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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

The Best FreeSync Gaming Monitors of 2023

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If you have an AMD graphics card made in the last couple of years, even a modest one, and you don’t have a FreeSync gaming monitor, it’s time to upgrade that display. That goes double if you've nabbed one of the newest Big Navi graphics cards, like the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT, which can pump out 4K visuals and spit out high frame rates at 1080p and 1440p. Once you experience the smoothness and responsiveness of a variable refresh rate monitor paired with a powerful graphics card, there’s just no going back.

Gamers with a beefy AMD graphics card in their gaming PCs owe it to themselves to upgrade to a FreeSync gaming display—the difference is truly striking. And, it's one of the best ways to avoid screen tearing, a problem that can plague even powerful setups. These are our picks for the best FreeSync monitor at every price range, size, and resolution – and click here to find them in the UK.

TL;DR – These are the Best FreeSync Gaming Monitors:

Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A

Best FreeSync Gaming Monitor

Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQL1AAsus TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A Sharpness, speed, HDR, and rich color, along with G-Sync and FreeSync compatibility, are all on offer with this affordable 1440p monitor.

The Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A is a great example of what FreeSync is good for. This is an incredibly compelling gaming monitor, delivering a sharp 1440p resolution on a 27-inch display (a sweet spot we can't get enough of). You'll find a rich color palette thanks to a 10-bit IPS panel, and there's even some room for HDR on account of the 470-nit peak brightness the display can hit.

All of those details make this a good monitor in general, but Asus loads up on the gaming chops with a 170Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. This monitor is ready to cruise through games. And since this display is both FreeSync enabled and G-Sync Compatible, you can play with the latest Nvidia GPUs running G-Sync over DisplayPort or take advantage of FreeSync on the new consoles over HDMI 2.0.

HP X27q

Best Budget FreeSync Gaming Monitor

HP X27qHP X27q For budget-minded buyers in search of a crisp, vibrant 1440p monitor with a high refresh rate and gaming features.

Not every gaming rig will be a rip-roaring speed demon that can spit out 360fps all day, every day. For tamer machines, grab the HP X27q with its 1440p display that delivers a 165Hz refresh rate. Clearly, it’s no slouch, so hopefully, you’ve got a graphics card that can keep up. Of course, FreeSync Premium is baked in to combat screen tearing, and you also get G-Sync compatibility, while a 1ms response time ensures optimal motion fidelity.

The HP X27q delivers a crisp, clean 1440p picture that pairs perfectly with the 27-inch screen. It handles reflections like a champ and gets decently bright, even offering basic HDR. However, similar to other IPS panels, the contrast ratio isn’t the best, and it lacks wide color gamut support, but for the sub $300 price, those flaws can be forgiven like any budget gaming monitor.

LG UltraGear 27GN950-B

Best 4K FreeSync Gaming Monitor

LG UltraGear 27GN950-BLG UltraGear 27GN950-B

When it comes to 4K gaming monitors, the LG UltraGear 27GN950-B is our favorite, and it just so happens to come with FreeSync support. It's not just any FreeSync either, but FreeSync Premium Pro, ensuring you're guarded against tearing, stutters, and latency while gaming in HDR. This monitor is good to go on the HDR front as well. It's using an IPS panel that can cover 98% of the DCI-P3 color space and achieve high brightness levels to make the most of HDR10 content or games.

When you're gaming, you'll get some serious sharpness on account of the 4K resolution packed into the 27-inch panel, but LG doesn't make you trade speed for resolution. This panel can run at up to 144Hz, letting you go all-in for speed as well. You may not always hit that full speed at 4K, but that's where FreeSync is ready to back you up.

Asus ROG Swift PG329Q

Best 1440p FreeSync Monitor

Asus ROG Swift PG329QAsus ROG Swift PG329Q

If you're making the move to 1440p, you may as well get some of the other big features that are making the latest gaming monitors all the more impressive. The Asus ROG Swift PG329Q balances its features nicely, so you'll get a monitor that can deliver in just about every respect.

Here are the basics. The Asus ROG Swift PG329Q puts up a 32-inch panel with a 1440p resolution, and instead of stopping at 144Hz like many monitors, it speeds up to 175Hz. And, it's got adaptive sync capabilities to keep your visuals looking great. For color, you're getting an IPS panel that supports a 10-bit color depth and achieves 98% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space. Tack on a little bit of HDR in the form of DisplayHDR 600, and you've got a great picture on your hands.

Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor (AW2521HF)

Best 1080p FreeSync Monitor

Alienware AW2521HFAlienware AW2521HF

Alienware has you covered for a great FreeSync experience at 1080p. Now, maybe you're think you don't need FreeSync too much on a 1080p monitor because you'll have an easy time hitting the max refresh rate and can just cap your frame rate in games. Think again. The Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor (AW2521HF) cruises with a 240Hz refresh rate that will take a lot of muscle in your gaming computer to max out.

You'll actually get to combine that speed with improved clarity by way of a 400-nit peak brightness that will make it easy to see what's on the screen. And, thanks to an IPS panel, you don't have to worry about poor viewing angles. The Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor will also let you take advantage of the variable refresh rate support offered by the latest consoles, since it has two HDMI 2.0 ports in addition to its DisplayPort connection.

Samsung Odyssey G7

Best Curved FreeSync Gaming Monitor

Samsung Odyssey G7Samsung Odyssey G7 FreeSync Premium Pro and 240Hz refresh rate keep the action smooth on this stunning, curved 1440p monitor that offers HDR.

Curved gaming monitors try to immerse you by bending the display around your field of vision, and the Samsung Odyssey G7 goes further than many of the monitors you've likely seen before. That's thanks to a tight curvature with a 1000R radius. Of course, that wouldn't be worth much if the display panel wasn't also a winner. Fortunately, the Odyssey G7 delivers a QLED panel with 10-bit color and a 600-nit peak brightness that can bring some solid HDR performance.

Your games will look especially great on this curved monitor with the combination of colorful and vivid visuals matched with a 1440p resolution and high contrast ratio. And, let's not forget that this monitor can cruise at a 240Hz refresh rate with FreeSync Premium Pro to smooth it all out.

LG UltraGear 34GP950G-B

Best Ultra Wide FreeSync Monitor

LG UltraGear 34GP950GLG UltraGear 34GP950G This massive 1440p screen with a 21:9 aspect ratio and an overclockable 144Hz refresh rate keeps you immersed in the action.

Going with an ultra-wide gaming monitor can give you a cinematic experience that tops what you’d get from a 16:9 monitor. But, you still don’t want screen tearing to rain on your parade. The LG UltraGear 34GP950G will make sure you get that immersive 21:9 aspect ratio at a sharp 3,440 x 1,440 resolution with all the consistency FreeSync can offer. If you’re using multiple devices, you can also use the display’s G-Sync Ultimate capabilities.

LG goes well beyond just resolution and VRR with this display. It’s big and colorful while providing exceptional brightness levels. It almost completely covers the DCI-P3 color space, which is no small feat. You’ll get a peak brightness of 600-nits to make that colorful HDR content pop. The panel is also a high-speed IPS type with a low pixel response time and a high 144Hz refresh rate. Finally, rounding out the experience, LG has built an RGB light ring into the back of the monitor to provide some stylish bias lighting.

Samsung 65" Class QN90C Smart QLED 4K TV

Best FreeSync Gaming Television

QN65QN90CSamsung QN65QN90C

Maybe you want a bigger screen to see more details, or you’d like to kick it on the couch while you game. Going for a big gaming TV like the 65-inch Samung QN90C doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on a proper FreeSync experience or any other gaming features you love. This display offers four HDMI 2.1 ports that support a 120Hz refresh rate in 4K, along with ALLM and FreeSync Premium Pro for some butter-smooth action.

Similar to the Samsung QN90B, this updated model uses Neo QLED technology for a staggering number of local dimming zones that dial up the contrast ratio. You’re in for incredible highlights and deep blacks while its color performance is next level. Some impressive HDR brings even more brightness and realism to what’s on-screen, so you can make the most of this display whether you’re gaming or streaming your favorite movies and TV shows. See out guide to gaming tvs vs. monitors for to help you decide.

LG UltraGear 48GQ900

Best HDMI 2.1 Gaming Monitor With FreeSync

LG UltraGear 48GQ900LG UltraGear 48GQ900 VRR, a 0.1ms response, a 120Hz/4K refresh rate, and ample connectivity make this large OLED monitor with vivid colors and deep blacks shine in console gaming.

