NVIDIA DLSS 3.5 Ray Reconstruction Review – Better Than Native

Source: Tech Power Up added 23rd Sep 2023

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DLSS 3.5 and its new Ray Reconstruction feature are the latest in a long line of groundbreaking innovations NVIDIA introduced to the PC gaming space, starting with NVIDIA RTX. DLSS 3.5 Ray Reconstruction hopes to vastly improve the quality of ray traced games, such that the resulting image looks better than even native resolution. The company is formally releasing DLSS 3.5 Ray Reconstruction today, with Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty being its pilot title. NVIDIA is in the works to extend the feature to dozens of titles, both released and under development.

When it debuted alongside the GeForce RTX 20-series, DLSS, or Deep Learning Super Sampling, didn’t receive as much attention as ray tracing, but quietly grew in popularity as the most sought-after feature on GeForce RTX GPUs. DLSS 2 (super sampling) makes your game render at a lower resolution than what your display is capable of, and uses a highly specialized upscaling algorithm that leverages AI, to reconstruct details back to your output resolution. The various quality presets determine the resolution at which your game is actually rendered at. Since your game is rendered at a lower resolution, there is a nearly linear gain in frame-rates. DLSS 3 Frame Generation added a new dimension to the DLSS feature-set. Available on RTX 40-series GPUs, Frame Generation constructs entire alternate frames completely using AI, without involving the graphics rendering pipeline, nearly doubling frame-rates, at any given resolution.

DLSS 3.5 Ray Reconstruction adds yet another capability, wherein NVIDIA attempts to overcome the quality losses incurred with DLSS 2 Super Resolution on ray tracing. The technology claims to offer a superior alternative to even NVIDIA’s native denoiser, a vital component in the modern ray tracing pipeline. Pure ray traced interactive 3D remains the technological holy grail of graphics, what we have now is a combination of raster 3D graphics with ray traced elements, even these little bits of ray tracing are extremely computationally intensive, and so a fewer number of rays are traced than needed for physical accuracy, with a denoiser attempting to compensate for their sparsity. Without denoising, a ray traced image would appear to have a layer of white or black noise from the missing rays.

Unlike DLSS 3 Frame Generation, which requires GeForce RTX 40-series Ada graphics cards, DLSS 3.5 Ray Reconstruction works on all GeForce RTX graphics cards, including RTX 20-series Turing, RTX 30-series Ampere, and RTX 40-series Ada. The Ray Reconstruction tech has all its hardware requirements met in the older GeForce RTX generations, there is no benefit to having the latest RTX 40-series, besides better performance. This is unlike DLSS 3 Frame Generation, which requires the GPU to have the Optical Flow Accelerator component NVIDIA introduced with Ada. An easier way to grasp this would be to not see DLSS 2, DLSS 3, and DLSS 3.5 as chronological versions, but associate them with their features—Super Resolution (SR) for DLSS 2, Frame Generation (FG) for DLSS 3, and Ray Reconstruction (RR) for DLSS 3.5.

Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty is the first game to implement DLSS 3.5 Ray Reconstruction, later this year it will be joined by Alan Wake II, and Portal for RTX. Knowing NVIDIA, it is probably working with every game studio that has implemented DLSS and ray tracing to try and implement Ray Reconstruction on their current titles. In this review, we take a close look at what’s on offer visually with DLSS 3.5 Ray Reconstruction, and how it impacts performance, across a selection of graphics cards from all three generations of GeForce RTX.

How to Activate DLSS 3.5

DLSS 3.5 Ray Reconstruction is an independent feature in the in-game settings, just like DLSS 3 Frame Generation.

  • In Cyberpunk 2077 you find the toggle within the “NVIDIA DLSS” section.
  • In order for it to appear you have to first enable DLSS Super Resolution, any quality mode or “auto” is fine.
  • At the moment, enabling DLAA will not give you to the option to enable Ray Reconstruction, but that’s something NVIDIA is working on.
  • DLSS 3 Frame Generation may be enabled, or disabled, both modes support Ray Reconstruction.
  • When regular ray tracing is enabled, the Ray Reconstruction toggle will be grayed out.
  • In order for the toggle to become enabled you must first activate Path Tracing. I confirmed with NVIDIA that from a technology perspective, Ray Reconstruction can also work with classic ray tracing (without path tracing), but the gains will be less impressive visually.
  • Just like DLSS Frame Generation, DLSS Ray Reconstruction is shipped in a DLL that sits in the game directory. It’s called “nvngx_dlssd.dll.” Cyberpunk 2077 ships with version of that DLL.
Read the full article at Tech Power Up

media: Tech Power Up  

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