AMD FreeSync Panel Replay In Works: Lower Power Consumption When Viewing Static Content

By: Muhammad Zuhair Haider Zaidi

AMD is said to release a new technology for gaming displays called the “FreeSync Panel Replay,” which contributes to lower power consumption.

AMD’s FreeSync Panel Replay Will Automatically Decrease The Refresh Rate to Save Power & Reduce GPU Workload

This feature is similar to the Panel Self Refresh (PSR) option, which we have seen in several mobile devices. The FreeSync Panel Replay works so that when the content on the screen is unchanged, the refresh rate is dropped automatically to reduce power consumption. For instance, the iPhone 14 Pro’s ProMotion Displays reduce the refresh rate to 1Hz while the device is in AOD mode. The FreeSync Panel Replay will work similarly, except it will be for monitors and laptop displays.

This information was disclosed through AMD’s Linux kernel graphics driver, which added a “FreeSync Panel Replay” feature to the driver’s display code. According to AMD, the main reason for introducing the feature is to reduce the workload on GPU when a user isn’t changing the displayed content. AMD believes that even while what’s displayed on the screen remains constant, the GPU still delivers the same frame to the receiver again. Repeatedly doing these actions adds to system power consumption and is essentially worthless.

Here is how the feature works:

1. When displaying the same content, DCN only needs to obtain one frame of data from DF / UMC / DRAM, which can reduce the power loss of the hardware path.

2. The GPU transmits each pixel data to the display through the main link of the DisplayPort interface, which prevents the power-down of the source transmitter (TX) and receiver (RX).

It is essential to highlight that FreeSync Panel Replay and PSR cannot work together simultaneously. AMD argues that FreeSync Panel Replay is a superior feature to PSR since it can keep the synchronization between the source and the receiver, resulting in fewer delays. The feature will be limited to AMD Ryzen laptops with Display Core Next 3.1.4 and above.

There is currently no information on how the FreeSync Panel Replay technology may affect either power consumption or display quality. However, it is expected that the company will disclose more details soon for the new Freesync tech.