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NVIDIA claims that Freesync monitors don't work well even with AMD GPUs

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With announcement of NVIDIA Adaptive Sync support, NVIDIA had a demo at CES demonstrating G-SYNC Ultimate, G-SYNC Compatible and G-SYNC non-validated monitors, with the last category showing some problems with ghosting and black frames. In a recently published article by PCWorld, NVIDIA said this about G-SYNC uncertified monitors:

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And no, Nvidia officials said, this isn’t just a GeForce compatibility problem either. The company said when it tried the same monitors on Radeon cards, it saw the same issues.

Before this article was published, I made a comment on Floatplane about this - you don't need to read this, I will sum it up as my personal opinion later, but I wanted to give credit to some people that contributed to the discussion:

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My original comment:

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NVIDIA is all about that "we stand by G-SYNC because Freesync is not good enough" and when they start supporting adaptive sync, they make a peasant "G-SYNC Compatible" tier presumably by not supporting the standard correctly. How comes that the "uncertified monitors" work as expected with AMD cards but not NVIDIA's? Monitor hardware is the same, only variable is the GPU vendor's adaptive sync implementation. If NVIDIA is claiming that they can implement similar technology better (albeit with a costly custom ASIC), why are there blank/missed/somehow inferior frames on these "compatible" monitors that work well with AMD cards?

While writing this, I didn't know that there are problems with Freesync monitors and AMD cards, this was brought to light by HuwMungus's and federicosergio's reply:

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To be fair my mate has a monitor with FreeSync and sometimes it, with a Vega 64, has black flickering so I don't think it's an Nvidia using Freesync only issue.

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@HuwMungus I can confirm. I've had 2 high end freesync displays (an Acer XR341CK and the Massdrop Vast), paired with an R9 290X before and with a Vega 64 now, and sometimes (I still can't figure out what triggers it, it seems 100% random) I get randon artifacts and flickering and the only way the get rid of it is to turn off freesync.

There was also another reply from spades:

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@redteam4ever Every AdaptiveSync monitor has support for Freesync 1 out of the box, since it doesn't need certification, but it will behave the same way, dropping frames etc as the "uncertified" G-Sync one. Having a bad monitor, badly implement adaptive sync won't make a difference between AMD or nVidia, it will be bad on both. nVidia just chose a really bad monitor, to show WHY the certification might be a better deal for people who don't know what they are buying. For people who know their shit, they read online reviews when buying Freesync monitors and will now read review when buying for G-Sync compatible, so they won't end up with crappy ones, even if the variable rate window is smaller then needed for certification.

I agreed with some of the points and I replied:

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OK, so you are telling me that only 12 out of 400 monitors (that's exactly 3% - very weird) have properly implemented Adaptive Sync? I agree with you, there definitely are some monitors with bad A-Sync implementation and these will look like those in the demo regardless of the GPU vendor, but AMD at least gave consumers a choice. They could have done it better, by having easily-understandable tiers for example... But NVIDIA forced their customers to buy overpriced monitors when there was a cheaper OPEN standard that worked well enough - there are definitely cheaper monitors with performance parity (refresh rate, color reproduction, etc.) on Freesync side, especially since Freesync 2 introduction.

 

 

For those who didn't read the discussion from Floatplane:

It seems weird to me, that there are only 12 out of 400 monitors that have good enough VESA Adaptive Sync/Freesync support - this is exactly 3% of monitors that NVIDIA tested. NVIDIA always talks about how G-SYNC is better than Freesync and when they decided to support Adaptive Sync, suddenly there are only 3% spec-compliant monitors that they are going to certify. In the Floatplane discussion, there were people that have seen similar problems with AMD cards and Freesync monitors, but is it really that bad? And if NVIDIA has the engineering power to create a better syncing technology, how comes that they can't (or don't want to) support larger number of displays?

