Scorpio

The latest hardware details from the only outlet to have seen Scorpio yet confirms support for AMD FreeSync.

Those lucky ducks at Digital Foundry are back with some more tantalizing Project Scorpio details, and while not on the scale of the initial announcement, the latest is still big news in its own right.

Project Scorpio will support Freesync. Which is AWESOME.

To cut a long story short, Scorpio supports AMD's FreeSync - and the upcoming variable refresh rate support baked into the next-gen HDMI 2.1 spec.

Why does FreeSync matter? First, let's explain exactly what it is. From our earlier piece on the subject:

FreeSync allows the graphics card and connected monitor to communicate with one another to maintain a stable refresh rate that can be altered depending on what the graphics card is currently outputting. The result is a stable, super smooth experience and a variable refresh rate.

The benefit here is virtually no tearing or stuttering on supported displays because the GPU triggers the refresh on the screen. Keeping the GPU and the display in sync dramatically reduces stutters and tears and keeps everything buttery smooth.

On Xbox One developers target either 30 FPS or 60 FPS, and if 60 is targeted and not optimized properly you'll start to see frames dropped, which introduces tears and a generally sub-par experience. But what does variable refresh rate and FreeSync support mean in the long term? The Digital Foundry folks put it better than we could:

There's a reason why games target either 60fps or 30fps: both divide equally into the 60Hz output of a traditional screen, meaning a smooth, consistent update. With the display refresh put in the developer's hands, arbitrary performance targets like 40fps or 45fps could be targeted.

The downside is that the current list of supported displays is fairly limited, and there are no TV sets on the market right now that will be suitable. That means, at least for now, for the best performance you'll have to use Scorpio with a PC monitor. Nevertheless, it's another exciting development for what's sure to become our new favorite console.

Give the full article a read for the full picture. And you'll probably feel a little smarter at the end, too.