Intel will provide Adaptive Sync support on its GPUs, betting on the VESA standard like AMD does with FreeSync. NVIDIA is now the only with a proprietary solution (G-Sync) for refresh technologies, which are now turning into an essential gaming feature.
Intel came up with a growth strategy for its GPU division by hiring Raja Koduri, former Senior VP of AMD’s Radeon Technologies Group. This has been interesting given the surprising alliance between Intel and AMD that launched the Core-powered Radeon GPU. More importantly, Intel’s first discrete GPU in 20 years will be released in 2020.
Another novelty was the rumor surrounding the Adaptive Sync support, which was confirmed by Lisa Pierce (Intel’s Graphics Software Engineering Director) via Twitter. The announcement was simple and directed at NVIDIA. Intel will use open standards that are already available and that have the “widest impact and widest install base.”
This is a major announcement. Adaptive Sync is a refresh technology created by VESA. It is a royalty-free open standard, which is also used by AMD and provides refresh features for its GPUs and the monitors of the AMD FreeSync lineup.
In contrast, NVIDIA has G-Sync, a proprietary feature found in patented modules included in supported monitors. NVIDIA’s technology is not a royalty-free open standard. It yields great results, as we saw on the HP OMEN 27, but it is quite more expensive than PCs with Adaptive Sync. Besides, both technologies are incompatible (although there are some methods to make them compatible).
Intel is not just any CPU and GPU company. A lot of people ignore that Intel largely dominates GPU sales thanks to those used in a lot of its CPUs. As for NVIDIA, it leads the dedicated GPU segment. NVIDIA’s G-Sync will be left alone with this type of technology once Intel starts supporting Adaptive Sync. And the industry at large will likely support it. The question is whether NVIDIA will also have to support a royalty-free open standard like Adaptive Sync, which would be really positive for the industry and users.