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AMD FreeSync Review Featuring LG 34UM67

AMD FreeSync Review Featuring LG 34UM67

As far back as many gamers will remember they have been forced to choose between two scenarios. The first is limiting their performance to the specifications of their display using VSync to ensure as smooth an experience as possible. The second is to disable VSync which unlocks the performance of their GPU but has potential issues such as tearing where the image temporarily, splits due to the way the frames are delivered to the display and then how fast they can be rendered. In this article we look at how AMD and their partners have resolved this. Welcome to our AMD FreeSync Review LG 34UM67.

AMD FreeSync Review LG 34UM67 – What is FreeSync?

amd-freesync-review-lg-34um67-pres1 amd-freesync-review-lg-34um67-pres2 amd-freesync-review-lg-34um67-pres3 amd-freesync-review-lg-34um67-pres4

As we noted in the introduction, tearing in games has long been an issue (especially on higher end hardware, but also on mainstream parts with older less demanding games). Why does it happen? Keeping to the basics, our displays are set to draw each frame at a set time. If the GPU does not delivery a frame at a time which “fits” this, it isn’t shown and we move on to the next render time (where we could run into the same issue) but if the next frame does render then it appears out  of sync as the game world has moved on. FreeSync looks to resolve this by using DisplayPort cable/connectivity and its inbuilt adaptive-sync functionality to ensure that the graphics card and display show the frame as it is ready. As the name suggests, they are Sync’d.

amd-freesync-review-lg-34um67-pres5 amd-freesync-review-lg-34um67-pres6

AMD are keen to point out that their FreeSync solution will hit the market at lower price points than the competition due to it not requiring any proprietary hardware or licence fee. Additionally this is an open standard and the aim is for it to be as compatible with as many display manufacturers key features as possible. Finally, there should be little, or no performance penalty when using FreeSync.

The AMD product supported by Freesync include the R9-295X2, R9 290/290X, 285, 260/260X and A10/A8/A6 APUs such as the 7850K, 7650K and 7400K.

AMD FreeSync Review LG 34UM67 – A look at the LG34UM67

LG_HE_34UM67_High resolution image_01 amd-freesync-review-lg-34um67-packaging

The LG34UM67 (and the smaller 29UM67) arrive in a slim retail box which shows a nice clear image of the display as well as listing its key features. Inside we find the display wrapped in a protective foam bag and suspended in Polystyrene. In separate compartments of the box we find the stand, documentation and PSU, mains cable and HDMI cable.

LG_HE_34UM67_High resolution image_03 LG_HE_34UM67_High resolution image_02

The LG 34UM67 uses a 34inch IPS panel with resolution of 2560×1080 and it offers a dynamic refresh rate of 48-75Hz. The RRP is $649/£439 (29UM67 = $449). The panel appears to be edge to edge with only a minimal bezel visible, of around 2mm however when on we see that it does have a standard bezel under the matt surface. Also hidden away are 2x7w stereo speakers. As well as the 21:9 aspect ratio from this 300cd/m2 flicker free display we also get specs of 14ms response, 178/178 degree viewing angles, 16.7m colours, 0.312×0.310mm pixel pitch and 99% sRGB colour gamut. Dimensions are 829.9×172.9×468.9mm and it weighs 7.3KG.

As for differentiating features from LG. Two jumped out at us. First is Black Stabilizer which dynamically monitors the scene being displayed and boosts the brightness of dark areas which can be useful in FPS games and PbP. PbP turns our 34UM67 into two 1280×1080 displays allowing us to show one input (e.g. our desktop) on the left side with a 2nd source (e.g. a console/tv box) on the right. 4-Split Screen is also available in software which allows us to set windows to particular areas and have them lock in place which is ideal for those who want to perform multiple tasks such as gaming while playing a video and monitoring email or chat windows.

LG_HE_34UM67_High resolution image_04 LG_HE_34UM67_High resolution image_05

The side view above shows that this screen has no noticeable difference in profile when compared to a “standard” display. We can see the stand which allows us to tilt the screen from -5 degrees to 15 degrees and it is worth noting that this is fixed to the display, the transparent section and base are separate and screw into place when we unbox. Round at the back of the screen we have a high gloss finish and then centred just above the stand are power input, DVI, HDMI, Audio in/out and DisplayPort.

