VESA updates Adaptive-Sync Display standard

Guaranteed faster refresh at lower than max resolution.

Jon Peddie

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) introduced Adaptive-Sync Display v1.1a, an open standard for variable refresh rate displays. This update supports displays with varying maximum refresh rates at reduced resolutions, introducing optional dual-mode testing and logo support. Display OEMs can certify products at two different resolution and refresh rate combinations. Over 100 products have been certified to date. Testing criteria remain unchanged with the update.

(Source: VESA)

What do we think? VESA started certifying monitors back in 1989 to make NEC multi-sync monitors acceptable and differentiated from unreliable clones. The organization has created and supported dozens of standards associated with displays and, even at one time, a PC AIB bus—the VL bus. The org is backed up by all the leading GPU and PC companies in the industry.

VESA revises Adaptive-Sync Display CTS with dual-mode support

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has released an update to its Adaptive-Sync Display Compliance Test Specification (CTS). This open standard, the first for variable refresh rate displays, introduces version 1.1a, incorporating new testing procedures and logo support. The update caters to a growing category of displays that can operate at varying maximum refresh rates when the resolution is reduced.

The key addition is the optional dual-mode testing and logo support, enabling display OEMs with qualifying hardware to certify their products at two different sets of resolution and refresh rate combinations. This includes scenarios such as 4K/144 Hz and 1080p/280 Hz.

Adaptive-Sync Display v1.1a also facilitates higher refresh rate certification for displays supporting an overclocked or faster mode option not enabled by default. To achieve this, the overclocked mode must support Adaptive-Sync-enabled GPUs in a non-proprietary manner. The display must pass all Adaptive-Sync Display compliance tests in its factory default mode and then a complete retest in the overclocking mode.

It is important to note that these changes apply exclusively to the VESA Certified AdaptiveSync Display logo program and do not extend to the VESA Certified MediaSync Display logo program.

To date, over 100 products have been certified to the Adaptive-Sync Display standard, and a comprehensive list can be found here.

Roland Wooster, chairman of the VESA Display Performance Metrics Task Group, commented on the update, stating, “VESA’s updated Adaptive-Sync Display CTS includes optional testing for these innovative displays and a new dual-mode logo allowing consumers to identify the range of variable refresh rate performance of these displays more easily.”

Notably, the testing criteria remain unchanged with the Adaptive-Sync Display v1.1a update. All products certified under the prior v1.1 spec retain their certification. The requirements of the Adaptive-Sync Display CTS, encompassing aspects such as refresh rate, flicker, response time, video frame drop, and frame rate jitter, must be met at both tested resolutions.

The updated VESA Certified AdaptiveSync Display logo change.

For displays capable of operating at a higher refresh rate when operated at less than their maximum resolution, the Adaptive-Sync Display v1.1 update introduces the VESA Certified AdaptiveSync Dual Mode logo. This logo, featured on certified products, indicates certification at two speeds and resolutions. On the left side of the logo, the values display the maximum certified refresh rate at the maximum native vertical resolution and the native maximum vertical resolution. On the right side, the values show the alternative certified resolution’s maximum certified refresh rate and vertical resolution.

More information on the Adaptive-Sync CTS and VESA Certified AdaptiveSync logo program can be found at