VESA, the computer display organization behind standards like the DisplayPort interface, has a new certification program that’s designed to help customers find better variable refresh rate monitors. Unlike its previous HDR certification program, which measured things like peak brightness, the new Adaptive-Sync Display Compliance Test Specification (or Adaptive-Sync Display CTS) is designed specifically for variable refresh rate displays, looking out for glitches like flicker and dropped frames.

Variable refresh rate (VRR) is a technology that allows a display to synchronize its refresh rate to the output of whatever device is plugged into it, reducing the appearance of visual artifacts, screen tearing, and frame pacing issues. When support for VRR first started appearing on graphics cards and monitors, it tended to be tied to specific manufacturers: G-Sync for Nvidia and FreeSync for AMD. But in 2014, VESA built native Adaptive-Sync support into DisplayPort 1.2a based on tech provided by AMD, and now it’s a standard that’s cross-compatible with graphics processors from all three major manufacturers: Intel, AMD, and Nvidia.

Both Nvidia and AMD have long offered their own certification schemes for VRR displays using their proprietary standards, but it’s more of a wild west when it comes to the open Adaptive-Sync standard. When Nvidia started testing Adaptive-Sync monitors back in 2019 as…



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