CES 2017: AMD Introduces Radeon FreeSync 2

AMD’s FreeSync 2 adds another layer to FreeSync with new features.

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FreeSync is AMD’s royalty-free answer to NVIDIA’s G-Sync adaptive synchronization technology they've announced at CES 2017. FreeSync is designed to synchronize a monitor’s refresh rate with a computer’s GPU. AMD’s newly announced FreeSync 2 isn’t a successor to this technology. Instead, it’s built to run concurrently with FreeSync to build and expand on the tech’s features.

FreeSync 2 aims to standardize HDR support on Windows 10. Currently, HDR monitors may have issues converting a game’s tone mapping in Windows 10 into an appropriately displayed image. The main problem is display lag, leading to lower monitor response times. AMD’s FreeSync 2 seeks to eliminate this issue by handling the HDR conversion directly on the GPU, then passing the tone map to the FreeSync 2 compatible monitor instead of having the monitor do the processing.

FreeSync 2 will require a bit more input from game developers, though. Unlike FreeSync, which doesn’t need additional game programming, FreeSync 2 calls for specific support from engine and game developers. FreeSync 2 will also be considered a premium product by AMD, and monitors using the original FreeSync technology without the bells and whistles of FreeSync 2 will still be available for low and mid-range monitors.

The big question about AMD’s FreeSync 2 technology is whether or not it will be provided to manufacturers royalty-free. Whether or not there’s extra cost involved compared to the first FreeSync tech could be the make or break of whether this technology is widely adopted or not. As of right now, no FreeSync 2 compatible monitors have been revealed, so we’re still in the dark on just how much of a premium FreeSync 2 will command.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
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    January 4, 2017 9:45 AM

    Jason Faulkner posted a new article, CES 2017: AMD Introduces Radeon FreeSync 2

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      January 4, 2017 10:00 AM

      Having just switched to AMD, it's amazing to me that FreeSync monitors are at least $200-300 cheaper than equivalent G-Sync ones.

      I saw a 35" ultrawide 144HZ IPS for like... $500? You can snag a basic 1080p 144Hz TN for around $220.

      Why so much less?

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        January 4, 2017 10:19 AM

        That's because IPS makes TN look like shit but is much more expensive to produce.

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        January 4, 2017 10:24 AM

        FreeSync is royalty free. G--Sync is not.

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        January 4, 2017 10:39 AM

        I doubt GSync on its own adds quite that much to the costs, but yeah, NVidia ain't doing it for free. The shitty thing is that their GPUs could support FreeSync, but they're obviously trying to keep FreeSync from becoming mainstream so that the can profit from their proprietary version.

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          January 4, 2017 4:52 PM

          It originally added 100-200$ to the cost

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        January 4, 2017 3:07 PM

        Gsync has a hardware component outside of the GPU itself that's in each Gsync display. This hardware does it's own processing to sync the refresh rate. That's part of the reason why it's so much more.

        Price wise your two example displays aren't an apples to apples comparison.

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      January 4, 2017 11:10 AM


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      January 4, 2017 2:12 PM

      Jason, you're running into the common mistake where you use "response time" and "input lag" interchangeably. The official definition of response time is strictly the amount of time the pixel takes to change colors, it doesn't include all the pre-processing time before hand. Input lag encompasses all of that.

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      January 4, 2017 3:01 PM

      I love the upgrade, I hate how inconsistent the Freesync branding is. Adding multiple tiers doesn't help.

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      January 4, 2017 3:02 PM

      I read Freespace 2 and got excited.

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