What is DLSS? Nvidia’s AI-powered graphics technology explained

(Pocket Ribbon) – If you’ve been looking at the latest and greatest Nvidia RTX graphics cards, you may have heard of DLSS. If you’re not quite sure what it is, we’ve got the answers.

Nvidia obviously has serious gaming hardware in the form of various graphics cards, but the company has also worked on a number of different software technologies in recent years that are designed to get the most out of that hardware.

The company has given a big boost to the capabilities of ray tracing and the experience that can be added to games. This technology adds enhanced images through realistic lighting, accurate shadows and diffused light sources. But it can also strain your gaming PC and lower your FPS count, which is miserable for any PC gamer.

That’s where DLSS comes in. This is a technology designed to help you get the most out of great visual fidelity while improving performance and keeping your frame rates high so you can get the most out of your beautiful gaming monitor.

What is DLSS and how does it work?

Deep Learning Super Sampling (also known as DLSS) is an artificial intelligence technology that Nvidia developed to improve the performance of your gaming machine (or gaming laptop), even if you use higher settings.

The idea is to put less pressure on your GPU by rendering the original image at a lower resolution and then use artificial intelligence to upscale that image to give the impression that it is running at a higher resolution.

Imagine playing a visually stunning triple-A title at maximum settings on a 4K monitor, but the game is actually running at 1080p and then being upscaled to 4K by the AI ​​using DLSS. This means that the game can run faster and smoother, giving you big FPS gains, but without the visuals suffering.

The artificial intelligence of DLSS essentially adds the extra pixels to result in a fantastic image, but one that’s smooth and won’t leave you crying over the FPS counter dropping.

DLSS is not perfect but it has improved over time and now Nvidia has multiple DLSS settings including performance, balanced and quality mode. You can switch between these based on your experience with quality that offers the best visual improvements, while performance can help boost your FPS if it seems like it’s going down.

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Supportive ray tracing

We mentioned how ray tracing can increase the overall visual effects in the game, but that it can negatively impact the game’s performance. DLSS counteracts this and allows you to keep such settings on, but does some serious graphics magic to improve overall performance.

We’ve seen this in action in a number of games. It makes a bigger difference to some than others. On maximum settings, Cyberpunk 2077 was particularly taxing when it first launched. Even with a beefy PC and an RTX 3080, we got 20-30 FPS with DLSS out, but everything else was maxed out. Enabling DLSS resulted in almost double that frame rate and a much smoother experience.

However, it is not yet perfect. If you set the performance mode, you may notice some degradation in the overall visual quality depending on what you’re playing. There may be a slight blurriness compared to 4K with DLSS disabled. For the most part, though, the technology works well and the trade-off is worth playing with.

Which games support DLSS?

Initially, when DLSS was first launched, only a handful of games supported it and you couldn’t just run it on everything. Since then, DLSS has been improved and released in the form of DLSS 2.0. The company has also tried to make it more accessible to developers so that it doesn’t require training in certain games to deliver the best performance, but instead can be more broadly integrated into as many games as possible.

DLSS is also supported by: Unreal engine and will work with Unit also, meaning it works with the most widely used game engines and a wide variety of games.

Still, the implementation of DLSS depends on the developers, but we’ve seen it in a number of games. Nvidia also has some bold claims about the performance improvements that DLSS offers for the following titles:

Outriders – With DLSS, any GeForce RTX GPU can hit 60 frames per second at 1440p with NVIDIA DLSS enabled, and scaling at 4K is up to 73%, turning any GPU from GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and above into a 4K GPU. – DLSS enables 100+ FPS at 1440p for all RTX GPUs, and can
provide smooth 60+ FPS at 4K.F1 2020 – DLSS enables 100+ FPS at 1080p for all RTX GPUs and smooth 60+ FPS at 4K with max settings for RTX 2060 Super and higher GPUs. Control – DLSS allows gamers to achieve 1440p 60+FPS with max settings and ray tracing enabled on RTX 2070 Super and higher GPUs. MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries – DLSS enables 60+ FPS at 4K resolutions for the RTX 2070 Super and higher GPUs, and delivers smooth 80+ FPS at 1440p for all RTX GPUs. Deliver Us the Moon – DLSS enables the RTX 2060 and RTX 2060 Super can be played at maximum settings with ray tracing enabled up to 1440p. Wolfenstein: Youngblood – DLSS enables the RTX GPUs to see a 2x performance boost at 4K , allowing for a much smoother experience. Red Dead Redemption 2 – DLSS allows gamers to get over 60 FPS in Red Dead with maximum settings. Nvidia claims that with a 3060 Ti you can get more than 60 FPS at 1440p and if you have a 3070 or better you can get the same high FPS number at 4K. Back 4 Blood – DLSS can improve game performance by as much as 46% with this title Nvidia claims. This will allow virtually any GeForce RTX gamer to max out the graphics and get 4K resolution with 60FPS Baldur’s Gate 3 – the latest update to Baldur’s Gate 3 bought DLSS for the game and improved performance by up to 88% at 4K . Nvidia says that if you have an RTX 3060 Ti, you’ll get 4K at 60FPS with this game. Battlefield 2042 – Nvidia says gamers can expect twice the performance of 4K with DLSS on.

The official list of games that support DLSS is growing, but currently includes:

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Amid EvilAlan Wake RemasteredAnthemAron’s AdventureBack 4 BloodBaldur’s Gate 3Battlefield 2042Battlefield VBright MemoryCall of Duty: Black Ops Cold WarCall of Duty: Modern WarfareCall of Duty: WarzoneControlCrysis Remastered and Crysis Remastered TrilogyAvengers Cyberpunk 2077DeathLeath StrandingTheBuilderMoonThe Trilogy UsConflictCrysis ExodusMetro Exodus PC Enhanced EditionMinecraftMonster Hunter: WorldMount & Blade II BannerlordMortal Shell Naraka: BladepointNioh 2: The Complete EditionNo Man’s SkyOutridersRainbow Six SiegeoutSystem:Red Dead Ass RedemptionStick DemoThe MediumThe Fabled WoodsWar ThunderWatch Dogs LegionWolfensteinWolfenstein

Nvidia says that with DLSS enabled in Rainbow Six Siege, you can get a performance boost of up to 50% when playing at 4K. The company says you can get over 100 FPS even when the graphics are maxed out.

DLSS is also coming to the following games in the near future:

IcarusIndustriaLEGO Builder’s JourneyDYING: 1983The AscentThe Persistence

It’s not just the big game titles that have DLSS support too. There are also plenty of indie titles with DLSS capabilities, including:

Anatomy Of FearApocalypse: 2.0 EditionBeyond Enemy Lines 2Bodies of Water VRChivalry 2ChronoTecture: The EprologueCions of VegaDeath RealmDeepStates [VR]Exit FromFall Balance BallF.IST: Forged In Shadow TorchFrozenheimHeliosHöll Space 5D6Last Hope On EarthLoverowindMortal Online 2Powerslide LegendsRAZE 2070RecallREFICUL 666Severed SteelSoul DossierSword and Fairy 7Swords of Legends OnlineTo Hell with ItTwin-Stenenen:


With more recent updates Nvidia has enabled DLSS support for virtual reality games, including No Man’s Sky, Into The Radius, and Wrench.

If you want to know more about DLSS, you can read more about it at Nvidia’s official site

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Written by Adrian Willings.

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