May 16, 2022


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VRR monitors are everywhere, and now VESA certification wants to make it good

VRR monitors are everywhere, and now VESA certification wants to make it good

VESA, the computer monitor organization that builds on standards such as the DisplayPort interface, has a new certification program designed to help customers find better variable refresh rate monitors. unlike Previous HDR Certification Programwhich measures things like peak brightness and new Adaptive-Sync Display Compatibility Test Specifications (or Adaptive-Sync Display CTS) is specifically designed for variable refresh rate monitors, looking for glitches such as flickering and falling frames.

Variable refresh rate (VRR) is a technology that allows a monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the output of any device it is connected to, reducing the appearance of visual artifacts, screen tearing, and frame speed issues. When support for VRR first started appearing on graphics cards and monitors, it tended to be associated with two specific manufacturers: G-Sync for Nvidia and FreeSync for AMD. But in 2014, VESA created native Adaptive-Sync support in files DisplayPort 1.2a Based on technology provided by AMD, it is now a standard compatible with graphics processors from all three major manufacturers: Intel Corporationand AMD and nvidia.

Both nvidia And AMD It has long offered certification plans for VRR monitors using its proprietary standards, but it’s more of the Wild West when it comes to the open Adaptive-Sync standard. When Nvidia started testing Adaptive-Sync monitors Back in 2019 As part of the “G-Sync Compatible” initiative, 5.56 percent of models tested have already passed. Either they didn’t offer a wide enough range of refresh rates or they had other image quality issues like flickering.

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The new VESA certification is designed to provide similar guarantees about Adaptive-Sync support for your monitor or laptop. But unlike Nvidia or AMD certifications, it’s an open source industry standard and Test standards are public.

Roland Wooster, an Intel engineer and head of the VESA task group that came up with its new test, said over a Zoom call. Looking at Nvidia website, for example, and you’ll notice that the monitor needs to pass more than 300 tests to earn itself the G-Sync logo, but it’s less clear about what exactly those tests are. And this was created some confusion Over the years, especially when it comes to standards like ‘Lifelike HDR’.

Through its certification, VESA tests raw Adaptive-Sync performance, rather than GPU-specific benchmarks like FreeSync or G-Sync. For this reason, VESA expects their certification logos to be alongside their manufacturer-specific equivalents. The G-Sync logo tells you how the monitor will perform with an Nvidia GPU, but the VESA AdaptiveSync logo can tell you how the monitor will perform with any Adaptive-Sync capable source.

Importantly, VESA’s Adaptive-Sync technology is only available for its DisplayPort standard, which is used across monitors and laptops (including when transmitting video over USB-C). Unfortunately, it won’t help you choose one of the growing numbers of TVs offering VRR support over HDMI 2.1 where the standards are More than the Wild West.

But in addition to being more generic, Wooster suggests that the new VESA certification standard holds a higher level than these vendor-specific certifications. “We’ve seen some screens that have met those certifications that have flicker, that have a flicker, that don’t meet the gray-to-gray specs we have here,” he says. In a follow-up email, he told me he expects less than half of Adaptive-Sync monitors on the market to meet VESA standards, similar to What Nvidia Found When she gave her own testimonial for Adaptive-Sync monitors.

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Under VESA certification, there are two types of compliance logos that can be displayed. MediaSync is for monitors you might use to watch videos or use to create content, while AdaptiveSync targets gaming monitors. If their devices pass these tests, manufacturers are allowed to post relevant logos across the product box, website, or wherever potential customers think they might see. A monitor that fails tests cannot use the logo, but manufacturers do not need to publicly disclose the failure.

The MediaSync logo focuses on video playback.
Photo: VESA

The AdaptiveSync logo is for gaming monitors.
Photo: VESA

The first two logos are called MediaSync. The focus here is on ensuring that monitors are able to play video content – with less than 1 millisecond of vibration – at each of the ten major international frame rate standards (23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 47.952, 48, 50, 59.94). and 60fps – where 23,976 was often the norm for movie content in America). It sounds like a simple request, but 24fps content can have real problems when running on 60Hz screens because the frames are not evenly split into the screen’s refresh rate. three two demolish It was a common way to approach the problem (the first frame is shown twice, the second three times, the third twice, and so on), but it can lead to an unpleasant judgment. The MediaSync logo means that the monitor can use Adaptive-Sync to avoid any such issues.

The second is the AdaptiveSync logo, which aims to increase the refresh rate of gaming monitors. For starters, a monitor with the AdaptiveSync logo should be able to run at a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz or more at native resolutions at the factory default, and the adaptive refresh rate should be able to drop to 60Hz. This might not sound like too low ground, but Wooster explains that if your frame rate drops, to say 58fps, you can expect the monitor to use frame doubling to bring it back to 116fps and put it back into adaptive mode. sync range.

If your monitor can reach 144Hz, you’ll see a “Show 144” box to the right of the certification logo, but Wooster tells me that number will reflect whatever the monitor’s maximum refresh rate – whether it’s 144, 240, or 360Hz – at its native resolution.

It is not enough to be able to view this range of frame rates. To get the certification, the monitor should be able to do it well. This means not showing the flicker level visible to the naked eye, even when the screen frame rate changes rapidly. This means no dropped frames – which can happen when the monitor provides an input with support for higher frame rates than the panel actually supports.

VESA also takes a detailed approach to how it measures response time, or the time it takes for pixels in a screen to refresh. Across the industry, it’s common to see this expressed as a “gray-to-gray” response time, or roughly the time it takes a pixel to change from one shade of gray to another. If response times are too slow, monitors can display “ghosting,” where remnants of the previous image remain visible on the screen while the pixels struggle to keep up. To get the AdaptiveSync logo, the screen response time must be less than 5ms.

5ms might seem high compared to the 1ms response times that a lot of manufacturers claim their monitors are capable of. But in real world tests, like The ones he made Ratingsresponse times are generally well above 1 ms. Ratings Any response time of less than 6ms is generally classified as “good value”.

Manufacturers like to make these claims about 1ms response times because they aren’t as strict in their tests as independent reviewers Ratings or VESA test centers. Some manufacturers may make a number of changes from gray to gray and then select the best result, Wooster says. Others may benefit from the fact that a warmer plate can respond significantly faster than a cold plate. Overdrive can be used to achieve a faster response time on paper but at the cost of unsightly visual artifacts.

The VESA solution is to measure a variety of different transitions from gray to gray (20 in all) and get an average, rather than choosing the best result. Tests are conducted at an ambient temperature between 22.5 and 24.5 °C (72.5 – 76 °F). Monitors are given time to reach a constant temperature first, and limits are placed on how much overshoot or under target the monitor can and still exceed.

Wooster declined to say how many VESA members are expected to pay for their devices to eventually become MediaSync or AdaptiveSync certified (fees are the same whether the screen goes through or fails), but the first certified monitors should appear on the VESA website as of today. Indicates the number of devices currently carrying one VESA HDR Certifications As an example of the amount of monitors and laptops we may eventually see with the new AdaptiveSync logos.

Consider VESA Huge list of members Across the monitor industry, these little orange and blue logos can quickly become a key sign of quality when buying your next monitor or laptop.