RTX and DLSS

Being an RTX card I also like checking out the performance of some of Nvidia’s features. Namely the ray tracing performance and the performance improvements you can see by using DLSS combined with the tensor cores. My first test goes back to our synthetic benchmarks with 3DMark where I check out their Port Royal benchmark. This is the one test that does also have AMD Ray Tracing support which is great to get a look at how different cards including older non-RTX cards perform. The TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti OC sits above both of AMD’s new 7900 cards but behind the RTX 3090 Ti in this test.

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 3DMark also has added in a few feature tests, one being a look at DLSS performance. For this one, I have the resolution set to 1440p and DLSS 2.0 turned on. I then have run the test on every card supported to get a comparison of how their test performs with and without DLSS. With DLSS 3 on, and with this being 1440p the TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti OC is once again ahead of the 3090 Ti at least with DLSS on, but with it off the 3090 Ti was a little faster. I did a second set of tests at 4K across all three versions of DLSS and twice with the new DLSS 3 to test the performance and quality settings. The idea with this test was to check out the performance difference between the different DLSS versions, but I did also include performance numbers from a few cards for comparison as well. No matter the card it is impressive that DLSS 3 can match DLSS 2’s performance when running on the quality setting and the performance gap going from 2 to 3 is big as well. With the TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti OC, it improved performance from 80.96 FPS to 105.53 FPS which is an improvement of 30%.

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I then jumped into game tests, this time with Watch Dogs: Legion. For this one, I wanted to get an idea of the performance you will see when taking advantage of Nvidia’s RTX and DLSS features. I tested at 4k with the ultra detail setting and with ultra being the setting for DLSS and RTX when they are on as well. I then test with no RTX or DLSS on and then with RTX DLSS on and off and on together. Here the TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti OC comes in just behind the 3090 Ti but more importantly it shows that turning RTX dropped performance from 68 FPS down to 37 but pairing it with LSS put it at 90 FPS which is faster while also getting ray-traced graphics. Or if you want, running only DLSS nearly puts the average FPS up over the 120 high refresh rate range with it averaging 117 FPS.

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Next, I wanted to check out the performance in Metro Exodus which we have used for testing for a long time now. This test is similar as well with it set to 4K and Ultra detail, I use the included benchmark to test DLSS and RTX individually and then with them both on and both off to give us a look at overall frame rates depending on which direction you go. I should point out that this is using the Enhanced Edition where our normal benchmark uses the standard version for testing with AMD but that version DLSS no longer works. That said you can see how big of an improvement running DLSS goes with it nearly doubling the performance.

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Next, I tested using a benchmark based on the game Boundary. For this one, I wanted to see how all of the different DLSS settings would perform, including turning it off completely. This is run using the free benchmark and with the resolution set to 4k and RTX on. The TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti OC outperformed the RTX 3090 Ti here except when turning the RTX up to the quality setting. This does a good job of showing the range of performance you can see depending on what settings you run. The TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti OC runs as low as 27 FPS and as high as 129 FPS.

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 I also tested using the game Bright Memory with their free steam benchmark. This is similar to the previous Boundary test only it is looking at RTX settings individually with the resolution set to 4K and DLSS is set to the balanced setting. Here the TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti OC came in below the RTX 3090 Ti but ahead of the 3080 Ti. This test shows the range that DLSS detail settings can range in performance and that is before you even start to mix in things like frame generation. The TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti OC ranges from 52 FPS up to 82 depending on what you run.

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 I also wanted to take a look at DLSS 3 performance as well a little more than my initial look at it with 3DMark’s benchmark. For this, I put Nvidias Frameview to the test to run a few benchmarks using the games that currently support DLSS 3. For games with a built-in benchmark, I ran the benchmark but used frameview so we could get the FPS and 1% lows and because some of the game's frame generation is messing up their in game FPS readouts. V-Sync was turned off on all of the tests because it currently causes problems with frame generation and all of the tests were done at 4K with the highest detail settings including the highest RTX settings. DLSS 3 when there is an option was set to performance which is the setting Nvidia suggests when using it at 4K.

The first game tested was Cyberpunk 2077 and for this and all of these tests Nvidia suggested testing the RTX 4070 Ti at 1440p but with the previous 4080 and 4090, they suggested 4k. Rather than change things up completely I just tested at both resolutions in all of the tests. I did this because while they may want to focus the 4070 Ti on that 1440p resolution, I’m most interested in seeing if DLSS 3 can offer the performance improvement to make 4k possible on a 1440p focused card. The Cyberpunk result showed that was possible right out of the hole, at 4k with DLSS 3 off the performance was horrible at 21 FPS but when running it we were up over 60 FPS at 65 FPS which is smooth and playable. 1% lows were a little lower but still much better than the 9 FPS on the DLSS-off results. At 1440p the performance jump was similar going from 48 FPS up to 127 making high refresh rates possible as well. For Cyberpunk I included a third test where I took a look at 1080p with low detail to push the game to be CPU limited which is an area that frame generation helps a lot and we did still see a big improvement of 130% even with the game being CPU limited.

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In F1 2022 I ran three tests. I tested with full DLSS, I did it again but turned off frame generation, and then tested with DLSS off and TAA on. Frame generation here was a big help when testing at 1440p, taking the frame rate up to 216 FPS which is a little crazy but more importantly had the 1% lows way up into the high refresh rate sweet spot as well. Interestingly though at 4K it didn’t help at all but DLSS 3 as a whole did take the 4k performance from 60 FPS up to 99 and the 1% lows up over 60 FPS as well.

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In A Plague Tale turning frame generation showed how much it can help a lot more with DLSS 3 while the 1440p performance was impressive when running DLSS with frame generation. It is the 4K result that I am most interested in again because without DLSS at all the 4070 Ti struggled at 47 FPS but with DLSS it was at nearly 100 FPS and then with frame generation it was up to 120 FPS with its 1% lows even doing well at 98 FPS. This is a great example of Nvidia’s tech allowing great performance at a resolution that the card isn’t designed for.

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In the side scroller Forged in Shadow Torch DLSS 3 once again, the 1440p results were good without DLSS 3 at all but turning it on pushed it nearly to 200 FPS. The 4K results on the other hand took solid performance at 63 FPS up into the smooth 144 Hz refresh rate range with the 149 FPS average. The 1% lows however didn’t improve as much in that situation but were still twice the frame rate of the 1% lows without DLSS 3.

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Next up was Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed. The TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti OC handled the game even with DLSS off on both resolutions but in both situations turning DLSS 3 on made for big improvements. At 4k it went from 89 FPS up to 128 FPS a 43% improvement and at 1440p it went from 154 FPS up to 241 FPS a 56% improvement.

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Last I took a look at Microsoft Flight Simulator and this is an interesting case because this is a well-known CPU-limited game. To keep things consistent the test used the landing test run over Sydney With DLSS off the TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti OC came in at 51 FPS at 4K and 62 FPS at 1440p which isn’t a big difference due to being CPU limited even with our 12900K. Turning DLSS 3 on with frame generation performance jumped from 62 FPU up to 124 at 1440p and 51 to 97 at 4K. This was a 90 percent improvement at 4K and exactly 100% at 1440p.

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