 

There is another interesting point that Linus didn't brought up about the demo:

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In a demonstrations of Nvidia’s FreeSync support, we saw excessive ghosting on one monitor that has FreeSync 2 support, with a second monitor exhibiting far more annoying “blanking” where the screen would go black for a few noticeable milliseconds, as you can see in the video above.

So the ghosting issue apeeared on the Freesync 2 display - even if it was a Freesync display, ghosting is not a fault of the Adaptive Sync standard. Ghosting is a problem of the panel that can't refresh quick enough, so this is entirely the monitor maker's fault (Linus showed us that this was a Samsung monitor). Yes, there definitely will be some monitors that have this behavior, particularly cheaper ones, but I doubt that it's that many...

 

And I have no problem with saying that Freesync is not perfect - but AMD at least gave their customers a choice with how much they spend on their new monitor. NVIDIA decided to let everyone buy overpriced monitors when there were cheaper alternatives that worked well enough. Freesync (introduced at CES, January 2014) was introduced just a couple of months after G-SYNC (introduction video from October 2013), so there is no way that AMD started development of the standard after NVIDIA, they must have developed it simultaneously. Then they pushed for standardisation - whitepaper on Adaptive Sync was written by AMD engineers in March 2014. So up until now (3-4 years), NVIDIA didn't want to support Adaptive Sync because it was inferior in their eyes. This was brought up by Linus on WAN Show and I can't find the source, but here is at least an interview with NVIDIA enginner from January 2015 who said:

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We think that we are always going to get a better experience on a GeForce based or the G-SYNC module based monitors.

 

I would like to see some independent testing of these non-validated monitors, because I don't think that NVIDIA is telling the full story here and tries to trash talk the standard to make more money on their overpriced monitors and GPUs.

 

My heart belongs to AMD but that doesn't mean I furiously hate Intel or NVIDIA :)

 

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Lol, NVIDIA is just salty. If there are flickering black frames, this just means NVIDIA's implementation of FreeSync doesn't work, it's not that AMD made FreeSync badly. Big difference.

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Wasn't the Nvidia statement that 12 monitors are approved while they are testing "over 100" more to possibly be approved?

There are some  freesync monitors out there with flickering or ghosting even on AMD cards, thats how a open standard works you can't expect everything to be the best quality, but AMD should be validating them more carefully so you aren't buying an expensive Samsung monitor with ghosting issues.

Although there are plenty of decent freesync monitors out there, and i'm hoping there are more IPS monitors freesync monitors that get approved.

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Just now, RejZoR said:

Lol, NVIDIA is just salty. If there are flickering black frames, this just means NVIDIA's implementation of FreeSync doesn't work, it's not that AMD made FreeSync badly. Big difference.

I would like to remind that some people confirmed this behavior on AMD cards, as I'm saying in my original post, the only thing that I'm uncertain of is the scale of these problems that NVIDIA is trying to imply.

My heart belongs to AMD but that doesn't mean I furiously hate Intel or NVIDIA :)

 

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Now if they could just prove it...

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hilarious; is Nvidia a little salty after that press release

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Just now, Velcade said:

hilarious; is Nvidia a little salty after that press release

Damn.. just seconds apart ?

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Just now, WereCat said:

Repost

 

It is not a repost - that topic is about Radeon VII criticism with Huang's statement about Freesync, but I'm trying to establish NVIDIA's stance on Freesync support with data and analysis - that topic is about Huang being a d***watt.

My heart belongs to AMD but that doesn't mean I furiously hate Intel or NVIDIA :)

 

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2 minutes ago, Blademaster91 said:

There are some  freesync monitors out there with flickering or ghosting even on AMD cards, thats how a open standard works you can't expect everything to be the best quality, but AMD should be validating them more carefully so you aren't buying an expensive Samsung monitor with ghosting issues.

There's even a question if AMD is evaluating anything at all given the FreeSync brand's royalty free status.

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Who would trust a big company like Nvidia to say stuff about another company's product?

