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NVIDIA RTX HDR Brings AI Powered HDR to SDR-Only PC Games; New Game Ready Driver Is Optimized for Nightingale

Today, NVIDIA announced and released the brand new eponymous app that aims to unify the functions of GeForce Experience and the old Control Panel under a new, sleeker hood.

You can read all about the NVIDIA app in the article published by our Hardware section. Here, though, we’ll focus on the two most interesting AI-powered filters available starting today.

The RTX HDR is easily the star of the show here. It was actually discovered in a previous Game Ready driver release and exposed by modder emoose, who previously brought PC gamers the DLSSTweaks wrapper that forces DLAA support in games with DLSS. The most crafty PC users already checked it out with that mod, but it’s now available to everyone in an easy and accessible way.

NVIDIA said that only 10 of the top 50 most played games on GeForce hardware offer native High Dynamic Range support. This AI-powered Freestyle filter aims to automatically implement HDR in countless SDR-only games powered by DirectX 9, DirectX 11, DirectX 12, and Vulkan.

The requirements are fairly straightforward. You’ll need Windows 11 (OS build 22621), an HDR display connected to your PC, an RTX 20+ graphics card, and the 551.52 driver at the minimum. In-game HDR, if at all supported in the game, should be disabled, as should Microsoft’s similar Windows AutoHDR. As for the games, they’ll have to be in full screen mode to utilize RTX HDR.

Officially, NVIDIA also said Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR/DLDSR), NVIDIA Image Scaling (NIS), and Fast Sync should be disabled before activating RTX HDR. However, I was able to make it work even with DLDSR enabled in ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2. As you can see below, you can tweak the following parameters via the overlay:

  • Peak brightness (up to a maximum depending on your display’s luminance capabilities)
  • Middle grays (nits)
  • Contrast
  • Saturation

RTX HDR works great for an all-encompassing AI filter. Of course, a native and optimized HDR implementation will always remain preferable, but there are hundreds of PC games where that’s not a realistic option because they won’t receive any further updates. With NVIDIA’s RTX HDR, you can finally take advantage of your display’s High Dynamic Range capabilities.

For those who still haven’t purchased an HDR monitor, NVIDIA has also added the RTX Dynamic Vibrance filter. As some long-time NVIDIA users will easily guess, this is based on the Digital Vibrance setting, except enhanced with AI to ensure that colors look more vibrant without damaging image quality. For RTX Dynamic Vibrance, users can tweak intensity and saturation boost.

The requirements are similar, except you won’t need an HDR display, of course. Both Freestyle filters can be adjusted in-game through the NVIDIA app overlay and support per-game activation through the NVIDIA app graphics settings.

Today, NVIDIA also released a new Game Ready driver (version 551.61), which optimizes Nightingale. The survival crafting game made by Inflexion supports NVIDIA DLSS 3 (Frame Generation) and Reflex.

The driver also adds optimal settings for the following PC games:

  • Granblue Fantasy: Relink
  • Nightingale
  • Pacific Drive
  • Skull and Bones

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Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama, a lifelong enthusiast of Artificial Intelligence, has been exploring technology and the digital realm since childhood. Known for his creative thinking, he's dedicated to improving AI experiences for all, making him a respected figure in the field. His passion, curiosity, and creativity drive advancements in the AI world.
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