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- Monitors with FreeSync allow AMD gamers to play with zero screen tearing, input lag, and frame stuttering.
- The ASUS VG279Q monitor’s IPS panel — combined with its fast 1ms, 144Hz performance — makes it the best FreeSync monitor you can buy for gaming.
Have you ever played a computer game and the buildings, characters, and practically everything in the world seems to rip apart? It’s not a bug and definitely isn’t a visual enhancement. It’s most often a symptom of screen tearing.
Screen tearing occurs when the frame rate of the content — counted in frames per second, or “fps” — doesn’t perfectly match the refresh rate of the monitor — measured in Hertz, or “Hz”. To compensate, frames of in-game graphics sit your graphics card’s memory until there’s room in its frame buffer to deliver them to your monitor.
The monitor is constantly refreshing its display contents to get those buffered frames in, and the imperfections in the loading and flushing of those frames create an ugly tearing effect that can ruin a movie or your gaming experience. It can also create a frame stutter that makes your game appear jittery or choppy.
The old trick to fixing this issue was enabling virtual sync. It’s a technology that’s usually effective at reducing the effects of screen tear, but many swear it off due to the input lag it can cause. This is especially damning for esports gamers who need every advantage possible.
That’s where FreeSync comes in. FreeSync is the name of the variable refresh rate technology backed primarily by AMD. The monitor works directly with the graphics processor (GPU) to sync frames perfectly, so you completely eliminate the symptoms without the added input lag.
Unfortunately, not all monitors support this technology, and you need an AMD GPU to take advantage of it. Nvidia support for the open standard is building, but G-Sync is what you want if you’re in that camp. If you need help finding a monitor to step your game up, look no further. We’ve uncovered some of the best monitors with FreeSync no matter your budget, need, or style.
Options trading Here are the best FreeSync monitors you can buy:
- Best FreeSync monitor overall: Asus VG279Q
- Best FreeSync monitor on a budget: ViewSonic VX2457
- Best 4K FreeSync monitor: LG 27UK650-W
- Best curved FreeSync monitor: Samsung CHG70
- Best ultrawide FreeSync monitor: LG 34UC80-B
Options trading The best FreeSync monitor overall
The Asus VG279Q monitor combines an IPS panel with a 1ms response time and 144Hz refresh rate for a decent price.
If professional gaming is your squeeze, this Asus monitor is the one you want. This FreeSync-compatible monitor has all it needs for fast and crisp imagery.
In-plane switching, or IPS, panels are known for their superior viewing angles and color reproduction, and experts at RTings say that it’s simply unmatched in that regard. Asus checks all the necessary boxes for the hopeful esports professional, including a 1-millisecond (ms) response time and 144Hz refresh rate.
Connection options on the VG279Q are versatile. There’s one each of a DVI-D port, DisplayPort 1.2, and HDMI v1.4. Asus includes nice features like Eye Care technology to help reduce eye strain, as well as built-in gamer-centric overlays like an fps counter and crosshairs. It has built-in stereo speakers, but you’ll probably want a dedicated set sitting on your desk.
We’re really big fans of the stand here. It allows you to pivot the screen to either a horizontal or vertical orientation alongside other choice adjustment options like height, swivel, and tilt. Its small footprint makes it easy to find space for it on your desk. The monitor also has razor-thin bezels.
The main criticism we have of the monitor is the lack of USB ports.
Pros: IPS panel makes for great viewing angles and quality, 1ms response time, 144hz refresh rate supports high-speed gaming, versatile stand offers plenty of options, stereo speakers
Cons: Resolution limiting for some, USB port would be nice
Options trading The best FreeSync monitor on a budget
It won’t set the world on fire, but a FreeSync monitor this cheap is a beautiful proposition, and that’s exactly what the ViewSonic VX2457 is.
Can’t quite stretch for an IPS display? A monitor with a less sophisticated twisted pneumatic (TN) panel can perform nearly as nicely. Take ViewSonic’s VX2457, for instance. Its 24-inch, 1080p panel is just over $100 and features a 2ms response time and 75Hz refresh rate. Pro gamers will want more, but this is a well-balanced display for pretty much anything else.
The downside is that TN panels are notorious for their poor viewing angles and relatively washed-out colors. That said, a good quality TN panel can still get the job done, and many swear by the value ViewSonic brings to the table here.
You have your pick of HDMI, DisplayPort or VGA connectors for video, a 3.5mm jack for audio, and built-in speakers (though we wouldn’t entrust it with providing a quality listening experience). The rear also houses USB 3.0 ports and standard VESA screw holes for mounting it on a wall or arm.
ViewSonic isn’t winning any design awards with the VX2457, but its stand offers some ergonomic flexibility with its ability to tilt forward and backward. You’ll also find that the bezels are on the thick side, so if you’re lining up multiple of these for a wide-screen gaming or movie experience then you’ll want to keep that in mind.
