October 4, 2022

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Digital Foundry is now functional with RTX 4090 and DLSS 3

Digital Foundry is now functional with RTX 4090 and DLSS 3

Earlier today, Nvidia finally revealed the new RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 video cards, based on the Ada Lovelace architecture. We’ve been working hands-on with the RTX 4090 for the past few days and are working hard on content that focuses on the company’s latest AI-based frame generation technology – DLSS 3.

First impressions on the RTX 4090 itself though? It’s easily one of the biggest performance increases we’ve seen from generation to generation, even based on limited testing. 4K gaming for high refresh rate monitors and TVs isn’t an issue with most modern games – so 8K at 60fps is now viable if you’re one of the lunatics (like me) who already has an 8K TV. Combine that performance boost with new DLSS 3 – with AI-based frame generation – and suddenly your most intense PC gaming workloads will play unmistakably smooth.

We were hoping our full video would be ready for the day but after we’ve spent an entire weekend in it, we’re not done yet and need some extra time – so in this case, we’ve put together a teaser video showing some of the work we’ve already done.

Digital Foundry is working with the RTX 4090 — and will give a first preview on DLSS 3 later in the week.

DLSS 3 mainly consists of three components: DLSS 2’s existing AI upgrade technologies work in tandem with all-new AI frame creation technology using the new optical flow generator housed in the new Ada Lovelace architecture. Essentially, two frames are created using existing rendering techniques, and then a third “interpolated” frame is inserted between them using the new frame generation technology. Caching two frames in this way will obviously have latency effects, which means that Nvidia’s input lag-reduction technology – Reflex – is a mandatory third addition to the DLSS 3 suite. The idea is to mitigate the extra lag caused by interpolating frames with Reflex.

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So, the main questions facing the new technologies are straightforward: what is the quality of interpolated frames and to what extent does the input lag increase or decrease based on frame buffering in combination with any mitigations that Reflex provides. It’s important to understand limitations as well as strengths: esports players, for example, rely on higher frame rates to significantly reduce lag – applications here likely to be limited. However, at the same time, watching the more taxing content on Triple A running smoothly on the LG OLED CX with a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz is a great experience.

We’ll aim to cover these topics and more in a broad range, our content is coming later this week but for now at least, the trailer above should give you an idea of ​​how good DLSS 3 is and some of the tests we’ve run. Of course, 4K 120fps video delivery isn’t available at the moment, so we ran our footage at half speed, so you can see every frame.

This has been a very challenging project (not least because 4K 120fps capture wasn’t really there when we started) but the content we’re working on is shaping up really well. Expect to see the final piece shown later this week.