At CES 2020 in Las Vegas, AMD have announced their re–branding of their FreeSync adaptive-sync technology in an effort to make it easier for consumers to understand what they are getting. Previously we had FreeSync and FreeSync 2, both designed to deliver variable refresh rates for gaming which were free of tearing, give low flicker and low latency. The later FreeSync 2 scheme carried more stringent certification standards and included support for HDR.
While nothing has changed with the actual technology, screens will now be certified under one of 3 schemes, based on 3 levels of support.
AMD have now announced 3 new levels of FreeSync support:
The most basic support for VRR including:
- Tear free
- Low flicker
- low latency
AMD’s website states that “Every AMD FreeSync™ monitor goes through a rigorous certification process to ensure a tear free, low latency experience”. This was not the case with many early FreeSync screens, so if the levels of certification and testing has been improved then that’s great news. FreeSync should also work over both HDMI and DisplayPort their website says.
As well as the baseline features above, the screen must also include:
- At least 120Hz refresh rate
- At least a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution
- Low frame rate compensation (LFC)
FreeSync Premium Pro
As well as the features from the Premium scheme, it must also support:
- HDR capability and game support
- Low latency for both HDR and SDR content
Expect to see these new brand names used for new displays as they are announced and released, alongside the current NVIDIA G-sync certifications. Perhaps this is AMD’s way of reminding everyone that FreeSync and their AMD brand is still here, and putting it back in to the focus of display manufacturers which seem to have quickly moved away from really talking about FreeSync and instead focusing on things like G-sync Compatible certification.