Please educate me about Freesync


Sep 27, 2012
I've been doing a technology research for a few months, and I've learned a lot from it. One of the last things that I still don't know much about is Freesync.

I've read about it a bit: It didn't started very good, but then AMD fixed it, and then improved it a lot with Crimson. There's also some tweaking hack that users found it to increase the Freesync range. Don't know if this is still relevant today. What about overclocking Freesync monitors?

I believe Freesync is even more improved now with the newest Crimson drivers, but there's much that I don't know yet. If you have a AMD card paired with a Freesync monitor, please tell me your overall experience with it. I need a solid reason (besides price) to choose it instead of Gsync. Money is not an issue here.

I also got a few specific questions, I'd be very grateful if you can answer them:

I had a look about Freesync monitors, and for gaming, looks like the best option available now is the Acer Predator XR341CK (X34 Freesync variant). The "problem" is that this monitor has "only" a 75hz refresh rate. Comparing to it's Gsync variant which can handle 100hz, that's a bit frustating. I do know that this 100hz is only possible due to the Gsync module. However, it seems the XR341CK can be manually overclocked. Linus Tech Tips said he managed to overclock his unit to 85hz using Nvidia's display overclocking tool, but I can't see any more information regarding this particular monitor's overclocking.

From a list of available Freesync monitors I didn't find any 21:9 3440x1440 monitor with same or higher refresh rate than this one. LG ones are all 60hz. Please correct me if this is wrong.

Also I heard about monitors which can't use Freesync in it's max refresh rate (e.g. a 144hz monitor that can only use Freesync at, let's say, 120hz). That's a huge deal breaker for me. Don't know if this still applies today.

I guess this is it for now, sorry for the long post. I really appreciate your help!
Keep in mind that in regards to the 75hz limit or any particular limit FRTC (frame rate limit control) alleviates any of the huge issues in higher refresh rates. The other big issue was the min 40hz. Some monitors have alleviated that as has some driver optimizations, with more in the future, but if the min is 40 then you are gonna want to set the in game settings high enough to stay at max and pegging that 75HZ FRTC.
The XR341CK has a freesync range of 30Hz-75Hz. This is critical to allow refresh doubling if the FPS falls below 30. You need 2.5X the minimum refresh rate available for refresh doubling to work This is the same for both Freesync and Gsync.

Functionally there is no difference between the two techs. Any differences are between the monitors (and their scalers). If you want the 100Hz then you have to go with the monitor that supports it. I'm not up on any O/C'ing capabilities of the individual monitors to help out there. Generally Freesync monitors offer more input options and there's the promise of Freesync over HDMI in the near future.

Then there is price. While you might not be too sensitive to pricing, I don't see the point of spending more unless there is a reason. That extra money could go towards a more powerful card to give you better overall performance for the same or less money.
Normally I'd say get the best monitor and GPU(s) you can afford, but it's pretty bad timing to buy hardware right now with many improved refreshes coming up in the very near future. Your better bet would be to either get something on sale or buy an interim monitor expecting to replace it later in the year. Otherwise, except your "current" selection to be outdated in less than 12 months due to rapid improvements planned from either vendor come holiday season and earlier, just as with any up and coming tech such as adaptive sync.

It's for this reason that I'm comfortable replacing my recent monitor with an OLED equivalent later this year. The current options with both adaptive sync and 4k and OLED are very much just market testers with much room for improvement on all fronts (be it response time, sync range, affordability, connectivity options, size, etc)