NVIDIA’s DLSS 3 promises higher frame rates for CPU-intensive games

NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs don’t just rely on brute force to deliver powerful graphics. The company has unveiled Deep Learning Super Sampling 3 (aka DLSS 3), a new version of its AI-based rendering accelerator. Instead of “just” generating pixels, the third-generation technology can independently create completely new frames. It’s a bit like the frame interpolation you see (and sometimes despise) on TVs, although it’s far more sophisticated – NVIDIA improves performance, not just smooths the video.

The technology is based on both fourth-generation Tensor Cores and an “optical flow accelerator” that predicts movement in a scene by comparing two high-resolution frames and generating intermediate frames. Since a computer’s main processor is not involved, the approach is particularly useful for Microsoft flight simulator and other games that are usually CPU limited. A new detail setting Cyberpunk 2077 runs at 62 FPS in 4K resolution with DLSS2 in NVIDIA’s tests, but jumps over 100 FPS with DLSS 3.

Around 35 apps and games will support DLSS 3 early on. This contains Portal RTXolder titles like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and versions based on Unreal Engine 4 and 5.

How well DLSS 3 works in practice cannot yet be said. NVIDIA selects games that make the best use of DLSS, and the technology might not help as much on less constrained titles. However, this can be useful for ensuring that more of your games run smoothly on a consistent basis. Provided, of course, that you’re willing to shell out the $899+ GPU manufacturers who are currently clamoring for RTX 40-based graphics cards.

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Russell Falcon

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