Want all your PC games to be HDR? NVIDIA GPUs could get a better option than Windows Auto HDR

RTX graphics card owners, rejoice - it looks like NVIDIA's HDR trickery for videos will come to games, too, and will be better than Windows 11's take.

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It looks like NVIDIA may have a feature in the pipeline which is like Windows 11's Auto HDR, in that it turns SDR games into HDR - but is a better take on the idea (hopefully).

NVIDIA's RTX graphics cards could soon get the benefit of a better HDR makeover than that provided by Microsoft in Windows 11 (Image Credit: NVIDIA)

NVIDIA's RTX graphics cards could soon get the benefit of a better HDR makeover than that provided by Microsoft in Windows 11 (Image Credit: NVIDIA)

This would be for RTX graphics cards, and it'll theoretically build on top of the recently introduced capability to upgrade SDR videos to HDR, called RTX Video HDR. Just like that feature, it would use the RTX graphics card's Tensor cores to realize the HDR conversion (or rather, approximation).

As noticed by 'Emoose' (hat tip to VideoCardz), NVIDIA's version 551.23 graphics driver, which added RTX Video HDR, has some 'TrueHDR' profile settings that can be implemented for non-HDR games.

Indeed, Emoose already has a mod available to enable this functionality, over on Nexus Mods (it's called NvTrueHDR). It supposedly works with a whole range of games, including DX9, DX10, DX11 and DX12 titles, as well as Vulkan.

As to whether we'd download the mod, well, we're always pretty cautious about third-party software such as this - and even if you do take the plunge (entirely at your own risk), there might be wonky results at this stage.

The real point here is that the work under the hood shows that NVIDIA is probably motoring on behind the scenes to get this functionality going with its Game Ready driver soon enough.

After all, if Team Green has gone to the trouble of making an HDR fudge for videos, it would seem that one for PC games is the next logical step.

Especially seeing as the built-in tool for Windows 11, Auto HDR, isn't the best (though it's certainly better than nothing).

Even in this early unofficial state, it looks like NVIDIA's crack at doing the same job works well. Some denizens of Reddit have complimented the mod and said it's already better than Microsoft's Auto HDR.

One Redditor notes that NvTrueHDR offers a superior HDR implementation with Diablo 4, and that with Assassin's Creed Odyssey it appears to be a near native experience of HDR.

Not everyone is as impressed, but there are definitely more positive noises being made than negative ones, so it looks like NVIDIA's take on this idea might be a good one.

Assuming that it happens, of course - just because there's work in the background doesn't mean that the TrueHDR function will come to fruition in NVIDIA's graphics driver.

As ever, time will tell, but we can certainly keep our fingers crossed as it sounds like this could be a pretty nifty trick for RTX GPUs - the only downside might be the performance hit, and how big that ends up.

Some comments on Reddit note that the frame rate dips more with some games than others (Dying Light 2, for example, has a noticeable performance hit, we're told, yet apparently Cyberpunk 2077 doesn't).

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Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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