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Samsung adds FreeSync support to its 2018 QLED TV lineup

If you want to take advantage of AMD's FreeSync tech with your Xbox One, it looks like you may be able to make the transition from a monitor to the big screen – if you have one of Samsung's 2018 QLED TVs, that is. While the series didn't ship with FreeSync on board, popular display review site Rtings recently spotted that support was included with the Samsung's latest firmware update, 1103, which began rolling out on May 21.

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If you're out of the loop on FreeSync, it's essentially AMD's tech for dealing with refresh rate variability. Without diving too far into the weeds, FreeSync will help to eliminate screen tearing, which can occur when frames pushed from your console or PC to a display exceed the refresh rate of the display. When this happens, screen tearing occurs, causing two images to be shown at once on the screen for a brief moment.

A software-based solution, called V-Sync, has existed for years. However, its implementation limits can cause stuttering and lag by holding back frames and forcing a consistent framerate. AMD's FreeSync and NVIDIA's G-Sync are the next steps in this evolution, offering a reduction in screen tearing without hindering performance. And while FreeSync is an open standard, it requires hardware to specifically support it.

Xbox One FreeSync and Variable Refresh Rates: Everything you need to know

Xbox One added support for FreeSync in April, but it specifically relies on the second iteration of the standard, called FreeSync 2. At the moment, it's unclear if Samsung's update includes support for the original FreeSync or the revised standard. However, if it is FreeSync 2, then your Xbox One X and Xbox One S should play nicely with Samsung's 2018 QLED models, including the Q6FN, Q7FN, Q8FN, Q9FN, and NU8000.

Samsung's 2017 QLED topped our list of the best 4K HDR TVs for Xbox One X and Xbox One S, so this is good news if you went in on one of the 2018 models. Just be aware that you'll have to play on an Xbox One X or Xbox One S to enable FreeSync (sadly, no OG Xbox One support). Just be prepared to pay a pretty penny to get set up: Samsung's whole lineup comes in well above the $1,000 mark.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

7 Comments
  • What do the Qs stand for in the TV name? And why is there something called NU? Is it totally different?
  • The Q stand for Quantum, it's the type of display technology being used. The NU merely denotes the generation (NU following on from MU). The full model number for those "NU" TV's is UA(screen size)NU8000. The U in this case denoting Ultra High Definition (the 8000 series isn't Quantum Dot).
  • To be class. QLED --which refers to the Quantum Dot techology Samsung uses in these panels-- is still an LED backlit LCD panel like most TVs. It's just a different filtering method for the Red, Green and Blue subpixels, which allows for brighter display compared to traditional LCDs. In it's current state, it's still not really a match for OLED. That said, it should be quite a bit cheaper.
  • This is correct, and why I have no intention of getting a QLED TV. Now once they actually replace the LCD panel with Quantum Dots (which is what they are working towards) THEN it'll be worth looking at. As an aside, I really should have said it's the type of backlighting, not display, that's my bad in the previous post.
  • LG OLED is superior to Samsung QLED...
  • Xbox Freesync is currently limited to 40-60Hz range. The Samsung Freesync range in ultimate mode is 48-120Hz (basic mode is 90-120Hz). That leaves only a very small window for usage on Xbox, your really only looking at 60fps titles that dip below into the 50's or when MS eventually support higher than 60fps modes into the 70's for the small number of titles that can go past that. The bulk of Xbox One titles are capped at 30fps and would require uncapped frame rates that can reach into the 40's to get the most out of Freesync with a display that has Freesync range in 30-60Hz.
  • I don't think you will see 120HZ from the Xbox one X because of the version of HDMI it uses I believe is limited to 60Hz. Maybe next iteration of Xbox will have it and Bluetooth too hopefully, Then I think it will be time to upgrade my first gen Xbox One.