Skip to Content

Do G-Sync And FreeSync Work With HDMI? All Details Explained

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs.

With screen tearing and increasing input lag plaguing gamers, especially with the introduction of high refresh rate gaming, both NVIDIA and AMD have introduced technologies such as G-SYNC and FreeSync to combat the issue. However, this begs the question, does G-Sync and FreeSync both work with HDMI?

Yes, G-Sync and FreeSync both work with HDMI but with some differences. AMD FreeSync works with a larger set of HDMI standards (1.2 or greater.) Whereas NVIDIA G-SYNC requires an RTX 3000+ Series card and an HDMI 2.1+ display for G-SYNC to work over HDMI.

In this article, we’re going to go over the exact details of what G-SYNC and FreeSync actually are, how they are used, and whether they work with HDMI or not.

What Is G-Sync?

G-SYNC is NVIDIA’s proprietary adaptive synchronization technology that takes merit from software-based Vsync and instead acts as a hardware solution. With a compatible GPU and certified display, G-Sync eliminates screen tearing by synchronizing your GPU’s maximum and minimum refresh rate for your monitor.

This allows for much lower input lag/latency and lets you see frames right as they are being rendered. Essentially, it aims to reduce the milliseconds of delay that you might experience when an application is being rendered in real-time. 

One particular point to note is that G-SYNC is proprietary in nature. In essence, the technology/standard has been developed and is maintained by NVIDIA. So, no other graphics card can utilize the technology, and its application is a bit limited compared to its direct competitor, FreeSync.

Does G-SYNC Work With HDMI?

G-SYNC does not work with every HDMI standard. G-SYNC only works for HDMI 2.1 supported displays and an RTX 3000 series card. In essence, if you have an RTX 3000 series card and a display that supports HDMI 2.1, you’ll be able to use the functionality.

Generally, the reason why you’d want HDMI to support G-SYNC in the first place is if you are using a TV as your primary gaming display. This is because TVs do not have DisplayPort, which is the de facto standard when it comes to high refresh rate gameplay and its subsequent synchronization.

The reason why not all HDMI standards support G-SYNC is simply that they lack the bandwidth in order to do so. It is only with the introduction of HDMI 2.1 which supports 4K @ 120 FPS or 8K @ 60 FPS, that variable refresh rate (G-SYNC) is now plausible on an HDMI cable.

DisplayPort has always had higher bandwidths compared to HDMI. And, this is the reason why graphics card manufacturers have generally implemented newer technologies, such as G-SYNC to that particular port.

Case in point, with newer TVs and monitors that support HDMI 2.1, you can expect to see G-SYNC turning into a norm. Here’s a quick table of supported TVs:

BrandCompatible ModelsCompatibility List
LGAll LG 2019, 2020, and 2021 OLED TVs
are G-SYNC Compatible. Supported 8K TVs
are the LG NANO CELL NANO099, NANO098,
NANO097, NANO095 Series and ZX OLED Series
PanasonicLZ2000Not Available
Philips (UK)OLED9x6/8×6/7×6 4K modelsAvailable
SamsungSamsung Q900T, Samsung Q800TAvailable
Xiaomi (CN) Master 77 OLEDNot Available

Source: NVIDIA

How To Enable G-SYNC On HDMI Port

To enable, G-SYNC on an HDMI port, you must first have the following prerequisites:

  • A Geforce RTX 30 Series Graphics Card with its latest drivers installed. 
  • A certified HDMI 2.1 48Gbps cable
  • A compatible display that supports HDMI 2.1 (See above table for more information.)

After you’ve got all these requirements, here’s how you can enable G-SYNC using an HDMI port:

  • Install your Geforce RTX 30 Series card into your PC
  • After doing so, plug the HDMI 2.1 cable from your GPU to your display
  • Now, turn your display on and update it to the latest firmware
  • Now, turn on HDMI 2.1 Support, HDMI 2.1 VRR support and G-SYNC on your display. (According to your manufacturer, you may have all / some of these options.)
  • Now that these options are enabled on your display, open the NVIDIA Control Panel on your PC by right-clicking the Desktop.
  • Head to Display > Set up G-SYNC
  • Now, tick G-SYNC, G-SYNC Compatible and adjust your resolution and frame rate accordingly.
  • Hit apply

If you do not notice any stuttering or screen tearing after enabling these settings, you’ve successfully enabled G-SYNC over an HDMI port!

Note: You may need to download the TV’s latest firmware before G-SYNC is supported on the above-mentioned models.

Why Does NVIDIA Geforce 2000 Series and 1000 Series Not Have G-SYNC Over HDMI?

Both the NVIDIA Geforce 2000 Series and 1000 Series consist of extremely capable cards that certainly pack a punch. And, they also offer G-SYNC over DisplayPort. If that’s the case, why don’t they support G-SYNC over HDMI? What gives?

Well, simple. G-SYNC is bandwidth-heavy. And, neither the 1000 Series nor the 2000 Series has the hardware capabilities necessary in order to support the feature over HDMI. For G-SYNC over HDMI to work, the card needs to support the latest HDMI 2.1 standard, which provides adequate bandwidth for the feature to work.

Sadly, any of the cards in the 1000 and 2000 series do not have an HDMI 2.1 port and can, therefore, not support G-SYNC over HDMI. 

What Is FreeSync?

FreeSync is a royalty-free adaptive frame rate synchronization standard developed by AMD that also utilizes hardware in order to eliminate screen tearing and reduce input lag and latency. In terms of differences between FreeSync and G-Sync, there hardly are any in terms of performance.

