Microsoft Windows 10 Gets OS-Level VRR Setting

A Microsoft logo is seen next to a cloud in Los Angeles
Many users already noticed the new VRR toggle under the Graphics Settings of their recently updated Microsoft Windows 10 operating system.
(Photo: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters Connect)

Microsoft recently rolled out the latest version of Windows 10, which is 1903. One of the many improvements included in the latest build of the popular operating system aside from the slightly modified Start Menu and login Screen is the OS-level variable refresh rate or the VRR setting.

For those who are not familiar with the VRR, this is the kind of technology utilized by services like NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync. With VRR, any user can synchronize the refresh rate of the screen with the given FPS of the game. In other words, in theory, the technology removes the stuttering as well as the screen tearing.

The new VRR setting introduced by Windows 10 1903 does not in any way activate FreeSync or G-Sync. Instead, the setting simply enables the customized V-Sync settings to operate in games that do not support it natively. Most of these games are the ones sold in the Microsoft Windows store.

The Redmond-based tech giant explained that the new VRR setting will augment the standard Variable Fresh Rate system like the Adaptive-Sync VESA and the NVIDIA G-Sync. If you enable this setting, it will allow all games based in DirectX 11 to properly utilize their VRR while in full-screen mode regardless if they natively support VRR or not. Microsoft clarified that the new technology only augments these experiences but does not at all substitute them.

For those already using FreeSync, G-Sync, or Adaptive-Sync, they can continue to use it. The new toggle does not override any of the configured settings in the control panels of the FreeSync, G-Sync, or Adaptive-Sync. Moreover, the new VRR tech offers support to full-screen DirectX 11 games that do not support VRR in order for these games to take advantage of the user's VRR hardware.

However, you will not be able to see the slider unless your operating system has all of the following. Should one of these is missing, the VRR feature will not be enabled. This includes windows 10 version 1903 or later, monitor capable of FreeSync, G-Sync, or Adaptive-Sync, and a GPU with drivers WDDM 2.6 or better than back FreeSync, G-Sync, or Adaptive-Sync as well as this latest OS feature.

Meanwhile, NVIDIA recently finished Phase 1 of their G-Sync Compatible Program. So far, the company has tested 503 Adaptive-sync monitors and only 5.56 percent of all the monitors passed all the stringent tests conducted by the company on the VRR scope, image quality, and several other vital specifications.

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