How To Use Nvidia’s Latest Drivers To Cap Your PC’s Frame Rates

How To Use Nvidia’s Latest Drivers To Cap Your PC’s Frame Rates
Photo: <a href="https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/april-26-2019-nvidia-geforce-rtx-1381767962">Shutterstock</a>

A brand-new version of Nvidia’s GeForce drivers has unlocked a helpful little feature: a universal frame rate cap. If you’re tired of setting this limit in every individual game you play, this will save a you a bit of time—and since the feature is somewhat buried in Nvidia’s Control Panel, and arrived with little fanfare, here’s how to find it (and what it does).

To get started, make sure you’ve updated to the latest GeForce drivers. For most people, that’s as simple as checking GeForce Experience for an update:

Screenshot: David Murphy

You can also use Nvidia’s website to download the latest drivers directly—version 441.87, as of when we wrote this article.

Once you’ve installed the new drivers, pull up your Nvidia Control Panel by right-clicking on your desktop and selecting that option. You’ll then want to click on “Manage 3D settings” and scroll down a bit until you see the new “Max Frame Rate” option. Click on it to pull up a little slider:

What should you set this value to? I recommend starting by matching your display’s refresh rate, if you even want to enable it. Sure, you’ll enjoy less input lag if you just let the frames fly with no cap, but regular people will probably notice the image tearing that comes with this more than they’ll be able to perceive milliseconds of difference when shooting their friends in Fortnite.

Also, if you’re gaming on a laptop, limiting your frame rate ensures that your graphics card isn’t working its arse off—creating unnecessary noise and heat, and burning through your battery—to crank out extra frames that might cause tearing or other annoyances for your games.

If you find that limiting your frame rates (in combination with enabling or disabling Vsync) creates a better experience in the games you regularly play, keep it! And if you find that your game feels less responsive, up the value—twice your monitor’s refresh rate, if your graphics card can handle it—or turn it off entirely.

The controversial setting doesn’t come with a single right or wrong answer for every instance; it all depends on the kind of games you play and the kind of experience you want. If you’re looking to make a career out of CS:GO, I’d avoid the setting entirely. If you like playing single-player role-playing games, give it a try and see if it makes a difference.

Comments

  • I’m glad I don’t need to use Nvidia Profile Inspector in order to set this anymore.

    Word of warning however, those using Gsync should set the FRL to a few FPS under their screen refresh rate in order to avoid input lag.

    Then, if you have the option in game, set the in-game FPS limiter to 2 or so under what you set in Nvidia’s FRL.

  • Oh my goodness this is amazing. I’ve had some serious issues with some games like Path of Exile that don’t have frame rate caps heating up my GPU because they’re running at 140 FPS.

    I love this.

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