The first Windows 11 Preview introduces a system that dynamically adjusts the screen refresh rate of laptops to save battery power without impacting the user experience. A feature called “Dynamic Refresh Rate” (or DRR).
If you have a recent PC, there is a good chance that its screen is compatible with very high refresh rates – 120 Hz, 240 Hzor even more. You have to see it in real conditions to realize it, but doubling or even quadrupling the refresh rate of a screen allows you to streamline animations, scrolling and graphics in video games – to the point that all the actions of the user deliver an astonishing feeling of realism.
But these screens also have a downside: when configured for a high refresh rate, they consume significantly more energy. Especially since there is a more intense demand on the GPU, greatly reducing the autonomy of the machine. This is why Microsoft announces in a blog post the launch of the Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR) function in Windows 11.
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The feature is available in a handful of apps on the first Preview of Windows 11. The name of the feature describes what it does pretty well: the DRR adjusts the screen refresh rate so that it leads to a better energy management, without the user realizing it.
To do this, Microsoft delivers the DRR function directly in certain applications. Because to make the adjustment invisible, you have to take into account the situations where more frames per second adds something to the rendering, and those where it is more questionable.
So, for example, if you are writing a Word document, having a refresh rate of 120Hz or even higher is a bit superfluous. The DRR will then lower the refresh rate to 60 Hz. If you suddenly switch to a video game, the same system will reset the refresh rate to the maximum available.
To test the functionality, you must obviously be part of the Insider program and have a machine with a 120 Hz screen (or more) on which you have installed the first Preview of Windows 11. Microsoft gives a list of applications with which DRR is compatible :
- For smoother pen writing: Microsoft Office, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Whiteboard, Microsoft Photos, Snip & Sketch, Drawboard PDF, Microsoft Sticky Notes, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft To Do, Inkodo
- For smoother scrolling when needed: Microsoft Office applications
What do you think of this feature? Are you excited to test Windows 11? Share your feedback in the comments to this article.