GPU manufacturers like NVIDIA and AMD are constantly releasing new graphics cards that can handle more advanced and demanding graphics, enabling game developers to create more visually impressive games. However, NVIDIA’s introduction of DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) technology may change this paradigm. DLSS uses AI algorithms to significantly improve a game’s performance while maintaining high visual quality, without the need for more powerful hardware.
At first glance, DLSS might seem like magic, but it’s actually a complex technology with many moving parts. To understand how it works and whether it’s worth it, we’ll need to take a closer look.
What is DLSS?
DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) is a technique developed by Nvidia. Which uses a deep learning algorithm to upscale lower-resolution images and videos to higher resolutions with minimal loss of detail. DLSS works by rendering a game or application at a lower resolution and then using AI-powered algorithms to upscale the image to a higher resolution in real time. This results in smoother and more detailed images without impacting the performance of the game or application.
In comparison, traditional anti-aliasing methods like SSAA (Supersampling Anti-Aliasing) work by rendering the image at a higher resolution than the display resolution, and then downsampling it to the display resolution. This process can be computationally expensive and impact the performance of the game or application, which is where DLSS has an advantage.
What does DLSS Do?
DLSS is a result of Nvidia’s AI algorithm that has been trained on super-resolution image data to generate higher-quality images at lower resolutions. The algorithm infers information from its knowledge base to generate an image that looks like it was running at a higher resolution. This allows games to be rendered at a lower resolution without sacrificing visual quality.
Early DLSS games did indeed see modest frame rate improvements, but recent releases have seen much greater improvements, thanks to the new AI engine for DLSS. This new engine has improved image quality, especially at lower resolutions, and can increase frame rates by over 50% in some cases.
DLSS 2.0 offers up to four times the resolution, allowing games to be rendered at 1080p and outputted at 4K. DLSS is designed to work with errors that may arise from traditional super-resolution techniques and can deliver better-looking images in some cases.
DLSS 3 indeed introduces a new frame-generation feature that allows frames to be rendered using only AI. This could potentially result in even greater frame rate gains, although the performance benefits will likely vary depending on the specific game and hardware configuration.
Why Use DLSS?
There is a number of reason you should be using DLSS, such as improved performance. DLSS can significantly improve the performance of games, especially at higher resolutions like 4K. By rendering the game at a lower resolution and using AI algorithms to upscale the image to a higher resolution, DLSS can reduce the workload on the GPU, allowing for higher frame rates and smoother gameplay.
DLSS can also improve the image quality of games by using AI algorithms to upscale the image to a higher resolution with minimal loss of detail. This can result in smoother and more detailed images, even at lower resolutions. As game developers continue to push the limits of graphics technology, DLSS can help also future-proof your gaming PC by allowing it to handle more demanding games and higher resolutions.
Another point that is important to developers is that it can make gaming more accessible to a wider range of players, as it allows games to run smoothly on lower-end hardware or laptops that may not have the necessary processing power to run games at high resolutions.
Downsides of DLSS
While the benefits of DLSS might make it seem like a no-brainer to use there are a few setbacks. DLSS is only supported by a limited number of games, so you may not be able to use it with all of your favorite titles. This will all change in the future as more and more developers start adding support for this feature.
Visual Artifacts: In some cases, DLSS can introduce visual artifacts such as blurriness or shimmering, especially when the game is played at lower resolutions or when objects are in motion. However, this is less common with newer versions of DLSS.
Incompatibility with Some Monitors: Some monitors may not be compatible with DLSS, which can limit
Which graphics cards support DLSS?
Luckily figuring out which card can support DLSS is rather simple. If it has a RTX in its name then it is going to support DLSS. But if you are unsure listed below are the graphics cards that current support DLSS.
- 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
- Nvidia TITAN RTX
- GeForce RTX 3060
- GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
- GeForce RTX 3070
- GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
- GeForce RTX 3080
- GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
- GeForce RTX 3090
- GeForce RTX 4090
- GeForce RTX 4080
Is DLSS worth it?
In most cases, enabling DLSS is a no-brainer, especially if you have an RTX card. The performance gains are significant and there are few downsides unless you’re bothered by the side effects.
For single-player games, the Quality mode is recommended for the best visual fidelity. However, in multiplayer games, you can switch to Balanced or Performance mode to get a competitive edge.
That being said, buying an RTX card just for DLSS may not be worth it, as not all games support it yet. The primary selling point of a graphics card is still its raw rasterization performance, with extra features like DLSS being secondary.
Despite its limitations, DLSS is an impressive technology that NVIDIA is continuously improving. As it becomes more widespread and efficient, it may become an essential feature for gamers looking to optimize their gaming experience.