Best Freesync Monitor

Last Updated on by Nicholas Frost

What’s the point of getting expensive components for your PC system if you don’t have a gaming monitor that can showcase the quality of your gaming rig?

Depending on your needs and preferences, a gaming monitor comes with a number of specifications that you need to consider. For instance, some want no less than a 4k-capable screen, while others give more importance to refresh rate and response rates. Maybe you’re looking to splurge on the best FreeSync monitor available in the current market, or perhaps you have a budget to consider.

Regardless, there are plenty of available options for you to choose from. The only question is, which is one is the right fit for you? In our buyer’s guide, we will give you a brief overview of the features you want to consider when buying a gaming monitor. But first, we need to answer the age-old question, FreeSync or G-sync?

FreeSync VS G-Sync

To put it simply, G-sync is only compatible with PCs that use NVIDIA GPUs, while FreeSync is only compatible with those that use AMD. In general, FreeSync monitors are more affordable while delivering basically the same performance. This is the main reason why we chose to showcase this type of monitor in our review.

Why Do I Need A FreeSync Monitor?

Have you ever experienced a sudden stutter during gameplay, when things are tense, and many things are happening on-screen? It doesn’t bother you too much at first since it only happens occasionally. But as the game becomes more graphics-intensive, the stuttering becomes even more apparent.

Afterward, several frames are loaded to your monitor all at one time, and the screen looks like it’s being torn in half. This can be very distracting and annoying, especially during intense gaming moments. Luckily, there’s a solution to this.

FreeSync Technology

AMD uses FreeSync technology in their monitors to give consistently smooth frame rates, and are specially built with performance in mind. To put it simply, the best FreeSync monitors are a perfect fit for gaming enthusiasts who want the finest gaming performance free from screen tearing and lag.

How Does AMD’s FreeSync Work?

  • VRR Technology

Before you can understand FreeSync, you need to know a little about its basic tech – Variable Refresh Rate or VRR. This technology is employed both by NVIDIA in the form of G-sync and AMD in the form of FreeSync.

Without VRR, the GPU of your computer will have to render their frames and wait for your monitor to refresh itself before that frame appears. While this might sound fine, this results in some drawbacks. GPUs will run these processes at varying speeds, resulting in screen tearing. This annoying graphical artifact occurs when different portions of your display monitor run at different frame rates, which creates an image that looks torn in some places.

With VRR technology, your GPUs will render frames in an instant, even if your monitor hasn’t refreshed itself yet. This creates an image flow that’s much more seamless and smooth because you can run a game at a frame rate that your GPU can handle instead of being limited to the refresh rate of your monitor.

  • FreeSync Implemented In Gaming Monitors

By implementing VRR technology in a gaming monitor, their variable refresh rates can now be adjusted accordingly. By syncing a monitor with the frame output of a computer, one can eliminate any stuttering or screen tearing caused by low refresh rates. Because of this, a clear and smooth display delivering optimal output is now possible, even with larger monitors.

The next time you play a graphic-intensive game, you won’t need to worry about your monitor faltering if it has FreeSync Technology.

The Ultimate FreeSync Monitor Buyer’s Guide

If you’re a gaming enthusiast who plays the latest titles on their AMD system, a FreeSync-capable monitor is a big must. It can really help save you during intense moments of gameplay where a lot of things are happening all at once.

Here are the key aspects you need to consider if you’re planning on purchasing a new FreeSync Monitor:

Resolution and Size

Depending on the space and budget you have, we recommend picking a gaming monitor that has an ample enough size for an immersive gaming experience.

A 27-inch monitor that can run at a 2560×1440 resolution is more than enough. This monitor’s size is just enough to see the smaller details of your game without any added scaling, but not so big that it seems out of place on your desk. A monitor with a 1920×1080 resolution is also a good option if you’re on a budget since this resolution has been a long-time standard for showcasing high-quality graphics.

4K, on the other hand, is another option, albeit more expensive, especially if you want one that sports high refresh rates. On average, a 4k monitor will cost you over $1000. Only the latest GPUs like the Nvidia RTX 280 and 270 can handle a 4k resolution without sacrificing performance. Most Nvidia GTX 1070, 1060, and 1050 users have the capability to run at a 1440p resolution, but not in 4K.

