In brief: Starting today, Nvidia’s framerate-enhancing deep learning supersampling (DLSS) tech is now available in four additional games, with two more to come later this month. These games include Cyberpunk 2077, Minecraft’s newly-released RTX version, CRSED: F.O.A.D., Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, Scavengers, and Moonlight Blade.
Most of our readers know what DLSS is by this point, so we won’t go into a lengthy explanation of how it works. In short, it renders games at a lower resolution to increase framerates and then uses AI to upscale the image, preserving performance gains while also sharpening up image quality. In many cases, the visual difference between a DLSS-enhanced and native resolution game is minimal.
At any rate, Nvidia has released its own performance graphs for each of the games we mentioned, demonstrating how smooth users can expect their experience to be at 4K with an RTX-enhanced card. Strangely, Cyberpunk is the only game that Nvidia-provided 1440p and 1080p charts for.
In Minecraft with RTX, Nvidia boasts an FPS boost of “more than double” on supported cards. At max settings with DLSS’ “Performance” mode activated, the humble RTX 2060 was able to go from an unplayable 10.7 FPS to a much more reasonable 34.6 FPS at 4K. The 3090 goes from 38.6 FPS to 106.6 FPS, and the mid-range RTX 3060 Ti leaps up to 60.7 FPS from 19.7.
Those are pretty hefty performance hits, but it does look like DLSS can help you regain plenty of performance. Unfortunately, AI supersampling can only do so much for a much more graphically-intense game like Cyberpunk.
With all settings (including RTX) set to Ultra at 4K and DLSS’ Performance mode on, the only card that can achieve near 60 fps — 57.8, to be specific (up from 22) — is the RTX 3090. The 3080 falls behind at a boosted 51.8 FPS (15.5 FPS pre-DLSS), and the 2080 Ti comes in dead last, pushing only 38.2 frames at 4K.
Of course, most PC gamers probably won’t be playing Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K, due to personal preference or hardware limitations, so how about 1440p? Here, things are a bit more positive, as you can see in the graph below:
We still see sub-60 framerates for all RTX cards falling below the RTX 3080, but around 50 FPS is still very playable for both the 3070 and 2080 Ti. At 1080p, every RTX card above the 3060 Ti can surpass 60 FPS on average, according to Nvidia (lower-end cards will likely come close, but the company didn’t include them in its tests).
As nice as it is to get a preview of Cyberpunk’s RT performance shortly before launch (as well as the other games getting DLSS support in December), we always advise readers to take manufacturer benchmarks with a grain of salt. Without knowing the company’s testing methodology or seeing 1% low FPS figures, it’s probably best to wait for third-party tests before making any performance-based purchasing decisions.
Our own Tim Schiesser and Steve Walton will be performing those tests next week, so stay tuned for that. Additionally, the duo’s YouTube channel, Hardware Unboxed, will almost certainly publish an optimization guide for Cyberpunk, which could help you recover some of the frames you might lose to real-time raytracing.