Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) has been a hot topic the past few years as it brings the promise of avoiding screen tearing and providing smoother-looking displays. This is noticeable when it comes to simple activities like scrolling through web pages, but more importantly, it greatly affects gaming performance. We can now expect to get this goodness in the Chrome OS ecosystem!
A few commits have shown up for both Chrome OS and the Chrome web browser that add support for this new feature. Specifically, this applies for Chrome OS devices hooked up via DisplayPort 1.4 to a monitor with FreeSync support. For those unaware, FreeSync is the open standard for VRR support in monitors and its adoption in many displays is lead by AMD. Along with VRR, these types of monitors usually offer high refresh rates as well. The commits mention that an Intel 12th generation or newer processor is required for this to work, so you’ll want to keep an eye on the upcoming Brya boards if this is a feature you’re interested in.
Every day we are inching ever closer to Steam support via the Borealis project, especially now that we have Vulkan support working inside Crostini! Gamers are really the ones who care about VRR the most, and games like fast-paced first-person shooters really benefit the most from this upcoming change. As you have to move the in-game camera around quickly, it’ll appear more natural and you’ll experience less blur once VRR is enabled and available.
This is great to see Chrome OS devices getting new features so rapidly these days! I recently moved from a non-VRR 60 Hz monitor to a VRR 144 Hz monitor and it makes a huge difference for me in actual practice. It’s subtle but you can tell the experience is just better in an almost magical way. Once you try this out, you’ll never want to go back, and soon that experience will be capable on a Chromebook!