Nvidia releases a GPU firmware update tool to support 4K HDR monitors

Now that 4K monitors with HDR support are starting to arrive, the question is, what do you need to run them? A beefy graphics card, for one, at least for gaming. However, you might also need to update the firmware on your GeForce graphics card, so Nvidia released a tool that will detect if that's the case, and apply the update as needed.

Nvidia acknowledges in the tool's release notes that without the update, systems connected to a DisplayPort 1.3 or 1.4 monitor could experience blank screens on boot until the OS loads, or in some cases they might hang during boot.

This is mainly a concern for people who plan on buying an Acer Predator X27 or Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ, the first two 4K HDR displays with 144Hz refresh rates and G-Sync support. However, there will be others.

There are few forum threads out there on the topic, including one on TenForums. As pointed out in that forum, Nvidia's tool doesn't update your graphics card's video BIOS, so you won't see a change in tools like GPU-Z after applying it. Instead, it checks the firmware for the UEFI GOP (graphics output protocol).

It also reapplies the current video BIOS during the firmware check, so if you're using a custom or modified BIOS, you should avoid running this tool, as you could run into issues.

I tried it myself on an Asus GeForce GTX 1070 and it worked without a hitch. One word of warning though—if the power goes out while applying the update, you could damage your card. If you have a UPS on hand, hook it up to your PC and make sure it's operating correctly.

One other thing to keep in mind is that this update doesn't affect earlier DisplayPort versions, or DVI, VGA, and HDMI monitors. If that's what you're running and plan on sticking with, there's no benefit to applying this update.

For those who are interested, you can grab the update tool here.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).