DLSS, an abbreviation for Deep Learning Super Sampling, is a post-processing technique by Nvidia that leverages AI (Artificial Intelligence) and deep learning to train a neural network to render lower resolution images (or frames) as higher resolution images which allows for improved performance such as higher FPS (Frames Per Second) and fewer visual artifacts such as motion blur and ghosting.

How does DLSS work?

DLSS can be divided into 2 parts. The supersampling part of its name is responsible for making native or lower resolution images look higher resolution. While the deep learning part indicates that it utilizes a trained neural network to continuously improve the supersampling.

In more detail, what supersampling does is it removes aliasing (smooths out jagged lines and pixelated edges) by determining and applying the best color for each pixel to create smoother edges and improve image quality. The smoothing of these edges makes games look shaper as though they are running at a higher resolution.

DLSS requires both a baseline training set of full resolution aliased images and a reference full resolution set of higher quality anti-aliased images that it aims to achieve. It then takes the baseline and reference set of images as inputs. By the process of supersampling, DLSS tries to increase the resolution of the baseline images to make them look like the higher resolution reference images. This process produces sharper images, improved performance, and fewer visual artifacts.

DLSS can be integrated into any modern game engine. Via the proper hardware, such as RTX graphics cards with Turing Tensor Cores, the visual benefits of DLSS can be achieved.

Advantages of DLSS?

Advantages of DLSS is that it provides an advanced method of achieving higher display resolutions and improved performance when compared to TAA. DLSS improves overall image quality without the overhead of actually rendering every pixel. It also avoids artifacts such as motion blur and ghosting. For example, without DLSS, performance gains on the RTX 2080 vs GTX 1080 is about 40-50%. With DLSS the performance gains can go up to 100% though that figure is on the extreme side.

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