Hey friend! If you‘re like me, you love gaming and want the absolute best experience with your shiny new PlayStation 5. And one question keeps coming up – should you get a gaming monitor with AMD FreeSync to pair with your PS5?
I‘ve done tons of research looking at the real-world benefits of FreeSync for PS5 gaming. In this detailed guide, I‘ll walk you through everything you need to know to decide if a FreeSync monitor is right for your setup.
After reading, you‘ll be an expert on how FreeSync works, its advantages for PS5 gaming, and how to shop for the optimal display to maximize your next-gen console‘s performance. Let‘s dive in!
What Exactly Is FreeSync?
Before we get into PS5 specific advice, let‘s quickly cover what FreeSync is and how it works.
FreeSync is an adaptive sync technology developed by AMD that helps eliminate screen tearing and stuttering during gaming. Here are the key points:
It synchronizes the refresh rate of a monitor to the frames being rendered by an AMD graphics card or APU. This sync uses dynamic refresh rates enabled by Variable Refresh Rate (VRR).
By matching the monitor‘s refresh rate to the game‘s frame rate, it displays frames right when they are rendered. This eliminates screen tearing and stuttering that happens when frames fall out of sync.
FreeSync is based on open standards and doesn‘t require special hardware. So monitor makers can implement support without paying licensing fees, keeping costs down compared to NVIDIA G-Sync.
When enabled, games look buttery smooth without distraction. It‘s an awesome technology for AMD gaming on PCs. But what about consoles like our PS5?
Does the PS5 Support FreeSync Out of the Box?
Now this is where things get tricky. The PS5 uses a custom AMD Radeon GPU based on the RDNA 2 architecture. So you would think it would support AMD‘s own adaptive sync technology, right?
Unfortunately, Sony decided to NOT enable FreeSync support on the PS5 at launch.
While the PS5 does support variable refresh rates (VRR) through the HDMI 2.1 specification, it does NOT currently work directly with AMD FreeSync.
Sony has said they plan to add VRR support in a future system update. But there‘s no guarantee that will include FreeSync compatibility.
The result is that connecting your PS5 to a FreeSync monitor will NOT activate AMD‘s adaptive sync technology. You won‘t get the dynamic frame rate matching and tear elimination when playing PS5 games.
I know, it stinks that Sony didn‘t include FreeSync support out of the box. But don‘t give up hope yet! There are still some compelling reasons to consider a FreeSync monitor for your PS5, as we‘ll explore next.
Why Should You Still Consider FreeSync Monitors for PS5 Gaming?
Even without native FreeSync support on PS5, FreeSync monitors can provide significant advantages over regular TVs when used as PS5 displays.
Here are 5 key benefits to think about:
1. Smoother Gameplay
FreeSync monitors can deliver a smoother overall gaming experience free of visual distractions like screen tearing and stuttering.
While you won‘t get dynamic refresh rates, the tear prevention of FreeSync can still benefit games running at locked frame rates like 60 fps or 120 fps. It depends on the specific game and mode though.
2. Higher Refresh Rates
Most FreeSync monitors offer refresh rates up to 144Hz, 120Hz or even 240Hz. This is 2-4X higher than the 60Hz on standard televisions.
These high refresh rates translate to smoother motion and reduced input lag, which is great for fast-paced PS5 games. You‘ll just need HDMI 2.1 to unlock higher frame rates.
3. Premium Gaming Features
FreeSync monitors aimed at PC gaming often pack in premium features that enhance the experience:
- Fast response times for less ghosting and blurring
- Wide color gamuts and HDR for stunning visuals
- Ergonomic designs and blue light reduction for comfort
- Crosshairs, timers and other handy gaming tools
You miss out on a lot of these console-friendly capabilities when using a basic 60Hz TV for PS5 gaming.
There‘s still hope that Sony will add FreeSync support down the road. Choosing a monitor with both HDMI VRR and FreeSync ensures you‘re covered now and later.
5. It‘s What the Pros Use
If you watch top-tier esports tournaments, you‘ll notice all the pros use specialized gaming monitors – not plain TVs. There are good reasons for this that translate to amateur PS5 gaming as well.
As you can see, there are some compelling benefits to using a FreeSync gaming monitor over a standard television. Now let‘s dig deeper into the advantages.
Key Advantages of Using FreeSync Monitors with PS5
While the PS5 doesn‘t support AMD FreeSync out of the box, FreeSync monitors are still a smart choice to unlock the full potential of your console.
Here are 7 specific ways these displays can improve your PS5 gaming experience:
1. Eliminate Annoying Screen Tearing
Nothing kills gaming immersion quicker than screen tearing, where the image separates into disjointed segments mid-scene.
