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HDMI 2.1 VRR AMD FreeSync nVidia G-SYNC 4K TV explained

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by Calo, 18 Jun 2018.

  1. Calo

    Gangster

    Joined: 11 Mar 2016

    Posts: 359

    Rounding all this up in one place for new TV & GPU buyers. It's amazing how confused people are across the web at the moment concerning refresh rates and GPU compatibility:

    • HDMI 2.1 is the future new connection standard for 4K TV's that allows Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) - TV's with full HDMI 2.1 are expected to release anywhere between now and 2020!
    • HDMI 2.0 TV's that are already out now can actually add VRR support to their sets with a software update. (Samsung are doing this for some sets already)
    • HDMI cables - [EDIT] Your common 'High Speed' HDMI cable should allow 4k @ 60hz, but any higher you actually need to buy a new higher bandwidth cable (max 120hz) called 'Ultra High Speed' or '48G Cable'. [DOUBLE EDIT] I can get 4k @ 60hz on a ~1 meter long cable, but not on a 3 meter long cable. All sorts of GPU and Display errors happen on the longer length cable.
    • FreeSync is just AMD's name for VRR essentially as it's the same refresh rate standard underneath. AMD's latest GPU's and CPUs will give you VRR gameplay on an HDMI 2.1/2.0 VRR enabled 4K TV.
    • VRR as a TV standard is also going to be supported by AMD GPUs alongside its own FreeSync (the set may say its VRR, not specifically FreeSync, but it should still work)
    • G-SYNC is nVidia capitalising on their dominant market position to lock their customers into their own proprietary hardware ecosystem. G-SYNC is a competitor to VRR and is unlikely to appear in 4k TVs. GeForce GPUs currently don't support HDMI 2.0/2.1 VRR - but that could change in the future...
    • 4K VRR - Well, HDMI 2.0 VRR will get you a 4K resolution at 48-60hz VRR. Pretty slim window really, would like to see a demo of that. It will do 1080p between 20-120hz however, if the TV is a 120hz native panel.
    • DisplayPort. 4k TVs dont have 'em!

    Hope that helps clarify what you need to game on a 4k TV without screen tearing, regardless how good the next gen of GPU's perform. Could be a big swing factor for AMD?
     
    Last edited: 26 Jul 2018
  2. imginy

    Mobster

    Joined: 13 Aug 2012

    Posts: 4,087

    Should be great for AMD really, personally I can't see my next graphics card being nvidia again unless they add vrr support.

    This years higher end samsung tv's look great for pc gamers with the 6ms input lag when using freesync and supporting 120hz 1440p etc plus you can enable the decent motion without the massive input lag most sets get.


    You say 2018 tv's are coming out with hdmi 2.1, which ones?
     
  3. bru

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,323

    Location: kent

    Most decent HDMI cable can do 4k @60Hz you certainly don't need to buy a ultra high speed one just any rated for HDMI 2.0
    The new ultra high speed cables are only needed for HDMI 2.1

    FreeSync is just as proprietary as G-Sync, at this point in time, this may change in the future if another player in the market starts to use VRR technology.

    The scalers used in VRR over HDMI need to have the relevant proprietary extensions as explained here.


    Remember that G-sync came first and with out it we probably wouldn't of got the currant AMD's FreeSync variant in such a timely manner.

    No currant Video cards support HDMI 2.1 we don't know if the next gen from each company will include it.
     
  4. Wrinkly

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 31 Aug 2013

    Posts: 1,680

    Location: Scotland

    Intel already do with their Kaby Lake G family.
     
  5. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 70,926

    I can't see it being a big swing factor for AMD unless they come out with much more price/performance competitive GPUs - maybe a little more movement their way in the 580/1060 bracket but that could be short lived depending on what nVidia do next.
     
  6. eddyr

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 27 Aug 2008

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    Location: London

    It ought to match well with the consoles I'd have thought.
     
  7. rtho782

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 13 Oct 2011

    Posts: 1,376

    Location: Suffolk

    While technically true, I've had a lot of issues trying to get 4k60 to work with 4:4:4 colour, but that's mostly because I need a 7m cable.

