Windows 11 gets multi-screen refresh rate improvements

Microsoft is making it much more convenient to use high-refresh-rate multiple displays with Windows 11. The software giant has begun testing a Windows 11 update that automatically adjusts refresh rates on multiple displays depending on what content is being displayed, which should improve power consumption and may even result in in that some GPUs turn up their fans less often.

“We’ve improved refresh rate logic to allow different refresh rates on different displays, depending on the refresh rate of each display and content displayed on the display,” Microsoft explains in a Windows Insider blog from last week, seen by Neowin. “This will help most with refresh rate-dependent multitasking, like playing a game and watching a video at the same time.”

This should help maintain zero RPM mode on some Nvidia cards

If you have multiple monitors that support high refresh rates, running them at their full potential often increases the power consumption of your GPU. The Nvidia RTX 30 and 40 series Founders Edition cards also have a zero RPM mode that will keep the fans at zero even when watching video content on a single screen. Adding a second high refresh rate monitor often disables the zero RPM mode and means the GPU keeps its fans running if you have both high refresh rate monitors.

Microsoft’s addition should mean that these particular GPUs will maintain zero RPM mode, only switching to higher refresh rates on different displays depending on what content is being used or displayed. The solution right now to keep zero RPM mode on multiple monitors is to manually lower the refresh rate of the secondary monitor.

The latest Canary Channel builds of Windows 11 also include Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR) improvements for laptops. If Battery Saver is enabled, Windows 11 will now slow down the refresh rate on a laptop’s screen until Battery Saver is disabled.

Microsoft is currently testing these refresh rate improvements in Windows 11 test builds, and they should be available to all Windows 11 users in the coming months.

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