Nvidia’s new GeForce drivers are playing havoc with some CPUs

GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
Image credit: TechRadar

Nvidia’s latest graphics drivers made plenty of introductions – most notably support for GeForce GTX 16-Series laptops (and the new GTX 1650 desktop card) – but it seems that version 430.39 has also brought with it a rather nasty bug which spikes processor usage under Windows.

A number of users have reported seeing their CPU usage bump up by around 10% to 20%, even when the PC is idling and no game (or indeed anything else) is running.

Manuel Guzman, Software QA at Nvidia, and always active on the official forums when it comes to bug squashing, acknowledged the issue as follows: “We have been able to reproduce the bug consistently now and are currently testing a fix.”

Apparently this is something to do with the Nvidia Display Container LS (Local System), which as one Reddit user reports is “now constantly hogging 10% CPU usage even at idle without anything running” (as spotted by Windows Latest). Rebooting temporarily cures the problem, but it returns soon enough, by all accounts.

Another user commenting on the Nvidia forum said: “Hoping for a fix for the high CPU usage for NV Container LS soon. Having it use 17% CPU in the background for no reason on my 8700K [processor] is getting old.”

Notebook nastiness

This is obviously bad news for all concerned, as nobody wants their CPU cycles being taken up for no reason, but it’s going to particularly annoy laptop users whose battery will be affected by this extra errant processor activity. In other words, you might get support for the new GTX 16-Series mobile GPUs with these latest drivers, but potentially, your CPU might not be so well catered for…

There’s no official workaround or solution as yet, but as we already mentioned, Nvidia is working on a fix right now, and so hopefully that won’t be too long in arriving.

This has evidently been something of a thorny issue for Nvidia, because we noticed that the problem has cropped up before, back in February 2019, with driver version 419.17. A couple of users in this old thread actually reported 30% CPU usage being hit – ouch indeed – including one GeForce owner lamenting the return of the bug in the current drivers.

It’s also worth noting that the new 430.39 drivers introduce support for the imminent Windows 10 May 2019 Update, and they cure a persistent bug which caused random flickering to occur on the desktop of some users running multiple monitors.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).