Nvidia's newest patch helps prevent Spectre from ruining your CPU

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

Updated: Nvidia has released a statement to address that the new patch is only meant to mitigate the CPU security issue rather than patch a non-existent security flaw in the company's graphics cards. A Nvidia spokesperson informed us that its "GPU hardware is immune to the reported security issue."

We apologize for the error.

Original article follows as below...

The Meltdown and Spectre bugs caused some considerable panic as the New Year kicked off, and prepare yourself for another dollop of concern now, because the security flaws don’t just affect processors – given that Nvidia has just implemented patches for the vulnerabilities in its latest set of graphics drivers.

As ZDNet spotted, Nvidia noted that it wasn’t affected by Meltdown (which is specific to Intel’s processors), but that its GPUs were affected by the far more wide-ranging and problematic Spectre. The company issued a security bulletin stating that it is providing an “initial security update to mitigate aspects” of the latter. Further updates will follow.

This applies to consumer GeForce graphics cards, as well as Nvidia’s heavyweight GPU products such as Quadro and Tesla.

The updated and patched drivers for GeForce graphics cards, as well as Quadro and NVS GPUs, running on Windows and Linux are available now – you want to install version 390.65 for Windows – with Tesla and Grid driver updates to follow before January is out.

Patch pronto

While more cautious PC users might normally wait to let GPU drivers ‘bed in’ for a little while before installing them – we know we do, just to see if any big issues crop up with a refreshed version – in this case, it might be best to update your graphics card drivers pronto.

The new GeForce drivers also contain the usual raft of fixes and enhancements, including optimization for Fortnite, and support for ShadowPlay Highlights in the game’s Battle Royale mode.

In other Meltdown and Spectre news this morning, Microsoft and Intel have both provided more details on how much slowdown the patches for these nasty gremlins in the works will cause – with some bad news for owners of older Intel processors and indeed older versions of Windows (i.e. pre-Windows 10).

Want more details on protecting yourself against these twin vulnerabilities? Don’t forget we’ve got a full guide on how to protect against the Meltdown and Spectre CPU security flaws.

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).