Q: Where does DLSS provide the biggest benefit? And why isn’t it available for all resolutions?
A: The results of DLSS vary a bit, because each game has different
characteristics based on the game engine, complexity of content, and the
time spent on training. Our supercomputer never sleeps, and we continue
to train and improve our deep learning neural network even after a
game’s launch. When we have improvements to performance or image quality
ready, we provide them to you via NVIDIA software updates.
DLSS is designed to boost frame rates at high GPU workloads (i.e.
when your framerate is low and your GPU is working to its full capacity
without bottlenecks or other limitations). If your game is already
running at high frame rates, your GPU’s frame rendering time may be
shorter than the DLSS execution time. In this case, DLSS is not
available because it would not improve your framerate. However, if your
game is heavily utilizing the GPU (e.g. FPS is below ~60), DLSS provides
an optimal performance boost. You can crank up your settings to
maximize your gains. (Note: 60 FPS is an approximation — the exact
number varies by game and what graphics settings are enabled)
To put it a bit more technically, DLSS requires a fixed amount of GPU
time per frame to run the deep neural network. Thus, games that run at
lower frame rates (proportionally less fixed workload) or higher
resolutions (greater pixel shading savings), benefit more from DLSS. For
games running at high frame rates or low resolutions, DLSS may not
boost performance. When your GPU’s frame rendering time is shorter than
what it takes to execute the DLSS model, we don’t enable DLSS. We only
enable DLSS for cases where you will receive a performance gain. DLSS
availability is game-specific, and depends on your GPU and selected
Q: Some users mentioned blurry frames. Can you explain?
A: DLSS is a new technology and we are working hard to perfect it.
We built it to leverage the Turing architecture’s Tensor Cores and to
provide the largest benefit when GPU load is high. To this end, we
concentrated on high resolutions during development (where GPU load is
highest) with 4K (3840×2160) being the most common training target.
Running at 4K is beneficial when it comes to image quality as the number
of input pixels is high. Typically for 4K DLSS, we have around 3.5-5.5
million pixels from which to generate the final frame, while at
1920×1080 we only have around 1.0-1.5 million pixels. The less source
data, the greater the challenge for DLSS to detect features in the input
frame and predict the final frame.
We have seen the screenshots and are listening to the community’s
feedback about DLSS at lower resolutions, and are focusing on it as a
top priority. We are adding more training data and some new techniques
to improve quality, and will continue to train the deep neural network
so that it improves over time.
Q: Why don’t I just use upscaled TAA instead?
A: Depending on the resolution, quality settings, and game implementation, some may prefer TAA in one game and DLSS in another.
The game industry has used TAA for many years and we know that it can
fall down in certain ways. TAA is generated from multiple frames and
can suffer from high-motion ghosting and flickering that DLSS tends to
Q: When’s the next DLSS update for Battlefield V and Metro Exodus?
A: We are constantly working to improve image quality. Recently we
updated the core of DLSS so that you get the latest model updates the
moment you launch your game. So make sure you have our latest Game Ready Driver (418.91 or higher) installed.
For Battlefield V, we think it delivers a big improvement in
4K and 2560×1440 performance — up to 40% — for the corresponding
quality, but also hear the community. For the next push, we are
focusing our testing and training to improve the image quality at
1920×1080 and also for ultrawide monitors (e.g. 3440×1440). The current
experience at these resolutions is not where we want them.
For Metro Exodus, we’ve got an update coming that improves
DLSS sharpness and overall image quality across all resolutions that
didn’t make it into day of launch. We’re also training DLSS on a larger
cross section of the game, and once these updates are ready you will see
another increase in quality. Lastly, we are looking into a few other
reported issues, such as with HDR, and will update as soon as we have
fixes. Andrew Edelste