Your latest Nvidia driver is hiding an HDR surprise

From PC World: High dynamic range can add a new dimension of color and immersion to PC gaming, but only if both the hardware and software actually support it. The latter is becoming a lot more common — even budget monitors and graphics cards can support HDR out of the box. But if you’re playing an indie game, or one that’s more than a few years old, you’re out of luck. A tool discovered in the latest version of Nvidia’s GPU drivers might be able to fix that.

“RTX Video HDR” is a feature that can convert standard range video into high dynamic range video, something that was shown off recently at CES. Brad Chacos called it “truly transformative” when he saw a demo on the show floor. It didn’t take Nvidia long to push it out, the current release (551.23) lets you play around with these settings on Windows 11. But a modder going by “eMoose” discovered that at least some of these tools can be applied to PC game visuals on the fly in a mode called TrueHDR, it just isn’t enabled yet. A surprisingly easy tweak, released on NexusMods, can flip the switch on.

According to eMoose (whose work was spotted by Tom’s Hardware), the TrueHDR settings can be applied to more or less any 3D game that doesn’t natively support high dynamic range color, going all the way back to DirectX9 and possibly working on OpenGL and Vulkan games as well. Exactly which cards are supported isn’t specified, but presumably you’ll need something from the RTX 2000 series onward.

The 27Kb tool runs as an executable in the background, pointing towards a game launch file and allowing the user to choose between low, medium, and very high settings (with scaling performance impacts) and an HUD indicator for whether it’s actually running. In my testing for three different games I wasn’t able to show the HDR HUD element, but others on Reddit and Guru3D have.

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