With Windows 11, managing multiple high refresh rate monitors is about to get significantly more convenient. Microsoft is currently testing an update that smartly adjusts refresh rates across several monitors based on the content being displayed. This not only enhances power efficiency but could also lessen the frequency of GPU fan activation.
In a recent Windows Insider blog, Microsoft details its efforts to improve refresh rate logic, allowing different refresh rates on various monitors depending on the screen content. The benefits will be most noticeable in refresh rate-dependent multitasking, such as gaming while watching a video simultaneously.
The challenge with multiple high refresh rate monitors is the increased power draw on your GPU when running at full capacity. Nvidia RTX 30- and 40-series Founders Edition cards have a zero RPM mode that keeps fans idle during video playback on a single monitor. However, the introduction of a second high refresh rate display often disables this mode, causing the GPU fans to spin continuously.
Microsoft's new feature aims to keep GPUs in zero RPM mode, adjusting to higher refresh rates only when necessary based on the content. Until now, maintaining zero RPM mode with multiple monitors required manually lowering the secondary monitor's refresh rate.
Windows 11 is also introducing Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR) improvements for laptops within the latest Canary Channel builds. When battery saver mode is activated, Windows 11 will reduce the screen's refresh rate until the mode is disabled.
These refresh rate enhancements are currently being tested in Windows 11 test builds and are expected to be available to all Windows 11 users in the coming months.