Microsoft’s Windows 11 aims to be a game-changer by introducing features, that will focus on reducing power consumption during gaming sessions, thus lowering the carbon footprint associated with extended usage.
The Windows blog post on the new build states that:
“We have improved refresh rate logic to allow different refresh rates on different monitors, depending on the refresh rate for each monitor and content shown on the screen. This will help most with refresh rate-dependent multitasking, like playing a game and watching a video at the same time.“
With the increasing popularity of high-refresh-rate monitors and 4K resolution displays, gamers often face a trade-off between performance and power efficiency. However, Windows 11 aims to strike a balance by introducing power-saving optimizations that will minimize energy consumption without compromising visual quality or gaming performance.
For instance, while gaming, Windows can automatically adjust your primary monitor to its highest refresh rate, while keeping your secondary monitor (running Discord, for instance) at the standard 60Hz. This allows you to play a game on one screen at its maximum refresh rate, while simultaneously running a video on the other screen. This optimizes power consumption by reducing the demands on one panel while maintaining peak performance on your primary display. It also lightens the load on your GPU.
Recent discoveries have highlighted that enabling variable refresh rates (VRR) on AMD graphics cards can significantly reduce idle power draw for Radeon RX 7000 and RX 6000 series. This feature, denoted as Adaptive Sync, FreeSync, or G-Sync, keeps the GPU idling efficiently. Unlike Intel and Nvidia, AMD GPUs particularly benefit from this optimization.
Furthermore, the latest Windows preview build introduces a new feature where selecting dynamic refresh rate (DRR) alongside Battery Saver in the power menu enables Windows to stick to a lower refresh rate, conserving battery life. This feature is found in some gaming laptops, allowing users to specify a refresh rate when playing on battery or at a specific battery level, as seen in Razer’s Blade machines.
Windows 11 is slated to be released later this year, and users can look forward to upgrading their systems to the greener and more gaming-friendly OS. The new features and optimizations offered by Windows 11 are set to revolutionize the PC gaming experience, providing gamers with the tools they need to enjoy their fancy monitors.