Microsoft's Windows 11 introduction event last week was all about design and new features, with the company avoiding getting too technical. A week on from that reveal, and with previews starting – we are starting to learn more about the inner workings of Windows 11.
One of those technical details is Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR), which is baked into Windows 11 to help boost battery life.
The feature takes advantage of the increasing popularity of 120Hz and higher displays, which are available on more laptops these days. These screens improve animations, movements, and the general smoothness of Windows 11. However, the compromise is higher refresh rates impact battery life negatively.
In Windows 11, Microsoft wants to overcome this issue with Dynamic Refresh Rate. This will allow laptops to adjust their refresh rate automatically.
“This means that Windows 11 will seamlessly switch between a lower refresh rate and a higher refresh rate based on what you're doing on your PC,” says Ana Marta, a program manager on the graphics team at Microsoft.
However, this will only be for laptops that firstly have a display with 120Hz or above, and provide support for DRR. Doing normal tasks like writing an email will see DDR run the screen at 60Hz, and pick up to 120Hz for tasks like scrolling and animations.
In terms of using apps on Windows 11, DRR will only work on applications that have support for the feature built in. Windows 11 previews that are now rolling out only provide DRR support for its own Office apps for scrolling. Microsoft Edge, Sticky Notes, Snip & Sketch, Whitebord, Photos, Drawboard PDF, To Do, Adobe Acrobat, and Adobe Illustrator support DRR for inking.
It is worth noting that DRR is not VRR (variable refresh rate), which Microsoft uses on Xbox. For the unfamiliar, variable refresh rate monitors are popular due to their ability to update more dynamically. Regular screens tend to update 60, 90, or 120 times a second (Hz), and nowhere in between.
In the case of a 60Hz monitor, a game running at a frame rate other than 60 or 30 is likely to experience screen tearing and other artifacts. It's also unlikely to look as smooth as variable refresh monitors, which can scale the number of times the monitor updates to match the application.
Tip of the day: The Windows default font these days is Segoe UI, a fairly simple and no-nonsense typeface that's used across many of Microsoft's products. However, though some like this subdued style, others look to change Windows font to something with a bit more personality.
Thankfully, Microsoft does let you change Windows fonts, but it doesn't make it particularly easy. I our tutorial we show you how to change system font in Windows 10, or restore it again if you don't like the changes.