Ray Tracing and 4K are the most-talked-about capabilities of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX graphics cards. The DLSS feature these GPUs can use doesn’t get as much buzz, but it’s just as impressive—especially given the magic it can work on frame rates for those playing on low and mid-range hardware.
Here’s a quick look at what DLSS is, how it works, and which games support it.
What is DLSS?
DLSS, or Deep Learning Super Sampling, is a machine learning-based feature that uses the AI Tensor Cores in Nvidia’s RTX 20 and 30 series graphics cards. When DLSS is turned on, your GPU renders in-game graphics at a lower resolution, then uses AI to artificially upscale and enhance the visuals to a higher resolution without taking a performance hit. To achieve this, Nvidia “trained” its DLSS algorithm with a supercomputer built specifically for graphical rendering.
For example, instead of rendering a game at 4K, DLSS renders the game at 1440p, then the machine learning algorithms go to work. The result is an image that looks nearly identical to native 4K resolution, but runs as if it was rendered at 1440p, which can boost your in-game frame rate and leave plenty of system resources for ray tracing and other high-end graphical settings.
DLSS is a game changer; it lets even Nvidia’s weakest RTX cards, like the RTX 2060, run at a convincing (and playable) 4K resolution, even though the hardware isn’t normally capable of such an output. It’s too bad that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X don’t support DLSS; sure, they might be capable of 4K and raytracing, but turning these settings on often results in a hit to your frame rate, leaving players to choose between graphical fidelity or consistent performance. PC players with a DLSS-compatible system don’t have to choose.
DLSS isn’t perfect, however; the feature is known to cause blurred textures and some loss of detail. While the most recent iteration, DLSS 2.0, fixes many of these issues and ups the resolution boost to 4x (1080p to 4K), you might sill experience some artifacts and blurring, especially in finer details. But since DLSS 2.0’s algorithm is constantly being updated, the feature will only get better as time goes on.
What games support DLSS?
DLSS’s other limitation is its availability; it’s only in select number games, at least for now. Originally, Nvidia had to train DLSS on a per-game basis, but the DLSS 2.0 algorithm can apply its enhancements to any game that supports the feature and makes it easier for developers to implement. Here are the list of DLSS supported games, plus a list of titles that are confirmed to have DLSS support in the future:
Upcoming games with DLSS support: