Give your classic games an HDR makeover with this Nvidia RTX mod
As the number of PC games sporting high dynamic range (HDR) continues to grow, there are countless examples that will likely never graduate from their SDR limitations. Windows AutoHDR has helped to plug the gap, but a new Nvidia RTX mod could see even more, even older, titles receive an HDR makeover.
Outside of their performance, one of the reasons that Nvidia GeForce RTX GPUs remain some of the best graphics cards around is due to features like RTX Video HDR. This recently launched technology remaps SDR video to HDR, but it has since been co-opted by a wily modder so that it can be applied to games too.
Dubbed ‘NvTrueHDR’ by its creator, emoose, this AutoHDR alternative has been made possible through some “hidden ‘TrueHDR’ profile settings” relating to RTX Video HDR. While testing remains in the early stages, the mod appears to boast some clear advantages over Microsoft’s offering.
Firstly, and most importantly, most users that have installed the mod are reporting that it provides superior remapping to AutoHDR. This partly appears to be down to qualities such as the way NvTrueHDR better handles gamma, with seemingly no evidence of raised black levels.
Better still, NvTrueHDR looks to be compatible with a wider array of games. While AutoHDR is limited to DirectX 11 and 12 titles, this mod is proven to work with games running APIs as old as DirectX 9. This also points to potential Vulkan and OpenGL compatibility too, but more testing is required.
Enabling NvTrueHDR, though, does come at a performance cost, as it requires Tensor cores to work. Modder emoose recorded an 80fps frame rate drop from, 450fps to 380fps, but this appears to be tweakable.
It’s clearly very early days for this NvTrueHDR mod, but it shows undeniable potential. I’ve long maintained that a high quality HDR implementation is far more transformative to a game’s visuals than a higher resolution, and I’m happy to see that more tools are becoming available to transform classic PC games.
PCGamesN has reached out to Nvidia for comment on the mod, as NvTrueHDR could be a sign of things to come from the company. In the meantime, you can check out the mod for yourself by downloading it from NexusMods.
You will, of course, need one of the best gaming monitors to get a proper HDR experience. Check out our recent Samsung Odyssey G9 G95SC review to get a taste of what OLED tech and HDR can do for your setup.