Nvidia is on the verge of releasing a fix for its ongoing driver DPC latency issues. In a Twitter post, Nvidia’s software quality assurance spokesperson Manuel Guzman said a fix is ready. However, the update release still had to go through the standard QA testing procedure before distribution.
While Nvidia has gone to great lengths to minimize input latency and improve responsiveness with projects like Nvidia Reflex, users of its drivers have been suffering from DPC latency issues for several GPU generations.
If you are blissfully unaware of DPC latency, it is system latency introduced by a Deferred Procedure Call (DPC) in Windows. DPCs were designed for high-priority tasks to defer required but lower-priority tasks for later execution. However, DPC buffers can get filled, resulting in stutters, skips, and similar glitches in video and audio. These jarring latency symptoms are highly undesirable in gaming, viewing videos, and creating or listening to music.
People who suspect they have DPC latency issues can download various tools to check and help minimize the issues. However, for a proper fix, you will want a device driver that has been coded to minimize excessive latencies in DPCs. If you have a laptop or pre-built PC, NotebookCheck maintains a list of systems and their tested DPC latencies – lower numbers are better.
According to Mr. Guzman, Nvidia has now reached a stage where it has fixed its driver DPC latency issues. Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and we shall see shortly when the fixed driver(s) arrive. As the Nvidia software QA spokesperson says, please “stay tuned.”
GPU Monitoring Apps and Updating Nvidia Drivers
From Guzman’s Twitter thread, where the DPC latency news emanated, there comes a solid recommendation to exit all your GPU monitoring apps before updating Nvidia drivers. The crux of this potential issue is that if you forget or neglect to follow this advice, “the GPU monitor utility may inadvertently set a lower power target resulting in lower performance.”
Nvidia Gamers Using Windows 11
Mr. Guzman also recommends that Windows 11 users with Nvidia GPUs update to the latest version. Apparently, Microsoft’s latest update addresses Timeout Detection and Recovery (TDR) errors which could otherwise interrupt gaming sessions.