If you’ve been thinking of buying an Nvidia GPU recently, you’ve likely come across the term ‘DLSS’. But what is DLSS and why should you care?
We’ve assembled this DLSS guide, so you know all of the important facts for Nvidia’s graphics card technology, including which games are supported. Keep on reading for everything you need to know about DLSS.
What is DLSS?
DLSS (an acronym for Deep Learning Super Sampling) is an Nvidia RTX feature that uses artificial intelligence to boost a game’s framerate performance higher when your GPU is struggling with intensive gaming workloads.
When using DLSS, your GPU is effectively generating an image at a lower resolution to lessen the strain on your hardware. Then it adds additional pixels to upscale the picture to your desired resolution, using AI smarts in order to determine what the final image should look like.
As any seasoned PC gamer knows, tasking a GPU with a lower resolution results in a significant frame rate boost, so you’re getting the best of both worlds – high frame rates and high resolution – with DLSS.
DLSS is currently only available on Nvidia RTX graphics cards (both the 20-Series and 30-Series). However, AMD has recently launched FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution) which provides a very similar service.
Does DLSS reduce visual quality?
When DLSS initially launched, many gamers spotted that the upscaled picture often looked blurry, and wasn’t as detailed as the native picture.
However, Nvidia has since launched DLSS 2.0, which has seemingly fixed this issue. Nvidia now claims it “offers image quality comparable to native resolution.”
How important is DLSS?
DLSS is only really useful for AAA games that are either incredibly demanding on your GPU or support the likes of ray tracing.
Ray tracing is a big buzzword right now, as it improves video game visuals with more realistic lighting and shadow effects. However, ray tracing is so taxing on the GPU that it can cause a significant frame rate drop when activated.
During our benchmark test, the Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics card was only capable of hitting an average of 32fps in 4K when playing Control with ray tracing activated. But when activating DLSS, the frame rate performance jumped up to a substantially smoother 63fps performance.
This is the case for many other AAA games too, making the technology almost essential if you want to game at a high resolution with ray tracing activated.
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Which games support DLSS?
The DLSS technology only works with supported games, which includes Control, Cyberpunk 2077, Death Stranding and Fortnite. There are many notable omissions right now, but support is continuously expanding.
A full list of supported games can be seen below:
- Amid Evil
- Aron’s Adventure
- Battlefield V
- Bright Memory
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
- Call of Duty: Warzone
- CRSED: F.O.A.D.
- Crysis Remastered
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Death Stranding
- Deliver Us the Moon
- Doom Eternal
- Edge of Eternity
- Everspace 2
- F1 2020
- The Fabled Woods
- Final Fantasy XV
- Iron Conflict
- Into the Radius
- Lego Builder’s Journey
- Marvel’s Avengers
- MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
- The Medium
- Metro Exodus
- Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition
- Minecraft: Bedrock Edition
- Monster Hunter: World
- Moonlight Blade
- Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
- Necromunda: Hired Gun
- Nioh 2
- No Man’s Sky
- The Orville – Interactive Fan Experience
- Outpost Zero
- The Persistence Enhanced
- Pumpkin Jack
- Redout: Space Assault
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
- War Thunder
- Watch Dogs: Legion
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood
A number of major games have also been confirmed to get future DLSS support, including The Ascent and Mortal Shell. Keep this page bookmarked for future updates.
Which graphics cards support DLSS?
Nvidia has made it pretty clear which of its graphics cards support DLSS – essentially anything that has ‘RTX’ in the name.
Still, just so you’re 100% confident in your buying decision, we’ve included every Nvidia GPU that supports the technology below:
- GeForce RTX 2060
- GeForce RTX 2060 Super
- GeForce RTX 2070
- GeForce RTX 2070 Super
- GeForce RTX 2080
- GeForce RTX 2080 Super
- GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
- Nvidia TITAN RTX
- GeForce RTX 3060
- GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
- GeForce RTX 3070
- GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
- GeForce RTX 3080
- GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
- GeForce RTX 3090
We’ll be updating this list as Nvidia introduces more compatible graphics cards.
It’s also worth remembering that while all of these graphics cards support DLSS, they don’t all offer the same performance boost. You’re best off going with a 30-Series card if you want to maximise the performance gains.
Is DLSS available on AMD graphics cards?
Unfortunately for AMD fans, DLSS is exclusive to Nvidia RTX graphics cards. However, AMD has its own version of the technology called FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution) that works on both AMD and Nvidia GPUs.
Early reports suggest that FSR sees more of a visual downgrade, but it also allows you to boost the performance even further with multiple options.
If you really don’t want to see any compromises to the visual quality then DLSS looks to be the better option. But if you don’t have access to an RTX Nvidia graphics card, then FSR is still a decent substitute.