Why G-Sync monitors cost more than FreeSync

Acer monitor header

Variable refresh rate monitors are becoming more popular among PC gamers due to their elimination of screen tearing and stutter.

There are two variable refresh rate technologies currently in the PC gaming market, AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync.

The screen technologies are only effective when paired with a graphics card from the same manufacturer, however, and there is a notable price difference between FreeSync and G-Sync monitors.

FreeSync vs G-Sync

FreeSync and G-Sync monitors do not refresh at a constant rate of 60Hz or 144Hz like most monitors, and change their refresh rates based on how many frames per second your GPU delivers.

This removes artifacts like screen tearing or stutter which result from higher frame rates and Vsync respectively.

Vsync locks the video card’s FPS output to a static amount, usually 60FPS, which causes input lag and stutter.

FreeSync and G-Sync monitors solve this problem by changing refresh rates dynamically within a certain range.

AMD and Nvidia’s technologies both deliver similar results, which vary depending on the monitor’s hardware and panel type.

LCD monitors can make use of FreeSync or G-Sync on a variety of panel types, including IPS, TN, and VA.

G-Sync is supported by Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti or better graphics cards and require the manufacturer’s R340.52 display drivers.

AMD’s FreeSync technology is supported by the company’s RX-series graphics cards, in addition to various GPUs from the R9 series.

For a monitor to use Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, it must have a proprietary hardware module which is sold by Nvidia installed.

FreeSync monitors use AMD’s open FreeSync standard.

Alienware monitor 2

Prices and Licensing

While Nvidia charges monitor manufacturers to install the G-Sync hardware module into their devices, FreeSync is royalty-free and has no licensing costs.

This means that consumers with Nvidia graphics cards pay a premium for the same technology that AMD card owners get for free.

According to AMD, the open FreeSync licence results in a price “up to $300 less than comparable displays with competing technologies.”

G-Sync monitors are generally more expensive than their FreeSync counterparts, but the price difference is usually obscured by different specifications – such as panel types or connectivity.

However, Dell’s recently-launched Alienware monitors sport identical specifications, with the exception of their variable refresh rate technology.

  • The Alienware FreeSync monitor costs $499.
  • The identical G-Sync model is priced at $699.

The pricing difference is also noticeable across other adaptive sync monitor line-ups from other manufacturers.

This article first appeared on MyBroadband and is republished with permission.

Now read: Samsung launches insane 49-inch Ultra-Wide gaming monitor

Forum discussion

Join the conversation

  • Brave Magala

    I see they are now adding FreeSync into TV’s

  • Newton’s Third Law

    More ppls have Nvidia GPUs, more loot

  • tjitah

    I’ve had too much trouble with AMD graphics cards in the past, especially after the take-over of ATI, so have stuck with Nvidia ever since and have been very happy. It does bother me though that G-Sync monitors are more expensive than FreeSync. But the hassle-free, superior performance of NVidia demands a premium I guess.

  • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    TL DR: Because Nvidia charges money to use G-Sync

  • Corné Cornoster Bergakker

    I don’t have money for either.
    I knew this fact already and I have an RX 480 so I’m freesync-ready.
    The freesync’s are still too expensive for me like this cheap Asus VS248HR 24″ Monitor at Takealot for only R4050 inlcuding shipping. Call me cheap but why can’t they give us a freesync/gsync monitor for R2.5k – they’d sell like hot cakes!

  • I switch between them at a regular pace. I recently got a 1080 and it is causing more trouble than my little R9290x ever did.

    So much so that I might actually put the old card back.

  • Well it is free to use so why not?

  • potatato

    the pendulum definitely swung in the other direction now. got insane amount of drivers issues over the years with my 670 and now my 1070 drivers randomly crashes back to safe mode while im browsing the web. I miss my 9800pro

  • awi5951

    You can get a 200 dollar 1080P , 144hrz 1ms freesync? lol

  • TCH

    I love Freesync!!!

Why G-Sync monitors cost more than FreeSync

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