Nvidia Driver Bug Increases CPU Usage

Nvidia
(Image credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia's latest driver, version 531.18, appears to have a bug that causes high CPU usage after exiting games. However, the company admits that the problem exists, so expect Nvidia to issue a hotfix or a new driver version that fixes the annoying bug. 

As it turns out, Nvidia's Display Container Service causes 10% - 15% higher CPU usage after a game is closed, which can be observed in Windows Task Manager. Some Reddit users believe the bug was caused by Nvidia's Game Session Telemetry Plugin version 531.18 (NvGSTPlugin.dll).  

It should be noted that not all systems are affected by the bug. For example, our colleague Andreas Schilling tried to replicate the issue but failed. 

"I tried to recreate the issue on two systems with the latest 531.18 drivers and was not able to get the NVIDIA container task going crazy like this," he wrote in a Twitter post. 

Some Reddit users suggest blocking/removing NvGSTPlugin.dll to fix the problem manually, but it is unclear what side effects this remedy may cause, so this solution can hardly be recommended. Therefore, the easiest fix is to use the previous 528.49 WHQL driver that may not support some of the latest games, but at least it works without significant problems. 

While Nvidia formally admits the problem, the company didn't reveal when it plans to release a hotfix or a new version without this bug. Meanwhile, given that the bug is rather annoying, it is likely that Nvidia is inclined to release a hotfix sooner rather than later, so perhaps it makes sense to wait a little bit before rolling back to a previous version of Nvidia's driver.

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • Giroro
    What is "game session telemetry", and why would anybody other than an advertiser want that data?
    Reply
  • dk382
    Got 15 - 20% CPU usage from the Nvidia Container process after the driver update, and my package power went up from ~30 watts to ~50 watts on my 5600X while at 'idle' due to this bug. I'm glad I now know the cause at least. Stopping their telemetry service has fixed the issue for me, and I don't think I'll be turning that back on anytime soon (or ever, if I can help it)
    Reply
  • Giroro said:
    What is "game session telemetry", and why would anybody other than an advertiser want that data?
    They're probably collecting information such as the length of a gaming session and assorted GPU statistics during said session.

    I suppose they could sell that data to partners to give them an insight in how their GPUs perform under real world conditions. For example, if a GPU's average temperature rises after only 3 months of 4 hours per week of usage, maybe it could need a more dust-proof cooler.

    Or they could sell that data to gaming monitor manufacturers. It could be useful to know how long the screen is expected to run in HDR mode at over 60 FPS.

    I don't know, just guessing.
    Reply
  • bigdragon
    I think it's time to create network rules to block a lot of this telemetry. I didn't pay a ridiculous amount of money for an Nvidia GPU just to have the supporting software send data out to advertisers. Nvidia needs to start writing me checks if they want the data flow to continue. Same goes for Microsoft.
    Reply
  • Sleepy_Hollowed
    This is the kind of stuff I’m used to seeing with nvidia drivers since the 2000 series, definitively terrible, even with the bare bones install.
    This is the kind of stuff alpha drivers should have.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Giroro said:
    What is "game session telemetry", and why would anybody other than an advertiser want that data?
    Drivers don't really see marketable game data besides how long you played what game.

    From a drivers and hardware perspective, the telemetry in question is most likely related to performance and utilization of various features and resources for R&D purposes. If you collect performance data about the drivers and hardware, such as shapshots of what the drivers and hardware are doing when frame time excursions happen, then that can steer your R&D toward driver-side optimizations and future hardware development to minimize those excursions. By knowing how much of what resources each game is using, it also tells Nvidia where they should invest the most software, drivers and hardware R&D in the future.

    Put another way, it closes the loop between what development path Nvidia is trying to push with its hardware models and how successful it is at pushing it so it can make whatever corrections to future architectures to ensure it doesn't fall behind in other areas.

    Nvidia's biggest incentive is simply leveraging its quasi-monopoly position to reinforce its quasi-monopoly position.
    Reply
  • jxdking
    dk382 said:
    Got 15 - 20% CPU usage from the Nvidia Container process after the driver update, and my package power went up from ~30 watts to ~50 watts on my 5600X while at 'idle' due to this bug. I'm glad I now know the cause at least. Stopping their telemetry service has fixed the issue for me, and I don't think I'll be turning that back on anytime soon (or ever, if I can help it)

    Nvidia Container is run as service. I disabled it in Windows "Services" configuration. It never runs since then.
    Reply
  • AloofBrit
    I noticed the other day that Nvidia Container was inexplicably using a lot of CPU (3080)

    Google found old posts suggesting ShadowPlay might have something to do with it, so I disabled In-Game Overlay in Nvidia Experience settings (Alt-R still works) - Container hasn't misbehaved since

    Edit: noticed this week (end of March '23) that Alt-R now no longer works if Overlay is disabled
    Reply
  • horsemama
    nVidia have perfect drivers though.
    Reply
  • ThatMouse
    This is 100% GeForce Experience. This is the worst software. Do not install it.
    Reply