TL;DR – These are the Best FreeSync Gaming Monitors:
1. Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD Tactical Gaming Display
Best FreeSync Gaming Monitor
Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD Tactical Gaming Display
The Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD Tactical Gaming Display (read our review) is the best all-around FreeSync gaming monitor that can basically do anything. It features a good sized 27-inch panel with a 2,560 x 1,440 display resolution. It’s not quite 4K sharp, but it supports HDR with a maximum brightness of 400-nits while refreshing up to 144Hz.
Of course, it equipped with FreeSync to give you a perfectly smooth gameplay experience on an Xbox One S, Xbox One X, or AMD-powered gaming PC. But what makes this monitor even better is it’ll also work with Nvidia graphics cards thanks to it being G-Sync compatible.
This gaming monitor also throws in a few bonus features such as using its OSD to display system readings (such as your in-game frame rate, CPU or GPU frequencies, and processor temperature). There’s also a built-in microphone on the Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD Tactical Gaming Display that helps add noise cancellation to your gaming headset or gaming microphone.
2. ViewSonic Elite XG240R
Best Budget FreeSync Gaming Monitor
ViewSonic Elite XG240R
The Viewsonic Elite XG240R gives you a surprising amount of gaming monitor for its $260 price. Despite its low, low price, it has a fast 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time thanks to its snappy TN panel. The Viewsonic Elite XG240R even has RGB lighting alongside a few HDMI and USB ports for those that like to use their monitor as a sort of desk hub.
Just to remind you again, this monitor only costs $260. That’s way cheaper than most 144Hz FreeSync monitors. If you’re on a tight budget, there’s no need to settle for a paltry 60Hz monitor. You can still enjoy super-smooth high refresh rates.
3. ViewSonic XG3220
Best 4K FreeSync Monitor
The Viewsonic XG3220 (read our review) is the biggest and best looking 4K FreeSync monitor on the market (for now). Unlike most other monitors in its class, it’s 32-inches rather than 27-inches, and it utilizes a VA panel rather than TN or IPS.
Basically, this grants you great color reproduction with visuals that are nice and bright. Despite having a peak brightness of 300-nits and only 8-bit color, the ViewSonic XG3220 can pull off an HDR mode using software and its startlingly convincing.
4. Asus MG279Q
Best 1440p FreeSync Monitor
This is the FreeSync cousin to our favorite G-Sync 1440p monitor, the ROG Swift PG279Q. You can find cheaper 27-inch 1440p gaming monitors, but you’re not likely to find a better one.
The MG279Q carries the same slick industrial design and thin bezels as the G-Sync model, with the same 144Hz refresh rate. The G-Sync model can be overclocked to 165Hz and this FreeSync one can’t, but that’s not really a difference you’re likely to notice.
You can get this monitor in either an IPS version or a cheaper TN version (model MG278Q). The TN version has a faster pixel response time, but not so much that you’re likely to notice. The wider viewing angles and bigger color gamut of the IPS model make it worth the extra money. You’ll notice that both models cost way less than their G-Sync counterparts.
As for inputs, you get a generous array: DisplayPort, mini DisplayPort, two HDMI ports, and two USB 3.0 ports.
5. Alienware 27 Gaming Monitor (AW2720HF)
Best 1080p FreeSync Monitor
Alienware 27 Gaming Monitor
Here’s where we would normally feature one of the many models of 25-inch Full HD 240Hz gaming monitors you’ve probably seen a dozen times over. But it seemed much more fitting that the Alienware 27 Gaming Monitor should be our best pick for a FreeSync 1080p display. It’s still a gaming monitor tuned Esports with a 240Hz refresh rate, but it comes with a larger 27-inch panel.
What’s more, it’s an IPS panel so it produces great colors and very good viewing angles over the usual TN panels that 240Hz gaming monitors use. Don’t think this pretty Esports monitor slow you down either, it’s has a quick 1ms response time to keep up with the best competitive displays.
6. Samsung C32HG70
Best Curved FreeSync Gaming Monitor
If you’ve ever felt yourself getting a little wall-eyed looking at a big gaming monitor, a curved FreeSync display might just be the thing you need. The Samsung C32HG70 (read our review) is a curved FreeSync gaming monitor designed to wrap its display around your peripheral vision for a more relaxed and immersive experience.
