Along with the debut of the GeForce RTX 4000 line , Nvidia revealed during GTC 2022 this Tuesday (20) DLSS 3, the third generation of image upscaling with Artificial Intelligence from the company. Promising even more impressive results, with massive performance gains of up to 4 times depending on the chosen mode and the title, the solution is exclusive to the giant’s new video cards by using unprecedented structures present only in launches. Alongside real-time Ray Tracing, Deep Learning Super Sampling, or DLSS, was one of the innovations brought by Nvidia with the launch of the RTX 2000 line in 2018, based on the Turing microarchitecture. Despite a rocky start, the technology gained ground among gamers and developers from Gen 2 onwards by dramatically boosting performance with minimal image quality and performance penalties, leveraging the power of Tensor Cores and machine learning.
With the 3rd generation, Nvidia promises to go a step further by combining the 4th generation Tensor Cores, the same ones present in the H100 GPU for data centers capable of using FP8 data with greater precision, with a new variable: the movement of pixels in a frame to another, made possible by the new hardware structure called Optical Flow Generator. This core generates a motion map of pixels, ensuring that the smallest details are considered during upscaling. Among these details are particles such as sparks and smoke, reflections, shadows and even areas of lighting, characteristics that motion vectors — a set of data that contains information about the movement of 3D objects in the game scene — cannot register. In this way, the company would be able to prevent artifacts such as blurs or trails from being generated when the player moves or interacts with the world.
The giant’s new upscaling method also promises to drastically reduce the command delay generated by the functionality with the integration of Nvidia Reflex . The resource synchronizes processor and video card to eliminate the task queue and thus reduce delays by up to 2 times, ensuring more responsiveness, an essential point especially in competitive titles. One of the most impressive features of the new DLSS is the ability to bypass CPU limitations to increase a game’s maximum frame rate. Regardless of how powerful it is, every PC has bottlenecks that vary according to the settings and even the game running. Titles that depend heavily on physics or that tend to bring a large number of NPCs (non-playable characters), for example, stress the processor to the point of making it the bottleneck, limiting the FPS.
Thanks to the Frame Generation feature, DLSS 3 would work around this scenario by making the graphics card itself generate additional frames without any influence from the CPU when evaluating the game’s motion vectors and acting as an in-line post-processing effect of PC tasks. The technology isn’t exactly new Qualcomm has implemented a similar feature in its Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 but this is the first time we’ve seen it reach desktops and, eventually, notebooks. Each generated frame would be interspersed with a frame reconstructed by DLSS, and thus, according to Nvidia, instead of processing the equivalent of 1/4 of the image, the GPU would be applying the upscaling in just 7/8. The image above better illustrates the concept: basically, a frame is built via DLSS, while another is produced via Frame Generation, and so on. This interleaved processing would relieve the stress on the graphics card and allow for an impressive 4x increase in performance.
DLSS 3 arrives in October in more than 35 games
Exclusive to GeForce RTX 4000 cards, DLSS 3 is expected to launch alongside Nvidia’s new GPUs with the arrival of the RTX 4090 in stores on October 12th. The company announced that more than 35 games and applications will support the technology, with the first of them also expected for October, although the title in question has not been announced. The list released by the giant brings weight games like Cyberpunk 2077, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Dying Light 2, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Portal RTX, Hitman 3, Destroy All Humans! 2 Reprobed and F1 2022, as well as development programs and some of the major graphics engines including Unity, Unreal Engine, EA Frostbyte and Nvidia Omniverse itself.