With recently announced Windows 11, dynamic refresh rate or DRR has finally been introduced by Microsoft and it should help improve battery life on laptops.
Higher refresh rate display smartphones have had software-enabled dynamic refresh rate capabilities for a while now as a battery-saving measure and although laptops and PCs have had high refresh rate displays for much longer, it has taken a while for Microsoft to bring dynamic refresh rate to Windows.
As per Mashable, last week, Microsoft made Windows 11 official, bringing with it a higher standard of security, a modernized UI, Start Menu, and Microsoft Store, as well as a number of performance improvements, touch optimizations, and gamer-specific features.
The integration will essentially let Windows 11 dial up or down the refresh rate of the display based on use frequency to save power. If you have a monitor that supports high refresh rates of at least 120Hz and a GPU with variable refresh rate (VRR) tech like AMD Freesync and/ or NVIDIA GSync, you will be able to turn on the setting in Windows 11.
Once turned on, DRR will actively and automatically swap between a 60Hz refresh rate and the higher 120Hz refresh rate depending on the task that the app lets you do.
While tasks like typing out an email or working on Photoshop could run at the lower 60Hz refresh rate without issue, browsing through a social media app, or doing a sketch, DRR will switch up to a higher refresh rate for a better experience.
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Of course, this is all dependent on whether or not the user’s display supports a higher refresh rate, to begin with since it won’t magically make a 60Hz display a 120Hz one. It’s also worth noting that Microsoft’s DRR isn’t VRR for the app, despite the fact that they work in similar ways.
While VRR refers to the general ability for displays to adjust refresh rate on the fly, DRR is a Windows-specific feature that informs VRR-capable displays when to vary the refresh rate. VRR relies on your display hardware to switch refresh rates, while DRR is a software implementation that controls when to automatically switch refresh rates.