Nvidia shows off DLSS 2.0 with new GeForce 445.75 Game Ready Drivers
It seems like just about everyone agrees that Moore’s Law is dead. We’re not seeing the same advancement in terms of transistor miniaturization and density. That means that engineers’ eyes are turning elsewhere, to things like how to how to use the power we have more efficiently and how to do new things with it. Machine learning has become a big part of computing, and graphics certainly aren’t an exception. Nvidia showed off its first attempt at harnessing deep learning for gaming with Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) back in 2018, to mixed results. Now, though, Nvidia has announced DLSS 2.0, and it looks like a big jump forward for the tech.
DLSS is meant to do for gaming what Netflix does for video. The same way that Netflix crunches a UHD movie into a stream a fourth of its original bandwidth—without most viewers ever noticing—DLSS renders a scene in a game at a lower resolution and upscales it to higher resolution with only minor loss in image quality. The original DLSS was a great experiment, but it had enough problems to make it a pretty unappealing solution for most gamers. Further, it had to be trained on game-specific scenes.
What’s new in DLSS 2.0?
The new version of DLSS provides superior image quality to the original DLSS and no longer has to be trained on per-game content. The latter enables developers to implement DLSS support without having to worry about Nvidia training it first. Nvidia says that DLSS 2.0 now provides “great scaling” across all RTX GPUs and resolutions. That means that you can use DLSS on a greater range of cards and resolutions than before. The new DLSS implementation also allows you to choose how you use it, should you use it at all. You can selected Performance, Balanced, or Quality. Performance mode will let you render a 1080p image at 4K resolution. The company says that it can offer comparable image quality while rendering only 1/4 or 1/2 the pixels.
DLSS 2.0 In Action
Nvidia provided a few examples that show off the problems with DLSS and how DLSS 2.0 improves on it using the games that support it right now, including Control, MechWarrior 5 and Deliver Us To The Moon. The video above shows off how DLSS 2.0 handles motion and things like filling in small text detail.
Running Control at 1920 x 1080, maxed game settings, all ray tracing on, on an Intel Core i9-9900K with 32GB RAM, Nvidia dropped each of its cards into the system and tested them with Quality mode enabled. The RTX 2080 Ti saw the average framerate jump from 77.8 FPS to 117.4 FPS. The RTX 2060 jumped from a subpar 41.8 FPS up to 68.1 FPS. Pumping that up to 4K and shifting into Performance mode, Nvidia got Control to jump from 8 FPS to 36.8 FPS on an RTX 2060.
MechWarrior 5 saw similar gains, and Piranha Games president Russ Bullock said DLSS 2.0 was “super easy to implement.”
These are all Nvidia’s numbers, of course, and need to be independently verified. But they’re also pretty easy to do exactly that with. While gamers who can afford top-end rigs with multi-GPU setups, the rest of us will be able to get significantly smoother gameplay at higher settings if DLSS 2.0 works as well as Nvidia demonstrates here.
In addition to all these changes, the 445.75 Game Ready Drivers provide optimizations for Half-Life: Alyx, Resident Evil 3, and the Ghost Recon Breakpoint – Ghost Experience update. It also includes G-Sync Compatible support for new displays as well as fixing a number of minor bugs and adding SLI profiles for a variety of games.