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.
Our 2018 @Samsung QLEDs (Q6FN, Q7FN, Q8FN and Q9FN) and NU8000 have received firmware update 1103, which adds a freesync option in the game mode menu. We are currently testing it and should have results soon.
— Rtings (@rtingsdotcom) May 23, 2018
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 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.