Two distinguishing characteristics of Nvidia’s RTX graphics cards set them apart from their GTX-series predecessors. The first one, known as Ray Tracing, is relatively well-documented, but the second one, known as DLSS, is still mainly unclear to casual gamers. Today, we’ll cover all there is to know about Nvidia DLSS, including what it is, what it does, which games it supports, and how it can enhance your gaming experience.
Nvidia DLSS: What It Is and How It Can Improve Your Gameplay
In this article, we’ll go into great detail about Nvidia DLSS and explain how it improves gaming performance with GeForce RTX graphics cards. We will contrast it with AMD’s alleged future equivalent, FSR, and evaluate what performance, frame rates, and efficiency improvements it might make. So without further ado, let’s get started.
What is Nvidia DLSS?
Nvidia’s AI-based upscaling method, DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling), leverages specialised Tensor Cores on RTX cards to increase frame rates without degrading image quality. The system makes use of AI to boost in-game FPS for graphically demanding tasks. Gamers can use high graphics settings and higher resolutions while still achieving outstanding framerates when DLSS is enabled. Graph provided by Nvidia
Nvidia describes DLSS as a cutting-edge AI rendering solution on its website that boosts graphics performance using specialised Tensor Core AI processors on GeForce RTX GPUs. The company claims that DLSS uses the strength of a deep learning neural network to increase frame rates and provide gorgeous, sharp visuals for your games.
How Does DLSS Work?
The AI technique initially captures several aliased frames from the target game before implementing DLSS. Then, it produces a matching perfect frame using either accumulation rendering or super-sampling. The computer uses these paired frames—one aliased and one perfect—to train the DLSS model to identify aliased inputs and produce high-quality anti-aliased images that closely resemble the perfect frame.
The procedure is then repeated to teach the AI model to create more pixels as opposed to just applying anti-aliasing to frames. The input’s resolution is improved as a result. The GPU can render the game in full resolution at a higher FPS by combining the two methods. The AI computer then consciously picks up knowledge about a game as you play and improves over time.
Advantages of DLSS: How Does DLSS Improve Gameplay?
For visual quality that Nvidia claims is comparable to native resolution, DLSS employs cutting-edge AI rendering. In fact, the business claims that even with only a portion of the pixels being rendered traditionally, the technology is capable of delivering images with greater resolution. You can get crisper visuals, finer details, and enhanced stability from frame to frame with the use of advanced temporal feedback algorithms. Wolfenstein’s DLSS in action: Youngblood
As DLSS utilises dedicated Tensor Cores, frame rates are increased and there is more room to increase graphics settings and resolution all the way to 8K. The improved and quicker AI model uses Tensor Cores more effectively with DLSS 2.0 in the RTX 30-series cards to execute 2x faster than the previous model. As a result, there are no longer any limitations on the GPUs, settings, and resolutions that can be used. The reason the AI model doesn’t need to be trained for each game independently is because of the new technology, which provides a general solution.
Why is DLSS Not Available for All Resolutions?
Because each game has unique characteristics depending on the game engine and the amount of time spent training the AI model, the outcomes of DLSS vary from game to game. But it’s not accessible in all situations or at all resolutions. This is due to the fact that occasionally rendering frames using native, non-AI technology is simply faster and of higher quality.
The GPU’s frame rendering time can be faster than the DLSS execution time if your game is already running at high frame rates. DLSS is not an option in these circumstances because it would not increase your frame rate. In some instances, it might in fact slow down rendering, which would have an impact on gameplay. However, DLSS offers the best performance boost if the game is already significantly using the GPU. To maximise your FPS gains, you can increase your settings.
Nvidia explains the technicality as follows: To execute the deep neural network, DLSS needs a certain amount of GPU time per frame. Therefore, DLSS is more advantageous for games with higher resolutions or lower frame rates. The performance of games with high frame rates or low resolutions might not be improved by DLSS.
We disable DLSS when your GPU’s frame rendering time is less than the time required to run the DLSS model.
DLSS: Drawbacks and Complaints
Only in situations where you will experience a performance boost do we enable DLSS. According to Nvidia’s website, the availability of DLSS varies by game and is dependent on your GPU and chosen display resolution.
Compared to the first-generation release, which was mainly a hot mess, DLSS 2.0 is a vast improvement. It is still not flawless, though, and Nvidia forums, online message boards, and social media are constantly inundated with complaints about latency and fuzzy frames. At lower resolutions, where the extra frames appear to come at the sacrifice of image quality, it is particularly obvious.
What is Ray Tracing and How is it Related to DLSS
Nvidia acknowledges that some of the results are not what we were hoping for and claims it is trying to address these issues. Nvidia’s Andrew Edelsten stated in a Q&A earlier this year that the business is paying close attention to community feedback on DLSS at lower resolutions and (is) prioritising it as a top priority. We will keep training the deep neural network so that it gets better over time by adding additional training data, new methodologies, and training data.
