Nvidia’s current ready-to-play driver contains a tool to improve the image quality of games that your graphics card can run without problems, as well as optimizations for the New God of War PC connection. The technology is called Deep Learning Dynamic Super Resolution, or DLDSR, and Nvidia says you can use it to make “most games” look sharper by running them at a higher resolution than your monitor natively supports.
DLDSR is built on Nvidia’s Dynamic Super Resolution technology for years. Essentially, normal old DSR renders a game at a higher resolution than your monitor can handle, then scales it down to your monitor’s native resolution. This results in a sharper image, but usually comes with a performance hit (you’re asking your GPU to do more work, after all). For example, if you had a graphics card that could run a game at 4K but only had a 1440p monitor, you could use DSR to improve clarity.
DLDSR uses the same concept and integrates AI, which can also help improve the image. According to Nvidia, this means you can upscale less (and therefore lose less performance) while still getting similar image quality improvements. In real numbers, Nvidia claims you get image quality similar to four times the resolution with DSR, with just 2.25 times the resolution with DLDSR. Nvidia gives an example with 2017s Loot: Digital Deluxe running on a 1080p monitor: 4x DSR runs at 108 FPS, while 2.25x DLDSR hits 143 FPS, just two frames per second slower than native 1080p.
Of course, you should take these impressive results with a grain of salt, as Nvidia obviously wants to show off one of the best-case examples. In the real world, you can get different results with different games, both in terms of FPS and the settings you need to run DLDSR on to make it look sharp. However, given the broader gaming support, you can probably play around with one of your favorite older titles – although you’ll still need an RTX card, and they are currently not easy to obtain.
This isn’t the first time Nvidia has used deep learning to improve image quality and performance – it’s garnered plenty of praise its Deep Learning Super Samplingor DLSS system. However, DLSS needs to be specifically supported by the game, and that List of games you can use it with is relatively small (although as of today it is the God of War).
AMD, Nvidia’s graphics card competitor, has it too announced technology to improve performance and graphics on a wide range of games. It calls its approach Radeon Super Resolution, and while it doesn’t use exactly the same methods as DLSS or DLDSR (AMD has its own upscaling technology called virtual super resolution), it aims at the same goal.
If you want to try Nvidia’s DLDSR, update to the latest driver and then open the Nvidia Control Panel app. Go to Manage 3D Settings, click the DSR Factors dropdown menu and select one of the DL scaling options.