AMD explains Freesync 2’s HDR rebranding

AMD explains Freesync 2’s HDR rebranding

Hardware manufacturer AMD has cleared up confusion regarding a branding change in its Freesync display technology.

AMD is rebranding its Freesync 2 line into Freesync 2 HDR, to reflect the biggest technology jump between iterations. High dynamic range is the big thing in monitor tech these days, after all. However, there’s been confusion regarding specifications, and what requirements are needed to mark an existing Freesync 2 monitor as Freesync 2 HDR.

The controversy has roots in an interview with PC Perspective (below). In it, senior marketing manager Anton Tungler goes over Freesync 2 specs, claiming that the technology meets VESA's DisplayHDR 600 certification requirements.

This bothered some, given that many current Freesync 2 monitors only meet DisplayHDR 400 requirements. With this rebranding, those displays will be branded as Freesync 2 HDR, implying they meet the 600’s standards. Concern grew that AMD was lowering the standard for HDR displays.

AMD acknowledged this concern in a statement to TechPowerUp. The company argues that since its own standards were set before VESA published its own, Freesync 2 HDR isn’t lowering the bar for HDR.

"These two programs are separate and independent from each other," explained AMD. "When DisplayHDR 400 was defined, it was clear from the start that the FreeSync 2 requirements for color gamut, max brightness, and contrast ratio set a higher bar than DisplayHDR 400.”

“AMD is not lowering the bar for FreeSync 2 HDR to align with DisplayHDR 400. We're clarifying that a display that meets the requirements for DisplayHDR 600, or higher, could meet the color gamut, max brightness and contrast ratio requirements of FreeSync 2 HDR."

If any of that made any sense to you, congratulations. But in short, AMD state that it’s possible for a Freesync 2 HDR display to hit over 600 nits, but fail to meet the overall requirements needed for DisplayHDR 600.

Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 100 Rising Star list.