Asus MG279Q Gaming Monitor
The Asus MG279Q has been one of the most anticipated gaming monitors. The monitor features a 27 inch IPS panel with a 2560X1440 resolution (WQHD), 144 Hz refresh rate as well as support for AMD Freesync. Gamers will no longer have to sacrifice image quality by having to go with a TN Panel for 144 Hz silky-smooth gaming. The refresh rate when running AMD Freesync on this monitor ranges between 35 Hz to 90 Hz. Anything out of this range will result in Freesync automatically being disabled. Needless to say, the monitor used for testing AMD Freesync is the Asus MG279Q 1440p Gaming Monitor.
Here's a closer look at the Asus MG279Q Gaming Monitor
What is AMD Freesync?
AMD Freesync is an alternative adaptive refresh rate technology developed by AMD. Most gamers are well versed with the term V-Sync but AMD has taken a step further when it comes to synching frames. For older games which generally deliver very high FPS, over 90 or 120 most can easily enable V-Sync to avoid any screen tearing which would be caused by exceeding the monitors refresh rate. Although V-Sync has been able to aid gamers in this regard it often leads to lowered FPS as well as reduced mouse responsiveness, also commonly known as input lag. AMD’s Freesync technology sought to resolve these issues, delivering perfectly smooth gameplay and peak performance. Freesync is a feature accessible only for some of their GPUs and all APUs. The supported discrete GPUs include the Fury X, Fury, R9 390X, R9 390, R9 380, R9 295X2, R9 290X, R9 290, R9 285 and the R7 260.
Through the Freesync technology, AMD allows the GPUs and APUs to directly control the refresh rate of the monitor. When Freesync is enabled, the monitor will refresh its image in sync with the image that is being rendered in game, to its maximum level while adjusting down accordingly when needed. With AMD Freesync, the refresh rate of the monitor is scaled down or up (depending upon the scenario), to match the game so that the monitor never refreshes in the middle of a frame, thus avoiding any screen tearing. Freesync will also reduce the input lag which many gamers despise, especially in competitive gaming.
Freesync works through a combination of software and hardware. In addition to the supported GPUs and all APUs, one would need a Freesync supported monitor as well as DisplayPort connection as the older form of connectivity through VGA, DVI and HDMI are incompatible. “Freesync” as the word implies is referred to by AMD as the world’s first virtually “zero-cost” technology to enable perfectly smooth gameplay with no costly proprietary hardware, royalties, or licensing cost.
After acquiring the required hardware, all that’s left is on the software front which involves downloading and installing the latest AMD Drivers. We recommend downloading the latest drivers from AMD’s official website. We tested Freesync with AMD’s 15.7 drivers. A lot of improvements have been made with the release of the drivers, improving performance as well as additional features. The main highlight of this driver release is the ability to run Freesync in Crossfire configuration which wasn’t possible until this release. This would prove beneficial to Crossfire setups as it would reduce in game stuttering as well. The 15.7 driver version introduces VSR for APUs and Frame Rate Target for discrete GPUs.
How to Enable AMD Freesync?
Freesync firstly needs to be enabled using the monitor. After which an AMD Catalyst Control Center pop up will come on screen, detecting the availability of Freesync technology. Head on over to Catalyst Control Center, under the properties of the Digital Flat Panel. The option for enabling Freesync will be available there. All one has to do it check the box near it and apply the settings. As you can see, setting up Freesync is rather easy, effortless and isn’t a hassle at all. Given the added support for Crossfire, one need not disable Crossfire before enabling Freesync, thus shortening the procedure even further. The screenshots below may give you a better understanding of how it’s actually done.
AMD Fressync was tested with the Sapphire R9 285 Dual-X OC 2GB GPU. We ran a number of games with various settings. We even made use of AMD’s Virtual Super Resolution (VSR) while testing Freesync. We noticed that Freesync did offer smoother gameplay especially in First Person Shooter (FPS) games as opposed to V-Sync. We even noticed that with Freesync enabled, character movement become more realistic. Without Freesync, character movements in Role Playing Games (RPG) especially sharp turns resulted in screen tearing. V-Sync solved the problem when it came to screen tearing but the input lag as a result of V-Sync makes it difficult to choose between screen tearing or input lag. This is where AMD Freesync comes in to play. It reduces lag and at the same time eliminates screen tearing. As this is quite a fairly new technology adopted by AMD, we believe that further advancements will be made, making this a perfect option. We have already seen improvement with the 15.7 drivers as they have enabled Freesync for Crossfire. At this rate the future for AMD Freesync looks extremely bright. AMD Freesync monitors are actually very cost effective when compared to the competition, Nvidia’s G-Sync. Overall, Freesync performed great and the input lag was far less when compared to V-Sync.