PC Death Stranding performance: NVIDIA and the magic of DLSS 2.0

PC Death Stranding performance:

NVIDIA and the magic of DLSS 2.0


PC Death Stranding performance: NVIDIA and the magic of DLSS 2.0

Death Stranding came to PC yesterday, and as our regular readers will know, it comes with an important face lift at the graphic level and also has support for NVIDIA's DLSS 2.0 technology, an intelligent rescaling system that reduces the plot load that you must tackle the GPU by decreasing the actual pixel count in each scene.

We will understand it better with an example. Imagine you start Death Stranding and set a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Well, NVIDIA's DLSS 2.0 technology would start from half that native resolution, and would rescale by combining different images in real time to create , thanks to them, the best possible image.

The result in the first implementations of this technology was not a good thing, but with DLSS 2.0, things have changed, and a lot . I had the opportunity to test the first integration of the DLSS system in games like Battlefield V and Metro Exodus, and I must admit that I did not like the end result. However, the arrival of DLSS 2.0 at Wolfenstein: Youngblood marked a huge turning point, since as we told you at the time, this technology finally began to do its job .


NVIDIA DLSS 2.0: a deeper look

NVIDIA DLSS 2.0: a deeper look

As we have told you in the previous paragraphs, DLSS technology was born as an intelligent rescaling technique that is supported by an artificial intelligence system. Said system has been trained to develop a series of algorithms that allow creating a high quality image combining several images .

What this technology does is, therefore, execute a process of image reconstruction in real time using a very particular rescaling. It has nothing to do with other known rescaling techniques, as NVIDIA DLSS is not limited to starting with a given pixel base and "stretching" it to fill in the blanks, then applying temporary edge smoothing to "fix" the result and make up the saw teeth. For example, PS4 Pro uses the "checkerboard rendering" technique, which renders only 50% of the pixels needed to create an image, and extrapolates the rest from the base pixels, applying a temporary reconstruction filter to improve the final quality.

The objective of DLSS technology is very different, since it seeks to create a perfect image from several images and selecting the best possible combination of those, all in real time. The chosen image will be rendered starting from a lower resolution, and rescaled until reaching the objective resolution, which is none other than the one we have selected in the configuration of each game.

NVIDIA promised that DLSS rescaling would be able to deliver high image quality and vastly improve gaming performance , a promise that the first generation of such technology was able to deliver on, but which has come true with the advent of new generation, known as DLSS 2.0.

PC Death Stranding performance: NVIDIA and the magic of DLSS 2.0

In order to activate DLSS technology, we must have a graphics card based on NVIDIA's Turing architecture , but beware, only the RTX 20 series models are compatible because this technology is run through the tensor cores , specialized in carrying out loads of work focused on artificial intelligence. This hardware acceleration through the tensor cores is essential, so if we have a GTX 16 or less (GTX 10, GTX 900 ...) we will not be able to activate it. On the other hand, if you have a GeForce RXT 2060 or higher you can activate it without problem.

When we activate DLSS 2.0 technology we can choose between different configurations that prioritize performance or quality. The only difference between these modes is the base resolution from which the rendering process will be performed. Thus, in "performance" mode, you start with 50% of the pixel count of the desired resolution , and in "quality" mode, the total count rises to 67% . So that we understand each other, if we configure a game to 1080p and activate DLSS 2.0 in quality mode, the base resolution will be 540p.

I know what you are thinking, that it doesn't sound good, and that the pixel clipping seems too big for the final image quality to be good. As incredible as it may seem, and Death Stranding is an excellent example of the value that NVIDIA DLS 2.0 technology offers. Let's see why.


Death Stranding with DLSS 2.0: Higher Image Quality and Performance

It's that simple, when we activate DLSS 2.0 rescaling technology in Death Stranding we not only noticeably improve performance, but we also achieve a clear improvement in image quality.

The performance increase varies depending on the graphics card that we use and the resolution. When we play in 1080p there is a less noticeable performance improvement because it is not a demanding resolution. Obviously also influenced by the fact that Death Stranding is quite well optimized. However, when we raise the resolution to 1440p we see a significant increase in performance, and when we reach 2160p (4K) the jump is so great that DLSS 2.0 technology practically doubles the performance.

DLSS 2.0 technology practically doubles the performance

Here is the test kit that I have used to analyze DLSS 2.0 technology in Death Stranding:

  • Ryzen 7 1800X processor with eight cores and sixteen threads at 4 GHz.
  • 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) of Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4 3,200 MHz RAM (CL16).
  • GIGABYTE AORUS GA-AX370-GAMING 5 motherboard with BIOS F25.
  • Corsair Hydro Series H100i RGB Platinum cooling system.
  • GIGABYTE RTX 2080 Super OC graphics card (1,975 MHz GPU in turbo mode) and 8 GB of 15.5 GHz GDDR6.
  • Samsung Evo 850 500 GB SSD (operating system).
  • 960 GB Corsair Force Series MP510 NVMe PCIE SSD, where the game has been installed.
  • 2TB Seagate SHDD with 8GB SSD as cache.
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit.
  • Corsair AX1000 80 Plus Titanium power supply with 80 Plus Titanium certification.
The performance improvement is clear, and forceful. Thanks to DLSS 2.0 technology we can play Death Stranding in maximum quality and 4K resolution while maintaining 60 stable FPS with an RTX 2060 , and reaching 90 FPS averages with an RTX 2080 Super while maintaining these settings, but what about image quality? ? I want to do a blind test with you, I am going to leave you a series of images and I want you to try to guess in which of them the DLSS 2.0 technology was activated and in which not. You can expand them by clicking on them.

Death Stranding 1
Death Stranding 2

Death Stranding 1

Death Stranding 2

Death Stranding 1

Death Stranding 2

Death Stranding 1

Death Stranding 2


Let's see how many you have guessed right. All images named Death Stranding 1 have DLSS 2.0 disabled , while images identified as Death Stranding 2 have it enabled.

If you look closely, activating DLSS 2.0 technology in Death Stranding greatly reduces saw teeth (aliasing), which is especially evident over long distances. The sharpness of some surfaces and numerous details are also improved. The bottom line is crystal clear, NVIDIA has done an excellent job with DLSS 2.0 technology, and has made a significant breakthrough which I believe represents more interesting value than even ray tracing , at least in its current state.


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