Topic Title: AMD FreeSync. Like GSYNC, but cheaper...
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Created On: 01/08/2014 09:34 AM
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 01/08/2014 09:34 AM
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black_zion
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It's something AMD showed off at CES 2014, and there are plenty of articles out there about it. But in a nutshell it takes advantage of a VESA standard "variable blanking" which they say will save power by not refreshing the screen unnecessarily. Time will tell how good it will compare to GSYNC as it's still pretty much in the beta stage, but since all panels will support variable blanking, and eventually nVidia will support it as well, one wonders if GSYNC will go the way of HD-DVD...

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 01/08/2014 11:35 AM
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Mime
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That was just AMDs attempt at stealing thunder.  Just because something gets included as part of a standard doesn't mean it'll become an actual product.  There was an x32 slot included in the PCI Express standard as well, but that never really happened either.

Let's also not forget that this was demoed in a laptop where there typically isn't a scaler inbetween the GPU and the display.  It's a bit outside my field, but if my understanding is correct it's pretty much impossible to make something like this work on the desktop.  Most(although not all) desktop displays do use a scaler, and making this widget work when there's a scaler in the mix is pretty much impossible.  That's what gsync actually does.  Whether AMD picked a laptop for the demo for this reason, or just because only a laptop happened to support their widget, we don't know.  More than likely there's only a handful of panels which support variable refresh rates because there just wasn't any need for it until now.

Don't get me wrong... it's all good that AMD is putting effort into making variable refresh rates work.  I just wouldn't get my hopes up that you'll be seeing any real competition any time soon.



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Edited: 01/08/2014 at 11:52 AM by Mime
 01/08/2014 03:28 PM
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black_zion
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I'm pretty sensitive and I don't notice the same kinds of things other people claim to when they get fewer FPS than the refresh rate, but it's going to be interesting to see how well it works as it matures. It'll be the most noticeable on laptops and tablets because of their weaker chips, but it'll be something we can all take advantage of. Let's just hope it's not a bad joke like LCD Overdrive.

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 01/10/2014 12:56 AM
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Mime
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I'm not sure how much performance plays into it actually.  So far stuttering hasn't been found to be a performance problem in general, but I don't think it's purely subjective either.  I think there will be a real difference to using a variable refresh rate.  It's just one of those things that can't be tied up in a neat and tidy package.

Of course the silly part of all this is that if variable refresh rates do become common as part of any displayport interface, then nobody is going to use an expensive FPGA to make it happen or call it 'freesync', and it won't really be owned by either AMD or nvidia. It'll just be the way things work.  I don't see the other ports like DVI or HDMI going away anytime soon though, in any case.



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Do not meddle in the affairs of archers, for they are subtle and quick to anger.
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The opinions expressed above do not represent those of Advanced Micro Devices or any of their affiliates.



Edited: 01/10/2014 at 01:20 AM by Mime
 01/10/2014 10:26 AM
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black_zion
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I don't either considering that VGA is still with us even in 2014, but I think this "technology" of variable refresh rate will advance faster than we think because it is a power saving measure, and with the majority of devices being sold being mobile, any way to extend battery life will be jumped on by Samsung and the other panel manufacturers.

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