AMD Demonstrates "FreeSync", Free G-Sync Alternative at CES 2014

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leeleatherwood

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There’s apparently already a VESA standard for controlling VBLANK intervals. The GPU’s display engine needs to support it, as do the panel and display hardware itself. If all of the components support this spec however, then you can get what appears to be the equivalent of G-Sync without any extra hardware.

In the case of the Toshiba Satellite Click, the panel already supports variable VBLANK. AMD’s display engines have supported variable VBLANK for a couple of generations...
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7641/amd-demonstrates-freesync-free-gsync-alternative-at-ces-2014

Nice, although I bet not many desktop monitors support VBLANK, hopefully they will become more popular.
 

Digital Viper-X-

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Ouch, if some monitors support or vendors start to support it, it can undersel G-Sync, and even work with older AMD hardware :|

I wonder if NV hardware also already works with this? It would be the best scenario for everyone (consumers)
 

hdgamer

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I would be happy as heck if this came to fruition but AMD's crappy track record lately I'd have to say I'm not holding my breath.
 

IdiotInCharge

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I'm still waiting to see what makes this setup different than G-Sync and/or what makes G-Sync better. I'm willing to assume that Nvidia didn't put an FPGA and a chunk of RAM in their module for no reason.
 

xoleras

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Most telling part of the article:

AMD isn’t ready to productize this nor does it have a public go to market strategy
What's AMD's track record of delivering on promises again? How long did it take those mythical MST hubs which were promised since the 5870....to actually arrive? Someone remind me.

That said, if it happens, awesome.
 
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Sancus

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AMD's software solution to a problem that Nvidia solved with hardware is surely going to be totally functional and out in time for the holidays.
 

FrameBuffer

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AMD's solution using VESA standard and in place hardware (GPU) to a problem that Nvidia needed to add costly hardware is surely going to be totally functional and out in time for the holidays.
fix't that for you..
 

xoleras

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AMD's software solution to a problem that Nvidia solved with hardware is surely going to be totally functional and out in time for the holidays.
I want to put this in my sig. And revisit this in 6 months. I bet I know what the outcome will be.
 

Yakk

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I'll go for a standard solution over proprietary any day!
 

Venomous

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I'm wondering why this was being demo 'd on laptops? Desktop gamers are the ones who want this type of feature.
 

Final8ty

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I'm wondering why this was being demo 'd on laptops? Desktop gamers are the ones who want this type of feature.
Because its as byproduct of a power saving feature that some laptops have.
Don't refresh the screen until something has actually changed that warrants a refresh.
 

Ashbringer

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AMD's a bunch of witches I say! You can't do that without additional hardware!
 

bexamous

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Because its as byproduct of a power saving feature that some laptops have.
Don't refresh the screen until something has actually changed that warrants a refresh.
For Intel the way this is done, with DRRS, it is switching between fixed refresh rates. The laptops panel might say it supports 1024x768@40hz, 50hz, and 60hz. It selects 60hz by default but if there is nothing happening on screen the GPU driver can switch to driving panel at 40hz without doing a full mode switch. And then when something happens on screen it switches back to 60hz. That is how their LInux driver implements it. For whatever resolution it goes through supported modes and picks the one with the lowest refresh rate... and I think 40hz is usually the power saving mode. This is more switching between fixed refresh rates.
 

Final8ty

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For Intel the way this is done, with DRRS, it is switching between fixed refresh rates. The laptops panel might say it supports 1024x768@40hz, 50hz, and 60hz. It selects 60hz by default but if there is nothing happening on screen the GPU driver can switch to driving panel at 40hz without doing a full mode switch. And then when something happens on screen it switches back to 60hz. That is how their LInux driver implements it. For whatever resolution it goes through supported modes and picks the one with the lowest refresh rate... and I think 40hz is usually the power saving mode. This is more switching between fixed refresh rates.
Yes it just slows down the rate and not totally stops it, laziness on my part to not go and refresh myself on where i read the feature.
 

Vega

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G-Sync - entering "run" phase.
Free-Sync - entering "crawl" phase.
 

LeviathanZERO

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Competition, GO!
This is great news. I hope both techs get fleshed out into a display standard that covers not just computer monitors, but HDTV's as well.
 

Tup3x

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For all we know G-Sync could use that standard too. Since any display out there does not support that standard, NVIDIA had to make display controller that does. Is there G-Sync whitepapers anywhere?
 

bexamous

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Yes it just slows down the rate and not totally stops it, laziness on my part to not go and refresh myself on where i read the feature.
Sorry wasn't trying to correct you, just adding to what you said.
 

cageymaru

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For all we know G-Sync could use that standard too. Since any display out there does not support that standard, NVIDIA had to make display controller that does. Is there G-Sync whitepapers anywhere?
Since it's proprietary, you'll never learn where the secret sauce comes from.
 