VRR helps prevent tearing, but even at a fixed refresh rate, FreeSync provides tear prevention within its adaptive sync range.
By keeping frames smoothly synced during demanding scenes, FreeSync monitors can eliminate the frustration of screen tearing.
2. Reduce Stuttering and Frame Pacing Issues
Unoptimized games can sometimes exhibit stuttering, hitching or erratic frame pacing. Using a FreeSync monitor helps smooth out these performance dips for steadier gameplay.
By synchronizing frames with the display, FreeSync minimizes stutter that can occur when frame delivery is uneven.
3. Gain Ultra-Low Input Lag for Competitive Play
Input lag refers to the delay between hitting a button and seeing the result on-screen. Lower input lag translates to more responsive, precise control.
FreeSync monitors aimed at PC esports gaming are engineered with minimal signal processing to keep input lag incredibly low. This lag-free experience gives a real competitive edge.
4. Access Blazing Fast Refresh Rates Up to 240Hz
Standard televisions max out at 60Hz refresh rate, showing 60 frames per second. FreeSync monitors go way above that with up to:
- 144Hz (2.5X faster)
- 240Hz (4X faster)
- 360Hz (6X faster)
This allows your PS5 games to render many more frames per second, leading to amazingly smooth motion clarity. It really improves fast motion in competitive FPS and racing games.
5. Enjoy Pure 1ms Response Times
Response time is the speed at which a monitor‘s pixels can change color. Faster response equals less motion blur and ghosting for sharper visuals.
Many FreeSync monitors now achieve lightning fast 1ms response times with IPS panels. Combined with the highest refresh rates, this results in crystal clear motion.
6. Take Advantage of Superior Panel Technology
FreeSync monitors use the most advanced panel technologies like modern VA, IPS, and OLED. This gives you perks including:
- Wide viewing angles without color shifting
- Accurate and vibrant colors including deep blacks
- Excellent contrast and HDR for realistic image depth
Next-gen gaming demands premium display quality that outperforms old-school TV panels.
7. Get Esports-Level Features for Competitive Play
FreeSync monitors designed for PC esports include additional features that give you an edge:
- Crosshair overlays and aim points
- On-screen timers and analytics
- Extreme low motion blur modes
- Optimal presets for FPS, RTS, and MOBA gaming
- Ergonomic designs to help improve focus
These capabilities found on high-end FreeSync models cater specifically to improving competitive gaming performance.
As you can see, FreeSync monitors offer some compelling perks for PS5 gaming compared to basic living room TVs. Now let‘s talk specifics that you need to pay attention to when shopping.
What to Look for in a FreeSync Gaming Monitor for PS5
If you‘ve decided to go the FreeSync monitor route for your PS5, here are the key specifications and features to look for:
Screen Size – Aim for 27 to 32 inches for the right desktop monitor size. Anything smaller won‘t take full advantage of the PS5‘s 4K and HDR capabilities.
Resolution – Target either Full HD (1920×1080) or 4K UHD (3840×2160). PS5 doesn‘t support 1440p natively, so avoid QHD monitors.
Refresh Rate – 120Hz or 144Hz is the sweet spot for ultra smooth gaming up to 120 fps. 240Hz can give you headroom if you‘re a very competitive gamer.
Adaptive Sync – Ensure the monitor supports both AMD FreeSync and HDMI VRR for current and future PS5 compatibility.
Response Time – Look for 1ms or better response time along with IPS or OLED panel for crisp, fluid motion clarity.
Ports – Must have at least 1 HDMI 2.1 port to handle 4K 120Hz from your PS5. More HDMI ports are better for easy device swapping.
DisplayHDR 1000 Certification – This ensures peak brightness up to 1000 nits for rich, accurate HDR in supported games.
FreeSync Tier – FreeSync Premium or Premium Pro certification indicates high performance that meets AMD‘s strict gaming requirements.
Motion Clarity Features – Extreme low motion blur modes and backlight strobing help reduce ghosting and increase sharpness.
Gaming-centric Features – Things like crosshairs, special game presets, and display analytics can give you a competitive advantage.
Ergonomics – Ability to adjust height, tilt, swivel and rotate allows you to achieve the perfect viewing position.
By keeping these criteria in mind when shopping displays, you‘ll find the optimal FreeSync monitor to unleash your PS5‘s full gaming potential.
Real-World Usage: Does FreeSync Make a Noticeable Difference for PS5 Gaming?
