Nvidia recently confirmed that their GeForce GPUs will begin supporting the VESA ADaptive Sync standard aka FreeSync via a program called G-Sync Compatibility and Certification Program. The green team has finally given way to gamers who avoided the hefty tax the proprietary tech brings. Nvidia’s GTX and RTX GPUs are more prevalent than AMD’s offerings, but FreeSync monitors are more common in households simply because they are cheaper.
As we all know, G-Sync requires a specific FPGA module and a specialized program to certify monitors and sell them with the branding. This treatment adds a huge cost which most estimate to be around $200 for the SDR monitors and as much as $500 for the 4K 144Hz HDR monitors. VESA and AMD’s implementation, on the other hand, doesn’t require any of these since it is an open standard.
G-Sync Compatible FreeSync Monitors
The day that Nvidia finally admits defeat in blocking its GPUs from utilizing capabilities already present in FreeSync monitors. The brand tested and optimized 400 monitors, but only 12 passed for the first wave. These twelve models will allow Adaptive Sync support to activate with an Nvidia GPU automatically as soon as it is connected.
But it’s perplexing why only twelve made it through, since most, if not all of the FreeSync monitors in the market function similarly. Don’t fret if your monitor is not on the list since those that are not included in the twelve will still be able to manually activate the feature. However, functionality isn’t guaranteed since Nvidia says that manual activation could make it work, work partly, or not at all.
We’re not privy as to how Nvidia is implementing this new venture, so we cannot comment if this is a marketing scheme or purely technical. Although we think that Nvidia is running rigorous processes for these monitors, which could be excessive. We curious what kind of criteria the brand has for a monitor to be certified as G-Sync compatible which when made public, will give the community a better insight.
Is There a Catch?
Of course, Nvidia will still try to milk profits from their G-Sync technology since they spent a truckload on research and development. For years, gamers had to shell out the extra cash for the premium (unwillingly, most of the time) to enjoy the benefits of VRR with an Nvidia GPU which has a hold on the market. The cash flow from this aspect of the business will drop once FreeSync monitors become compatible, so we can see a redirection in the process.
One of the ways Nvidia has been very open about at CES 2019 is its new model for G-Sync technology, which splits monitors into three tiers:
The entry-level G-Sync compatible tier holds the aforementioned twelve monitors and other models that will follow. This category means that the display is guaranteed to work without serious issues such as blanking or flickering. Monitors that belong in this bracket will also be able to utilize G-Sync automatically, as soon as the monitor is plugged into an Nvidia GPU.
The G-Sync tier is where the current, FPGA-equipped monitors such as the Asus PG278QR will belong to. Nvidia claims that these certified displays have passed more than 300 of their image quality and functionality tests, ensuring flawless G-Sync functionality.
G-Sync Ulitmate is the newest concept of the three, creating an exclusive ring for monitors like the Asus PG27UQ which includes the G-Sync HDR processor and a 1000cd/m2 backlight.
So despite the premature analyses that Nvidia’s G-Sync will die out due to low purchases simply isn’t true. Most users who already paid for G-Sync are probably angry now, but this categorization still honors the exclusivity they paid for. The brand can only guarantee the experiences we have now with G-Sync monitors if the model belongs to the two upper tiers.