DLSS 2.0 with Control - Nvidia's new killer feature

Nvidia's DLSS revamp has had a huge impact

DLSS 2.0 with Control - Nvidia's new killer feature

DLSS 2.0 with Control - Nvidia's new killer feature

Control's DLSS 2.0 update has presented us with another excellent opportunity to try out Nvidia's revamped DLSS software, which promises to deliver on Nvidia's ambitions and offer gamers more performance and arguably better visuals than native resolution game rendering.

Earlier this week, we had a look at DLSS in MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, and now we are having a look at the feature in another title, one which could make great use of DLSS' performance-boosting nature.   

We discussed Nvidia's DLSS technology back when we analysed Control's PC version in 2019. Back then, we praised the game's use of DLSS, as Nvidia's best implementation to date, with DLSS 2.0, the feature is even more useful. 

What is DLSS? 

Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology is a bold attempt to utilise AI hardware to make PC games run faster and potentially look better. Outside of raytracing, DLSS was set to be one of Nvidia's killer RTX series features, using the power of Nvidia's Tensor cores to increase the performance of supported PC releases. 

In basic terms, DLSS uses the powers of AI and Machine Learning to create higher resolution versions of rendered images, creating high-resolution images from lower resolution renders through Nvidia's DLSS algorithm. Nvidia's DLSS algorithm promised to increase game performance without any notable reductions in graphical quality, giving gamers more performance headroom for raytracing and other advanced graphical effects. 

Sadly, early implementations of DLSS failed to live up to Nvidia's claims, creating a lot of ill will towards the company, RTX series graphics cards and AI-enhanced gaming as a whole. But thankfully, that wasn't the end of DLSS. 

Nvidia has taken its lumps and has developed DLSS 2.0, a "new and improved deep learning neural network" that promises to give gamers higher levels of image quality and enhanced game performance. Better still, DLSS 2.0 is said to be easier to integrate into games, which is great news for users of RTX series graphics cards.  

Now before we move onto DLSS 2.0, we need to look at where it all started, and where the controversy surrounding Nvidia's DLSS technology began. 

Early DLSS - Extra Performance & Extra Blur

Our first encounter with DLSS was in Metro Exodus, which released last year as one of Nvidia's first RTX titles. Alongside Raytraced Global Illumination, DLSS was one of Nvidia's highlight features within Metro Exodus, promising to help gamers reach higher framerates when the game's raytraced global illumination was enabled. 

Below is an image comparison from our day-1 PC Performance Analysis of Metro Exodus, highlighting what would later become known as "DLSS Blur" by much of the PC gaming community. While the game's DLSS implementation was later improved with game updates (more information here), the visual downsides of DLSS remained. In short, DLSS wasn't the free performance upgrade that Nvidia originally marketed, the performance benefits of DLSS came with graphical downsides. 

In many games, the graphical/performance trade-off of DLSS was worth it, but for many others, the feature only generated disappointment for early RTX adopters. Nvidia needed to improve its DLSS technology to deliver what they originally promised, and that's where DLSS 2.0 comes in.  

DLSS 2.0 - The Next Generation of DLSS 

With DLSS 2.0, Nvidia promises to deliver sharper, more detailed images and more choice than ever before. For starters, all future DLSS games will feature several DLSS quality settings, Performance, Balanced and Quality, each of which is designed to deliver compelling visuals. 

Another change is that Nvidia's DLSS algorithm is now game-wide, not game-specific. This change will allow Nvidia to improve its algorithm to deliver further quality enhancements moving forward. This means that all DLSS 2.0 games can benefit from Nvidia's continued improvements in their DLSS algorithm, which means that DLSS' performance and quality should get better over time. 

Nvidia's DLSS algorithm has also been modified to remove many of the unintended artefacts which were present in earlier DLSS implementations. This change will make the change to DLSS less noticeable, and make DLSS a lot more seamless than before. 

How is this possible? One of the key factors of DLSS 2.0 is Nvidia's improved hardware efficiency. Nvidia can now get 2x more performance from its Tensor cores than before, allowing DLSS to work much harder than before. This change will help DLSS deliver higher framerates, and has allowed Nvidia to achieve better visuals by using more complex algorithms. 

Please head over to the next page to see DLSS 2.0 in action within Control. 

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Most Recent Comments

28-03-2020, 12:25:47

Looks like image sharpening to me.Quote

28-03-2020, 13:09:38

Originally Posted by jcchg View Post
Looks like image sharpening to me.
Yes, but it's also coming with a huge performance boost. The fact that the image doesn't look like a lower resolution upscale is a big deal.

If I decide to finish Control, I'd be hard-pressed to not play it with DLSS on. It just runs better, and the visuals are clearer overall.Quote

28-03-2020, 16:22:58

It sort of has the same look as rockstar's games have. And looks like DLSS finally adds value, I wonder if it still chokes with lower end RTX cards - DLSS1.0 could process a finite amount of frames.

Input lag analysis would be interesting as well, I guess it has a impact comparable to SLI even as the frame has to be rendered fully before it gets upscaled, and is performed independently of rendering itself. Which would still make it unusable in my opinion.Quote

28-03-2020, 16:38:46

I've never been a fan of aliasing any way. Well, unless it is removing jagged edges. I hate any sort of blur, and always disable motion blur as it makes me feel ill.

DLSS should have been the game changer with RTX. Sadly it was the game destroyer.

I'm glad they stuck in there.Quote

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