NVIDIA issues new GPU drivers to guard against Spectre exploit (Updated)

GTX 1080
GTX 1080

Updated 1:30 p.m ET: This story initially stated that the flaw was with NVIDIA's hardware, which was incorrect. As NVIDIA previously stated, its hardware appears to be immune to Meltdown and Spectre, and the driver updates are meant to guard against the CPU security issue. We regret this error and the story has been updated.

NVIDIA has released an update (via Reuters) for its GPU driver software to mitigate attacks based on speculative side channel execution, shoring up its software against the Spectre exploit that has that has rocked chipmakers like Intel, AMD, and ARM since its disclosure last week.

According to NVIDIA, drivers for its GeForce, NVS, Tesla, Quadro, and GRID chips are affected by the first Spectre variant and are "potentially affected" by the second. The company says that it is not susceptible to the third variant, dubbed Meltdown.

Fixes are now available for the drivers powering NVIDIA's GeForce, Quadro, NVS, and Tesla chips, but patches aren't expected for some Tesla and GRID products until later in January, NVIDIA says. Though Microsoft has warned that fixes for Spectre and Meltdown could hinder performance, NVIDIA hasn't detailed any potential performance degradation for its own patches.

Following the disclosure of the flaws last week, Microsoft was quick to issue its own emergency fixes, and chipmakers have followed suit. The process hasn't been without its issues, however; Microsoft chose to pause its patch rollout for some AMD systems after it was reported that the fixes caused some older Athlon-based PCs to become unbootable.

If you have an NVIDIA GPU in your PC, you should be able to grab the Spectre patch now via NVIDIA's GeForce Experience software or via NVIDIA's driver update page.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl