Microsoft has made Auto HDR even better on Windows 11 with their latest update
OS-level HDR to improve your older PC games
Published: 30th April 2022 | Source: Microsoft Blog |
Microsoft has added new Auto HDR options to Windows 11's game bar to make the feature even better
When Microsoft launched Auto HDR, it was an Xbox Series X/S feature, not a PC feature, but that changed with the release of Windows 11. So what is Auto HDR? It's Microsoft's way of delivering more vibrant colours and brighter highlights in games that don't natively support HDR, giving gamers the benefits of HDR even if software does not support it.
Officially, Auto HDR is designed to work with SDR-only DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 games. That said, the effect can be used with HDR games when HDR is disabled. Why would you enable Auto HDR for a game with native HDR? I don't know, but you can.
The image below shows Auto HDR in action, showcasing how Auto HDR finds area to highlight within an image and how Auto HDR compares with native HDR in Gears 5: Hivebusters. Note that native HDR offers gamers brighter highlights, and that Auto HDR adds brighter highlights to similar areas of the image.
This week, Microsoft has confirmed that Auto HDR has been imporved on Windows 11 with the release of a new Xbox Game Bar update. This update is available to all Windows 11 users from the Microsoft Store.
So what has improved with Auto-HDR?
The primary improvement with today's update is the addition of an Auto HDR intensity slider, which can be used to alter the intensity of Windows 11's Auto HDR feature. Minimum intensity is like having Auto HDR turned off, and maximum intensity will make Auto HDR as vibrant as it can be.
Auto HDR intensity can be changed on a game-by-game basis, which means that you can have custom Auto HDR presets for each of your PC games. Auto HDR will remember your calibrated Auto HDR settings, and will apply them whenever you re-enter a game.
Windows Insiders get more options
With the latest insider builds of Windows 11, Auto HDR can be used on systems with multiple graphics cards. This applies to both Nvidia SLI and AMD Crossfire setups. So if you use a multi-GPU setup, your should now be able to use Auto HDR with more games.
Windows 11 Insiders will also have new notifications options when they are using Auto HDR, which can be used to disable Auto HDR pop-ups when you start playing a game.
More information about this week's Auto HDR updates for Windows 11 is available here.