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Nvidia Introduces DLSS 3.5: Improving Ray Tracing Performance for All GPUs

Nvidia has unveiled DLSS 3.5, a new feature that aims to revolutionize ray tracing functionality on supported graphics cards. The key innovation is Ray Reconstruction, which leverages a card's Tensor cores to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and enhance ray tracing performance. This means that ray-traced games will not only look better but also play better, even on lower-end graphics cards.

Traditionally, ray tracing has been very demanding on hardware, leading to a significant performance hit. Nvidia's previous approach involved utilizing simulated light rays, a de-noising algorithm, and upscaling to strike a balance between visual fidelity and performance. DLSS 3.5 changes this dynamic by replacing the old de-noising technology with an algorithm called Ray Reconstruction. This new algorithm, built by Nvidia, learns from supported software to display rays more accurately, resulting in improved image quality when upscaling from native to target resolutions.

The introduction of DLSS 3.5 is not limited to specific graphics card series. Previously available only on the RTX 40-series, this update extends support to GPUs from the RTX 20-series, 30-series, and upcoming 40-series. This expansion affirms DLSS as a true revolution in gaming that continues to evolve.

One noteworthy demonstration of DLSS 3.5 is in the game Alan Wake 2. Comparing DLSS 3 to DLSS 3.5 side-by-side showcases the superiority of the latter version. With DLSS 3.5, the game exhibits stable and faster lighting effects, resulting in a significant performance boost. Another example is Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, where DLSS 3.5 improves both frame rates and ray tracing quality. This innovation allows games to utilize full ray tracing capabilities without sacrificing performance.

DLSS 3.5 is set to make RTX games more accessible to a wider range of Nvidia graphics card users. While high-end RTX cards like the RTX 4090 and RTX 4070 Ti will excel, the support for older RTX GPUs is particularly exciting. This means that gamers with slightly older GPUs can still enjoy ray tracing and path tracing in demanding titles with improved frame rates, thanks to the replacement of multiple denoisers with a single AI model.

It's important to note that DLSS 3.5 will initially launch with the most intensive ray tracing games in mind and will be implemented by other developers at a later date. The success of Nvidia's new AI learning model depends on the support it receives from game developers. Nevertheless, this is a significant step forward in democratizing real-time rendering and ensuring more people can experience the benefits of ray tracing.

– Alan Wake 2 and Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty demonstrations by Nvidia.
– DLSS 3.5 announcement by Nvidia.