Nvidia and AMD are 100% biased towards their own products so it's a pretty dumb idea to trust them with any comparisons. 

 

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5 minutes ago, redteam4ever said:

I would like to remind that some people confirmed this behavior on AMD cards, as I'm saying in my original post, the only thing that I'm uncertain of is the scale of these problems that NVIDIA is trying to imply.

It's not exactly AMD's fault if vendors cheap out and don't follow specs. Or test their products.

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2 minutes ago, 1kv said:

Who would trust a big company like Nvidia to say stuff about another company's product?

Nvidia and AMD are 100% biased towards their own products so it's a pretty dumb idea to trust them with any comparisons. 

 

That's why I wrote this. Everyone seems to just take NVIDIA's word - as seen in the PCWorld article.

My heart belongs to AMD but that doesn't mean I furiously hate Intel or NVIDIA :)

 

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2 minutes ago, redteam4ever said:

It is not a repost - that topic is about Radeon VII criticism with Huang's statement about Freesync, but I'm trying to establish NVIDIA's stance on Freesync support with data and analysis - that topic is about Huang being a d***watt.

Fair enough. 

 

FreeSync can be implemented by pretty much anyone without having to go trough AMD validation (I think]). 

Look at some of the Korean monitors. Many of them don't even claim FS support, yet they allow you to enable it. 

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If it doesn't work well, why bother supporting it then?

This is really conflicting. You can't say "hey we are supporting this tech now!" and then say "yea it's crap".

If it's crap, why did you invest time and money to support it then?

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12 minutes ago, Mira Yurizaki said:

There's even a question if AMD is evaluating anything at all given the FreeSync brand's royalty free status.

Rubber stamp policy not a method of evaluation?

comp-2.gif

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having requirements and certification makes a better product by far

 

reason having only a dozen pass means amd literally was "free"sync, no quality assurance, grades,  or requirements

 

nvidia is spending their money to up async quality which will only lead to better products

 

 

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9 minutes ago, samcool55 said:

If it doesn't work well, why bother supporting it then?

This is really conflicting. You can't say "hey we are supporting this tech now!" and then say "yea it's crap".

If it's crap, why did you invest time and money to support it then?

Conspiracy theory :

 

People figured out that you can run FreeSync with NVIDIA cards anyway if you have an AMD APU or dGPU that's supports it and you can use it as a pass trough. 

Buying cheap AMD card with FS support + FS capable monitor is lieky cheaper than buying a GSync monitor. 

 

So in order to avoid giving AMD sales, NVIDIA stated supporting FS as well.

 

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30 minutes ago, Mira Yurizaki said:

There's even a question if AMD is evaluating anything at all given the FreeSync brand's royalty free status.

The whole point of using an open standard is to make validation unnecessary.

 

AMD does have the more stringent Freesync 2 for that.

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3 minutes ago, VegetableStu said:

I kinda wonder if those noncompatible displays would work when an Nvidia GPU is piped through an APU o_o

 

why cant they work?

didnt they say non compatible ones still can be activated in control panel?

just ymmv?

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7 minutes ago, pas008 said:

having requirements and certification makes a better product by far

 

reason having only a dozen pass means amd literally was "free"sync, no quality assurance, grades,  or requirements

 

nvidia is spending their money to up async quality which will only lead to better products

 

 

That's just BS theory cooked up by NVIDIA fanboys. Adaptive Sync is clearly specified under VESA standard. Hint: STANDARD. Standard is defined, but if others don't obey it, how is that AMD's fault? Why are people even blaming AMD if  don't know, Samsung cocks up FreeSync functionality in their monitor? Sure, NVIDIA is anal about it, but also costs more because of it. AMD isn't, they kinda expect that people are logical beings and if monitor manufacturer cocks up, that's not AMD's problem. It could be, but then it would cost money. Instead, market deals with that. If some monitors are known to be crappy, then ppl don't buy it and manufacturer will be forced to do better instead of releasing junk if they want to make money off of it.

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