Pros: Amazingly affordable, fast performance, includes USB 3.0 ports, easily mountable, colors pop despite TN panel’s shortcomings, basic stereo speakers
Cons: No height adjustment
Options trading The best 4K FreeSync monitor
With HDR support and an IPS panel, LG’s 27UK850-W is one of the best 4K monitors you can find, period.
LG remains one of the top players in all facets of the display industry. Its monitors have built a reputation for bringing a level of quality and reliability that erases all doubt when ordering one, and judging by the reviews for the 27UK850-W, that hasn’t changed.
This 27-inch 4K monitor uses an LED-lit IPS display and HDR10 capabilities to deliver a crystal clear viewing experience. The combination of IPS technology and the billions of colors enabled by the wider color gamut will make any of your content more pleasing to behold.
Being a 4K monitor, LG couldn’t quite make it a gamer’s tool. Its variable response time is 5ms to 14ms depending on which mode you’re using. That said, it’s still completely viable for all but the most competitive gamers, and this is a complete non-issue for movies, video editing, or what have you.
LG includes HDCP 2.2 for its HDMI and DisplayPort users, so watching copy-protected 4K content on it — say, from your Blu-Ray player — happens without fail. This monitor also includes a USB-C slot for video delivery, two standard USB 3.0 slots, and 3.5mm audio. Flexibility in angle is also afforded by a height- and tilt-adjustable stand.
Pros: Plenty of connection options, beautiful 4K picture, nice color accuracy thanks to 10-bit HDR, very thin bezels
Cons: Maximum 60Hz refresh rate, speakers could be better
Options trading The best curved FreeSync monitor
No one quite brings the curve like Samsung can, and the company’s CHG70 monitor has a whole lot more going for it than good looks.
Like LG, Samsung is a name that’s constantly revered in the land of TVs, monitors, and anything else with a display. It’s not enough for them to bring it with the quality such as they do with the CHG70’s QLED panel. They’re also pioneers of a growing aesthetic trend that has these monitors all bent out of shape.
The CHG70 is machined with a standard curvature of 1800R. It’s a slight and subtle effect, but one that’s hard to unsee. As cool as that is, it’s the 1440p QLED where this panel shines. Samsung reached those ever-so-important gaming targets with a 1ms response time and 144Hz refresh rate (with the ability to lock that in at 60Hz and 120Hz for those who don’t need to press the issue).
It’s a vertical alignment (VA) panel, which means it comes in somewhere between IPS and TN in terms of color reproduction, contrast, and other picture qualities. In fact, the CHG70 has a 3,000:1 contrast ratio, which is simply remarkable for any monitor. Full HDR10 support is also rare to see in a non-4K display, high-end or otherwise. However, VA technology also has generally longer response times than the other panel types, so maybe don’t go curved if you have esports aspirations.
Samsung includes a pair of HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, and two USB 3.0 ports on the rear. It’s here where you’ll also find an ergonomic stand unlike any we’ve ever seen. It’s almost akin to a robotic arm, and adjusting the height of the display is a matter of that arm moving forward and backward. It’s for this reason the desktop footprint is larger than most other monitors, so you may want to steer clear if you don’t have much desk space behind it. You can also tilt and swivel the thing, and there is a VESA mount bracket for those who want to do away with the stand entirely.
In a thorough review, Trusted Reviews rates the CHG70 4.5 stars out of 5, saying, “HDR, a high contrast ratio and serious gaming capabilities combine to make this one of the finest 27-inch monitors on the market.”
Pros: Deep contrast ratio, fast gaming performance, full HDR10 support, beautiful curved aesthetic
Cons: Weird space-eating stand, lacks speakers
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Options trading The best ultrawide FreeSync monitor
UltraWide is like having two monitors in one, and LG spared no expense with the 34UC80-B.
We’re all used to 16:9 widescreen, what with it being the dominant wide aspect ratio of contemporary times. But, if you see even more width as a priceless commodity, listen up: the curved 34-inch LG 34UC80-B is killer. This 21:9 display — affectionately dubbed an “UltraWide” — adds extra room on the sides.
Its 34-inch size sounds large on paper, but remember that this is a diagonal measurement. Height-wise, the display is equivalent to a 27-inch 16:9 monitor, so keep that in mind if you’re thinking of adding a second one to your workstation. The 34UC80-B does what it needs to do marvelously with 1440p resolution and IPS panel technology. With a 5ms response time and 60Hz refresh rate, gamers who need all the precision in the world will want to look elsewhere.
Productivity buffs will benefit more from this form factor. LG includes software to make split-screening effortless, though today’s operating systems do a good enough job on their own. Movie watchers will also appreciate it for the films that perfectly fill the screen. (No letterboxing!)
Content will come through one of two HDMI ports or a DisplayPort. Other niceties include an adjustable stand and a USB 3.0 hub with Quick Charge capabilities for your smartphones and tablets.
Pros: UltraWide aspect ratio boosts productivity and gaming, height-adjustable stand, nice multi-picture options, clean business-ready design
Cons: No speakers
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