Users of high refresh rate monitors frequently experience FreeSync brightness flickering, particularly those using Samsung VA panels. This problem can also affect displays based on other panel technologies, such as IPS, OLED, and TN, though it’s not as common. The flickering is often associated with variable refresh rate (VRR) technologies like FreeSync and G-SYNC Compatible, and it can be particularly noticeable when playing video games.

Understanding FreeSync Brightness Flickering

Brightness flickering occurs when the brightness of the monitor fluctuates rapidly, causing a flickering effect. This is often linked to changes in the refresh rate of the monitor, particularly when using VRR technologies like FreeSync. The flickering can be more pronounced on VA panels due to their sensitivity to voltage changes when the refresh rate changes.

FreeSync Brightness Flickering
FreeSync Brightness Flickering

The issue is not necessarily present in every game. In some games, you might experience unbearable brightness flickering, while in others, it might work flawlessly. In some cases, it might only occur when loading screens or in-game menus.

Causes of FreeSync Brightness Flickering

There are two main reasons for brightness flickering: low framerate compensation (LFC) and frequent FPS (frames per second) fluctuations.

LFC is a feature of AMD’s FreeSync technology that works when the framerate falls below the minimum refresh rate of the display. When LFC is triggered, it multiplies your framerate to eliminate tearing even when your FPS dips below the monitor’s VRR range. This can cause the monitor’s brightness to oscillate, leading to brightness flickering.

Frequent FPS fluctuations can also cause brightness to flicker. This is particularly noticeable in poorly optimized games where your FPS is constantly changing.

Reducing Brightness Flickering

There are several strategies you can use to reduce brightness flickering, depending on whether you’re using an AMD or NVIDIA graphics card.

AMD Cards
AMD Cards

With AMD Cards

If you’re using an AMD graphics card, you can try the following methods:

  1. Decrease your picture settings to maintain a higher frame rate.
  2. Use the Custom Resolution Utility (CRU) to increase the VRR range.
  3. Try decreasing the VRR range so that LFC doesn’t get triggered, or disable LFC completely.
  4. Limit the FPS in the game to a constant framerate.
NVIDIA Cards
NVIDIA Cards

With NVIDIA Cards

If you’re using an NVIDIA graphics card, you can try the following methods:

  1. Use CRU to decrease the VRR range.
  2. Cap your FPS to prevent it from going over a certain limit.
  3. Use an FPS tracker or FPS limiter if the game doesn’t have one in its settings.

Conclusion

FreeSync brightness flickering can be a frustrating issue for gamers, but there are several strategies you can use to reduce or prevent it. By understanding the causes of the problem and how to address them, you can enjoy a smoother and more enjoyable gaming experience.

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