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Forcing laptop screen refresh rate

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 12, 2012 7:13:09 PM

Hey,

Is it safe to force a refresh rate through the Nvidia Control Panel that's twice the maximum supported by my laptop screen?
I'm trying out 120Hz instead of 60Hz (at FullHD resolution) and it seems to work just fine. I'm noticing a *HUGE* difference in FPS games, I've never seen animations this smooth on a computer display before! :) 

This is on an Asus G53SX laptop. Do I need to worry about killing my laptop display if I play games with these settings?

Cheers,
FruitieX
a b U Graphics card
March 12, 2012 7:22:03 PM

No, it may not kill your laptop's display, but it may create other problems, and you are lucky to find yourself even able to force the double refresh rate.

The real refresh rate is still 60Hz, but by forcing to 120Hz, you get more FPS when you enable Vsync in games.
But it isn't useful since Vsync was made to remove Tearing problem, by forcing to 120Hz, it create tearing...

In conclusion, you don't get any benefit from forcing a fake refresh rate, so you're better off turning it back to 60Hz...

Hope it helps! :) 
March 12, 2012 7:42:00 PM

Hmm, I don't use Vsync, so that's not "limiting" the FPS as it otherwise would.

I'm thinking what happens here is the screen still runs at 60Hz, but the GPU pushes new frames to the screen faster than the screen can draw them?

Whatever it is I'm *definitely* seeing a *HUGE* difference, it's not just a placebo. If I switch back to 60Hz after being used to higher refresh rates, and play some more TF2, it looks like it's stuttering heh. ;) 
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a b U Graphics card
March 12, 2012 7:45:37 PM

Yes, in this case the GPU pushes new frames to the screen way faster than the screen can draw them and causes Tearing.
Tearing is little displacements of the image on the screen. Since when the screen draw 1/2 of a frame, the GPU gives a new frame and the bottom 1/2 is a other frame.
a b U Graphics card
March 12, 2012 7:46:41 PM

Are you sure that your screen isn't rated for 120Hz?
March 12, 2012 7:48:55 PM

bloc97 said:
Yes, in this case the GPU pushes new frames to the screen way faster than the screen can draw them and causes Tearing.
Tearing is little displacements of the image on the screen. Since when the screen draw 1/2 of a frame, the GPU gives a new frame and the bottom 1/2 is a other frame.

Yup, been trying to look after tearing when moving the view around real fast. Can't say I'm seeing any, though! It's more of a subtle motion blur kind of thing, which makes me a bit worried that the screen really *is* running at a higher refresh rate than 60Hz... So maybe it is dangerous... :o 
March 12, 2012 7:50:54 PM

bloc97 said:
Are you sure that your screen isn't rated for 120Hz?

It's a laptop screen. I'm 99% sure it's rated for 60Hz only. Otherwise I think that would've been a rather big selling point for this gaming laptop, and I've not read about that anywhere. Windows only allows me to set 60Hz no matter which resolution I choose, unless I force it through the Nvidia Control Panel.

FruitieX
a b U Graphics card
March 12, 2012 7:55:33 PM

This is strange, since there is no real way to make a screen draw faster without hardware mods or braking the screen...

Though Tearing is generally what you get from forcing higher Hz. On desktop screens, it doesn't even work, the screen activates a protection and displays pitch black.
March 12, 2012 8:07:52 PM

Hmm that's a bit worrying indeed then :p 
I'm surprised on how little I was able to find about this by googling though, I did something similar on my old laptop (not as extreme, just up to 75Hz or so) and I noticed the same thing there (motion blur, not tearing). If I went much higher than that it turned itself off, just like all desktop monitors I've tried this on do too, as you're saying.

How would a monitor break from this though? Instantly, or gradually?
a b U Graphics card
March 12, 2012 8:23:16 PM

Instantly, since it is not the LCD itself that will break, but the controller chipset that may burn up...
a b U Graphics card
March 12, 2012 8:26:35 PM

The worse that can happen is if the controller chipset is a high-quality one that can support the extra hertz, the LCD itself may leak... But that is very rare though.
1 chance in 100,000
March 12, 2012 8:44:32 PM

Hehe I'll see what happens I guess ;p
If it breaks it'll be even more of a movable computer than a laptop (it's already heavy enough ;p), since I'll have to use an external screen heh.

Thanks for your replies!
FruitieX
a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2012 12:35:10 AM

No problem, I kinda liked this question... :p 
!