Spazturtle

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For all we know G-Sync could use that standard too. Since any display out there does not support that standard, NVIDIA had to make display controller that does. Is there G-Sync whitepapers anywhere?
Its proprietary so you will never see a whitepaper on G-Sync.
 

drakken

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Yes but if it is done in software it will be slower than hardware. I'd like the best of both worlds the g-sync tech using my existing hardware and and nvidia's drivers because I really don't like the way AMD cuts corners with the raster.
 

Derangel

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For all we know G-Sync could use that standard too. Since any display out there does not support that standard, NVIDIA had to make display controller that does. Is there G-Sync whitepapers anywhere?
It's possible. I could be completely off base on this but it sounds like this isn't a chip required solution like G-Sync and instead something in the firmware of the monitor itself. So potentially supporting VBLANK wouldn't add additional component cost to a monitor and thus not effect the price as drastically as G-Sync does. Being a VESA standard Nvidia should be able to add support for this on their GPUs as well, if they care enough to do so.
 

tybert7

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Most telling part of the article:



What's AMD's track record of delivering on promises again? How long did it take those mythical MST hubs which were promised since the 5870....to actually arrive? Someone remind me.

That said, if it happens, awesome.
I saw the news and I had to come to the forum to watch the flow of tears from the fanboys. It's like sugar water.

 

mutantmagnet

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I'm wondering why this was being demo 'd on laptops? Desktop gamers are the ones who want this type of feature.
You don't understand how important it is to get laptop GPUs offer better performance through variable refresh.

Regardless AMD by their own admission don't have any plans to even market it. They came out of nowhere with Eyefinity while had months to prepare this announcement for CES. For something that in theory sounds like monitors should have this tech for free tells me that the only difference between Freesync and Gsync is that Gsync locks you into Nvidia cards if you want to get the variable refresh rates. Both will still require new monitors and good luck finding Freesync compatible monitors.
 

haste.

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I saw the news and I had to come to the forum to watch the flow of tears from the fanboys. It's like sugar water.

So you are an AMD fanboy?

That's interesting. All the Intel and Nvidia fanboys are so drunk on your tears they probably can ignore your post...

(I have no alliance, but facts and performance are facts and performance)
 

FrameBuffer

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You don't understand how important it is to get laptop GPUs offer better performance through variable refresh.

Regardless AMD by their own admission don't have any plans to even market it. They came out of nowhere with Eyefinity while had months to prepare this announcement for CES. For something that in theory sounds like monitors should have this tech for free tells me that the only difference between Freesync and Gsync is that Gsync locks you into Nvidia cards if you want to get the variable refresh rates. Both will still require new monitors and good luck finding Freesync compatible monitors.

IIRC (I am sure someone will correct me if am wrong), Direct Drive (DDM 1.0) includes VBLANK. Such displays are already on the market (have been for sometime since Spec was completed in 2008), Apple Cinema\Dell\HP IPS etc... A tell tale sign of a DDM is the almost total lack of OSD (see Korean IPS displays that became wildly popular in last year+).
Then again I may be confusting with embeddedDP.. hard to keep all the various parts of DP specs apart.

see: http://renesasrulz.com/doctor_micro...hive/2013/02/06/what-is-lcd-direct-drive.aspx
This would explain the Gsync "moodule" (more like total inverter board replacement), in particular the lack of common display components and the inclusion of dram. In short, Gsynch is looking for and more like DirectDrive for Nvidia.
 

xoleras

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The requirement is variable vblank, which is present on portables for power saving but not desktop panels. The article stated such - that AMD has to consult with panel manufacturers for this feature to work. Read the article again. That and, they don't have any plans to turn this into a product, have no timeline for it to be released, among other things.

Theoretically, free-sync would be amazing if AMD stepped up and coaxed manufacturers into getting it on the market. If this is on par with g-sync and didn't cost money? Heck yeah. I'd be all about it. Yet, I doubt nvidia would add a module just for the hell of it. As far as AMD consulting with panel makers to make this happen - The only question is...will they? AMD doesn't have a good track record on promise delivery. That's all i'll say about that. Yet if it DOES happen, that would be great since it could conceivably be used for HDTVs and other uses. But , I don't have any confidence in AMD consulting with manufacturers to make this happen. Their record is shit in terms of promise delivery. We'll see.

Like callsignvega said. G-sync is ready to hit the ground running. But then you have AMD with something that is nothing more than marketing on paper right now. I wouldn't get my hopes wrapped up in it, although it will be great if they make it happen (which I seriously doubt).
 
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FrameBuffer

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The requirement is variable vblank, which is present on portables for power saving but not desktop panels. The article stated such - that AMD has to consult with panel manufacturers for this feature to work. Read the article again. That and, they don't have any plans to turn this into a product, have no timeline for it to be released, among other things.

