Variable-refresh-rate monitors can make a big difference when gaming or performing rendering tasks.
A major advantage of G-Sync and FreeSync technology is the removal of screen-tearing artifacts and input lag caused by standard V-Sync implementation.
The technology works by dynamically matching the refresh rate of the monitor to the frame rate delivered by the connected graphics card, and usually operates up to a certain capped refresh rate.
Variable refresh rates
Any LCD panel, whether it is VA, IPS, or TN, can make use of variable-refresh-rate technology, although monitors require a proprietary hardware module to be installed to support G-Sync technology.
Nvidia’s G-Sync and AMD’s FreeSync deliver similar results, with image quality influenced by factors such as panel types.
TN LCD panels deliver lower visual quality but faster refresh rates and response times, while IPS LCD panels boast higher contrast but lower response times.
G-Sync is supported by Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti or better graphics cards and require the manufacturer’s R340.52 display drivers.
AMD’s FreeSync technology is supported by the company’s RX-series graphics cards, in addition to various GPUs from the R9 series.
While the technologies operate similarly, AMD maintains its FreeSync standard as free-to-use – resulting in FreeSync products costing up to $300 less than competing technologies.
South African pricing
To see how the international price difference impacts local retailers, we compared G-Sync and FreeSync monitors using Wootware’s listings.
The pricing between monitor generations varies locally, but FreeSync displays were cheaper than their G-Sync counterparts overall – as shown below.
|LG 34UM68 FreeSync||2,560 x 1,080||IPS||75Hz/5ms||R8,499|
|LG 34UC79G-B FreeSync||2,560 x 1,080||IPS||144Hz/5ms||R10,899|
|Samsung CF791 FreeSync||3,440 x 1,440||VA||100Hz/4ms||R17.059|
|Asus ROG Swift PG348Q G-Sync||3,440 x 1,440||IPS||100Hz/5ms||R19,299|
|Dell SE2717H FreeSync||1,920 x 1,080||IPS||75Hz/6ms||R3,299|
|Acer XG270HU FreeSync||2,560 x 1,440||TN||144Hz/1ms||R9,654|
|Dell S2716DG G-Sync||2,560 x 1,440||TN||144Hz/1ms||R9,799|
|Asus MG278Q FreeSync||2,560 x 1,440||TN||144Hz/1ms||R11,057|
|Asus ROG Swift PG279Q G-Sync||2,560 x 1,440||IPS||165Hz/4ms||R14,064|
|Asus ROG Swift PG27AQ G-Sync||3,840 x 2,160||IPS||60Hz/4ms||R16,199|
|Acer XF240H FreeSync||1,920 x 1,080||TN||144Hz/1ms||R5,849|
|Asus ROG Swift PG248Q G-Sync||1,920 x 1080||TN||180Hz/1ms||R8,181|
|Dell S2417DG G-Sync||2,560 x 1,440||TN||165Hz/1ms||R8,457|
|Acer Predator XB1 XB241H G-Sync||1,920 x 1,080||TN||144Hz/1ms||R8,781|
|Asus MG24UQ FreeSync||3,840 x 2,160||IPS||60Hz/4ms||R10,647|