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Apple to add VRR support to Mac for smoother gameplay

16 Jun 2021 | Rasmus Larsen |

Apple has confirmed that its upcoming macOS Monterey update will add support for VRR on Mac, specifically DisplayPort's Adaptive-Sync specification.

Smoother gameplay

Apple is trying to cater to discerning gamers by beefing up the Mac. First with its own silicon (M1) and now with support for VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) displays for smoother gameplay without tearing and reduced lag. - "Most displays on Apple systems work at fixed refresh rates. That is, they refresh themselves at a consistent rate whenever they are powered on. The exception is our ProMotion displays on iPad, and now with Adaptive-Sync displays on macOS," the company announced at WWDC21. Apple will support the Adaptive-Sync specification under DisplayPort 1.2a. Adaptive-Sync is the foundation under both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync when running over DisplayPort.


Benefits of Adaptive-Sync, as explained at WWDC21

Apple Silicon & some Intel Macs

Apple said that Adaptive-Sync will work on all Apple Silicon GPUs as well as "recent Intel-based Macs". It will also require a VRR-compatible display connected to the Mac. - "Any Mac with an Apple Silicon GPU will work great, and we also support many of our most recent Intel-based Macs as well. Second, you'll need a supported Adaptive-Sync display, and to enable Adaptive-Sync mode. This can be done by selecting the new variable refresh rate available in Display System Preferences," explained Apple. Windows has supported Adaptive-Sync for years and there are lots of compatible monitors available today. Apple has not announced plans to offer VRR support in iMac displays or an external monitor. The Apple TV 4K boxes (running tvOS) could also benefit from VRR support together with HDMI 2.1-enabled TVs, although the company would need to expand support to include HDMI 2.1's VRR specification. macOS Monterey will be released this fall as a free update for compatible Macs. The update will also include AirPlay 2 support to send content from an iPhone/iPad wirelessly to Mac. - Source: WWDC

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