Buggy NVIDIA driver 531.18 bloating some CPUs after gaming

NVIDIA Game Ready Driver 531.18
(Image credit: NVIDIA | Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Driver 531.18 for NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards was released on February 28, 2023, for Windows 10 and 11.
  • Introducing RTX Video Super Resolution, an unfortunate bug affecting some CPUs after closing a game was reported on Twitter by Tom Warren of The Verge.
  • NVIDIA acknowledges the usage bug as an open issue and assigns code 4007208 while a hotfix is presumably developed.

PC gamers with an NVIDIA GeForce GPU may have noticed a subtle yet unfortunate spike in CPU usage after closing games if using the latest Game Ready driver released last week. Attempting to diagnose the exact issue in a Reddit announcement thread, comments suspect a telemetry plugin as the culprit (NvGSTPlugin.dll). Still, NVIDIA has tagged it as an open issue with ticket number 4007208 during a more thorough investigation.

Rumblings of a potential problem started appearing after the driver launch, but a Twitter post from Tom Warren, senior editor of The Verge, picked up extra awareness of the bug. So if your gaming PC has felt sluggish after a gaming session, you're not alone. Replies on Twitter confirmed CPU usage climbing as high as +10%, bloating the Windows desktop and raising the overall power draw.

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Bugs have usually been resolved via a hotfix driver from NVIDIA or an entirely new release depending on the severity of the issue. For now, PC gamers on Windows could roll back to the previous GeForce Game Ready 528.49 driver and temporarily forfeit access to RTX Video Super Resolution. Using AI tech to upscale blocky videos is a nice luxury, but it's hardly worth straining your processor after a gaming session.

Ben Wilson
Channel Editor

Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon @trzomb@mastodon.online to ask questions or share opinions.