AMD FreeSync: 144 Hertz display certification only


AMD has released new certification criteria for its FreeSync VRR (variable refresh rate) standard. Manufacturers who want to certify their displays according to one of the three FreeSync levels will have to meet more stringent requirements in the future. Specifically, AMD now requires higher refresh rates, but distinguishes between notebooks on the one hand and monitors and televisions on the other.


AMD has the changes in one Blog post presented and explained. For the simplest certification level called FreeSync, displays and televisions with a horizontal resolution of up to 3440 pixels must reach at least 144 Hertz; at least 200 Hertz is required for FreeSync Premium. Displays with a higher resolution should reach at least 120 Hertz. The rules are less strict for laptop displays; 40 to 60 Hertz is sufficient for simple FreeSync and at least 120 Hertz for FreeSync Premium, regardless of resolution. Observers who have already been certified should be able to maintain their classification; The rules therefore apply only to new models.

FreeSync requirements according to AMD

Free synchronization

Maximum refresh rate: 40-60 Hz

< 3440 Horizontal resolution:
Maximum refresh rate: ≥ 144Hz

FreeSync Premium

Maximum refresh rate: ≥ 120Hz

Maximum refresh rate up to 3440 pixel horizontal resolution: ≥ 200 Hz
Maximum refresh rate from a horizontal resolution of 3440 pixels: ≥ 120 Hz

FreeSync Premium Pro

FreeSync Premium + AMD FreeSync HDR

FreeSync Premium + AMD FreeSync HDR

Oguzhan Andic, the author of the blog post, cites technical development as the reason. When AMD introduced FreeSync in 2015, 60 Hertz was still considered “great for gaming”, but since then not only have graphics cards become much more powerful and can rely on new acceleration technologies. There have also been advances in monitors, both in resolution and refresh rate. Most gaming displays today support at least 144 Hertz, Andic says. Interestingly, AMD itself expects at least 144 Hertz for TVs, which not all current models necessarily achieve. There are various reasons for this, such as simply a panel that is too slow or an outdated HDMI port that doesn’t have the bandwidth for the required combination of resolution and refresh rate. Since current versions of game consoles such as Xbox and Playstation only support 120 Hertz, this has not been a limitation so far.

VRR techniques like FreeSync are intended to prevent the image on the monitor from tearing because the graphics card delivers images faster than the panel can display them.

(Image: c’t)

FreeSync is AMD’s counterpart to Nvidia’s G-Sync. Both were developed to prevent stuttering and image tearing at low or very high frame rates if the frame rate provided by the graphics card differs from the (fixed) one set on the monitor. Unlike VSync, where the graphics card is dependent on the monitor and therefore may not be able to exploit its potential, VRR techniques work the other way around: the screen dynamically adapts its frame rate to that of the graphics card within a frequency range specified update time. To do this, monitors must be certified by the GPU manufacturer and the graphics driver must support this feature. We’ve gathered more information about the features of gaming displays in our monitor buying guide.


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