However, in terms of application – since the XBOX uses AMD APU’s, the console is also able to use FreeSync. Moreover, the technology has been known to support HDMI for a greater length of time over more standards as compared to G-Sync, which has just started working over HDMI with the introduction of HDMI 2.1 

So, AMD has a fair bit of a lead when it comes to supporting the HDMI standard and their frame rate synchronization technology. 

Does FreeSync Work With HDMI?

Yes, FreeSync works with all HDMI standards. If you are looking to buy a PC with an AMD graphics card, or are in the mood for an XBOX instead – you don’t have to really worry about whether you need to use a DisplayPort or an HDMI port.

Unlike NVIDIA, AMD has been supporting its variable refresh rate technology long before HDMI 2.1 was introduced. So, you can rest easy knowing that your older HDMI cable and graphics card are able to support FreeSync quite swimmingly.

Do note, though that just like G-SYNC, FreeSync requires a monitor that has been certified to run the specification as well. So, you can’t just plug in any monitor and enable FreeSync on it over HDMI. It needs to be certified by AMD for it to be able to run FreeSync with no issues or qualms whatsoever.

Thankfully, AMD has a handy list that helps you understand whether you can use FreeSync with the given display/monitor. 

Does FreeSync Premium And FreeSync Premium Pro Work With HDMI?

Yes, both FreeSync and FreeSync Premium Pro work with HDMI. The primary difference between the three tiers is the fact that you get less tearing, flickering, and HDR support in higher tiers. 

As of yet, only a few monitors support FreeSync Premium Pro over HDMI, with a wider range of them supporting the standard over DisplayPort. This is primarily because of the aforementioned bandwidth limitations that HDMI has that physically limits the amount of information the cable can transmit at any given moment.

How To Enable FreeSync Over HDMI?

To enable FreeSync over HDMI, you need to first fulfill the following requirements:

  • Have an HDMI-cable (1.2 spec or newer)
  • Have a FreeSync certified monitor
  • Have an AMD GPU that supports FreeSync

After you’ve got all these requirements, here’s how you can enable FreeSync over HDMI:

  • Right click on your Desktop and head to AMD Radeon Settings.
  • After doing so, move to Display.
  • Under a compatible display, you should see the AMD FreeSync option. Click on it and make sure it is On.
  • After you have made these particular changes, close your settings panel.

If you aren’t in the mood of enabling FreeSync for all applications and instead want to do so for a particular application, here’s how you can do so:

  • Turn AMD FreeSync on using the above-mentioned steps
  • After doing so, head back to the main control panel and click on Gaming
  • Now, select the application you wish to change FreeSync options for
  • After doing so, head to AMD FreeSync. You can now change the option from either On, Off, or AMD Optimized.

Note: AMD Optimized automatically detects whether an application can take advantage of FreeSync and turns the option on or off automatically.

Should I Choose FreeSync Or G-Sync?

Choosing between FreeSync or G-SYNC is primarily dependent on what hardware you already have. For instance, if you already have an NVIDIA 3000 Series GPU, using an HDMI port to connect your display and enjoy G-SYNC is an absolute no-brainer.

However, if you have an older NVIDIA Graphics Card and aren’t in the mood of upgrading it, then you might need to settle for DisplayPort or completely revamp your system to make do for an AMD setup that also allows for FreeSync over HDMI. 

Here’s a quick guide on easing up the decision-making process:

If You Have An NVIDIA 3000+ GPU

If you have an NVIDIA GPU, the choice is simple, you need to purchase an HDMI 2.1 certified display and a certified cable in order to use G-SYNC. Or, you can opt for a DisplayPort cable and use G-SYNC on multiple other monitors/displays.

If You Have An NVIDIA 1000 / 2000 GPU

If you have an older NVIDIA GPU, you cannot get G-SYNC running over HDMI. So, you’ll need to either opt for an AMD system, upgrade to HDMI 2.1 and an RTX 3000+ Series card, or use DisplayPort to be able to use G-SYNC instead.

Our personal recommendation would be to make the switch over to DisplayPort. And, if you don’t have a compatible monitor, no worries. They’ll be a much cheaper and reasonable option instead of opting for HDMI 2.1 (which is a newer, more expensive standard) and then also purchasing a newer, more expensive 3000+ Series card when the one you currently have runs fine.

If You Have An AMD GPU / XBOX

If you have an AMD GPU or an XBOX, you are in luck. You can either use HDMI or DisplayPort to be able to use FreeSync on a certified monitor/display. Depending on what monitor you have, you can either opt for FreeSync Premium, FreeSync, or FreeSync Premium Pro.

While they do have some fundamental differences, even the earliest version, FreeSync, is more than capable of eliminating screen tearing and providing you with a smooth gameplay experience as compared to having no refresh rate synchronization whatsoever.

All in all, if your primary concern is to ensure that you have the highest chances of being able to use frame rate synchronization by either using G-Sync or AMD’s FreeSync, then an AMD card is what you should opt for as the standard has supported HDMI for a long time. 

However, if you do meet NVIDIA’s latest requirements of G-Sync over HDMI, then you’ll be getting the same experience with synchronization either way. 


NVIDIA’s jump into G-SYNC over HDMI with the introduction of HDMI 2.1 has been long awaited. However, AMD still has a dominant lead over its opposition in terms of supporting frame rate synchronization over HDMI, as FreeSync has been able to provide functionality over multiple HDMI standards.

But, both standards, despite their apparent differences, perform a great job at eliminating screen tearing and reducing input delay. And, they do have a tangible positive difference when it comes to gaming and overall desktop usage when they are turned on. 

Are you a tech enthusiast and want to help me grow I am looking for writers! Just send me an email at [email protected].