Try to find your sweet spot where you’re satisfied with the resolution while keeping within your budget range. For the best performance, we recommend that you stay at the 1080p range.

Refresh Rate

A monitor’s refresh rate tells you how often it updates itself with new data per second in the form of Hertz or Hz. This is equal to how many frames a monitor can display each second. Higher numbers mean smoother displays. This factor is especially important for gamers, where a 75Hz is a good cut-off point for those who want optimum performance. The best FreeSync monitor models will often sport refresh rates upwards of 144Hz, but they lean more on the pricey side.

Because FreeSync technology was made to smooth out a majority of screen issues, but having a monitor with a high refresh rate is still important. Standard monitors will usually sport refresh rates of 60Hz, while monitors made for gaming lie between 120Hz and 240Hz. We’ve chosen models that are within this range to provide ample performance.

Panel type

You have the option of choosing among TN, VA, and IPS displays, and each has its own distinct set of advantages and disadvantages. No one model is the perfect fit for everyone because this is mostly preferential.

  • IPS

In-Plane Switching or IPS is often lauded for its accurate color reproduction and impressive visuals. It also has a wider range of viewing angles compared to the other panels. In terms of contrast ration, it performs similarly to TN panels, but all of this still depends on the quality of a model. A downside to the IPS panel is that it can suffer from backlight bleeding.

  • TN

Twisted-Nematic or TN is the best performing panel when it comes to gaming, having the capability to support very high refresh rates and extremely low response times. In addition, 144Hz monitors with this type of panel are often cheaper than their IPS counterparts, and only TN-type panels can reach high refresh rates of 240Hz.

It doesn’t offer the best in terms of visuals, though. It has poor viewing angles and less vibrant colors. But if you’re the type who prioritizes performance over picture quality, a TN unit would make a great fit.

  • VA

Lastly, vertical alignment or VA panels are the middle ground of TN and IPS panels. It offers similar color reproduction and viewing angles of an IPS, but VA panels have more superior color contrast. A downside of VAs is that they have very high response times compared to the other two, and it also has a ghosting effect that can get distraction for very dark scenes or games that are fast-paced.

In general, you would want a TN-type panel for fast-paced games or competitive play for its quick response time. If you want something that offers a higher picture quality, then an IPS or VA panel is often the best pick.

Shape (Straight and Curved)

It all depends on what your preferences are. Curved models are often said to give a more immersive experience, but some don’t like its effect. Mounting a curved monitor on the wall has a tendency to stick out, so you have that to consider as well.

It’s also been said that getting a curved monitor that’s smaller than 30 inches is pointless, and you’re better off buying a standard monitor. Regardless, it’s best if you try both types and see which one you like best.

Adjustability

A good monitor should be adjustable to a certain degree, allowing you to pivot, tilt, or swivel the panel at the appropriate angle. Some models will also have adjustable heights.

Ports

Most high-end monitors feature USB 3.0 hubs that are convenient for connecting your devices like flash drives or for charging your power banks and phones. It’s always good to have many input options if you’re planning on creating a multi-monitor setup.

Extra Features

Modern units will come with plenty of useful features and components. From additional connectivity options to handy software and ergonomic designs, you want to consider what features will give you overall better experience.

Customer Service and Warranty

While not exactly a priority, choosing a unit that comes from a brand with good customer service can help you bypass a lot of potential stress.

It’s also good to have something to fall back on in case you receive a faulty unit. Top brands will generally offer three-warranties for their gaming monitors, so you can have them replaced just in case you see any dead or bright pixels in your unit.

Price

Most G-sync displays will cost you between $50 to $100 more compared to their FreeSync counterpart. If you’re wondering why this is because brands have to pay Nvidia for additional hardware that enables G-sync. FreeSync models do have the capability to work with Nvidia hardware, just not as good as a G-sync monitor, but this also depends on how much troubleshooting you can handle to optimize your FreeSync monitor.

Regardless, you shouldn’t spend more than $600 on a gaming monitor, unless you’re looking for a 4k or ultrawide model. While these do have better overall performance, they don’t really offer much relative to the price you’re paying.

