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Setting the refresh rate lower than the maximum with a Freesync monitor

Question asked by ka24deracer on Jan 8, 2016

Hello, I have somewhat of an issue with my new AOC 144Hz Freesync monitor.  Windows does not like when you have multiple monitors with different refresh rates working at the same time.  Before I got my AOC monitor, I had a standard 1080P 60Hz monitor hooked up as my main along with my Sanyo 1080P 60Hz TV and this worked just fine.  I would have video playing on the TV (Twitch streams, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc) while I played games on my monitor.  For Christmas I got an AOC 27" Freesync monitor and after I hooked it up I started having problems with the video stuttering horribly.  From what I have researched, it seems that it is a problem with Windows WDM (Windows Desktop Manager) and its implementation of VSync on the desktop along with anything showing (mostly windows being dragged, video, animations, etc) and it happens with any brand video card (AMD/ATI, Nvidia and Intel) so its not a driver, hardware or similar issue. 


The only "real" fix that is guaranteed to work (as for me all the other workarounds have either failed or caused more problems) is to set my new monitor to 60Hz in the advanced monitor settings so it matches my TV.  However it would be unacceptable to do this if it locked that monitor to 60Hz.  My question is what would happen to the refresh rate while playing games if I set that monitor to 60Hz.  With the way Freesync works, it obviously cant have a "locked" refresh rate like a normal monitor.  So I doubt that setting it to a refresh rate other than 144Hz would actually "lock" the monitor to that rate.  But will the driver/software for Freesync override or ignore that setting when something other than the desktop is on the screen (IE, when the desktop is showing it will stay at 60Hz but when I start playing a game at 80FPS or whatever will it act just like normal and vary the refresh rate of the monitor like it is supposed to), or will it "cap" the refresh rate at the set value and only vary it from the Freesync minimum rate to the set value instead of the Freesync maximum rate?  Any help from someone who knows how the Freesync software works internally would be greatly appreciated.