How to Apply Adaptive Sync to an External Display with Mac | One PC Panda

Adaptive syncing will help make sure that images are delivered smoothly for video playback, online gaming, and other types of content consumption where frame rates are important. There are two types of adaptive syncing technologies - AMD Freesync and NVIDIA G-Sync - which work slightly differently based on their hardware implementation.

Before you begin

You need an AMD graphics card with FreeSync, as well as a monitor that supports FreeSync. If you already own a MacBook Pro or iMac, then it’s likely you have what you need; just open System Preferences → Displays and check out your options. If not, though, there are plenty of AMD cards available.

Connect your monitor

First, connect your monitor to your computer via one of its USB ports. Next, open your Settings app and select Displays in System Preferences. Select Scaled next to Arrangement so that your display is displayed at 100 percent of its intended resolution on your external display.

Enable adaptive sync

To enable adaptive sync, go to your Displays preferences, click on Display Preferences in OS X El Capitan and then click on Display tab. Select the Enable display scaling on the high-resolution external displays option in order to make sure that it is checked. By doing so, you will be able to adjust your monitor settings depending on how much information you want to be shown.

Choose your refresh rate

Make sure your monitor’s refresh rate is as high as possible by default. On most Mac computers, open System Preferences, select Displays and then click on your external display. Next, click on Display Adapter Properties and make sure that Refresh Rate is set to either 60 Hz or 120 Hz. If it isn’t already set like that, you can manually change it.


In summary, you can manually enable adaptive sync for your external display by going to System Preferences > Displays > Display tab and clicking on Detect displays in other devices under Arrangement. In general, it’s a good idea to enable adaptive sync when connected via HDMI or a cable that supports it—it will eliminate any lag and stuttering you may notice when playing games and viewing high-resolution media.