Theoretically, free-sync would be amazing if AMD stepped up and coaxed manufacturers into getting it on the market. The only question is...will they? AMD doesn't have a good track record on promise delivery. That's all i'll say about that. Yet if it DOES happen, that would be great since it could conceivably be used for HDTVs and other uses. But , I don't have any confidence in AMD consulting with manufacturers to make this happen. Their record is shit in terms of promise delivery. We'll see.
Awesome thanks for the update.. didn't know you could read the collective "minds" of an entire corporation.. any chance you could PM tomorrow's powerball numbers as you seem to be able to tell what the future holds.. /snark

I real incentive for display manufacturers comes in cost savings, HOWEVER with this comes a significant reduction in compatibility (and the possibility of stranding analog users).. absolutely NO analog/legacy connections.
 

xoleras

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That statement was based on the AT article. Did you read it? Anand Lai Shimpi asked the AMD reps if they had a plan to turn it into a product. The answer was no.

I'm just stating facts based on the article. Like I said. If it happens, that would be awesome.

AMD isn’t ready to productize this nor does it have a public go to market strategy
Anand's words. Not mine.

Also,

my guess is we’ll see more panel vendors encouraged to include support for variable VBLANK and perhaps an eventual AMD driver update that enables control over this function.
Doesn't work on existing desktop panels. It's a power saving feature on portables. What I'd like to see AMD do is actually deliver, and give us a release time frame with a list of their partners. Right now we have nothing. But when/if it happens, it would be a good thing as it could be used for more than just PC gaming. Such as a living room HDTV and what not.

You know what. Instead of pointing this out, i'll just bow out and return to this topic in a few months. I'm sure i'm the "fanboy" blah blah blah. Even though i've bought a ton of AMD hardware and my cynicism towards AMD is directly a result of problems I had with their products. I got sick of it. I got sick of AMD promising consumers various things and failing us. Particularly with 7970CF. And I don't hide the cynicism. But like I said...i'll just bow out of this topic. I'm all done here. I hope AMD delivers. Historically, they don't deliver when they say they will. But if they do, i'll eat crow and freely admit it. I'll admit that I was damn wrong about AMD for once. Cya in this topic a few months from now. ;)
 
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LordEC911

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So you want AMD to get into producing displays? Is that what I am hearing?

The fact is the potential is there, in current GPUs on the market, now the display market just needs to see the potential for consumer demand.

Edit- Funny you should mention MST because I remember a few months ago, when Nvidia demo'ed 4k they didn't even have MST working yet.
 

TaintedSquirrel

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Brand loyalty is a strange thing.
Just because you like Nvidia doesn't mean you should shit on AMD for trying to keep the market competitive, regardless of their horrendous track record on punctuality.

I like Intel CPU's maybe AMD should stop making CPU's altogether that way my next mid-range processor will cost $500. Flawless logic.
 

xoleras

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Well. It's all based on prior AMD experiences which weren't so good. That said, I understand it gets old hearing about it. So on that note i'll chill a little bit in that respect. Maybe I have gone overboard with it. Cool?

I'll just wait and see on this whole free-sync thing despite my doubts.
 

purehg

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Copying my post on overclock.net:

FreeSync uses variable VBI, meaning the driver needs to setup the proper VBI for the next frame, therefore requires the driver to predict the future. If the app isn't running in constant FPS, then FreeSync will fail when FPS changes, and you will still see stuttering. Also, you need to enable VSYNC, therefore you still have the lag issue that GSync solves by working without VSYNC. Sure you will have a better experience, but not as good as GSync. With FreeSync you will have have software overhead, and if you predict conservatively you lose FPS, if you predict aggressively you might end up with more stuttering than plain VSYNC.

GSync solves the problems by holding VBI until the next frame is drawn, therefore there is no speculation, so it works under all circumstances. You simply can't do that in software, because software runs on the computer, not the monitor. You have to have a monitor smart enough to wait for the next GPU command to do the drawing, and that's why NVIDIA has to do it with a separate board. There is no VESA standard for that.

GSync is "GPU drives VBI," whereas FreeSync is "driver speculates VBI." The outcome can be close, but one is superior than the other.
 

LordEC911

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Copying my post on overclock.net:

FreeSync uses variable VBI, meaning the driver needs to setup the proper VBI for the next frame, therefore requires the driver to predict the future. If the app isn't running in constant FPS, then FreeSync will fail when FPS changes, and you will still see stuttering. Also, you need to enable VSYNC, therefore you still have the lag issue that GSync solves by working without VSYNC. Sure you will have a better experience, but not as good as GSync. With FreeSync you will have have software overhead, and if you predict conservatively you lose FPS, if you predict aggressively you might end up with more stuttering than plain VSYNC.

GSync solves the problems by holding VBI until the next frame is drawn, therefore there is no speculation, so it works under all circumstances. You simply can't do that in software, because software runs on the computer, not the monitor. You have to have a monitor smart enough to wait for the next GPU command to do the drawing, and that's why NVIDIA has to do it with a separate board. There is no VESA standard for that.

GSync is "GPU drives VBI," whereas FreeSync is "driver speculates VBI." The outcome can be close, but one is superior than the other.
Link?
That is not at all how it was explained to me.

Edit- Oh your own post. No, that isn't how this works.
 
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