RTX and DLSS

Because of Nvidia’s continued push to improve both the RT and Tensor cores on their RTX lineup I did want to do a little more testing on what you can expect to see performance-wise when you get the option to use them. For the Ray Tracing cores this means turning on RTX and for the Tensor cores, the best example of this is DLSS or DLSS 2.0. We have a few tests to look at these starting with the 3DMark Port Royal benchmark that takes a look at ray tracing performance. The RTX 3080 tops this chart with 11281 points over the RTX 2080 Ti at 8590. Below that you can see how other cards are all in groups like with the RTX 2070 SUPER and the RTX 2080, RTX 2070, and the RTX 2060 SUPER, and so on.

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One of our in-game tests is Metro Exodus and while doing that testing I ventured out of our normal benchmarks when retesting the RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080 SUPER, RTX 2070 SUPER, and even the GTX 1080 Ti along with the RTX 3080. The GTX 1080 Ti doesn’t support DLSS at all so the only result I have for it is the one RTX only test but I wanted to include it to show just how much of an improvement the RTX cards have over the fastest card available without ray tracing cores. Even the 2070 SUPER is three times as fast. But the RTX 3080 is the only one playable with that high of detail and ray tracing on. Turning on DLSS shows a big frame rate improvement while still having RTX on and the RTX 3080 nearly reaches a smooth 60 FPS. Even on the 2070 SUPER, you can see turning it on helps bring the ray tracing up to an FPS that is playable. Then I also tested with the ray-tracing off and DLSS still on to see how fast the performance was and the 2080 jumped up to 75 FPS.

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In the new Wolfenstein: Youngblood I tested performance at 4k on the highest detail setting which they call Mein Lenen!. For this I tested with DLSS turned off then again with it on. They have quality, balanced, and performance settings for the DLSS and I ran the in the middle balanced setting. You can see the RTX 3080 jump from 82 FPS which is still good up to an amazing 136 FPS when running DLSS. The RTX 2080 Ti was similar, going from just under 60 FPS up to 101. Then on the two SUPER cards, you can see it took them from a playable but not smooth 40 and 47 FPS up into the smooth range at 71 and 83 FPS. Being able to go from playable but not smooth to smooth is huge

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There are a few other benchmarks available that Nvidia clued us into which are based on games. The game Boundary has one which is a space shooter. For this one, I wanted to see the differences in performance when switching between different DLSS quality settings. It had three levels, just like Wolfenstein. I tested this without DLSS on, then using the performance setting, balanced, setting, and quality setting. I included that single 2080 Ti result once again on the one test that it could run which was DLSS off just to put the other results into perspective. All of the tests were run at 4k and with RTX turned on. The result between the different detail settings was around 5 FPS each but was more on the RTX 3080 with it being 35.2 on quality and 49.4 on performance. Not running DLSS at all made all of them unplayable with even the 3080 running at just 20.1 FPS. For the 280 Ti and the 2080 SUPER, the performance setting was the only thing that could get them into or close to the playable range of 30 FPS but on the RTX 3080 all of the quality settings were an option but running performance pushed it up a lot closer to 60 FPS.

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The last tests were using a standalone benchmark based on the game Bright Memory: Infinite. This time around I wanted to test the difference in performance between the different RTX settings as well as see how each of the cards tested handled RTX as a whole. DLSS was on for all of the tests set at the Balanced setting and everything was run at 4K. The performance gap between RTX low and very high was a lot bigger than I thought and the performance gap between the RTX 2080 Ti and the RTX 3080 was just like I saw in previous tests, only here it was the difference between smooth gameplay and playable gameplay when running at RTX low. Even at the very high setting though the 3080 was able to handle things with its lowest FPS being 42 where the 2080 Ti was the only other card that was playable at that setting.

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