When Nvidia’s RTX-series graphics cards first debuted with their RTX 20-series portfolio in 2018, Ray Tracing was the standout feature. It is a method of rendering visuals that, according to Nvidia, results in a high level of visual realism. Although Ray Tracing can enhance video games’ overall visual effects, it has a price. Because of the technology’s high hardware requirements, performance may suffer. This is aggressively combated by DLSS, which also permits you to maintain high settings at high resolutions without suffering any consequences.
Nvidia DLSS Supported Graphics Cards (GPUs)
Nvidia claims that employing both DLSS and Ray Tracing can increase frame rates in some games by up to 75%. Remedy Control and Kojima’s Death Stranding are two supported titles that take advantage of DLSS the greatest while employing Ray Tracing. The advantages in other games, though, can be very different. There’s no assurance that Ray Tracing On will be able to increase frame rates in your favourite game.
- GeForce RTX 2060
- GeForce RTX 2060 Super
- GeForce RTX 2070
- GeForce RTX 2070 Super
- GeForce RTX 2080
- GeForce RTX 2080 Super
- GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
- GeForce RTX 3060
- GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
- GeForce RTX 3070
- GeForce RTX 3080
- GeForce RTX 3090
Video Games That Support DLSS & Ray Tracing
Only graphics cards with dedicated Tensor Cores can support Nvidia DLSS. The RTX 20-series GPUs introduced it as one of their standout features when they went on sale in late 2018. The technology is currently only supported by GeForce RTX 20- and RTX 30-series GPUs. Future Tensor Core-equipped graphics cards from the RTX series are also likely to support the technology. The following GPUs all support Ray Tracing and DLSS:
- Battlefield V
- Bright Memory
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War / Modern Warfare / Warzone
- CRSED: F.O.A.D. (Formerly Cuisine Royale)
- Crysis Remastered
- Cyberpunk 2077
- DEATH STRANDING
- Deliver Us the Moon
- Edge of Eternity
- F1 2020
- Final Fantasy XV
- Gu Jian Qi Tan Online
- Iron Conflict
- Marvel s Avengers
- MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
- Metro Exodus & Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition
- Minecraft with RTX For Windows 10
- Monster Hunter: World
- Moonlight Blade
- Mortal Shell
- Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
- Nioh 2 The Complete Edition
- Pumpkin Jack
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- System Shock
- The Fabled Woods
- The Medium
- War Thunder
- Watch Dogs: Legion
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood
- Xuan-Yuan Sword VII
Very few video games at launch supported DLSS. However, the list has since grown to include dozens of games, including Battlefield V, Final Fantasy XV,Cyberpunk 2077, etc. So yes, the latest RTX GPUs with DLSS can run Crysis (Remastered) as well. Here s the complete list of games that support DLSS as of April 2021:
How Do You Use DLSS In Games?
You can keep an eye out for new additions to the list onNvidia s official website.
To use DLSS in any supported game, install the latest GeForce Game Ready drivers fromGeForce ExperienceorNvidia s official website. You can also check out our detailed article onhow to update driverson your Windows 10 computer.
AMD s DLSS Equivalent: What Do We Know About FSR?
Additionally, you should also download the latest version of your game to see the DLSS option in the graphics settings. Once you have the latest drivers and the latest version of the game, go to the settings menu and enable DLSS. Nvidia recommends Quality Mode for 1920 x 1080 and 2560 x 1440 resolutions, Performance Mode for 3840 x 2160, and Ultra Performance Mode for the 7680 x 4320 resolution. If you do not know what the different resolutions mean, you can read our in-depth guide thatcompares 720p vs 1080p vs 4K resolutions.
Rumored to be announced next month, AMD s DLSS competitor will bring DLSS-like features to the latest Radeon graphics cards. Expected to be namedFidelityFX Super Resolution(FSR), several game developers are already testing this technology for their latest titles.
According to the YouTube gaming channel, Coreteks,FSR will be a cross-platform technologyas part of the hardware-agnostic GPUOpen library of effects. That means it will also work on Nvidia graphics cards, provided the latter adds support for it. While this is yet to be confirmed by AMD, it does line up with what AMD did withFreeSync, its adaptive sync technology that s also available on Nvidia GPUs. Image Courtesy: Coreteks
Nvidia DLSS vs AMD FSR: Let the Battle Begin!
Meanwhile, Coreteks further claims that FSR will use algorithmic supersampling to upscale frames without using too much hardware resources. What s more, developer involvement in the whole process will apparently be minimal, which means studios can easily add support for the feature without spending a ton of resources. You can check out the entire discussion in the video below.