NVIDIA introduces DLDSR – an intelligent downscaler

We have written a lot about Nvidias DLSS-technology that uses AI to upscale images to give a boost to the frame rate while trying to still offer great image quality. While I think it offers great image quality I know there are gamers who would would love to get a way to use AI to instead downscale a higher resolution image to give better quality at the lower resolution. Well, they are in luck as Nvidia now has presented Deep Learning Dynamic Super Resolution, DLDSR (phew, say that fast a few times).

Instead of upscaling a lower resolution image and using AI to improve the image, DLDSR renders the image in an higher resolution and downsamples it.  Now I am sure a few of you are thinking you already am using this? And you are kind of correct. Nvidia already have DSR (Dynamic Super Resolution) which basically does the same thing, however without the help of the Tensor cores in the RTX-cards. The biggest improvement between DLDSR and DSR is that using AI means that you do not upscale as much to get the same image quality which means much less performance impact.

Nvidia claims that DLDSR is about twice as efficient compared to DRS. So setting DLDSR to 2.25x is equal to 4x SDR. However – as this uses the Tensor cores it means that while DRS is available on older cards, DLDSR needs a RTX 20- or 30-series card.

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UPDATE 23 Jan 2022 

Digital Foundry have done a great video explaining how the technology works and done a lot of comparisons of settings in Witcher 3. I really recommend watching this video. The summary is that it works great with some drawbacks. For example they recommend turning on some smoothing with DLDSR. It does sound like it is a great upgrade to DSR. Digital Foundry also have tested to combine DLSS and DLDSR.

In contrast to DLSS that needs support in games you can just turn on DSR and DLDSR in the Nvidia control-panel. Just head to “Manage 3D settings” in the control panel and scroll down to DSR.

One cool trick that you can use is to combine DLSS and DLDSR. This gives you a performance boost with image quality improvement over pure DLSS.

DLDSR probably is not for everyone. I saw someone on RRedit explain it like this:

DLSS is used when you have no more horsepower and DLDSR is used when you have spare extra power.

And I think it sounds about right. If you run a game at something like 100 fps and for example are limited to a 1080p screen then why not use the extra horsepower to improve the image quality?

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