Tech Enthusiasts Create a Guide to AMD FreeSync Working with Nvidia GPUs

cageymaru

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Windows 10 build 1803 allows for switchable graphics and some enterprising Redditors have put it to good use. Switchable graphics allows for devices such as external graphics accelerators to be added to systems. The default system GPU will be labeled as the "Power Saving" GPU and the other more powerful GPU will be labeled as the "High-Performance" GPU. Another Redditor has discovered that Windows will label an AMD APU connected to a FreeSync display as a "Power Saving" GPU and an Nvidia GPU rendering scenes as the "High Performance" GPU in the same system. Thus the system will inherit FreeSync variable refresh rate technology even though the Nvidia GPU is rendering all of the scenes. They tried this with an AMD GPU and an Nvidia GPU but Windows wouldn't allow the experimenters to select the "Power Saving" and "High Performance" GPUs. PC Perspective has an article detailing the process and even has latency testing to see how it works. Author Ken Addison then outlines the pros and cons of the convergence of brands.

Given that this is a core feature of Windows 10, it will be interesting to see NVIDIA's reaction to this workaround. While they might just let it slide, given the current limitations of needing an APU, it seems likely they will patch this workaround out via their driver (if possible) or work with Microsoft on a Windows 10 patch. This is analogous to NVIDIA in the past disallowing GeForce GPUs to be used as PhysX accelerators when an AMD GPU was detected.
 

TitaniumLizzard

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Pile this on top of GPP and the new NDA and nVidia isn't doing so hot right now. Now, about those BFGD and $2,000 4K HDR G-sync monitors they're trying to sell...
 

Spidey329

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Pile this on top of GPP and the new NDA and nVidia isn't doing so hot right now. Now, about those BFGD and $2,000 4K HDR G-sync monitors they're trying to sell...

Well, they have to block it first before we can get the pitchforks.

Not that they won't.
 

alxlwson

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Funny thing is, we've had nVidia async for years before gsync came out. It was something they were using on laptop's for quite some time! Then, they come up with gsync and pull the support.

Thanks, nVidia
 

HockeyJon

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I'm so glad we live in a world where every manufacturer wants their own proprietary BS standard.
 

STEvil

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I think Nvidia does great work, don't get me wrong, but it's a problem in any industry when one company has a virtual monopoly.

Their engineers are great, I think most people would agree to that. Its the marketing and control in the back end that is really causing strife.
 

Stoly

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Because that's a great way to measure how consumer-friendly a company is....
Could be, I mean I know lots of anti-nvidia guys love to take a shot and pride themselves of not buying nvidia stuff. But the vast majority of gamer's money is in nvidia's pocket. Whether you are friends with nvidia or not.
 

bbf

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... stuff deleted ...

Given that this is a core feature of Windows 10, it will be interesting to see NVIDIA's reaction to this workaround. While they might just let it slide, given the current limitations of needing an APU, it seems likely they will patch this workaround out via their driver (if possible) or work with Microsoft on a Windows 10 patch. This is analogous to NVIDIA in the past disallowing GeForce GPUs to be used as PhysX accelerators when an AMD GPU was detected.

No kidding. This is nVidia you're talking about. They TAKE NO PRISONERS when it comes to business decisions. They'll probably do an out-of-band driver release just to fix this.

You're such a dreamer to even mention this: "they [nVidia] may let it slide."
;-)
 

renz496

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Jul 28, 2013
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Needing and APU to make it work? i thought they say you can directly use freesync on nvidia gpu. Just need some hacking on the driver side like how it was with hybrid physx. So why need this complicated setup?
 

d8lock

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Needing and APU to make it work? i thought they say you can directly use freesync on nvidia gpu. Just need some hacking on the driver side like how it was with hybrid physx. So why need this complicated setup?
The way I read it, you just need an amd gpu to get it working. In addition to an nvidia card of course.
 
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The way I read it, you just need an amd gpu to get it working. In addition to an nvidia card of course.

My reading was that it works with an APU, but you can't manually specify which card is the high performance one when using two GPUs. So unless it works out the right way you have no luck.

If there's work out to be a hack to get it to work on just a nVidia GPU, that would be a huge deal.
 

d8lock

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My reading was that it works with an APU, but you can't manually specify which card is the high performance one when using two GPUs. So unless it works out the right way you have no luck.

