With the new announcement of Nvidia supporting Freesync monitors (at least a select few) the question is more pertinent than ever does Adaptive Sync (A-Sync) enhance games much and is it something most people need.
The short answer is not really unless you are playing a highly competitive game with a lot going on and you really want that critical edge then A-Sync is not really needed just so long as you have a 60 FPS monitor and a good graphics card you should be more than fine with most games. If you are competitive than yes you should invest in a good A-Sync monitor and it will improve your gaming performance somewhat.
What Is Adaptive Sync
A-Sync is the solution to a long held problem with monitors. You see monitors have a set Frame Per Second (FPS). For TVs this normally is 30 FPS and for monitors the normal market standard has normally been 60 FPS that means every 1/60th of a second the entire picture your monitor is showing gets redrawn.
Now graphics cards are different due to their inherent nature of having to calculate everything they can send to the monitor they normally are a variable FPS device. They can be locked at 60 using Vsync sometimes but this can really lead to some weird input issues where it seems that your game is lagging behind your actions.
So along came A-Sync this was implemented in both G-sync and Freesync. G-sync increased the price of a monitor immensely since it required a special module built into the monitor that of course was proprietary. Where as Freesync was open source and TV manufacturers were able to get the specs for themselves and implement it as they saw fit. Due to this most monitors now come with Freesync and very few come with G-sync.
So Nvidia now embraces Freesync and you can see my opinion about that in this article. With that the appeal of a Freesync monitor is far more now then before. So is it worth it to ditch your current monitor for a Freesync upgrade?
First Nvidia is only supporting a select few monitors. This is not to say that your current Freesync monitor that is not on the list can handle it but it may not be optimal. Freesync was not implemented as consistently across the board leaving some great Freesync monitors and some horrible ones.
The other proviso is your graphics card. If you have any Nvidia graphics cards before the 10 series then you are being forgotten. So the 1050 on up will support it.
You also need a Display Port Cable. Finding a good one is a chore I just upgraded my HDMI cable to a Display Port cable and it was hard sorting through the bad ones on Amazon not to mention the certified Display Port cables are expensive $20 to $30 just for one 6 foot cable.
With that said if you have all the requirements then download the new drivers and fire it up and see how it looks. Now if your Monitor is Freesync but is not supported by Nvidia it can lead to some weird results and not be usable so beware.
Should You Trade In Your Old Monitor For One Of The Certified Ones?
I am going to say No to most people here. If you are happy with your set up and you are not due for a new monitor then no. A-sync is really only good for really fast paced shooters like Overwatch and CS:GO if those are not your speed then there really is not much of a point.
Most monitors are 60 FPS and for most games and that is more than enough. Trust me ever since I upgraded my cord and monitor my screen tearing is pretty much gone in my games and I enjoy a great gaming experience. It isn’t worth spending the money it would cost for them.
If instead you are always looking for that edge and this is your ticket to cheap A-sync then go for it just remember that most of these monitors cost a good amount. Here is the current list of monitors that Nvidia has signed off on if you are looking at one not on this list please research first if it will work well with an Nvidia card. These are Amazon Links when I can find them.
Acer XFA240 ~ Unavailable for sale / 4 stars over 420 reviews
Acer XG270HU ~ $360 / 4 stars over 484 reviews
Acer XV273K ~ $830 / 4 stars 99 reviews
Acer XZ321Q ~$369.99 / 3.5 stars 94 reviews
Agon AG241QG4 ~ Unavailable for purchase at this time
AOC G2590FX ~ $205 / 4 stars over 680 reviews
Asus MG278Q ~ $400 / 4.5 stars over 400 reviews /
Asus XG248 ~ Unavailable for purchase at this time
Asus VG258Q ~ $400/ 4.5 over 770 reviews
Asus XG258 ~ $440 / 4 stars over 140 reviews
Asus VG278Q ~ $300 / 4 stars over 290 reviews
BenQ XL2740 ~ $600 / 4 stars 64 reviews
Most of the monitors I could not find have an updated version, but that does not guarantee they will work with the new Gsync drivers so be warned if you want to go that route.
There are more monitors supported now by Nvidia but still do your research to make sure they are compatible with your monitor and work well with your set up.
If you have anything you want to add to this discussion please feel free to leave your comments down below.