AMD's FreeSync 2 tech debuts in a wild 49-inch Samsung HDR monitor

The battle between AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync engulfs HDR.

AMD and Nvidia’s fierce battle over one of the most thrilling display technologies to appear in a long time—variable refresh rates, which sync your monitor and graphics card’s output for a buttery smooth gaming experience—is extending to engulf yet another hot new monitor advancement: gorgeous high-dynamic range visuals.

Samsung announced the world’s first FreeSync 2-enabled PC monitors on Friday, the 27- or 32-inch CHG70 and the utterly massive 49-inch CHG90 ultrawide display. The panels pack HDR, quantum dot technology, wide 178-degree viewing angles, and a significant 1800R curvature, along with blazing-fast 144Hz refresh rates and 1ms response times.

Those impressive specs are bolstered by FreeSync 2. AMD’s technology builds on the shoulders of FreeSync’s base capabilities, mandating low latency levels and the use of the previously optional “low framerate compensation” feature that keeps gameplay buttery smooth when frame rates dip to low levels.

freesync 2 tech AMD

How standard monitors handle HDR tone mapping, versus FreeSync 2 monitors.

Most of FreeSync 2’s advantages revolve around HDR, however. The technology ensures your game looks as glorious as possible by switching to a “FreeSync mode” that increases brightness levels and enforces the maximum color space when you load supported games. It also provides those games with the native characteristics of your display, which lets games output directly to those properties during their initial tone mapping—negating the need for an extra image processing step and reducing latency even more.

You need an AMD Radeon graphics card to take advantage of FreeSync 2, and any Radeon GPU that supports FreeSync will work with FreeSync 2. (Read: Most modern cards.) But if you don’t already have one, you’ll probably have trouble finding one. The CHG70 packs a 2560x1440 resolution, while the insanely wide CHG90 rocks 3840x1080—the equivalent of two standard 1080p monitors side-by-side. Pushing pixels on monitors like that requires a Radeon RX 580 or more. Unfortunately, AMD’s enthusiast-class Radeon RX Vega graphics cards won’t land until the very end of July, and Etherium cryptocurrency miners have gobbled up all Radeon RX 570 and RX 580 cards, driving up prices and emptying stocks from store shelves.

xbox project scorpio Microsoft

Microsoft's Xbox Project Scorpio will also support FreeSync 2.

But interestingly, PC graphics cards aren’t the only technology that supports FreeSync 2. Microsoft’s powerful Xbox “Project Scorpio” gaming console will also play nice with AMD’s technology, and it’s expected to be formally unveiled at Microsoft’s E3 event this weekend.

The impact on you at home: These beastly displays were built for gaming, just like the first wave of rival G-Sync HDR monitors. But unlike the Nvidia-infused panels, you won’t need to wait forever to buy Samsung’s FreeSync 2 displays. The CHG90 is available to preorder for $1,499 on Amazon, with a slated release on June 30. The 32-inch CHG70 will appear on Newegg for $700 soon, and the 27-inch on Samsung's website for $600, though neither appeared at the time of writing.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags AMD

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?