Nvidia's Latest Driver Is Causing High CPU Usage Problems, Hotfix Posted (Update)

(Image credit: Nvidia)

Updated, 4/29/19, 2:00pm PT: Nvidia has released a Hotfix driver version 430.53 that corrects this issue. You can download the Hotfix here.

From the changelog:

  • Fixes higher CPU usage by NVDisplay.Container.exe introduced in 430.39 driver
  • 3DMark Time Spy: Flickering observed when benchmark is launched
  • BeamNG: Application crashes when game is launched
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Freezes when launched in SLI mode 
  • Desktop flickers when videos are played back on a secondary monitor

Original article, 4/29/19, 7:20am PT:

Last week, Nvidia released the GeForce Game Ready 430.39 WHQL driver with improved support for Mortal Kombat 11, new GTX 1650 graphics cards and the Windows 10 May 2019 Update. But according to numerous complaints on social media, the driver also caused high CPU usage for some users.

Windows Latest found several complaints about the issue on Reddit and Nvidia's own forums. Multiple people said the Nvidia display container was using between 10-20% of their CPU, even with no programs running. Restarting the system didn't resolve the problem; it only offered a temporary reprieve. That's quite the performance hit, and its effects were likely felt in everyday tasks, let alone playing processor-intensive games.

Nvidia acknowledged the problem on its forum, with an employee saying the company was "able to reproduce the bug consistently now" and was "currently testing a fix". That was on April 26. The company has not yet followed up on that fix or responded to further complaints in the same thread. Users also complained of performance issues in games like Final Fantasy XV and Shadow of the Tomb Raider that could be related to Nvidia's drivers.

PC gamers just can't seem to catch a break. The reported issues with Nvidia's latest driver arrives after Microsoft released a cumulative update to Windows 10 in March that caused severe input lag, low frame rates and other issues in popular titles (the problem was solved in mid-March). It almost seems like gamers have to choose between the improved security and features that come with these updates or the stable performance of old releases.

Hopefully that won't continue to be the case. Performance issues could lead many gamers to avoid these updates and undermine the security of their systems in the process. However, installing updates is vital to securing a device--Nvidia patched severe vulnerabilities across its entire graphics lineup and a critical security flaw in the GeForce Experience companion tool in March alone. Pretty much every Windows update offers security improvements. 

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.