Microsoft has started rolling out a new firmware update on the Surface Laptop Studio for devices enrolled in the Windows Insider Dev or Beta Channels, which appears to finally enable Windows 11’s new “dynamic refresh rate” feature that’s compatible with certain high refresh rate displays.
The update is rolling out in the form of two driver updates, one being a firmware release and the other an update to the Intel display driver:
- Surface – Firmware – 10.0.156.0
- Intel Corporation – Display – 126.96.36.1990
Once these updates have been installed, restart your computer to apply them, then head to Settings > Display > Advanced Display > and select the drop-down menu where it says “choose a refresh rate.” You should now see a new option called “Dynamic (60Hz or 120Hz.)”
Microsoft says that the dynamic refresh rate feature is designed to optimize when your PC is using 120Hz in an attempt to save battery life. Instead of blasting 120Hz all the time, Windows will intelligently lower your refresh rate to 60Hz when it thinks 120Hz isn’t needed, and dynamically adjust back up to 120Hz whenever you begin an activity that requires a more fluid experience.
In our brief testing, it appears to do as advertised. When sitting on the desktop doing nothing, Windows scales down to 60hz, but when scrolling in a Word document or inking in OneNote, Windows bumps the refresh rate up to 120Hz and things definitely feel smoother as a result.
I have noticed that some of Windows built-in animations don’t seem to initiate 120Hz when dynamic refresh rate is enabled. Hopefully that’s just a bug and will be fixed in the future — this is still in preview after all.
Thanks for the tip, @squimjay!
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