Tip Better colors on NVIDIA GPU output over HDMI or DisplayPort

Deckshot

Honorable Pirate
If you use an NVIDIA graphics card and connect your display via HDMI or DP, you may not be seeing the full range of colors available to you. Specifically, your display is outputting content in the color range of RGB Limited (16-255) instead of RGB Full (0-255). Here's a Reddit user's mock-up of the difference.

When you calibrate the color settings on a TV, you're intended to use the Limited color space, while on a PC display, you are intended to use the Full color space. Over HDMI or DP, your display might report itself as an HDTV to provide better compatibility with the driver, causing this setting to default to Limited. Why NVIDIA doesn't have something to prevent this is beyond me, but luckily, since you've read this far, you should have your wits about you to correct it. ;)

---

1) Go to the NVIDIA Control Panel
2) Under Display, select Change resolution
3) Scroll down and select Use NVIDIA color settings
4) Change Output dynamic range to Full


This tends to be correctly set by default for AMD cards so I didn't put it in the title, but just in case, this is how you do it in the Radeon settings (AMD cards only):

1) Go to Radeon Settings
2) Under Display, change Pixel Format to RGB 4:4:4 Pixel Format PC Standard (Full RGB)

---

A few things to note about this:
- This setting might reset itself after a Windows update or a graphics driver update (especially NVIDIA)
- This won't affect your computer's performance
- If you use DVI, you don't need to do this
- If you use a 4K monitor or other nonstandard display, you may not have to do this
- If you use a TV as a display for your computer, don't do this, stick with Limited

An in-depth explanation of RGB Full vs RGB Limited can be found at the link below.
https://referencehometheater.com/2014/commentary/rgb-full-vs-limited/

On televisions, the RGB setting for Limited or Full might be called "Black Level" instead.
 
Last edited:
Top