Nvidia G-Sync vs AMD FreeSync - retail buyers look at which will win

Key buyers and retail experts talk about the latest monitor technology from Nvidia and AMD
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Rivals Nvidia and AMD both have their own similar tech that reduces screen tearing and stuttering - but which will sell the most, G-Sync or FreeSync?

Several Nvidia G-Sync PC monitors launched in 2014 and AMD’s first FreeSync displays are set to arrive in March.

Is there strong demand for them both? We ask the PCR Retail Advisory Board.

JAMES GORBOLD,
Technical Marketing, Scan Computers
”Scan was actually the launch partner for G-Sync – we launched a G-Sync monitor of our own about six or seven months before any others. We worked with Nvidia and Asus on a custom scan monitor, built it in the UK and distributed them across Europe. Now a lot of the monitor manufacturers have jumped on board too.

“We’re very close with Nvidia – we’re their biggest customer in the UK and we were very excited when we got the sneak peek.

“G-Sync continues to be very successful for us – it is such a popular technology. The ASUS Swift monitor in particular is the best selling high end monitor from ASUS, we’re doing fantastic business with that monitor. It certainly won’t be any challenge for us to stock FreeSync monitors.”

BEN MILES,
Buyer, Chillblast
”G-Sync and FreeSync are exciting technologies that fix a problem for PC gamers. Without these technologies a customer has to choose between VSync, which introduces stuttering if the hardware is unable to maintain 60fps at all times, or screen tearing if VSync is disabled. With an increasing number of very demanding PC games launching soon, the need to address this problem has never been more important.

“We offer a small range of G-Sync monitors from Asus and AOC on our high end systems, and we plan to stock FreeSync when it is launched in 2015. At the moment the cost of G-Sync solutions is prohibitive to all but the wealthiest of PC enthusiasts – more work needs to be done to publicise the positive effects of the technology.”

CRAIG HUME,
Director, Utopia Computers
”AMD has to be commended for its marketing genius. They have taken a free technology that is built into the new Display Port 1.2a standard, renamed it and created preserved value to potential customers. As monitors and video cards start to support this technology, I predict that Nvidia will do a u-turn and start supporting ‘Adaptive Sync’, DisplayPort’s native technology. At Utopia, we find sales of G-Sync monitors are slow, with most gaming customers opting for a 144Hz screen and a high end card.”

STEVE LING,
Executive Director, Overclockers UK
”G-Sync monitors are selling very well. When a new piece of technology comes out and delivers a significant performance gain, people jump on it.

“The competition between Nvidia and AMD is brilliant. It keeps the market going. At Overclockers we’re very fair to them – we have to respect both technology firms as equal partners. Sometimes one is ahead of the other one, but you definitely reap the benefits from their technological advancements.”

CK,
MD, YoYoTech
”It’s not enough that a new technology is cool – it needs to serve a purpose and it needs to be affordable. There will always be lots of hardcore fans who buy the latest and greatest, but the other 95 per cent of the market buys with a strong sense of value.

“While G-Sync is interesting, the idea of a more open standard like FreeSync means that monitors with this capability could be significantly cheaper. If the price difference is too high, then customers will look at their graphics card and wonder, ‘maybe I should just get a better card – or pair of cards – and use V-Sync’.”

GAVIN HOLDER,
Director, GHI Computers
”I applaud G-Sync monitors strongly. For too long graphics cards have pushed boundaries while displays have struggled to keep pace. Prices are steep at present and probably always will come with a £100 premium over the standard offerings, given that they are targeted at an audience which requires the best from their rigs.

“These customers are happy to pay excessive amounts for the latest graphics cards, headsets as well as peripherals, so I see no reason why the price point won’t be maintained as demand grows from an informed audience.”

HEATH CHADWICK,
TV and monitor buyer, Ebuyer.com
“G-Sync monitors should be a big part of the future monitor market as they look great, they’re are more affordable and have more compatible content than 4K displays at the moment.

“4K will be a big step forward but it’s taking a while for it to hit the mainstream, be price effective and work with true 4K content. We’re currently stocking the Asus 27-inch PG278Q G-Sync and the Acer Predator XB270HA 27-inch G-Sync.”

PCR RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD
PCR asks its Retail Advisory Panel – formed of buyers and experts – about the biggest industry trends and issues each month. To join, email dsacco@nbmedia.com.

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