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AMD Announces Radeon FreeSync 2 for HDR Monitors

Category: General News
Posted: 12:52PM

Later this week at CES 2017 AMD is expected to reveal more information about its upcoming Ryzen CPUs and Vega-based GPUs, which have not been formally announced yet, but today a new technology has been announced by the company. This technology is Radeon FreeSync 2, but it is not necessarily what you expect. FreeSync allows the refresh rate of a supporting monitor to match the framerate a supporting GPU is providing, thereby preventing screen tearing without introducing input lag. Just as recently as the Crimson ReLive drivers released last month, FreeSync received a significant update by allowing games run in a borderless window to benefit from the technology. FreeSync 2 builds on this base, keeping the rates aligned, but is actually targeting HDR monitors and games.

High dynamic range, or HDR is a technology that has been seeing interest grow of late as it presents a wider color gamut and greater range of brightness to the user. Basically whenever you look at an image on a modern monitor, the image can only contain so many colors and the contrast between white and black can only be so great, but HDR monitors support more colors and more contrast. However, there is still going to be some tone mapping from an HDR source to match what the monitor can show and this is where FreeSync 2 steps in. This new API is able to send the information from the monitor about what it is capable of to the GPU, where it can leverage its power to map the luminance, contrast, and colors, to those capabilities, instead of leaving the display's hardware to do the work. This accelerates the process, thereby allowing users, especially gamers, to enjoy HDR gameplay with low-latency.

All Radeon GPUs that currently support FreeSync will also support FreeSync 2, and FreeSync 2 monitors are expected to be available in this first half of 2017. These monitors will support HDR, FreeSync, and Low Framerate Compensation. Since a Samsung vice president is quoted in the AMD press release, we can probably expect to see at least one of these monitors from them and I would not be surprised if others are present at CES 2017.



Source: AMD and Radeon.com

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