AMD FreeSync Updateby Jarred Walton on March 5, 2015 12:30 PM EST
There are plenty of users looking for FreeSync displays, and for those of us in the US we will have to wait a bit longer. However, AMD sends word today that FreeSync displays are now available in select regions in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). We're still awaiting final information on pricing and we've asked AMD for details on which monitors are shipping.
While we can't come to any real conclusions without true hands on experience with testing FreeSync displays across a variety of games, this should hopefully be a pretty straightforward piece of hardware. At this time I'd argue that the panel technology is just as important as the adaptive VSYNC, as having to go with a TN panel to get higher refresh rates tends to be a case of one step forward, one step back. Thankfully, there should be IPS FreeSync displays (alongside TN models) available.
Of course having a FreeSync display won't do you much good without an appropriate FreeSync enabled driver, and AMD announced that they will have a publicly available FreeSync driver posted on their website on March 19. There's a corollary that's just as important, however: a driver with support for CrossFire configurations won't be available until the following month. If you're running an AMD GPU and have been looking forward to adaptive refresh rates, the wait is nearly over.
Update: In the UK at least, OverclockersUK has several FreeSync models available. The BenQ XL2730Z at £498, the LG Flatron 34UM67 for £500 and the Acer Predator XG277HU for £430 are listed with the BenQ listed in stock.
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Jon Irenicus - Friday, March 6, 2015 - linkI thought mantle was a competitive advantage for AMD, but clearly the market did not care as seen in those market share numbers that were released. It was a blood bath for amd because product is king and nvidia launched the 980/970 as the shiny new cards on the block and all amd had were older cards.
Long term though, I DO think having mantle like functionality built in helps AMD more than nvidia on the performance side in two respects. Lower speed cpus will gain a larger boost which helps them sell more cpus. On review sites when testing nvidia vs amd with mantle the reviewers almost always paired the test system with a god damn i7 quad or SIX core cpu. Some might have even used the 8 core haswell e. Mantle shined best when cpu constrained, and the reviews often never highlighted the gains there by using non TOP OF THE LINE cpus. The second area where amd will gain is their dx11 multi threaded cpu drivers. Nvidia had a clear edge there, dx11 performance was much better than amd unless the game/engine makers actually put in the work to optimize their own game. Johan and his team using frostbite 3 took that time (dx11 performance on games like bf4 and dragon age inquisition is competitive), but clearly companies like ubisoft and games like Assassins creed don't seem to care or have the resources to do that. With mantle and dx12 and now the new open gl, that optimization work is offloaded onto the actual game maker to a greater degree. So the penalty for having weaker multithreaded cpu drivers in dx11 will be lower.
Gunbuster - Friday, March 6, 2015 - linkHow long has the Cult of Nvidia been running G-sync monitors while AMD shovels out Coming Soon™ promises? Results win over press releases and FUD from the marketing department.
tuxRoller - Friday, March 6, 2015 - link:)
I don't credit amd with variable refresh as that already existed in eDP.
D. Lister - Friday, March 6, 2015 - link@tuxRoller
Don't say it out loud man :O. Someone's gonna accuse you of being an Nvidia shill for taking ANY credit away from AMD. Just kidding ;).
TheJian - Friday, March 6, 2015 - linkYou can say that, but for people who bought AMD cards hoping mantle was going to gain traction, they are now hopeless correct? Everyone contributes to Vulkan that is in Khronos. AMD will get no advantage from special mantle crap in it, as Vulkan is NOT mantle rev2. But they will have to have R&D $$ to get good drivers/support for it out the door. We know NV has the cash for that right?
RE: your fud comment to D. Lister about me: This is not FUD. It's a fact. There won't be 100 mantle games coming for people suckered by it. That is over. Considering the guy who runs Nvidia's Mobile Ecosystem division ALSO is at the top of Khronos, we'll see who ends up getting the better end of this death of Mantle deal. FUD? LOL. I'm glad NV's response to AMD's Mantle was "We won't be doing an API". OF course not, they would do it through Khronos or spending that driver money on DirectX driver improvements (which they did) ;)
silverblue - Friday, March 6, 2015 - linkI'm not sure people thought there would be 100 or so Mantle games. Well, I certainly didn't, and the list of prospective Mantle games never really got too long. It took internal resources away within AMD at a time where they could've been spending more on D3D performance, but it did serve to highlight that DirectX 11 needed to die a very quick death. I'm not sure if Mantle was developed before DirectX 12 or vice versa - certainly, the idea that Intel wanted to license it definitely raises eyebrows about how far DirectX 12 had come along - but pretty soon, assuming there's a far bigger push for DirectX 12 than there was for 11, we're going to see a lot of titles that are less of a strain on the CPU, and consequently a renewed focus on buying better GPUs, which should benefit both AMD and NVIDIA, regardless of what API with an emphasis on reducing CPU load was thought up first.
tuxfool - Saturday, March 7, 2015 - linkMost people that liked mantle, were excited for it as a technology, not because it gave amd a competitive advantage. Any reasonable person would see that a manufacturer specific api would have difficulty gaining traction. Given the similarity between mantle and vulkan (which your rants seem to ignore), I'd mantle has gone to good use.
Galatian - Thursday, March 5, 2015 - linkWell my BenQ is coming tomorrow (Germany) through Amazon. Didn't realize the driver wasn't ready! Oh well I can wait one more month.
Oxford Guy - Thursday, March 5, 2015 - linkWhat we need is a way to mod our existing monitor. I have an $800 monitor and I'm NOT going to replace it just to get FreeSync or G-Sync, no matter how much the GPU makers and the monitor makers want me to.
Oxford Guy - Thursday, March 5, 2015 - linkI'd be willing to pay a reasonable fee to have a monitor modded so someone needs to step up and make this happen. We have enough landfill waste without people replacing perfectly good monitors in order to get a feature like this that should have been part of the specs from the start of discreet 3D cards.