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Project Scorpio supports FreeSync and next-gen HDMI

mocoworm

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FULL article at the link:

Project Scorpio supports FreeSync and next-gen HDMI - Support for new display tech ensures no screen-tearing and reduced stutter.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2017-project-scorpio-supports-freesync-and-hdmi-vrr

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t18QbBdPK-8

[EDIT] XONE and X360 games will be supported - SCORPIO will support FreeSync 2 technology, which means HDR support also.

Last week, we published the hardware spec for Microsoft's next Xbox - Project Scorpio. However, there was one little detail we held back, an aspect of the new console we didn't want to get lost in the noise. In the here and now its applications will be limited, but in the fullness of time, it may help to bring about a profound shift in how displays interface with games hardware. To cut a long story short, Scorpio supports AMD's FreeSync - and the upcoming variable refresh rate support baked into the next-gen HDMI 2.1 spec.

So what's the big deal here? In an ideal world, every single console game would run at 60fps, perfectly sychronised with the refresh rate of the attached display. This would result in a super-smooth, low latency gameplay experience - something you can see in the here and now in titles including the Forza Motorsport series and Halo 5. However, if a game targets 60fps and doesn't consistently hit the target, the experience is compromised in one of two ways.

First of all, if the game runs with v-sync enabled, frames are dropped and this introduces noticeable judder - what's happening here is that the game only has a small window in which to synchronise with the screen. If a frame renders over its 1/60th of a second budget, the GPU stalls, waiting for the next refresh. Alternatively, the developer may simply decide to drop synchronisation with the screen - when this happens, highly intrusive, ugly screen-tearing kicks in.

Adaptive refresh technology like AMD's FreeSync completely eliminates tearing and reduces stutter significantly by allowing the GPU to trigger the display refresh instead of adhering to a hard and fast 60Hz cycle. Essentially, the screen produces the next image immediately after the GPU finishes rendering it. The technology was pioneered by Nvidia's G-Sync, but it's the open standard variants - FreeSync and the upcoming HDMI 2.1 implementation - that Scorpio aims to supports. In fact, Microsoft has actually implemented the FreeSync 2 standard, meaning compatibility with HDR and full support across the range of potential frame-rates. Paired with a supported screen, this will even eliminate tearing on games running with adaptive v-sync with frame-rates under 30fps, something not supported on most FreeSync 1 screens (VRR range varied on a per-screen basis, with 40Hz to 60Hz commonplace).
So in the short term, what does this mean for prospective Project Scorpio buyers? How do you get to experience the new tech? Well, until the HDMI 2.1 standard is ratified, there are no living room displays that are VRR-enabled. To see the benefit, you'll need to have a PC monitor - a 4K one preferably, though 1080p screens will work - and it needs to support FreeSync over HDMI. This limits the amount of potential screens as it's more frequently run via DisplayPort, a video output that is not supported by Scorpio. Looking forward, a 4K HDR monitor with FreeSync 2 support really is the best way to ensure optimal results from this feature. In here and now, what we can say is that Scorpio's adaptive sync support is baked in at the system level - the developer doesn't need to worry about it (though they could enable higher frame-rate caps for VRR users if the overhead is there). And on top of that, it works across all Xbox content that runs on the new console - Xbox 360 back-compat titles and Xbox One games.


But it's the longer term outlook that is arguably more important. There's a reason why games target either 60fps or 30fps: both divide equally into the 60Hz output of a traditional screen, meaning a smooth, consistent update. With the display refresh put in the developer's hands, arbitrary performance targets like 40fps or 45fps could be targeted. We've tested both on PC using a G-Sync screen running games with Riva Tuner Statistics Server's frame-rate cap in place and both of these frame-rates look so much better than the console standard 30fps. With games that target 60fps, performance drops down to around 50fps are really difficult to pick up on owing to the lack of tearing and reduced v-sync judder.
 

Samurai G0SU

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DAMN, that's a big plus for those who play with a Monitor!

To cut a long story short, Scorpio supports AMD's FreeSync - and the upcoming variable refresh rate support baked into the next-gen HDMI 2.1 spec.
All Hail SCORPIO!
 

Trago

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As I said in the Scorpio thread, this is huge.

Variable refresh support on a console is absolutely great. Now if only TV manufactures added variable refresh support in their products....
 

Kilau

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This is great, do we have TVs with the support out or out soon?

I wonder if EG held anything else back to drag out the coverage.
 

DagnastyEp

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This is a megaton. Wow, I did not expect this. Damn, I was hoping to get a new TV this fall, hope I don't have to wait for 2018 models.
 

LelouchZero

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Some more information (Source):

But it's the longer term outlook that is arguably more important. There's a reason why games target either 60fps or 30fps: both divide equally into the 60Hz output of a traditional screen, meaning a smooth, consistent update. With the display refresh put in the developer's hands, arbitrary performance targets like 40fps or 45fps could be targeted. We've tested both on PC using a G-Sync screen running games with Riva Tuner Statistics Server's frame-rate cap in place and both of these frame-rates look so much better than the console standard 30fps. With games that target 60fps, performance drops down to around 50fps are really difficult to pick up on owing to the lack of tearing and reduced v-sync judder.
 

wesleyshark

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Liked this line a lot.

There's no real need for Microsoft to support this, but the fact that it is - and that the most hardcore gamers will appreciate it - illustrates just how much the focus has changed at Xbox HQ.
 

Primethius

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I thought this was in the initial coverage but then taken back?

For this article I'm guessing?

--

Cool feature to support, especially as support broadens and expands down the line.
 

Adam_802

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Apr 12, 2016
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MS have really outdone themselves with Scorpio, this is a console done right.

Edit:

Liked this line a lot.

There's no real need for Microsoft to support this, but the fact that it is - and that the most hardcore gamers will appreciate it - illustrates just how much the focus has changed at Xbox HQ.
Also this x1000
 

tzare

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I guess no tvs support this now, i wonder if current ones , at least high end, can be patched to support this feature in the future, or we are out of luck until hdmi 2.1 is set on stone.
 
Oct 3, 2016
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Thats nice and all but isn't the actually demanding part of this equation finding a suitable display?
Pc cards have supported these technologies for a while now, pretty sure the last 3 i bought all support.
The thing is nice to have if you have a display but i always ended up opting for a newer card instead of an expensive display
 

Trago

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Except it isn't because they won't.

I applaud the effort though, I've had a 144hz Gsync monitor for a couple of years now and it's very hard going back.
I think a lot of people will overlook how much of a game changer variable refresh support is. It's really hard to go back.
 

Midas

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Liked this line a lot.

There's no real need for Microsoft to support this, but the fact that it is - and that the most hardcore gamers will appreciate it - illustrates just how much the focus has changed at Xbox HQ.
Yeah. They did it out of generosity. :lol

But this is great news. TV sets coming next year should have the new HDMI version, no?
 

dynamitejim

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The question is, will developers unlock framerates for >60fps performance? Although, I don't think there are any FreeSync 4K monitors that do more than 60Hz yet. Maybe an option for 1080p and higher framerates can be programmed in.
 

shandy706

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Does this mean devs will just settle with unlocked framerates
It means they could, but it would probably be based on whether you have the TV/Monitor to support it.

A game that runs comfortably at 35-50fps for example could take advantage of FreeSync. The same game could run a locked 30fps on a "regular" TV/Monitor.
 

geordiemp

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it will be a great feature in a couple of years when we have 4K tv's with 2.1

Nice future proofing by MS.

Although those that game on PC monitors that have it will benefit
 

Trago

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AND back compat games will take advantage of the feature??

Well shit, this is actually tempting....