AMD FreeSync aims to reduce screen “tearing”

A new range of 4K monitors from Samsung will be the first to include a new graphics technology from AMD that promises to reduce glitches in HD video and games. 

Dubbed FreeSync, the technology is AMD’s answer to Nvidia’s G-Sync, both of which aim to match the maximum refresh rate of the graphics card with that of connected displays to minimise stuttering and other visual noise. 

The frame rate output from graphics cards is variable, as the GPU crunches through its workload as fast as it can. Display refresh rates, on the other hand, are a consistent 60 frames per second (fps). Without synchronisation “tearing” can occur, where the monitor is fed a new frame before it has finished drawing the previous one, causing a split-screen effect. 

The key word in AMD’s offering is “free” – unlike Nvidia’s proprietary system, AMD’s offering is open source and carries no licence fee. AMD clearly hopes this will make it more attractive to monitor manufacturers such as Samsung, which has already pledged to carry it in 4K monitors to be launched early next year. Those screens are the Samsung UD590 (23.6in and 28in models) and UE850 (23.6in, 27in and 31.5in models), although it will eventually be built into all of the company’s UHD screens. 

“We are very pleased to adopt AMD FreeSync technology to our 2015 Samsung Electronics Visual Display division’s UHD monitor roadmap, which fully supports open standards,” said Joe Chan, a vice presisent of Samsung Electronics. “With this technology, we believe users including gamers will be able to enjoy their videos and games to be played with smoother frame display without stuttering or tearing on their monitors.”

AMD has also announced a new mobile APU, codenamed Carrizo. The company claims the processor can be used to power 4K displays in laptops and all-in-ones, with the first products using Carrizo arriving on the market by the middle of 2015.  

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