What is the difference between basic AMD FreeSync and Premium and Premium Pro versions

This technology is very popular today and is used in many laptops, TVs and individual PC monitors.

Let’s take a closer look at the article.

Release history

AMD introduced FreeSync technology to the market seven years ago. It was released in response to Nvidia G-Sync, which came out in 2014. That one, that other technology has the same goal – to obtain a smooth picture and minimize gaps. But their practical implementation is different.

To fully function, an Nvidia product needs a special chip equipped with its own RAM on the display side. Such a solution inside the device is difficult to construct and, accordingly, affects the cost of the monitor. Due to the high price, such screens have not received the wide distribution to the masses. A simplified version that operates on the same principles as FreeSync was introduced a little later and the monitors were called G-SYNC Compatible. Models without hardware support for the G-Sync module turned out to be more in demand among users.

Regarding AMD technology, we note that it does not require any hardware additions to the display device. This solution is based on real-time display frequency adjustment using the DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync standard. Developers implement this option into the monitor without the use of any special devices.

In 2017, AMD announced the release of the second generation of technology that was intended for powerful gaming screens and was called FreeSync 2 HDR. As a result of a subsequent rebranding that took place in the winter of 2020, AMD renamed the technology to FreeSync Premium Pro. In addition, an intermediate option called FreeSync Premium has appeared. Let’s talk about their differences below.


Tearing on the monitor occurs when the frame rate of the video card does not match that of the screen. V-Sync technology was originally used to solve this problem. With its help, the number of frames produced by the adapter was limited to the number on which the monitor worked.

But there is one drawback here – when the frame rate is less than the screen refresh rate, the monitor needs to wait for the video card. While this wait is in progress, the display shows old frames until new ones appear. Thus, the picture freezes. When V-Sync is disabled, latency data is displayed as tearing in the image.

To eliminate this shortcoming, FreeSync was developed. A screen with its support can update the picture with a variable frame rate within certain limits. When connected to a graphics accelerator, it notifies about them and the AMD driver limits the maximum number of frame updates to its capabilities. If the number of frames in the game does not decrease below the minimum value of the variable frequency with which the display works, then the tearing and freezing of the picture disappear.

Directly FreeSync technology supports the frequency within 9-240 Hz. Matrices of modern displays on the lower bar of this frequency cannot work. For them, the optimal indicator is 48 Hz and above. If the frame rate drops below this value, the technology will not be able to turn on. Therefore, it had to be developed in the form of other offshoots.

FreeSync Premium

FreeSync Premium technology does not have the disadvantage of the initial version of FreeSync thanks to the Low Frame Compensation option – compensation for low frame rates. The essence of this option is that when the frequency drops below the permissible operating screen frequency, the frames are doubled. In other words, when the frequency drops to 20 frames, the display shows 40.

FreeSync Premium works only if the mandatory condition is met – the maximum matrix refresh rate is 120 Hz at a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels and higher. These parameters are available for gaming monitors that are used in eSports video games. Screens labelled FreeSync Premium display a picture without gaps and delays in the range from 30 to 120 Hz (sometimes higher).

FreeSync Premium Pro

This version is also called FreeSync 2. It has a High Dynamic Range (HDR) capability. In this case, the monitor matrix must have a special brightness mode – at least 400 nits. That is, before using FreeSync Premium Pro technology, you need to make sure that the display device is characterized by accurate brightness control and the presence of a wide range of colour shades.

This technology supports all the features of FreeSync Premium, including low frame rate compensation. The matrix in this case should have similar parameters: at least 120 Hz at a screen resolution of 1920×1080.

When using FreeSync 2 on gaming monitors, the user sees a bright and rich picture. In addition, there is an opportunity for games in the form of self-adjustment of the image to the best possible view, without affecting the driver.

It should be noted that FreeSync Premium depends on the video game itself and the project must also support the technology used by the device, otherwise, it will not work properly. A list of games compatible with FreeSync 2 can be found on the official website of the manufacturer. AMD cooperates with the largest developers and currently has 17 compatible projects, the number of which is systematically replenished.

A few words in conclusion

The modernization of AMD FreeSync technology does not stand still and it is constantly equipped with new chips. FreeSync is widely used among modern monitors in all price segments – from low-cost to the highest-end expensive models.

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