AMD, it seems has more planned than just their CPU and GPU announcements at CES. Starting off with FreeSync 2, with HDR support, lower latency, and more exciting features we will talk about below.
AMD’s FreeSync launch in 2015 came as a reply to NVidia’s G-Sync technology; both essentially serving the same purpose, but with G-Sync enabled monitors costing much more in comparison to AMD’s offering.
Both technologies work by synchronizing the refresh speed of the monitor to the frame rate produced by the graphics card. So any stutters or dips in the frame rate are smoothed out for a much better gaming experience.
While Nvidia’s implementation uses a specific component that display manufacturers must add to their devices. AMD’s method uses HDMI and DisplayPort standards that are freely usable while adding no extra cost. This has lead to the release of over 120 FreeSync monitors, leaving G-Sync far behind in terms of monitor choices.
Although FreeSync 2 may sound like a successor to replace FreeSync, AMD assures us that this is not the case. It seems FreeSync monitor production will continue, while FreeSync 2 will be a more premium alternative to it.
HDR or High Dynamic Range is something that is heavily promoted by consoles these days, which also sport AMD hardware. The technology allows HDR enabled displays to show much brighter whites and darker blacks than normal displays.
AMD’s aim is to bring HDR to PC gamers with FreeSync 2, with some new exclusive features. Games and media players will now be able to communicate with the monitor itself, dynamically using HDR when needed. Also, FreeSync 2’s HDR implementation actively tries to avoid the input lag issues that plague all other HDR displays.
Additionally, AMD is tightening the standards for FreeSync 2 compared to their older implementation. As a result, every monitor with FreeSync 2 will have a wider FreeSync range and much lower input lag.
In true AMD fashion, FreeSync 2 will be available to all graphics cards that already support FreeSync, including even the Radeon HD7000 series from 2012. The support will arrive via a driver update later this year.
As for the launch date, AMD announced that FreeSync 2 displays will be launching in the first half of 2017. Notably, Samsung has also announced support for new FreeSync 2 equipped monitors in the upcoming months.