What’s more this big display sports a 1440p panel that reaches a peak 600-nits and 144Hz refresh rate—the latter of which is further smoothed out by the FreeSync technology onboard.
7. Acer XR382CQK
Best Ultra Wide FreeSync Monitor
The Acer XR382CQK (read our review) ultrawide gaming monitor has a ridiculous 3,840 x 1,600 resolution spanning a staggering 37.5-inch screen. It’s curved, too, so it adds another layer to gaming immersion. Add in an IPS panel with a 1ms response time and 75Hz refresh rate and you’re looking at a winning combination. If you have the room and the budget, this is a phenomenal FreeSync monitor.
But on top of all its display niceties, there’s also a Display Port Out, a USB 3.1 Type-C Port, 4 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 2.0 and an MHL 2.1 port, so you can hook up a compatible mobile device and use this beast as a mobile display. A pair of 7-watt built-in speakers and lighting effects make this an excellent choice for ultrawide tear-free gaming.
8. BenQ EW3270U
Best FreeSync Gaming Monitor for G-Sync
If you find yourself constantly jumping between Nvidia- and AMD-powered system like I do, you need a G-Sync compatible FreeSync gaming monitor. BenQ EW3270U (read our review) is one of the few displays that can take advantage of both G-Sync and FreeSync to give you variable refresh rate no matter which platform your playing on.
On top of being able to enjoy silky smooth Ultra HD gaming at 60Hz, the BenQ EW3270U also supports HDR with 10-bit colors and a peak brightness of 300 nits.
9. Samsung Q90R (QN65Q90RAFXZA)
Best FreeSync Gaming Television
Samsung Q90R (QN65Q90RAFXZA)
Okay, the 65-inch Samsung Q90R isn’t technically a gaming monitor, but it is the first television to support FreeSync and that’s reason enough to have it on this list. But seriously you won’t find another screen this big that supports FreeSync and certainly not one that looks this good. This 4K TV features a 65-inch QLED screen with a peak brightness of 1,300-nits and 480 local dimming zones, making it one of the best FreeSync displays to experience games in HDR.
Even the most expensive gaming monitors money can buy like the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ and HP Omen X Emperium 65 still don’t get nearly as bright or feature as many local dimming zones as the Samsung Q90R. Just be ready to pony up the cash for its $2,800 price.
What to look for in a FreeSync gaming monitor
FreeSync is AMD’s branding for its variable refresh rate (VRR) monitor technology. It’s built on top of the open VESA Adaptive Sync protocol as part of the DisplayPort 1.2a spec. If you have a FreeSync monitor, you’ll get variable refresh rates with just about any modern AMD graphics card.
If you’re running an Nvidia graphics card or using another video source (like a game console via an HDMI input), a FreeSync monitor will act just like a normal monitor.
What is VRR?
Basically, a standard monitor is locked to a single refresh rate—that’s the number of times per second that it changes the color and brightness of the pixels on the screen. Your graphics card draws a frame and then waits until the monitor’s next refresh to display it.
This has the effect of making your game jump frame rate between even multiples of the display’s refresh: with a 60Hz monitor, your game will run at 60fps, 30fps, 20fps, 15fps, or 12fps, for example. Disabling vsync will also allow your graphics card to run as fast as possible on any monitor, but it produces an ugly visual artifact called tearing, where the monitor displays partially-drawn frames on top of the previous frame.
With VRR technology (G-Sync or FreeSync), the monitor refreshes whenever the graphics card is done drawing the next frame. So your monitor might max out at 60Hz and your game at 60fps, but if your game is running at 52fps the monitor will refresh at 52Hz, drawing the frame immediately instead of waiting for the next 60Hz cycle. So you’ll see the frame rate your graphics card is capable of, not an unnecessary downgrade to 30fps. This also eliminates screen tearing caused by the GPU sending multiple frames to the monitor when it’s still rendering a previous frame.
There are two VRR technologies gamers should know about: G-Sync and FreeSync. G-Sync is Nvidia proprietary technology and only works with Nvidia graphics cards. FreeSync is AMD’s brand for a VRR technology and only works with AMD GPUs. G-Sync requires extra hardware in the monitor, driving monitors costs up but maintains consistently high quality. FreeSync has no licensing fee and requires no proprietary hardware, and thus monitors are typically cheaper, but quality control is a little less consistent in our opinion.
Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam