There have been rumours going around the internet the last couple of days, that the new Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 and 970 might support Adaptive Sync. Those rumours have been shut finally down after the Chinese technology page Expreview reached out to Nvidia for a comment. Nvidia made it clear in their reply that they want to focus on their own G-sync. This isn’t very surprising, especially with the long range of compatible monitors hitting the market from Acer, Asus, AOC and other companies.
The Adaptive Sync is a royalty free and open standard developed by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) and supported by AMD. The technology does about the same as Nvidia’s own G-Sync, but without any additional hardware. Both technologies let the GPU and monitor keep the display refresh rate in sync with the GPU frame-rates. The end-result is a more fluent picture and an overall smoother result.
The rumour itself should never really have started, but once something like this takes off, it gets around. The two new Nvidia GeForce cards in question only have a DisplayPort 1.2 according to their specifications, and DisplayPort 1.2a is needed for the Adaptive Sync technology. AMD’s current R7 and R9 Radeon cards all feature the DisplayPort 1.2a and thereby already support the Adaptive Sync technology.
This might have been a very deliberate move from Nvidia to boost their own technology. When we look at the new cards, they have the newest of technology everywhere, including the HDMI 2.0 port. Using an older DisplayPort version effectively forces owners of the cards to use Nvidia’s own G-Sync technology, if they want their frame-rate synced.
I honestly have to say, I haven’t seen the two technologies side by side. So I can’t say if one is better than the other. I have however seen both demonstrated separate next to a non-synced setup, and there is a distinct difference.
After having received some comments on this article, I’d like to clarify it a bit more. AMD FreeSync, that is part of the new VESA Adaptive Sync standard, is still a prototype system. There aren’t any actual products for it yet.
The base and support for it is there in the DisplayPort 1.2a on the graphics cards, but it requires the monitors to support it too, thus FreeSync isn’t an actual product yet. FreeSync has been demoed and it will come, but G-Sync is here today.
Thank you Expreview for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Nvidia