Although some displays have already leaked out into stores in various places, today is the day AMD is officially introducing its FreeSync display technology in the U.S. As a result, you may be able to find some FreeSync monitors available for purchase now.
For instance, the BenQ XL2730Z is selling at Newegg for $629.99, and it kind of tells the story of FreeSync in a nutshell. It's a 27" monitor with a resolution of 2560x1440. The panel is of the TN variety and supports refresh rates from 40Hz to 144Hz with claimed 1-ms gray-to-gray response times.
Those specs are almost an exact match for our favorite G-Sync monitor, the Asus ROG Swift PG278Q, which is currently going for $779.99 at the 'egg.
Now, I have only had a few hours with the BenQ XL2730Z (our review sample arrived yesterday afternoon), but my first impressions are just this: AMD has done it. They've replicated that sense of buttery smooth animation that a fast G-Sync display will get you, and they've done it in a way that squeezes the extra costs out of the monitors. This is a very good thing.
Not all of these monitors are available for purchase yet, I don't think, but here's AMD's list of the 11 different FreeSync monitors coming to the market soon.
Notable among them is the Acer XG270HU, which shares the same core specs as the BenQ XL2730Z but lists for $100 less at $499. That's cheaper than Acer's comparable G-Sync display, too.
The two ultra-wide panels from LG are a little weird, with 2560x1080 resolutions, but they're IPS panels capable of ranging from 48 to 75Hz. The 29" version lists for $449 and the 34" costs $649.
Only a subset of the Radeon graphics cards currently shipping will work with FreeSync. The others are driven by older GPUs that don't have the necessary provisions in hardware. Fortunately, almost everything from the R9 285 through the R9 295 X2 should work. Owners of the R9 280 and R9 280X are out of luck, though.
Allthough the R9 295 X2 is on the list above, CrossFire configs will not have support for FreeSync until some time in April, when AMD plans to release a driver to enable it. AMD should be releasing a Catalyst 15.3 beta at some point very soon to provide full FreeSync support for single-GPU setups.
My mission now is to play with this BenQ display until I've formed enough impressions and gathered enough info to produce a full review. Keep your broswer pointed to TR for that article, which will be posted when it's ready.
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