How to enable FreeSync on the GeForce 417.71 drivers

I probably don't need to tell you that today's the day for the GeForce RTX 2060's release to retail. New graphics card means new drivers, and to that end, Nvidia just unleashed GeForce driver version 417.71 fresh off the compiler. Predictably, this driver adds support for the new upper-midrange Turing cards, but perhaps the more exciting news is that this is the first driver to enable any sort of support for FreeSync and VESA Adaptive Sync monitors.

We knew this was coming—arguably even before Nvidia announced it just ahead of CES—but now that it's here, lots of GeForce users can finally get around to seeing what their monitors can really do. Nvidia refers to said support as "G-Sync Compatible" mode, and if you're lucky enough to own one of the 12 monitors that Nvidia has marked as "compatible," then the feature should enable automatically after you install the driver. Otherwise, you'll have to enable it manually. Don't be confused by the 3D settings panel noting that the driver detected your monitor as G-Sync Compatible; you'll probably still have to turn it on yourself.

Make sure this setting is toggled on.

To do so, first make sure you have FreeSync or Adaptive Sync enabled in your monitor's OSD if it has such an option. Then, open up the Nvidia Control Panel and go to the "Set Up G-Sync" tab. Once there, make sure you have the correct display selected—only one display can use Adaptive Sync at any given time—and then tick the "Enable G-Sync, G-Sync Compatible" box. Nvidia notes that if the box isn't available, you may need to go to "Manage 3D Settings," scroll down to "Monitor Technology," and select "G-Sync Compatible" in the drop-down. You may also need to have your display set to a high refresh rate mode before it presents the FreeSync option to the graphics card.

The nominal refresh rate of Bruno's Acer XF270HU is actually 144 Hz.

Variable refresh rates aside, a long-standing issue where some DisplayPort monitors would remain black when resuming from sleep should be resolved in this driver. GeForce GTX 1080 cards should stop dropping to their idle clock rate when you hook up three monitors. BenQ XL2730 monitors should work at 144 Hz again. Shadow of the Tomb Raider should stop crashing in DirectX 12 mode, and Gu Jian Qi Tan 3 should work on GeForce GTX 1060-equipped notebooks.

Persistent driver niggles include random flickering on G-Sync screens when a non-G-Sync monitor is connected over HDMI, brief corruption when hovering over links in Firefox, and possible blue-screen crashes in ARK: Survival Evolved. There's also a couple of HDR growing pains. In Ni no Kuni 2, enabling HDR will cause the application to crash on launch. Meanwhile, Shadow of the Tomb Raider may suffer flickering on systems with SLI, HDR, and G-Sync all enabled.

Folks who use GeForce Experience are probably already downloading the new driver whether they realize it or not. Everyone else can trek on over to the download site to grab the latest version. The PDF release notes are here, and for your convenience, here's the Windows 10 64-bit edition.

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