At AMD, we tend to focus on the biggest markets for events. But we know gamers are everywhere around the globe: people’s passion for gaming is the same, no matter where you are.
It’s been a long time since we interacted with the community in Eastern Europe. So when we were considering locations for our Radeon RX Vega Community Meet-Up, we chose Budapest.
We called for interested gamers to come by and give Radeon RX Vega graphics a spin before its launch in a few weeks. We wanted them to see for themselves how Radeon RX Vega graphics cut through a gorgeous-looking game like Battlefield™ 1, with the assistance of a curved, ultra-wide 1440p ASUS FreeSync™ monitor.
A Dual Setup
To make the experience more interesting, we deployed an identical system alongside it—only it sported a GeForce GTX 1080 with a similar G-Sync monitor.
Both monitors were running up to 100Hz. Both systems had Ryzen™ 7 1800X CPUs and 16GB of DDR4 memory. To avoid influencing opinions during gameplay, we didn’t allow frame rates to be shown. We gave every interested gamer two minutes to play on each machine.
The two panels were not identical: the FreeSync (MX34Q) version was VA, with slightly better viewing angles, while the G-Sync (PG34) was IPS, with somewhat better contrast and color reproduction.
We adjusted the monitor settings as much as possible to mask this, but people recognized that one of the displays had slightly better colors.
That said, the biggest difference between the two systems was the price based simply on the monitor itself, with the G-Sync display costing $300 more than its FreeSync counterpart. (That’s about the price of an overclocked mid-range graphics card or two top-of-the-line SSDs!)
The Main Question
The point of this challenge was: could a trained gamer’s eyes tell the difference?
Did one seem faster or smoother than the other? Most gamers said the left system was smoother. Others mentioned the right system was more colorful. Some members on /r/amd, based on available information, argued that the left system had to be the G-Sync monitor because of its IPS panel characteristics.
Though the Radeon RX Vega + FreeSync (left system) came out on top for most gamers, they said the differences were minimal and couldn’t really tell the difference.
So here’s the question every gamer will have to ask themselves: is the Nvidia G-Sync solution worth the extra few hundred bucks if it provides almost the same (or in the Budapest case, somewhat inferior) experience?
Even if we pitted Radeon RX Vega against the mightier GeForce 1080Ti, my money would still bet on a similar outcome: that you wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference with variable refresh rate. And I believe no gamer should ever consider buying a monitor that isn’t capable of variable refresh rate.
It was an invigorating experience to interact with fans from my home country. Seeing so many gamers interested in trying out Radeon RX Vega gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling. I want to thank you to all of you who came out to meet with us, as well ASUS who provided awesome hardware and helped organize the event.
I hope to see you at a future event!