What is Nvidia Studio?

Nvidia Studio is the name for Nvidia’s groundbreaking content-creation platform. Rather than focusing on gaming, Nvidia Studio uses an Nvidia graphics card to speed up and enhance creative tasks in a wide range of industry-standard applications.

It’s a superb alternative for content creators to tap into the immense power of their graphics cards. And it also means they don’t need to invest a small fortune into a pro-level Quadro card (which also tend to lag behind consumer cards in terms of hardware).

What areas can Nvidia Studio make a difference? Think 3D modelling, photo editing, video processing, audio editing. Virtually any creative application, in short. It also supports AI-enhanced features, such as smart image sharpening and noise reduction.

To make a long story short, if your computer includes Nvidia hardware, and you like to dabble in creative projects, you need to get to know Studio.

Jump straight to the area you’re interested using the links below:

What is the Nvidia Studio driver?

The Nvidia Studio driver is a package of software drivers that’s optimised specifically for content-creation applications. We go into more details on those apps later in this article.

Nvidia updates the Studio driver roughly every month with the latest enhancements to improve stability, speed up workflows or enable new GPU-based functions. (GPU is short for the graphics processing unit, similar to a CPU or processor.)

Jump to our guide to installing the Studio driver here.

How do I get Nvidia Studio?

Nvidia Studio requires nothing more than a 64-bit Windows PC, a Studio-compatible Nvidia graphics card and the freely available Nvidia Studio driver.

Most recent cards will work with Studio, including all of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX and Quadro graphics cards. It also works with older GeForce GTX 10-series cards, so if you have a GTX 1060 in your PC then you can take advantage.

Note that the Nvidia Studio platform doesn’t include a content-creation application: to take advantage of its capabilities, you’ll need to use supported third-party software such as Adobe Photoshop.

Does Nvidia Studio work on laptops?

If your laptop has an integrated Nvidia GPU, you can take advantage of Nvidia Studio just as if you were using a desktop with a plug-in graphics card.

The Studio driver will work with Nvidia’s mobile GeForce GTX 10-series chips, plus laptops with Nvidia GeForce RTX or Quadro graphics. In short, if you bought a laptop in the past five years and it has an Nvidia sticker on it, it probably supports Studio.

Nvidia Studio driver vs Nvidia Game Ready driver: what’s the difference?

Nvidia Studio driver in the GeForce Experience app

Any graphics card that supports Nvidia Studio will also work with the Nvidia Game Ready driver. While the Studio driver focuses on creative applications, the Game Ready driver is tuned for in-game performance, so it’s a better choice if you’re interested in playing games rather than creating your own content.

The Game Ready driver is updated much more frequently than the Studio driver. Typically, that means several times a month, to ensure it’s providing the best possible frame rates in the newest games and DLC packs.

The great news is that you don’t need to choose. Download the GeForce Experience and you can switch between the two.

How do I install the Nvidia Studio driver?

You can download the latest version of the Nvidia Studio Driver directly from Nvidia’s website. To find it, visit the driver download page and select your graphics card type and operating system; then, for “Download type” ensure you’ve selected “Studio Driver (SD)”. Hit Search and you should be taken to a driver download page.

Once you’ve downloaded the driver, you can double-click to launch it, and an installation wizard will walk you through the rest of the process.

If you want to stay up to date with the latest Nvidia drivers, you can also install the Nvidia GeForce Experience app, which automatically notifies you of new releases: download it here.

Can I use the Nvidia Studio driver for gaming?

The Studio driver supports all the capabilities of the graphics card, so any game that works with the Game Ready driver will also be fully playable with the Studio driver. However, since the Studio driver isn’t optimised for gaming you will normally get better performance using the Game Ready driver.

As mentioned above, you can switch between the Nvidia Studio driver and Game Ready driver using Nvidia’s GeForce Experience app. However, this process will take a few minutes each time.

What applications are supported by Nvidia Studio?

Nvidia works with many major software developers to provide support for a wide range of creative applications. For 3D modelling, the Nvidia Studio driver is fully optimised for fast, interactive rendering in Blender, as well as Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya, Daz Studio and numerous other packages.

The Studio driver also helps accelerate workflows in video applications such as Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, Da Vinci Resolve and Vegas Pro. Games developers can benefit from accelerations in Unity and the Unreal Engine. You can find a full list of Studio-supported applications on the Nvidia website.

Is CUDA part of Nvidia Studio?

Nvidia CUDA (short for “Compute Unified Device Architecture”) is an API that can be used to write programs and procedures that run directly on Nvidia’s GPU hardware. (We provide a full API definition here but the key concept is that it allows developers to hook straight into Nvidia’s hardware features.)

You don’t need to be able to program in CUDA – or in any language – to take advantage of Nvidia Studio. The GPU-powered enhancements are built right into supporting applications. However, under the bonnet those applications may be using CUDA to implement performance boosts and extra features.

The Nvidia Studio driver always includes the latest CUDA support software, to provide the best available stability and performance for programs that make use of CUDA code.

What are Nvidia Lightspeed Studios?

Nvidia Lightspeed Studios is an international game-development company owned by Nvidia. It has released several high-profile games, including Tomb Raider (2013) and recent remakes of Quake II and Portal, updating the classic games with high-quality ray-traced graphics.

However, the company isn’t directly connected with the Nvidia Studio platform, beyond the fact that its games make use of Nvidia graphics technology.


  • Nvidia Studio uses GPU hardware to provide enhanced performance and extra capabilities for content-creation software. 
  • The Nvidia Studio driver focuses on stability and productivity, as distinct from the Game Ready driver, which is optimised for gaming. 
  • A wide range of applications work with Nvidia Studio, from photo and video editing to 3D modelling, game design and even architecture. 
  • Any Windows desktop PC or laptop can use Nvidia Studio as long as it has a compatible graphics card or integrated GPU. 
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Darien Graham-Smith

Darien is one of the UK's most knowledgeable technical journalists. You will find him in PC Pro magazine, writing reviews for a variety of sites and on guitar with his band The Red Queens. His explainer articles help TechFinitive's audience understand how technology works.