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DLSS works wonders so why do people still question it?

Love it, hate it, or don't care, there are plenty of opinions on the function of DLSS
Last Updated on April 17, 2024
Why DLSS is such a divisive technology and why do so many question its implementation
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Coming out as an addition to its newer range of graphics cards, Nvidia brought out the new Deep Learning Super Sampling technology. Bringing Artificial intelligence into your graphics is very much dependent on the implementation by developers. However, it hasn’t all been a sweet deal as to this day it can be quite a divisive choice and seen more as a crutch than something useful these days.

However, it can also be seen as a way of extending the life of your best GPU and playing the latest games with a somewhat better framerate. But it doesn’t include every graphics card equally and can be rather restrictive as to who can actually benefit from it. That might even work for them as some gamers ask if it is worth changing GPUs to use DLSS. Even so, it brings with it plenty of opportunity when used right.

Even then there is some hate for DLSS, or more likely what it means for any new games coming out and the limitations it has on it. So is it something you should be worried about right now?

What DLSS has to offer

The technology is there for a boost in performance, it renders the game at a lower resolution and then uses AI to upscale it and make it look not too dissimilar from what it should be but without the heavy loads that your screen needs. That is further improved by more recent improvements and releases.

With the launch of the RTX 40 series, we saw the release of DLSS 3 and frame generation technology. That improves upon the tech further as it uses AI to render extra frames in between further improving the frame rate, but not natively which not everyone is a fan of as it may be seen as a bit of a cheat.

However, it is a great way of pushing your cards further, the ones that support it that is. As DLSS requiring AI integration is limited to just RTX cards, which means even if DLSS 3.7 is putting a nail in the coffin of performance. Those rocking an older Pascal card mean that you’re not getting to enjoy the tech and get a boost.

DLSS 3.5 vs DLSS 3 frame gen with ray reconstruction
DLSS 3.5 vs DLSS 3 frame gen with ray reconstruction, source: BGFG

The problems many have with DLSS

As u/LifeOnMarsden points out it is both a great thing and simultaneously a bad thing to come out. Although the tech might help some it certainly seems to be a big dependence for new games coming out. Especially if the optimization isn’t what it should be like in recent releases where you won’t get a good performance without the use of it. Such as when Remnant 2 was released and said it was on by default whilst the performance was patched in later on.

That is great for those who can run it, but the technology is locked behind a big paywall. Considering the pricing of graphics cards increasing it makes it unaffordable to many or those that really need it left behind. Especially with the different tiers as the 40 series is the only one with frame generation, and the lowest entry isn’t even a relatively good choice of GPU.

As we delve into our RTX 4060 review, the card loses out on its value. Nvidia doesn’t really improve upon the last generation, there are no leaps of what’s on offer but a reliance on the rest of the package instead. But even then the basics don’t quite satisfy modern-day needs and you’d have to look at something more expensive for a more valued choice. Even this low-end card was released at $299 but with only 8GB VRAM it might be lacking for graphics these days.

GPU testing with benchmarking software on show
GPU testing with benchmarking software on show, source: BGFG

What does that mean for the next generation and what we think

In this case, we can expect plenty more games to be released with DLSS or other upscaling like AMD’s FSR or Intel’s XeSS. It will likely become a standard for being used in general, and if games keep releasing incomplete or with hard-hitting performance it is likely a standard.

Plus with the expected RTX 50 series release date on the horizon, we might see plenty more iterations of the technology and implementation of it. Whilst likely offering up improvements to what’s available, whilst also hoping for an improvement to the bottom tier that might make it a bit more of a worthy upgrade as plenty of gamers aren’t upgrading their GPUs.

In all honesty, we don’t think it’s all too terrible. It makes games a lot more playable when it comes to the hard hitters, the best example being Cyberpunk 2077, and the prime of modern Crysis benchmark if you want the game to look its part and play well that’s the only way to do it. Even DLSS 2 is still a good choice and without frame generation, it still is a worthy enhancement.

With a fascination for technology and games, Seb is a tech writer with a focus on hardware and deals. He is also the primary tester and reviewer at BGFG and PCGuide.