If you’re looking for a gaming monitor that can support your PC over DisplayPort but still keep you covered for the latest features on consoles over HDMI 2.1, you’ll want the LG UltraGear 48GQ900. This massive monitor packs in three HDMI 2.1 ports, so you’ll be good to connect your Xbox Series X and PS5 to take advantage of VRR technology and a 120Hz refresh rate that can be overclocked to 138Hz. Your worry over torn frames or stutter will be a thing of the past, and if you’ve got AMD or Nvidia graphics, FreeSync Premium Pro and G-Sync support are welcome additions. To top off the monitor’s gaming credentials is a 0.1ms response time, so ghosting and input lag will be a thing of the past.

The LG UltraGear 48GQ900 totes a massive 47.5” OLED display with a 4K resolution. That OLED panel means you’re in for some insane contrast and deep blacks. Colors will also be vibrant thanks to the monitor covering 99% of the DCI-P3 color space and support of 10-bit color for HDR content. The only place where you might find the display lacking is brightness. Given the size of this monitor, it will take up a good deal of desk space, so you’ll just want to make sure you’ve got room. If you’re just after a big display for gaming, there are plenty of great gaming TVs with HDMI 2.1 to consider as well.

What to look for in a FreeSync gaming monitor

FreeSync is AMD’s branding for its variable refresh rate (VRR) monitor technology. It’s built on top of the open VESA Adaptive-Sync protocol as part of the DisplayPort 1.2a spec. If you have a FreeSync monitor, you’ll get variable refresh rates with just about any modern AMD graphics card.

If you’re running an Nvidia graphics card or using another video source (like a game console via an HDMI input), a FreeSync monitor will act just like a normal monitor.

What is VRR?

Basically, a standard monitor is locked to a single refresh rate—that’s the number of times per second that it changes the color and brightness of the pixels on the screen. Your graphics card draws a frame and then waits until the monitor’s next refresh to display it.

This has the effect of making your game jump frame rate between even multiples of the display’s refresh: with a 60Hz monitor, your game will run at 60fps, 30fps, 20fps, 15fps, or 12fps, for example. Disabling vsync will also allow your graphics card to run as fast as possible on any monitor, but it produces an ugly visual artifact called tearing, where the monitor displays partially-drawn frames on top of the previous frame.

With VRR technology, the monitor refreshes whenever the graphics card is done drawing the next frame.

With VRR technology (G-Sync or FreeSync), the monitor refreshes whenever the graphics card is done drawing the next frame. So your monitor might max out at 60Hz and your game at 60fps, but if your game is running at 52fps the monitor will refresh at 52Hz, drawing the frame immediately instead of waiting for the next 60Hz cycle. So you’ll see the frame rate your graphics card is capable of, not an unnecessary downgrade to 30fps. This also eliminates screen tearing caused by the GPU sending multiple frames to the monitor when it's still rendering a previous frame.

There are two VRR technologies gamers should know about: G-Sync and FreeSync. G-Sync is Nvidia proprietary technology and only works with Nvidia graphics cards. FreeSync is AMD’s brand for a VRR technology and only works with AMD GPUs. G-Sync requires extra hardware in the monitor, driving monitors costs up but maintains consistently high quality. FreeSync has no licensing fee and requires no proprietary hardware, and thus monitors are typically cheaper, but quality control is a little less consistent in our opinion.

Where to Get the Best FreeSync Monitors in the UK

Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQL1ABest FreeSync Gaming MonitorAsus TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A £413.96LG UltraGear 27GN950-BBest 4K FreeSync Gaming MonitorLG UltraGear 27GN950-B £799.99Asus ROG Swift PG329QBest 1440p FreeSync MonitorAsus ROG Swift PG329Q £728.99Alienware 25 Gaming MonitorBest 1080p FreeSync MonitorAlienware 25 Gaming Monitor £321.93Samsung Odyssey G7Best Curved FreeSync Gaming MonitorSamsung Odyssey G7 £500.00Gigabyte Aorus FV43UBest HDMI 2.1 Gaming Monitor With FreeSyncGigabyte Aorus FV43U £908.22

Kevin Lee is IGN's Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam

Danielle Abraham is a freelance writer and unpaid music historian.

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