If you have been tracking the smartphone market a little bit, High Refresh Rate for displays has been the talk of the town for some time. On similar lines, Monitor Refresh Rate has been there in the PC and Laptop market, but now Windows 11 supports it natively. In this post, you will learn how does the new Dynamic Refresh Rate feature work in Windows 11.
What Is Dynamic Refresh Rate? Why Is It Important
Refresh Rate, in simple words, means how often the display updates the onscreen image. The higher the refresh rate, the better the scrolling experience and gaming experience get into another level. It delivers realistic motion because you will not see any lag, i.e., imagine a ball suddenly changing position from one place to another, which should have slowly moved to allow you to see the movement as expected.
On the other hand, Dynamic Refresh Rate can also help save battery when Windows can change the refresh rate of the display if the apps or games don’t support it.
How does the new Dynamic Refresh Rate feature work in Windows 11
In Windows 11, the Dynamic Refresh Rate feature allows it to seamlessly switch between a lower and a higher refresh rate depending on the app and your activity on the PC or Laptop. Both of them make sure you get an improved experience and reduced power consumption. A fixed refresh rate will only result in reduced battery life.
So, for example, if you are using email, reading documents, DRR will use the 60 Hz display. As soon as you start scrolling with high speed, the refresh rate will jump to 120Hz, delivering smoother scrolling than what you would have got with 60 Hz. It also applies to inking and touch feel immediate and smooth. However, it does not apply to Gaming, at least not yet.
To experience DRR, you will need to have the right set of hardware. That includes a display that supports variable refresh rate (VRR) and at least 120 Hz, a graphics driver that supports it, and enabled support from Windows 11. However, this is still a work in progress, and Microsoft will keep expanding the support for various games and apps.
On Laptops that support it, you can see the display setting by going to System > Display > Advanced Display.
There will be a refresh rate section that allows you to change it. However, you do not need to change it, but let Windows 11 manage it.
For now, those who see this feature can experience this with Microsoft and Adobe Apps. The app list includes:
- Smoother inking: Microsoft Office, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Whiteboard, Microsoft Photos, Snip & Sketch, Drawboard PDF, Microsoft Sticky Notes, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft To-Do, Ink, etc.
- Smoother scrolling: Microsoft Office
Minimum Requirement for Dynamic Refresh Rate
To use DRR, you’ll need a laptop with a display that supports Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and a refresh rate of at least 120 Hz.
Additionally, DRR requires a graphics driver (WDDM 3.0) that supports it.
How to Find the Display Driver Version on Your Laptop or PC
- Click on the Start button
- Type dxdiag and click to launch when it appears
- Switch to the Display tab and locate the Drivers box
- Check version number and Driver model
If they match with the required version, it will work; else, you need to wait for an update delivered through Windows Update. Microsoft is expanding its test with more OEMs, and hopefully, we will see them coming in rather quickly as the launch is around October.
How to Get Smoother Scrolling and Inking in Microsoft Office?
This is available for Office Insiders, and you check by going to Options > Experiment > Flight Assignments and Overrides and check if you have Microsoft.Office.AirSpace.InteractionTracker4Support set to true. If not, you need to opt-in for Office Insiders.
How to Check If My Laptop Supports VRR?
Open Settings, and then select System > Display > Graphics > default graphics settings. Look for a section named Variable refresh rate. If this section doesn’t appear on this page, it means your laptop doesn’t support VRR.
Does It Support External Display?
Sadly, No. DRR is only available for Laptops. It is disappointing for now as Microsoft is only targeting high-end laptops.
Related: Enable Variable Refresh Rate for games in Windows 10.
Does Smooth Inking Work with Any Pen?
No, it would be best if you used a compatible pen on Windows; with DRR, you can get the smoothest and fastest ink. You will also need support from Microsoft Office.
Hardware from Apple already supports this, and it’s about time that Windows also supports it. While it will not make any difference if you are on older hardware, but those who have a high restest rate monitor will definitely love this. However, the support is not extended to games and external monitors. This isn’t very reassuring. I hope this can be fixed in the future.