It has taken a bit, but Nvidia believes it has a bead on what is causing "most of the stutters reported by users" when playing SteamVR games, and has addressed the culprit in a new hotfix GPU driver (version 461.33). It is one of several fixes contained in the incremental driver update.
Complaints of stuttering in SteamVR date back to at least October of last year, following the roll out of Nvidia's 456.71 driver, according to UploadVR (opens in new tab). It is due to frame spikes, and is especially annoying because dropped frames in VR can cause nausea in some people. A few days ago, Nvidia's Manuel Guzman gave a heads up on Nvidia's community forum that a hotfix addressing the issue was inbound, though it is not a complete fix.
"This upcoming hotfix driver should resolve most of the stutters reported by users. There will still be some stutter when using a GPU monitoring utility (eg. EVGA Precision X/MSI Afterburner) in the background while playing VR games but the hotfix driver will be an improvement over recent drivers," Guzman wrote (opens in new tab).
Nvidia is still working on a complete fix to remove stuttering in SteamVR even when using a GPU monitoring utility in the background, but Guzman said there is no ETA for its arrival just yet.
In the meantime, the hotfix available right now also addresses some game crashing issues and a few other bugs. Here is the full list:
- Adobe Premiere Pro may freeze when using Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration (CUDA)
- [461.09] NVIDIA Broadcast Camera filter may hang.
- [Steam VR game]: Stuttering and lagging occur upon launching a game (Without using any Hardware monitoring tool).
- [Detroit: Become Human]: The game randomly crashes.
- [NVENC] Colors of webcam video image on receiving end of Zoom may appear incorrect.
- [Assassin's Creed Valhalla] Game may randomly crash after extended gameplay.
- [X4: Foundations][Vulkan]: The game may crash on GeForce RTX 30 series GPUs.
- [X4: Foundations][Vulkan]: HUD in the game is broken.
The hotfix is based on the 461.09 driver Nvidia released (opens in new tab) a couple of weeks ago, which itself was mostly focused on patching up newly discovered security flaws.
Bear in mind that hotfixes do no show up in GeForce Experience, nor do they appear on Nvidia's main driver download page. You have to seek them out manually—in this case, just head over to this 461.33 support page (opens in new tab) to download the hotfix, if you are experiencing any of the above issues and want them resolved sooner than later. Otherwise, just hang tight, as all of the same fixes will be included in the next regular driver update anyway.