We Take Product Testing Very Seriously

We determine the best gaming monitors through long term testing. Firstly, we determine their performance during gameplay, where we test them out with a variety of different titles. This subjective type of testing won’t tell us the specifics of any data value, but it’s still important because it lets us see the quality of a monitor’s native resolutions, their functioning aspect ratio, and other technologies that they feature to improve performance.

We also do side-by-side testing of different models to see how they differ from each other. Simply testing one screen has the tendency to blind you when it comes to judging their comparative faults because you can get used to them pretty easily. By testing out screens with each other, we can spot the issues in them much easier.

Objective testing might offer more accurate results, but they are more difficult without the right equipment. We used different types of hardware to test each model’s color accuracy, latency, and a variety of other essential metrics. If you’re planning to do some testing on your own, it might prove to be a challenge if you don’t have any specialized tools. However, simply viewing a screen in real life and see how well it fares in different scenarios is usually enough to tell you how good a model is.

The Best FreeSync Monitor Models Of 2019

If you want something that will fit your AMD gaming rig, then a FreeSync monitor is a solid choice, where you’ll be getting impressive performance all throughout your game sessions. Even if you’ve got an Nvidia system, though, there are many FreeSync models that come with G-sync compatibility, which can save you a considerable amount.

However, finding the best FreeSync monitor that’s suited to your setup can be a long and grueling task, especially since the market for gaming monitors is becoming more and more congested with each passing day. To help make your purchasing decisions a bit easier, we’ve formed a list of our top monitor picks 2019 has to offer.

1. Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD

Specifications:

  • Display: 27″
  • Resolution (maximum): 2560 x 1440
  • Refresh Rates: 144 Hz
  • Panel: IPS

For those who have a decent NVIDIA GPU but want to save a little bit of cash by opting for a FreeSync Monitor, then this AD27QD model from Gigabyte is a solid choice. This monitor is capable of supporting the latest NVIDIA adaptive sync drivers, and its FreeSync is automatically used when connected to your NVIDIA GPU.

This model performs similarly to the VG279Q model By ASUS, except it sport a higher native resolution, making it superior in that front. It also features good response times and little input lag, so the gaming experience is much smoother and responsive. The AD27QD comes with extra features to improve your gameplay, like its useful noise-canceling feature.

One minor drawback doesn’t perform as well in dimly-lit rooms, and its stand has a limited swivel range. Despite those flaws, this is still a high-quality monitor that will satisfy most gamers.

Key Features:

  • NVIDIA GPU-compatible
  • Smooth and responsive performance
  • Noise-canceling feature

2. Acer XR382CQK

Specifications:

  • Display: 37.5”
  • Resolution (maximum): 3840 x 1600
  • Refresh rates: 75Hz
  • Panel: IPS

For those who want an impressively large unit, Acer’s XR382CQK is an excellent choice. With its big display of 37.5” and an ultra-wide QHD panel sporting a 3840 x 1600, this model is one of the largest you will find in the market.

It has a unique 24:10 aspect ratio that’s a little bit wider than the conventional 21:9 screen used by other ultra-wide monitors. The IPS panel is also beautiful, sporting accurate, vivid colors and wide viewing angles.

Aside from that, it also features a refresh rate of 75Hz, which is just slightly above the cut-off 60Hz. It doesn’t have any bezels either, so if you’re planning on a multi-screen configuration, you won’t have any trouble starting off with this unit.

The very high costs of ultra-wide monitors are often the reasons why gamers shy away from them, but you should consider buying a more expensive model as a long term investment because you won’t have to upgrade your monitor for many years.

Key Features:

  • Curved screen
  • Large display
  • Great performance

3. LG 27UK650-W

  • Display: 27″
  • Resolution (maximum): 3840 x 2160
  • Refresh Rates: 60 Hz
  • Panel: IPS

If you want a monitor that supports a higher resolution, then LG’s 27UK650-W might just fit the bill. It’s an impressive 27″ model that delivers consistent, high-quality pictures at wide viewing angles as well as impressive peak brightness.

