DLSS 2.1 & VR


Since the playing has now been releasead and 2.1 officially supports VR, did any of you tried DLSS in a VR project (I did) ? If so, any advices, tweaks to make a better use of this technology ?


I just finished up some testing of the following:

  • VR in forward with DLSS (quality mode)
  • VR in forward with MSAA
  • VR in deferred with DLSS (quality mode)
  • VR in deferred with TAA

Unfortunately I was a little disappointed but I need to do far more testing before I draw broad conclusions. In the one scene I tested across all three scenarios, I found:

  • DLSS vs MSAA: DLSS was still pretty blurry, even with the forward renderer. This seems to be because DLSS is still using temporal data so you get a lot of the same downsides of TAA. If TAA in VR was too blurry, DLSS in VR will be too blurry for you, too.
  • DLSS vs TAA: This one surprised me. Overall blurriness was about the same, except for particle motion. Particles seemed *much *blurrier with DLSS on.
  • DLSS didn’t save much, if anything, on performance. This one definitely needs more testing to verify, but I was surprised to find at times DLSS was even more expensive. It added about 2ms to the frame time, which was about as much as it reduced.

It’s true in my experience too. DLSS is more expensive when set to anything but performance mode. So any quality mode and DLSS will cost you more FPS which makes it pointless to implement. At the performance setting, DLSS mostly ruins your art departments assets. It causes textures to either be blurry or lose significant amounts of detail. Chain link fences viewed with DLSS performance become the ugliest things every seen in 3D space. Same for blades of grass and other objects with textures that have lots of small details close together. DLSS ruins any graphics fidelity at the performance settings and quality settings cause a performance penalty when enabled. The technology is over hyped. I have a 3080 RTX and I feel the same is true for RTX as well. There are plenty of hyper realistic lit scenes that use HDR at most and look fantastic. RTX just is not worth the performance penalty.

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Might it become more useful now with the sort of resolutions the Vive pro 2 is pushing (performance mode)?

My experience with DLSS has been fairly positive in terms of performance and it looks better than TAA, but definitely not as sharp as MSAA. It also manages to get rid of some specular artifacts that MSAA can’t (though it is fairly rare and you can design around it). Generally I think it is viable to offer as an option, depending on what the player wants.

It comes with a couple of weaknesses. You definitely can notice artifacts around some edges, when you focus on them, for example aiming through iron sights. Also some dark scene’s where there wasn’t much information in the image, had significantly more ghosting. It also has problems with small details that do not generate good velocity data, like chain link fences, laser beams, etc and transparent surfaces can also cause some weirdness.

I also noticed that the DLSS Plugin doesn’t play well with OpenXR for some reason, but I’m not 100% sure if it is really that, but my issues with OpenXR started with the DLSS Plugin. At some point I might look deeper into it, but it looks like it has something to do with problems to obtain the correct resolution?

BTW this German article also seems to have good results with DLSS: Nvidia DLSS: KI-Upscaling mit Raytracing im VR-Test