RTX 2080 first impressions: Nvidia's new DLSS technology

We can't tell you exactly what Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling does, but we can tell you what it looks like...

RTX 2080 first impressions: Nvidia's new DLSS technology

Nvidia launched its new RTX 20-series cards at Gamescom in Germany a couple of days ago, and today the company hosted an exclusive Editor's Day, where journos like me from all over the world got a deep dive on what makes the new hardware tick. We can't tell you anything much yet, because there's an embargo in place, and Nvidia knows where I work... 

But at the end of the day-long series of presentations, we were thrown a bit of a bone - we could talk about what we thought of the RTX series' new DLSS tech, or Deep Learning Super Sampling.

Oddly, we can't tell you how it works in our own words - that has to wait for the embargo to drop next month. But we do have the official word on the tech:

Powered by Turing’s Tensor Cores, which perform lightning-fast deep neural network processing, GeForce RTX GPUs also support Deep Learning Super-Sampling (DLSS), a technology that applies deep learning and AI to rendering techniques, resulting in crisp, smooth edges on rendered objects in games.

We'll go into more detail on that next month, but to give you an example of what that means in terms of performance, here - have a handy graph!

Which, all up, is about all we can say. 

But what does it look like? Well, it looks pretty damn good. Nvidia had a side-by-side setup of two PCs running the EPIC Infiltrator demo, and DLSS 0 compared to Temporal Anti-aliasing, certainly looked a lot smoother. Hard edges were crisply defined, motion was fast and fluid, and the frame rate?

Well, the TAA machine was using a GTX 1080, the one running DLSS an RTX 2080. Notice how those numbers are nearly double? So where the frames - the 1080 was pumping out roughly 40-odd frames per second, while the 2080-powered machine was pushing out between 70 and 80 frames per second - all while looking better.

Sure - it's one of those subtle improvements that might be easy to overlook (I'm farsighted and wear glasses for close-up work, so that's not helping either), but we saw some blown up images that focuses on smaller portions of the screen that showed a clear advantage to DLSS - less image tearing in fast moving scenes, harder and more defined edges.

And this is just one part of the RTX 10-series arsenal - I can't wait to get into more detail next month.

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