If there's work out to be a hack to get it to work on just a nVidia GPU, that would be a huge deal.
The guy in the post used a pro line amd card though. The newest spare nvidia card I have is a 680, so I"m not sure I can try this out myself.
 

lostin3d

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If I wasn't concerned that NV will find some way to disable this it'd be the precursor for me to get a VRR T.V. and possibly a Vega 64 for good measure. One patch or firmware update and it's all over. The problem with not updating is that sooner or later there will be something worth having and you'll have to make a choice.
 

Armenius

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Nvidia will probably block it just like the PhysX trick.
The "trick" was a hack and unsupported. It was blocked so they wouldn't have to deal with support tickets for hardware they don't make. Since this FreeSync workaround does not directly affect NVIDIA hardware or software then I highly doubt they care about this.
My reading was that it works with an APU, but you can't manually specify which card is the high performance one when using two GPUs. So unless it works out the right way you have no luck.

If there's work out to be a hack to get it to work on just a nVidia GPU, that would be a huge deal.
That would require inserting AMD driver code into the NVIDIA driver and making sure it works with your video card. There isn't some magical trick to just make it work. If it were so easy to do it would have been done already.
 
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Stoly

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The "trick" was a hack and unsupported. It was blocked so they wouldn't have to deal with support tickets for hardware they don't make. Since this FreeSync workaround does not directly affect NVIDIA hardware or software then I highly doubt they care about this.

It could potentially affect G-sync monitor sales, YES they will care.

That would require inserting AMD driver code into the NVIDIA driver and making sure it works with your video card. There isn't some magical trick to just make it work. If it were so easy to do it would have been done already.

Nvidia would just need to suppoort the VRR specification in Displayport. But again it would hurt G-sync sales.
 
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Nightfire

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This is pretty cool. It gives some flexibility to my 2400g. A used 980ti and a Freesync 4k screen looks enticing right now.
 

Nightfire

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They may be able to stop support, but it will look a lot more scandalous than simply not supporting a technology from the start.
 

Chebsy

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How long will it be before Nvidia releases an update that prevents this from happening ?? ;);)
 

Seventyfive

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I have just been using fastsync and i'm really happy with it.

Set-Vertical-Sync-to-Fast-Sync.jpg
 

Nightfire

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Honestly, I think this is more beneficial to Nvidia than anyone. Freesync was the biggest selling point for upper mid range cards on those that want to game at 4k. Why 4k? It is just a more versatile resolution than things like 1440p. It can be used for 4k BR and other ultra- high def movies as well as 4x 1080 CCTV setups. The Vega 56 just lost its main selling point over the GTX 1070/1070ti/2060?... at least for the handful of us 2400g users.
 

cybereality

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I have just been using fastsync and i'm really happy with it.
Fast-sync is only really beneficial if you can stay over twice the fps of the monitor (i.e. greater than 120fps on a 60Hz monitor).

Otherwise there is not enough information to be smooth, and you end up with erratic updates (hitching, stutter, etc.).

I thought it was really nice at first too, then I did some recordings with a high-speed camera and noticing the skipping.
 

bobzdar

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Honestly, I think this is more beneficial to Nvidia than anyone. Freesync was the biggest selling point for upper mid range cards on those that want to game at 4k. Why 4k? It is just a more versatile resolution than things like 1440p. It can be used for 4k BR and other ultra- high def movies as well as 4x 1080 CCTV setups. The Vega 56 just lost its main selling point over the GTX 1070/1070ti/2060?... at least for the handful of us 2400g users.

If Nvidia wanted in on Freesync they'd just enable it - it's a non-proprietary system so no licensing fees. They specifically don't want it so they can get licensing fees from the display manufacturers that support Gsync, so I bet they close this loophole so people don't start skirting their licensing fees by using an AMD apu with an Nvidia card - as on a full system build it'd save significant money.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Interesting, but I'm not so interested in having to cut CPU performance to below the 6700k that my current 8700k replaced...

;)
 

Seventyfive

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Fast-sync is only really beneficial if you can stay over twice the fps of the monitor (i.e. greater than 120fps on a 60Hz monitor).

Otherwise there is not enough information to be smooth, and you end up with erratic updates (hitching, stutter, etc.).

I thought it was really nice at first too, then I did some recordings with a high-speed camera and noticing the skipping.

Luckily my eyes are just regular speed cameras. For me, I've never even noticed it and many times I'm only about 1.3 to 1.5x the 60hz of my monitor.
 

scojer

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Dammit, I'm in the market for a new monitor and I'm on Windows 7. THis might push me to upgrade to windows 10 sooner - as my monitor potential has now increased.
 
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