It’s also important to note its good motion handling and little input lag, although it does have a base refresh rate of 60Hz, which might put off some gamers. With a 4K resolution monitor, you’ll now be able to see a game’s finer details, albeit at the cost of slightly lower refresh rates. This monitor also features a good range of Display and HDMI ports.

Sadly, although it does support HDR, this model doesn’t have the best experience HDR-wise, due to the fact that it has a hard time displaying wide color brightness and has a limited brightness range. All in all, though, this is one of the best FreeSync monitor models that have 4K resolutions.

Key Features:

  • 4K resolution
  • Good motion handling and little input lag
  • Wide viewing angles
  • Impressive peak brightness

4. LG 32UD99-W

Specifications:

  • Display: 32″
  • Resolution (maximum): 3840×2160
  • Refresh Rates: 60 Hz
  • Panel: IPS

For those who want similar specs to LG’s 27UK650-W but want a slightly bigger display, then the 32UD99-W is the unit that you’re looking for. Do note that the price difference is quite big, but aside from a size upgrade, this model has additional features that it’s smaller counterpart doesn’t have.

For one, it comes with a USB hub that allows you to connect many of your peripherals right into this monitor. It also features a USB-C port that can function as a USB-C energy delivery system, giving you the ability to charge your devices while the monitor is turned on.

Like its smaller brother, this model also sports a 4K resolution, but it performs slightly worse compared to the 27UK650-W. Apart from the slight hit in performance, this model is still a decent choice if you don’t mind the 60Hz refresh rate.

Key Features:

  • Bigger display
  • USB hub
  • Decent performance

5. BenQ XL2540

Specifications:

  • Display: 25″
  • Resolution (maximum): 1920×1080
  • Refresh Rates: 240 Hz
  • Panel: TN

If you have an older gaming rig that can’t display the highest available resolutions, then BenQ’s XL2540 is one of the best Freesync Monitor models that supports up to 1080p. While it doesn’t offer much in terms of versatility, it still takes a spot on our list for the good performance that it offers.

It comes with a whopping refresh rate of 240Hz, which is more than enough to deliver impressive motion performance that has little to no motion blur. It also shows low levels of input lag with a wide range for its FreeSync to ensure that you get no screen tearing.

This model does have a few drawbacks. Because it uses a TN-type panel, it delivers poorly in dimly lit rooms and suffers from narrow viewing angles. This might be bothersome for people who like to sit close to the screen because its edges will have a different appearance in contrast to the rest of the screen. Overall, though, this is still an excellent monitor if it’s used in the right settings and placement.

Key Features:

  • 240Hz refresh rate
  • Low levels of input lag
  • Smooth performance

6. VIEWSONIC XG2402

Specifications:

  • Display: 24″
  • Resolution (maximum): 1920×1080
  • Refresh Rates: 144 Hz
  • Panel: TN

For those who want something similar to the BenQ XL2540 with a more affordable price tag, then this VIEWSONIC model is your best bet.

It sports a refresh rate of 144Hz, which is more than enough, even for competitive play. It’s FreeSync also covers a wide range regardless of what type of connector you have. If ever your game gets to graphically intensive and the frame rate starts to drop, this model will use Low Frame Rate Compensation (LFC) to make up for it, ensuring a consistent, tear-free experience.

Much like other TN-type panels on our list, this model comes with a few flaws. Its performance takes a hit when used in dimly-lit rooms and suffers from a narrow viewing angle. All in all, this unit is a good choice if you want something more affordable that performs similarly to BenQ’s XL2540. But if you’re planning to use it on a very dark setup, you might opt for its slightly more expensive counterpart.

Key Features:

  • A high refresh rate of 144Hz
  • Relatively affordable
  • LFC

7. ASUS MG279Q

Specifications:

  • Display: 27”
  • Resolution (maximum): 2560 x 1440
  • Refresh rates: 144Hz
  • Panel: IPS

Many consider ASUS’ MG279Q to be one of the best FreeSync monitor models in the market today, and we have to say that we wholeheartedly agree. If you’re an AMD user in need of a FreeSync model, this model is a solid choice.

This model sports an IPS-type screen capable of displaying 1440p with an impressive refresh rate of 144Hz. Because it uses IPS, it can offer a wider angle range without sacrificing how it looks. Much like other gaming monitors, this unit features an anti-gloss coating, which isn’t too heavy, unlike other models in the market.

