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AMD sets higher speed standards for FreeSync monitors

samsung oled g9 monitorImage: Mattias Inghe/Foundry

AMD’s FreeSync anti-tearing adaptive sync technology is a more popular standard than Nvidia’s G-Sync, if only because the former doesn’t require pricey additional hardware to meet its more stringent demands. But AMD isn’t letting just any screen claim to work. A new set of higher standards for FreeSync-compatible screens has been released.

For the regular, no-frills version of FreeSync, most smaller monitors will need at least 144Hz of refresh rate in order to be certified compatible with FreeSync. “Smaller” in this case means under 3440 horizontal lines of resolution, basically under a 34-inch ultrawide like those popular Alienware OLEDs.

For FreeSync Premium (which just means “peak performance”), smaller screens need to be 200Hz or better, while larger screens need at least 120Hz. And to hit FreeSync Premium Pro certification, displays need to both hit those size/refresh rate requirements and support FreeSync HDR (High Dynamic Range).

Further reading: The best gaming monitor: Level up your display


The bar remains lower for laptops. FreeSync certification will be granted to laptops with refresh rates as low as 40Hz….though I haven’t seen an LCD monitor below 60Hz in this century. FreeSync Premium will require 120Hz, no matter the screen panel size, and FreeSync Premium Pro once again requires FreeSync HDR capabilities.

The end result of these updated standards is that you’ll see fewer low-cost monitors with the FreeSync logo slapped on the side of the box. Which is helpful, because frankly a 60Hz budget panel really has no business claiming to be a gaming monitor, with misleading graphics overflowing with race cars and spaceships. Not that I think a lack of FreeSync certification will actually stop that from happening.

AMD’s announcement didn’t say when the new FreeSync standards will be applied to marketing for monitors and laptops, so it may be a while before you see any notable changes.

the best budget gaming monitor has freesync at 165hz

Dell G2724D

Dell G2724DRead our reviewPrice When Reviewed:$299.99Best Prices Today:$199.99 at Dell Home | $224.99 at Dell

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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