DLSS 3 Promises Big Performance Boosts, But Only Works On New GPUs

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DLSS, or Deep Learning Super Sampling, has been one of the best reasons to invest in an Nvidia GPU over the past two generations. Today, Nvidia revealed DLSS 3–the latest iteration of the super sampling technique that requires the company’s new RTX 40-series GPUs.

DLSS allows games to run at higher frame rates by reducing the internal rendering resolution and using machine learning to upscale it back to your desired resolution. It works well, with the most recent implementations sitting scarily close to native rendering while providing big performance uplifts. DLSS 3 seems to improve this even further with the use of AI-powered Optical Multi Frame Generation, a method that allows your GPU to generate an entirely new frame of a game, rather than just small portions of it.

Now Playing: Cyberpunk 2077 with NVIDIA DLSS 3 & Ray Tracing: Overdrive

According to Nvidia, this new process can produce seven-eighths of a frame, while also tracking positional data of objects as opposed to just pixels to reduce unwanted shimmering on complex geometry. DLSS Frame Generation, as Nvidia calls it, will inject new frames into your game, while Nvidia Reflex will be used to keep responsiveness high to compensate for new frames that are not reporting user input back to the game. Nvidia says DLSS 3 actually halves latency when compared to native rendering.

Nvidia highlighted DLSS 3 with a short clip from Cyberpunk 2077. Running without any DLSS, this specific configuration of settings and resolution (which was not disclosed) runs well below 22fps. With DLSS 2, which is currently supported by the game, this rises to 66fps. With DLSS 3, however, the same scene now runs at 100fps. The performance uplift is impressive, but it is difficult to judge overall image quality just yet to see if there are any concessions.

The one drawback to DLSS 3 currently is its reliance on Nvidia’s latest GPUs. Nvidia says that DLSS is supported by the RTX 40 series, which for now is limited to the RTX 4090, RTX 4080 16GB, and RTX 4080 12GB. That means there’s no way to use this technology to give more life to your existing GPU, unlike how DLSS 2 did when it launched.

There are currently 35 games and engines already prepped with DLSS 3 support, with Nvidia stating that more are coming. You can find the list below.

  • A Plague Tale: Requiem
  • Atomic Heart
  • Black Myth: Wukong
  • Bright Memory: Infinite
  • Chernobylite
  • Conqueror’s Blade
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Dakar Rally
  • Deliver Us Mars
  • Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed
  • Dying Light 2 Stay Human
  • F1 22
  • F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch
  • Frostbite Engine
  • HITMAN 3
  • Hogwarts Legacy
  • ICARUS
  • Jurassic World Evolution 2
  • Justice
  • Loopmancer
  • Warhammer 40,000: Darktide
  • Marauders
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Midnight Ghost Hunt
  • Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
  • Naraka Bladepoint
  • NVIDIA Omniverse
  • NVIDIA Racer RTX
  • PERISH
  • Portal With RTX
  • Ripout
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2: Heart of Chornobyl
  • Scathe
  • Sword and Fairy 7
  • SYNCED
  • The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • THRONE AND LIBERTY
  • Tower of Fantasy
  • Unity
  • Unreal Engine 4 & 5

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors.
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