing and input lag.

If you are looking for a low input lag and would not have any issues with the screen tearing to a certain extent, the FreeSync monitors would be a good choice for your needs.

In case your preferences are to have a smoother motion with no tearing, the G-Sync should be what would make it a genuinely formidable choice. For an average professional, both G-Sync and FreeSync provide similar performance. However, in case of cost is not an issue for you, the G-Sync should be the overall winner.

The Concluding thoughts

Depending on your needs and preferences, you’ll find no clear winner between the two technologies. In most cases, your best choice is picking the technology that works with your computer: G-SYNC if you have an NVIDIA graphics card, and FreeSync if you have an AMD graphics card.

If comparing them directly, the essential feature works the same in both. Still, G-SYNC offers a more polished and consistent platform for a premium (which means that the best monitors around are mostly G-SYNC). At the same time, capabilities can vary wildly between the range of FreeSync models found in every price range.

The G-Sync technology from Nvidia and FreeSync technology from AMD provide you with the best possible experience. In any case, having a good knowledge of the refresh rate and technology of the two technologies would give you a better insight into what you are likely to get.

The information here should help you with a good knowledge of this scenario.

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