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There is one button on the display and it is on the underside, just below the front LG logo and offers multiple functions. Firstly it is power. Tap to turn on or hold to turn off. When on, a quick press brings up a shortcut menu where we discover that the button is actually a joystick of sorts. Left takes us to the main menu, right to picture by picture, down to power off, centre to exit and top to enter game mode which contains presets for various game genres (FPS, RTS). The main menu allows us to configure the finer detail of the display including volume, energy saving, etc.

AMD FreeSync Review LG 34UM67 – Setup


Setting up FreeSync is a three step process, at least on the LG 34UM67, and it begins with connecting via a DisplayPort cable. Next, on LG, we enter the OSD and enable FreeSync.

f1 f2

With FreeSync enabled (and assuming we are using Catalyst 15.3 or newer) the driver will popup a message asking us to configure the feature. We click configure, we then tick Enable. Done!


For the purposes of the review, and we hope that AMD release it for consumers, we were given the test utility shown above. It is a  nice easy way to see how the various combinations of FreeSync and VSync change framerates and tearing.

AMD FreeSync Review LG 34UM67 – Performance

Our GPU of choice for this article is Sapphires R9-290X…

sapphire-r9-290x-8gb-vapor-x-oc-review-front sapphire-r9-290x-8gb-vapor-x-oc-review-back

Performance was tested on AMDs 990FX platform (FX-9590) with 2x8GB DDR3-2133, the Radeon SSD and Windows 8.1. All latest Windows updates, drivers and game patches were installed.


For our initial FreeSync test we have focused on F1 2014 using Ultra detail (and 8xAA). FreeSync is not limited to specific games and so the experience transfers from title to title.

F1 1920×1080 Ultra Detail


There are four main modes which are available to us and they are created from the on/off status of FreeSync and VSync. they are:

Free on V on – Smoothest experience, refresh rate limited performance. (E.g. 75Hz on LG, up to 240Hz supported by FreeSync)
Free on V off – Benefits of FreeSync up to refresh rate. Framerate not limited so tearing can occur.
Free off V on – Display limited FPS, no FreeSync benefits.
Free off V off – Maximum FPS, no FreeSync benefits

For those who want the smoothest performance the On/On combination is the way to go. Why would we choose FreeSync On, VSync Off? Thats all about getting access to the lowest possible mouse latency. That said, AMD do note that with On/On latency is typical and not worse than a standard display.

AMD FreeSync Review LG 34UM67 – Conclusion

Starting with FreeSync itself, quite simply it works great. Our gaming experience was smooth, we encountered no bugs and no real effort was required to set it up. Could things be improved? Yes but its more about the overall experience. For example, when FreeSync is disabled on the screen (as it is out of the box) the options do not show in AMDs software. It would be good if the software identified that a FreeSync capable setup was present and then walked us through how to enable it… or at least showed the FreeSync section and explained why it may not be configurable.

As for the display from LG. It is an impressive piece of kit. Style wise the display is hugely impressive with its minimal bezel and massive 21:9 aspect ratio screen. The overall quality of this IPS display is exceptional. Sharp and bright with great colour rendition and excellent uniform brightness across the width and height. We really liked the single control button/stick and the OSD is very easy to use. We do feel that LG should enable the FreeSync option out of the box, or at least ask on the first power on if we want it enabled but otherwise there are no issues of note with the display. That said there is one silly issue… this is a FreeSync screen and FreeSync REQUIRES DisplayPort. LG do not bundle a DisplayPort cable, they should.

Summary: AMD FreeSync and LG’s 34UM67 offer an exceptional gaming experience. Smooth, great image quality and a simple setup with the added bonus of competitive pricing.

Performance Award

About Author

Stuart Davidson


  1. FPS higher with FreeSync enabled than with BOTH FreeSync and V-Sync turned OFF? Wait WHAT?

    • Yes. When you have FreeSync ON and V-sync OFF the software lets the card deliver FPS above the refresh rate of the screen resulting in higher performance (but with tearing above the Hz range of the monitor). In that scenario it should deliver pretty similar framerates to off/off though there will be minor changes between benchmark runs.

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