    This should be pretty doable but the problem is every cable PROMISES to support 60hz etc, but most of them mean at 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 and it's actually really hard to separate the wheat from the chaff short of buying a million cables.

    The one I have now works, but every few mins will drop out and come back again, which is really annoying.
     
  8. Calo

    Gangster

    Joined: 11 Mar 2016

    Posts: 359

    A bit of clarification on what is or isnt classed as HDMI 2.1 - and its still confusing:

    "Certification starts in 2018
    The first phase of HDMI 2.1 certification starts in the second quarter, with full certification expected to begin in the third or fourth quarter of the year. Products with the official stamp of approval can be launched following successful certification.

    During its press conference, the HDMI Forum said that HDMI 2.1 was delayed due to technical input from its many members.

    Manufacturers can launch HDMI 2.1 enabled products before full certification has been carried out but these are not guaranteed to work 100% according to specification. You may recall that the first 48Gbps HDMI cable was made available late last year. It has not (yet) been certified."

    https://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.php?subaction=showfull&id=1516615699
     
  9. bru

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,323

    Location: kent


    Cable length matters a lot, I have an expensive 15m cable running round my front room and it will not display @4k 60Hz at all, where as if I move the PC over to the TV, even a cheap cable will do 4k @60.
     
  10. Calo

    Gangster

    Joined: 11 Mar 2016

    Posts: 359

    That's good to know - I hate the thought of needing new cables and this is the first time for ages that its been listed as a requirement for HDMI, but it may just be a lottery how well each works as others mentioned.
     
  11. Panos

    Perma Banned

    Joined: 22 Nov 2009

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    Location: Under the hot sun.

    Freesync is working over the VESA Adaptive sync standard which was based on VRR tech under different name (VRI if i remember right).

    Right now as you write this post, on hardware level all Nvidia 10 cards equipped with DP 1.3/1.4 support Adaptive Sync/Freesync.
    However this not supported by the drivers (software), because Nvidia wants the owners of those cards to use gsync.

    In addition Intel supports Freesync on their Kabylake G and has promised it will be supported on their upcoming graphic cards. On the other side is supported by XboneX and the next round of consoles both from MS and Sony.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2018
  12. rtho782

    Wise Guy

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    Every single one of those examples is an AMD gpu...
     
  13. bru

    Soldato

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    But we don't let little things like facts get in the way of a good argument/discussion.;)
     
  14. bru

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Oct 2002

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    Location: kent

    It will be interesting to see what happens to FreeSync, now maybe a rename is on the cards, NQSFSync (not quite so free Sync) or better yet WDWCIFSNWHTPFITWO-HDMI-Sync (why did we call it freesync now we have to pay for it to work over HDMI-Sync).
    Either way round over HDMI it loses all the charmng free-ness that it had over DisplayPort, seeing as you have to pay to build a HDMI product, and HDMI 2.1 require the earlier mentioned proprietary extensions to be built into the scalers.
     
  15. Panos

    Perma Banned

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    The upcoming Intel GPU is not made by AMD.
    Also shows how narrow the Nvidia market actual is to run without fierce competition. On PC top £700+ card only. Anything deviated from that parameter AMD has more broad supporting devices.
    After that is just blind faith to a failed Nvidia religion.
     
  16. jigger

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 May 2007

    Posts: 13,292

    Can't wait to get a massive 4k Freesync TV. That might even be enough reason to convince me to buy a Vega Nano.
     
  17. Panos

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    Yeah me too. Before the KS7000 drop in value a lot :p
     
  18. LambChop

    Mobster

    Joined: 4 Apr 2011

    Posts: 3,408

    If 4k and VRR are set to become an option on normal TV's for pc gamers, it would be pretty silly of manufacturers of those sets to ignore a huge chunk of the market. However, I dont think manufacturers are really accounting for pc gamers.
     
  19. chaparral

    Capodecina

    Joined: 27 Nov 2005

    Posts: 21,660

    But am guessing there going to need to account for the new xbox & play station if they have VRR
     
  20. LuckyBenski

    Mobster

    Joined: 28 Dec 2017

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    Location: London

    We've got Loewe TVs at work with a mini-DP connector but I haven't hooked anything up to see what it can do.

    All this talk of massively long HDMI cables, of course signal integrity goes out the window at 15 feet!