Traditional or default vertical synchronization tech or VSync has its own jarring drawbacks, namely input lag or latency, but disabling it results in annoying screen tearing. That’s why new adaptive sync tech exists and are now in locked horns with each other in the NVIDIA G-Sync vs AMD FreeSync conundrum.
As a consumer, knowing the benefits and drawbacks of either or which of the two is the better adaptive sync tech is tantamount to savings or better immersion.
Let’s break down who’s the winner between NVIDIA G-Sync vs AMD FreeSync. Because either option will affect your monitor of choice. We’ll be dividing this fight into different aspects or criteria so you can decide which one wins for you (though we’ll also be announcing an overall winner).
Effectiveness – NVIDIA G-Sync Wins
NVIDIA G-Sync is a proprietary tech from NVIDIA that works by building in a special chip to a monitor which will then let the monitor adjust its refresh rate depending on the GPU’s output FPS. They made it like this because sometimes, screen tearing can still occur even if the frame rate does not exceed the monitor’s refresh rate.
G-Sync thus eliminates this prevalent problem of screen tearing by modifying the monitor itself, which, as you might have assumed, is a grand and expensive solution.
G-Sync completely solves the screen tearing problem in a rather decisive victory since NVIDIA is addressive the root of the issue– which is a slow monitor.
FreeSync, on the other hand, won’t completely eliminate screen tearing as the technology is only intended to reduce it along with stuttering. FreeSync also will not manipulate the monitor’s refresh rate and will only utilize the DisplayPort 1.2a’s Adaptive Sync tech.
It’s better than VSync, though FreeSync is quite notable for its ‘ghosting’ side effect which leaves trails of objects during movement.
For that matter, G-Sync wins in its quality though it’s pretty close between the two technologies.
Price – AMD FreeSync Wins
This is where FreeSync wins effortlessly. NVIDIA isn’t exactly known for making its proprietary tech affordable or accessible to its competitors, and they’ve extended some of this business philosophy to its G-Sync tech.
In order to be able to access G-Sync, you’d need a G-Sync-compatible monitor and these are usually higher-end models, mostly a bit too expensive for the average gamer.
FreeSync on the other hand is more affordable since it doesn’t require special chips and certifications from NVIDIA. That’s why you can more commonly see monitors with FreeSync than monitors with G-Sync, and they’re also more affordable and even exist in lower-end or budget monitor models.
Meanwhile, G-Sync is mostly unavailable on budget monitors or even on the most common mid-range monitor models. So this point goes to FreeSync.
Input Lag Elimination – AMD FreeSync Wins
Since the development of FreeSync 2 in 2017, AMD has made some notable and promising improvements to the tech. It now comes with LFC or Low Framerate Compensation where it will trigger whenever the frame rate falls below the monitor’s supported FreeSync range. This will reduce stuttering and also tearing.
Improving responsiveness under the effects of a synchronization tech while also reducing low FPS tearing and stuttering is where FreeSync shines more than its competition.
If you value smoother gameplay and are able to tolerate a bit of screen tearing (which you likely won’t notice due to FreeSync’s reduction) then FreeSync is the tech you want in your monitor.
Screen Tearing Elimination – NVIDIA G-Sync Wins
As we mentioned earlier, G-Sync completely eliminates screen tearing due to its proprietary tech being embedded in select monitors.
G-Sync has the better tech implementation here as it sets out what VSync wanted to do much better since it also works in low framerate rather than just reducing tearing like what FreeSync did.
The point here naturally goes to NVIDIA G-Sync for that smooth, tear-free image that’s perfectly rendered. Still, the average human eye likely won’t notice the difference unless they perform some rigorous testing between the two technologies.
Compatibility – Tie
Both technologies now work with each other’s identically-branded GPUs so you don’t need to confine yourself to AMD GPUs if you’re using FreeSync or NVIDIA GPUs if you’re using G-Sync.
Moreover, most monitors that come with G-Sync tech also come with FreeSync tech since they tend to be more expensive compared to others. And while FreeSync is more available on a wider range of monitors, you can still use those with NVIDIA GPUs.
This makes it a tie for both synchronization techs. Both of them are now compatible with the competition’s GPU.
Overall – AMD FreeSync Wins
If there had to be one winner in this NVIDIA G-SYNC vs AMD FreeSync war, then we’d have to give it to AMD FreeSync due to its consideration for its customers in being more affordable or accessible.
While G-Sync is a marvelous proprietary tech, a wide population of gamers may never get to experience it since it’s still tied to more expensive monitors.
And while either has its own drawbacks, you’d be able to tolerate FreeSync’s shortcomings especially since its monitors usually won’t hurt your wallet as hard as G-Sync will. Both technologies are better than VSync anyway and some even swear that they can’t tell the difference in how the two handle screen tearing.
So just go with the one that’s more available to you, no pressure.