Look at the difference between Death Stranding and its DLSS 2.0 tech


When I first tested Death Stranding’s DLSS 2.0 technology for the game’s release, I wasn’t able to show you what it actually looked like. I can tell you that turning it on will turn any RTX card into a 4K 60fps machine, but not how its clever, AI-driven upscaling wizardry influenced in-game visuals. Well, now I can, and as you’ll soon be able to see for yourself, okay … wait, which ones were my DLSS screenshots again?

DLSS, in case you forgot because there are very few DLSS games playing right now, for deep learning super sampling, and this is one of Nvidia’s special RTX features. This is just a small part of the incoming technology that AI uses to fill gaps when you’re playing at a higher resolution like 4K, keeping those frame rates nice and high without tanking the performance of your GPU helps. The game should look like it closes the DLSS, but it performs better as a result.

The first iteration of DLSS we saw in Final Fantasy XV did a great job of creating the game’s vast environment without rendering every pixel, but a closer inspection showed some slightly sloppy-looking textures towards the horizon.

Final Fantasy XV’s DLSS technology seemed to be fine in motion, but look very closely and you’ll see where it’s estimating AI. On the left, the original 4K has a close-up of the horizon, while on the right is the same view with DLSS enabled (click to enlarge).

Since then, Nvidia has refined its DLSS technology and launched DLSS 2.0 in August of last year. DLSS 2.0 is much faster than its previous incarnation, and Nvidia has somehow gotten it where it can produce images that are equal to the original of its original resolution, but which are only 25–50% pixels. Which is very crazy. It is also slightly more flexible than before, giving players the option to choose between quality, balanced, and display modes that control the game’s internal rendering resolution.

There are still not many games using this new form of DLSS – Death Stranding, Control, Wolfenstein Youngblood, the first one with Macquirers 5 and Deliver Us to the Moon – but my Death Imaging as you below As can be seen from the image (click to enlarge), it is definitely a heck of a lot better since it first came out.

Screenshot of a scenario in Death Stranding with DLSS closed.

Death Stranding at Wake High with DLSS closed.

Screenshot of a scenario enabled in Death Stranding with DLSS Quality Mode

Death stranding at 4K on Wake High with DLSS quality enabled.

Screenshot of a scenario in Death Stranding with DLSS Display Mode enabled

Death stranding is very high at 4K with DLSS display enabled.

I swear they are three different pictures, honest.

Even when zoomed in, there is very little difference between them, which is very impressive. The rocks all look equally sharp and detailed, there is no difference in the quality of my shadow or light, and the grassy hillside looks just bristling and full of vegetation.

The only real flaw between DLSS and DLSS, at least as far as I am able to tell anyway, is that the stream in the top right corner is a bit more detailed in its original state, with clear waves and ripples in the form of water. Shows falls down the hill. But the man is alive, I think I can barely push that place, like I’ve done below, and it’s definitely a huge improvement compared to the version of Final Fantasy XV.

Zoomed in screenshot of Death Stranding with no DLSS.

DLSS zoomed in.

Zoomed in screenshot of Death Stranding with quality DLSS.

DLSS quality zoomed in.

The display zoomed into a screenshot of Death Stranding with DLSS.

DLSS display zoomed in.

So, yes, if you’ve got an RTX card, you’d be crazy not to turn on the Death Stranding DLSS setting and enjoy those framework rates. Without DLSS, for example, my RTX 2070 was hitting a decent average of around 55fps in 4K at super high, but there were moments during some cuteness where it became a bit fairer somewhere in the low 40s. With DLSS Quality Mode, the average frame rate jumped to around 75fps, while performance shot it up to only 90fps. All while producing a high-on-the-same image.

You don’t need an RTX card to enjoy smooth frame rates in Death Stranding, however, the game also runs beautifully in 1920 × 1080 on the GTX 1060. For more information on how this goes, visit my Death Stranding PC performance article.

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