Nvidia DLSS 3 Only Works With GeForce RTX 40-Series GPUs

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New Tensor cores have new functionality. Nvidia announced the GeForce RTX 40-series (Ada Lovelace) graphics cards, as well as the company's latest DLSS 3 technology. With the chipmaker boasting a 4X performance gain, DLSS 3 drew much attention.

Will DLSS 3 will be available for earlier GeForce graphics cards ? Nvidia's Vice President of Applied Deep Learning Research, Bryan Catanzaro revealed that DLSS 3 is currently only supported by GeForce RTX 40-series graphics cards. The Nvidia engineer did leave the door open for backward compatibility, indicating that DLSS 3 may theoretically function on prior generation GeForce graphics cards like the RTX 30-series (Ampere) or RTX 20-series (Turing).

To function, Nvidia's DLSS 3 technology is dependent on Ada's fourth-generation Tensor cores and the new Optical Flow Accelerator (OFA). OFA is not a new invention developed by Nvidia in collaboration with Ada. OFA has been there since the days of Turing. The difference is that Nvidia has vastly enhanced it in Ada vs Ampere, resulting in higher performance and higher quality. According to reports, the OFA in Ada is 2 to 2.5 times faster than on Ampere. Nvidia appears to have made some algorithmic modifications as well. Ampere and Turing can theoretically benefit from DLSS 3, but not to the same extent. Catanzaro believes that DLSS 3 will not improve frame rates on Ampere or Turing but will instead cause laggy gaming and poor visual fidelity.

According to Nvidia, DLSS 3 can reduce latency by up to 2X compared to native latency. DLSS 3 in conjunction with DLSS Super Resolution, DLSS Frame Generation, and NVIDIA Reflex, demonstrated 4X higher performance and 2X improved responsiveness in a demo of Ray tracing: overdrive mode in Cyberpunk 2077.

DLSS 3 has been shown to benefit CPU-intensive games like Microsoft Flight Simulator. On October 12, DLSS 3 will be released alongside the flagship GeForce RTX 4090. Nvidia anticipates that more than 35 games and applications will support DLSS 3 at launch. More importantly, DLSS 3 builds on the foundations of DLSS 2, making it simple for game creators to enable DLSS 3 in existing games that already support DLSS 2 or Nvidia Streamline.

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