Nvidia RTX cards get a 'super easy' speed boost from DLSS 2.0

(Image credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia has updated its Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) tech, which improves image quality and clarity, while also improving frame rates. The tech is only available for owners of RTX GeForce graphics cards, as it calls on those all important Tensor cores to do the hard work, but it genuinely looks like this is an option worth turning on at last.

There are a couple of technologies behind the scenes that are powering DLSS 2.0, including improvements to the AI network, which is now twice as fast, an increase in the target resolution along with the addition of temporal feedback, and the shift to using one model for all games. This last point is important, as it should mean that a lot more developers use it.  DLSS 2.0 does still need access to the buffers though, and so does need per game integration as opposed to just magically working with everything, but it's still definitely a step in the right direction.

The first game to get the new treatment is MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, which offers up the double whammy of DLSS 2.0 improving image quality and performance. This game was used to show that some finer detail is better rendered using DLSS 2.0 than is visible using native rendering—check out the fencing on top of the installation in the image below. A new driver specifically for MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries will be available from Nvidia by the time you read this, and you'll need this in order to access the DLSS 2.0 goodies.

(Image credit: Nvidia)

There is a problem with non-deterministic effects (think smoke, sparks, and the like) when it comes to DLSS, as things aren't always going to be in the same place—a bit of a problem when it comes to an AI trying to work out how an image should look. Those who have used DLSS in Control may have witnessed the large fans rotating behind a mesh in one section producing some horrific artifacts. These issues appeared to have been sorted with DLSS 2.0 though, so fingers crossed, things are getting a lot easier for DLSS moving forward.

Apart from there being a single model for all games now. there's a new SDK that takes care of a lot of the heavy lifting too, so it should be something that developers can add to their titles much easier than they could with the first generation of the technology. "Nvidia DLSS 2.0 basically gives our players a free performance boost, without sacrificing image quality" said Russ Bullock, President at Piranha Games. "It was also super easy to implement with Nvidia’s new SDK, so it was a no brainer for us to add it to MechWarrior 5."

Alan Dexter

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.