Nvidia releases a firmware update for the RTX 4090 and 4080 to fix a display output bug

To correct a fault that might disable display output and cause the GPU to show a blank screen when used without drivers, Nvidia has published a firmware update tool for its new GeForce RTX 4090 and 4080 GPUs. Nvidia says the fix “should only be applied if blank screens are occurring on boot” and that the problem is limited to “certain motherboards.” (We put it on a perfectly functional Asus motherboard with an RTX 4080 Founders Edition and saw no problems.)

No one buys a graphics processing unit (GPU) with the intention of not installing the necessary drivers. In contrast, the GPU must be able to draw a basic image when no drivers are yet loaded. This is the case when making changes to the BIOS, installing Windows, or booting up for the first time after installing a new GPU. The firmware update may be necessary if you see a black screen at initial system boot after installing either the RTX 4090 or 4080 and have one of the “certain motherboards” that are affected by the issue.

Nvidia suggests connecting “using an alternate graphics source,” such as an integrated GPU or secondary GPU, or waiting for the system to install a driver on its own; Windows Update can usually grab a functional driver for most GPUs on its own, though you’ll want to download and install the newest version to take advantage of new fixes and optimizations. Nvidia Founders Edition cards, as well as any RTX 4090 or 4080 made by Nvidia’s partners, are supported by the update.

Nvidia is still looking on a different problem with the power connector of the new GPUs, which might overheat and cause harm if it is not connected correctly.