Leave Our GPU Fans In Peace!
Windows 11 does offer better support for multiple monitors than it’s predecessors but it still has a lot to learn about high refresh rate monitors. If you have a setup with multiple high refresh rate monitors then you probably already know one of it’s challenges. The problem especially effects those running RTX 3XXX and 4XXX Founders Edition cards, but is certainly not limited to them as many cards have a 0-RPM setting that spins the fans down when not needed. If you are still unsure what the problem is, it’s the fact that having more than one high refresh rate monitor disables the 0-RPM setting and your fans spin up thanks to the artificial load they are under.
A new Windows 11 update is intended to resolve this issue, with improved refresh rate logic that permits different refresh rates on different monitors, and can even vary the refresh rate on each monitor depending on what is actually being displayed. This workaround should mean that if you are watching a video on one screen and reading text on the other, the second monitors refresh rate will drop while the monitor displaying the video will refresh as fast as needed, within it’s capabilities. This should ensure that your GPU doesn’t do extra work and may well encourage those fans to spin down.
It will also be of benefit to those who like to watch a video on one screen while playing a game on the second display. The refresh rates of the two monitors will not have to match, one could offer 60 FPS for the video while giving the game the maximum playable refresh rate on the second screen. This update will also apply to laptops, not only for an external secondary monitor, but also reducing refresh rates on the integral display while battery saver is enabled.
There isn’t much detail on when we will see it, perhaps in time for 23H2.
If you have multiple monitors that support high refresh rates then running them at their full potential often increases the power draw of your GPU. Nvidia RTX 30- and 40-series Founders Edition cards also have a zero RPM mode, which will keep the fans at zero even when you're watching video content on a single monitor.