It also features an adjustable base that can be pivoted, tilted, raised, and lowered to optimize your viewing. Especially coming from a relatively big monitor, its small bezel is a welcome addition, to avoid using up any more space in your setup.

Its contrast ratio is also impressive, and it has the capability to support many inputs, making this an excellent monitor for those who are planning to connect it to multiple systems (i.e., gaming consoles). All in all, the MG279Q will satisfy any gamer’s needs and more, and a very easy choice for players who have an AMD system.

Key Features:

  • Impressive picture quality
  • A high refresh rate of 144Hz
  • Adjustable base

8. BenQ EX3203R

Specifications:

  • Display: 32”
  • Resolution (maximum): 2560 x 1440
  • Refresh rates: 144Hz
  • Panel: VA

If you want a large, curved gaming monitor for your current rig, the Ben EX3203R’s beautiful display and impressive performance will most likely check all of your boxes.

The 144Hz refresh rate that it is capable of means that the possibility of screen-tearing is little to none. Unless you’re pushing your system to excessively high frame rates, you’ll have no problem with picture quality. And even then, the FreeSync tech will mitigate most if not all cases.

This model uses a VA panel which has its own pros and cons. It provides slightly better contrast and contributes to higher refresh rate capabilities compared to an IPS. However, there it takes a hit when it comes to color accuracy and viewing angles. It’s not really noticeable if you’re not looking at the numbers, though. And the narrower viewing angle is mitigated by its curved design anyway.

The EX3203R is one of the best FreeSync monitor models in the market, providing beautiful visuals and impressive performance.

Key Features:

  • Curved design
  • A high refresh rate of 144Hz
  • 1440p display
  • Good color contrast

9. AOC G2460PF

Specifications:

  • Display: 24”
  • Resolution (maximum): 1920 x 1080
  • Refresh rates: 144Hz
  • Panel: TN

If you want a budget-friendly gaming monitor that still delivers great performance, AOC’s G2460PF is a good option.

It features a 144Hz refresh rate that enables you to have frame rates of over 60 per second, which is more than enough for any gamer. This model has a TN panel that lessens the chances of a slowdown. The G2460PF is also an HD monitor, meaning that it has a display capability of 1080p.

Despite being having a TN-type display, it still sports good contrast and vibrant colors. This display can also be wall-mounted if you want to save space for your desk, while it’s stand is fully adjustable, letting you change the screen’s height and swivel it to alter the angle. Overall, this model is a good pick for those who are on the lookout for an excellent FreeSync monitor.

Key Features:

  • A high refresh rate of 144Hz
  • Adjustable base
  • Can be wall-mounted

10. AOC AGON AG251FZ

Specifications:

  • Display: 24.5”
  • Resolution (maximum): 1920 x 1080
  • Refresh rates: 240Hz
  • Panel: TN

Finally, for those who want a monitor that’s slightly bigger than the AOC G2460PF with higher refresh rates, you might want to look into the AGON AG251FZ.

With a high refresh rate of 240Hz, you don’t need to worry too much about regular issues such as motion blur, a commonly occurring effect resulting from a monitor that can’t keep up with the GPU or vice versa. This model also has a decent response time of 1ms.

The AGON AG251FZ is outfitted with a flicker-free technology that’s designed specifically for more comfortable use even during extended periods of play. This is a great feature, especially for users who are prone to eye fatigue.

Aside from its excellent performance, this model comes with a few extras that add some convenience. For instance, it comes with thin bezels that are perfect for multi-screen configurations and a headphone hook that helps out with the clutter.

Key Features:

  • A high refresh rate of 240 Hz
  • Great performance
  • Flicker-free tech
  • Small bezel
  • Headphone hook

Conclusion

Without having one of the best FreeSync monitor models, your gaming experience will suffer, even if you have other high-quality components in your gaming rig. Many players have systems that suffer from screen tears and stuttering despite having the best GPUs. The odds are that they don’t know how their monitor can significantly affect a system’s performance.

With the best FreeSync monitor, you can fully enjoy what your gaming system has to offer and have smoother and more consistent game sessions.

 

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