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Using HDR with FreeSync Premium – The Ultimate Guide

Can I use HDR with FreeSync premium?

Yes, you absolutely can and should use HDR with FreeSync Premium monitors! When combined, these two technologies provide incredibly smooth, tear-free visuals with the stunning colors, brightness and contrast that HDR enables.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll explain everything you need to know about using FreeSync Premium and HDR together for an exceptional gaming experience. Let‘s get started!

What is FreeSync Premium?

FreeSync Premium is AMD‘s adaptive sync technology that eliminates screen tearing and stuttering in games by dynamically matching the monitor‘s refresh rate to the frame rate output of an AMD GPU (graphics processing unit).

Some of the key features of FreeSync Premium:

  • Smoothes out gameplay by synchronizing the refresh rate with the frame rate to prevent tearing or stuttering
  • Provides low framerate compensation (LFC) to maintain smooth visuals even at low frame rates
  • Requires at least 120Hz refresh rate at FHD resolution for that buttery smooth gaming experience
  • Mandatory low latency mode for fast response times, critical for competitive gaming

So in summary, FreeSync Premium gives you super smooth, tear-free visuals even during periods of unstable frame rates thanks to the variable refresh rate technology.

What is HDR?

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and it refers to the ability of a display to show a wider range of colors, luminosity and contrast compared to standard monitors. This enables more realistic, nuanced and visually impressive graphics.

Some key highlights of HDR displays:

  • Wider color gamut, often supporting advanced standards like DCI-P3 for life-like colors
  • Significantly higher peak brightness, up to 1000 nits or more for intensely vivid images
  • Higher contrast ratio between black and white for added depth and detail
  • 10-bit color for over 1 billion color combinations, reducing banding

In a nutshell, HDR takes game visuals to the next level with brighter, deeper and more accurate colors and lighting.

Why Combine HDR and FreeSync Premium?

Using FreeSync Premium variable refresh rate technology together with HDR‘s enhanced graphics provides a number of synergistic benefits:

  • Eliminates stuttering and tearing that can occur in HDR games
  • Enjoy both smoother gameplay and stunning HDR visuals
  • Low framerate compensation maintains fluidity even with dramatic FPS drops during graphically intensive scenes
  • Higher refresh rates enabled by FreeSync also benefit fast-paced HDR games

AMD themselves recommend combining FreeSync Premium Pro and HDR for the very best, uncompromised gaming experience. Together, you get uninterrupted, silk-smooth visuals paired with the vibrant colors and added depth of HDR. It‘s a win-win!

According to a 2021 survey by TechQuila, over 72% of gamers preferred using FreeSync Premium with HDR over other syncing technologies. So the numbers speak for themselves!

How to Enable HDR on a FreeSync Premium Monitor

The process of enabling both technologies is quite straightforward:

  1. Connect your FreeSync Premium monitor to an AMD GPU using a compatible cable like HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.4.
  2. Turn on FreeSync in the monitor‘s settings, usually under a gaming or AMD section.
  3. Enable HDR either globally or for your display in Windows 10 or 11 display settings.
  4. Double check HDR is activated in the game‘s graphics settings.

And you‘re all set! Games will now display in stunning HDR quality, stutter-free thanks to FreeSync‘s adaptive sync.

Here are more detailed steps:

1. Use a Compatible Video Cable

HDMI and DisplayPort are the main cable options that can support both high refresh rates and HDR:

  • HDMI 2.0 is required for 4K HDR at 60Hz refresh rate
  • DisplayPort 1.4 can do 4K HDR at 120Hz for ultra smooth gaming

So make sure you are using one of these latest standards and that both your GPU and monitor have the matching ports.

2. Enable FreeSync

Hop into your monitor‘s settings menu and look for a section related to gaming or AMD. Here you‘ll find the option to enable FreeSync. Toggle it on to activate the variable refresh rate technology.

Different brands may label this setting differently, such as Adaptive Sync, VRR, or AMD FreeSync. As long as it‘s on, you‘re good to go.

3. Turn On HDR in Windows

Windows makes it easy to enable HDR globally or on a per monitor basis. Click the Start Menu and go to:

Settings > System > Display > HDR and Windows HD Color settings

Turn on ‘Use HDR‘ and you‘ll get a notification confirming HDR is activated when playing games or viewing HDR content.

You can also choose which individual displays have HDR enabled if using multi-monitor.

4. Activate HDR in Games

Lastly, fire up your favorite HDR-supported game, head to the graphics settings and make sure HDR is enabled there as well. This will complete the chain and activate HDR with variable refresh goodness!

Optimal Gaming Settings for HDR FreeSync

To maximize performance and visuals, here are some additional gaming settings worth tweaking:

  • Crank the monitor‘s peak brightness to 100% for vibrant highlights
  • Enable the dedicated HDR mode/profile if available
  • Use RGB or YCbCr 4:4:4 chroma for minimal color banding
  • Turn on the monitor‘s FreeSync Premium Pro mode for variable refresh
  • Cap frame rates at 2-3 fps below max refresh for optimal LFC
  • Update GPU drivers and enable upscaling technologies like AMD‘s FSR for higher frame rates

These will ensure you extract the most out of the combined technologies for buttery smooth, cutting edge visuals!

Troubleshooting HDR and FreeSync Issues

In case you are struggling to enable HDR properly, here are some things to check:

  • Use the correct HDMI or DisplayPort version supporting HDR on both GPU & monitor
  • Confirm your display cable is rated for the required bandwidth
  • Double check Windows HDR settings are actually turned on
  • Verify the game has HDR enabled in its graphics settings
  • Update your monitor firmware, GPU drivers, Windows for proper HDR compatibility
  • Factory reset the monitor if incorrect settings are causing problems

Basically, trace back the chain – the Windows settings, GPU drivers, game, monitor firmware and display cable must all support HDR properly.

The Bottom Line

FreeSync Premium and HDR complement each other perfectly. Silky smooth variable refresh rate gameplay meets stunning colors, brightness and contrast.

By understanding how to set up both features correctly, you can experience gaming nirvana! So turn on FreeSync and HDR, crank those settings up and immerse yourself in buttery and beautiful next-gen gaming.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to chat more about optimizing your gaming experience.