FreeSync vs G-Sync - which VRR tech is best?

An image with FreeSync vs G-Sync text
Credit: MSI

An image with FreeSync vs G-Sync text
Credit: MSI

If you find yourself torn between G-Sync and FreeSync while searching for the perfect gaming display, fear not! We're here to assist you in making an informed purchase with our comprehensive FreeSync vs G-Sync comparison.

The best gaming TVs and gaming monitors on the market are equipped with either FreeSync or G-Sync (or sometimes both), providing smooth visuals. Before you invest in a gaming display, it's essential to understand the differences between FreeSync and G-Sync in terms of performance.

In this FreeSync vs G-Sync comparison guide, we'll explore the overall performance each VRR technology delivers to help you make an informed decision when choosing the best monitor for your gaming needs.

FreeSync vs G-Sync - differences

Dedicated hardware module
Yes (Dedicated G-Sync processor)
No (Relies on DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync)
Monitor Compatibility
Nvidia GPUs only
Both AMD and Nvidia GPUs
Monitor Cost
Generally more expensive
Often more affordable

Both FreeSync and G-Sync are variable refresh rate (VRR) technologies that aim to improve gaming experiences by reducing screen tearing, stuttering, and input lag. However, they have some differences.

G-Sync is a proprietary adaptive sync technology developed by NVIDIA. The native G-Sync tech requires dedicated hardware (G-Sync processor) in the monitor and a compatible NVIDIA graphics card.

FreeSync is an adaptive sync technology developed by AMD. Unlike G-Sync, FreeSync is an open standard and it does not require a specific hardware module and is compatible with both AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards.

In short, the difference between FreeSync and G-Sync is that the former doesn't require a dedicated hardware module in the monitor while the latter does.

What is G-Sync Compatible?

G-Sync Compatible is a feature introduced by NVIDIA which allows certain FreeSync monitors to work with NVIDIA graphics cards. It doesn't have the G-Sync processor and uses the open DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync standard, which is the foundation of AMD's FreeSync.

NVIDIA tested and certified specific FreeSync monitors to ensure they provide a good variable refresh rate experience when used with NVIDIA GPUs. This compatibility has increased monitor options for NVIDIA users, allowing them to choose from a wider range of monitors with HDMI 2.1.

FreeSync vs G-Sync - which is better?

G-Sync is generally considered better than FreeSync due to its dedicated hardware module, the NVIDIA G-Sync processor. It ensures a superior and more consistent variable refresh rate experience.

Even the G-Sync Compatible monitors, which lack the dedicated hardware module, are considered better than their FreeSync counterparts due to rigorous testing and validation by NVIDIA.

That said, for most users and typical use cases, the difference may not be noticeable. Both technologies offer smooth and tear-free gaming experiences with variable refresh rates, effectively reducing screen tearing and stuttering during gameplay.

FreeSync vs G-Sync - which monitor to buy?

When deciding between FreeSync and G-Sync, our recommendation would be to consider either G-Sync monitors or G-Sync Compatible monitors.

If you have a limited budget, FreeSync monitors are generally more cost-effective, especially for AMD GPU users. Alternatively, FreeSync monitors that are certified G-Sync Compatible provide a more budget-friendly option for NVIDIA GPU users.

If you have a generous budget and you own an NVIDIA graphics card, investing in a certified G-Sync monitor can be a good option. G-Sync monitors with the dedicated hardware module, have historically provided a better and more consistent VRR experience.


Can I use FreeSync with NVIDIA?

Yes, you can use FreeSync with an NVIDIA graphics card, given you have a FreeSync monitor that is certified as G-Sync Compatible by NVIDIA.

Should I use FreeSync and G-Sync together?

You cannot use FreeSync and G-Sync together simultaneously on the same monitor as it is not possible due to the different underlying technologies and compatibility requirements.

Is G-Sync really necessary?

G-Sync is not absolutely necessary for gaming, but it can provide significant benefits by effectively reducing screen tearing and stuttering during gameplay.

And that concludes our FreeSync vs G-Sync comparison guide. If you are looking for a gaming TV, LG C3 and LG G3 are two excellent FreeSync TVs that are Nvidia G-Sync certified.

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