Sure, FreeSync monitors have great specs and technology on paper. But do they really make a significant difference to real-world PS5 gaming compared to a decent 4K TV?
Based on first-hand testing and reports from avid PS5 gamers, the consensus is generally yes – a good FreeSync monitor can provide a tangible boost to gameplay responsiveness, smoothness, and graphical fidelity.
Here are some direct experiences shared by PS5 gamers after upgrading to FreeSync displays:
"The much faster response time and 120Hz refresh rate make everything feel snappier with less input lag. Racing games and Call of Duty feel so much more fluid and responsive. I‘ll never go back to a TV for PS5 gaming again!"
"I was skeptical about seeing a visible difference, but games legitimately feel smoother with way less choppiness and screen tearing. 120 fps on this monitor is buttery smooth compared to the 60 fps cap on my TV."
"The colors and contrast look so much better calibrated to perfection on this monitor. HDR content pops way more, especially in dark scenes. Way more immersive experience."
"Upgrading to this gaming monitor was a game changer! The fast IPS panel with vibrant colors, minimal input lag, and silky 120Hz refresh rate really enhances the gaming experience."
"I didn‘t expect FreeSync to matter for PS5 but was surprised by how much smoother and more fluid games look and control. The difference in responsiveness for competitive gaming is huge!"
As you can see from these first-hand accounts, the right FreeSync monitor can provide tangible improvements to PS5 gaming in terms of smoothness, responsiveness, visuals and immersion compared to typical living room TVs.
While not necessary, upgrading to a high-end FreeSync model really helps unlock the full potential of the PS5‘s ultra powerful graphics and speed. The difference is most noticeable in fast-paced, competitive gaming situations.
Top FreeSync Monitors for PS5 Gaming in 2022
Now that you know what to look for in a PS5 gaming monitor, here are 5 of the top options currently available:
1. Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 – With its brilliant 4K 240Hz Quantum Mini LED panel and 1000R curve, this monitor provides insanely fluid motion and immersive visuals perfect for PS5. It meets the official FreeSync Premium Pro standard and has full HDMI 2.1 connectivity. Around $1,500.
2. ASUS TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A – Superb value 4K 144Hz FreeSync gaming monitor with IPS panel, 1ms response, and HDMI 2.1. Silky smooth visuals at a more affordable price point under $600.
3. LG UltraGear 27GP950 – Cutting-edge 27-inch 4K 160Hz OLED monitor with phenomenal image quality and ultra-low 0.03ms response time. Also supports Nvidia G-Sync for dual compatibility. Rated FreeSync Premium Pro. Just over $1,000.
4. Acer Nitro XV282K KV – Loaded 28-inch 4K 144Hz monitor with IPS panel, FreeSync Premium Pro certification, and HDMI 2.1. Great specs at a reasonable price around $900.
5. GIGABYTE M32U – 32-inch 4K 144Hz gaming monitor with excellent color accuracy and 92% DCI-P3 gamut coverage. AMD FreeSync Premium and HDMI 2.1 equipped. About $800.
Those represent the latest and greatest FreeSync 2 monitors that will provide big improvements to your PS5 gaming experience while future proofing you for potential VRR support.
There are also more affordable 1080p 120Hz and 144Hz FreeSync options in the $200 to $300 price range if you want to save some money. The ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM is an excellent 240Hz Full HD model under $400.
No matter your budget, there‘s a great FreeSync gaming monitor that will make your PS5 games look and play amazingly smooth.
The Bottom Line: Should You Use FreeSync for PS5 Gaming?
To wrap things up, should you consider a gaming monitor with AMD FreeSync to truly maximize your PS5‘s performance?
The bottom line: While the PS5 doesn‘t natively support FreeSync currently, a compatible monitor offers big advantages for a smoother, more responsive and visually impressive experience.
The benefits over regular TVs include:
- Tear-free smooth gameplay at high fixed frame rates
- Blazing fast 120Hz, 144Hz, 240Hz refresh rates
- Ultra-low input lag for responsive controls
- Vibrant colors and clarity of high-end monitor panels
Plus you‘ll be fully prepared if Sony adds FreeSync support down the road.
For serious gamers looking to unlock the full potential of their PS5, investing $500 to $1,000 in a premium FreeSync display is strongly recommended.
More casual gamers can probably get by fine continuing to game on a basic 4K TV if they are satisfied with the experience.
But if you want the absolute best PS5 gaming experience possible right now, upgrade to a fast, FreeSync-ready monitor. Your eyes will thank you!
Let me know if you have any other questions about getting the right display for your new PS5. Enjoy your buttery smooth next-gen gaming!