As part of its CES keynote, Nvidia announced that it will begin supporting variable refresh rates (VRR) on FreeSync gaming monitors, beginning with a January 15 driver update. It's big news, because up until now the selection of G-Sync monitors has been limited and pricey, thanks in part to a proprietary hardware module installed in the monitor. Now a software update will automatically expand compatibility to FreeSync monitors that pass Nvidia's quality standards.
The main question is: With hundreds of FreeSync monitors out there, how many will qualify to receive G-Sync certification?
So far, Nvidia has certified 12 FreeSync monitors as G-Sync compatible, from 400 it says it has tested. "G-Sync Compatible tests will identify monitors that deliver a baseline VRR experience on GeForce RTX 20-series and GeForce GTX 10-series graphics cards, and activate their VRR features automatically," Nvidia says.
But keep in mind that you'll also have the option to enable G-Sync manually for your FreeSync monitor. "For gamers who have monitors that we have not yet tested, or that have failed validation, we’ll give you an option to manually enable VRR, too," Nvidia says. How performance will be on those monitors, we'll have to see; some FreeSync displays have narrower variable refresh windows than G-Sync's standards, which may be where they fail compatibility.
Here are all the G-Sync compatible displays Nvida has approved so far:
- Acer XV273K
- Acer XG270HU
- Acer XZ321Q
- Acer XFA240
- AOC Agon AG241QG4
- AOC G2590FX
- Asus MG278Q
- Asus XG248
- Asus VG278Q
- Asus XG258
- Asus VG258Q
- BenQ XL2740
And here's the full breakdown of specs for each:
All of the monitors to pass G-Sync Compatible certification so far have at least a 120Hz maximum refresh rate, with the lower bound ranging from 30 to 48 Hz. Nvidia hasn't detailed the reasons why other displays have failed, though flicker, blanking, pulsing, and the nebulous "artifacts" are potential problems.