Man, this “gen-battle” is going to be really interesting. Nvidia vs AMD. Android support versus consoles support. TressFX vs PhysX. And G-Sync versus FreeSync. AnandTech has revealed that AMD’s answer to Nvidia’s mind-blowing G-Sync tech is called “FreeSync” and does not require any hardware modifications at all. That is of course if your monitor supports VBLANK.
During CES 2014, AMD used two Toshiba Satellite Click notebooks, without any hardware modifications, to demonstrate its variable refresh rate technology.
As AnandTech noted, this “FreeSync” tech can be used when the GPU’s display engine, its panel and display hardware itself support it.
“In the case of the Toshiba Satellite Click, the panel already supports variable VBLANK. AMD’s display engines have supported variable VBLANK for a couple of generations, and that extends all the way down to APUs. The Satellite Click in question uses AMD’s low cost Kabini APU, which already has the requisite hardware to support variable VBLANK and thus variable display refresh rates (Kaveri as well as AMD’s latest GPUs should support it as well). AMD simply needed driver support for controlling VBLANK timing, which is present in the latest Catalyst drivers. AMD hasn’t yet exposed any of the controls to end users, but all of the pieces in this demo are ready and already available.”
And there you have it AMD fans. If everything goes well, you won’t miss the advantages of the G-Sync tech.
FreeSync is still in early phase and AMD has not used as impressive demos as Nvidia did with G-Sync. Still, it’s better than nothing.
The only demo that was showcased at CES 2014 was the following one. On the left we have a laptop running the scene at 30fps v-sync, and on the right we have a laptop running the scene via FreeSync.