Testing Nvidia DLSS 3.5 Ray Reconstruction Using Cyberpunk 2.0Testing Nvidia DLSS 3.5 Ray Reconstruction Using Cyberpunk 2.0

Testing Nvidia DLSS 3.5 Ray Reconstruction Using Cyberpunk 2.0

Another phase of Nvidia’s DLSS technology is here and today we take a look at what DLSS 3.5 is and more, take a closer look at its new ray reconstruction.

The new technology was integrated into Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 which launched this week ahead of the Phantom Freedom expansion, and we have spent some time with it over the past week to see how DLSS 3.5 works. TL; DR: What is rebuilding and why is it an important upgrade?

Ray hunting effects in today’s games are very noisy, because running these effects at high levels will destroy today’s graphics cards. To combat and remove this image noise, developers implement filters, which reduce this noise but come with many other issues, such as ghosting, low level detail, and various inaccuracies.

Ray reconstruction uses a DLSS AI-enhanced denoiser to replace the game player that promises better quality and smaller artifacts than standard denoisers. It achieves this by combining scaling and denoising in a single algorithm, effectively replacing DLSS super resolution with DLSS ray reconstruction and super resolution algorithms. As with the current DLSS system, it requires the installation of a game engine, as shown in this diagram. DLSS 3.5 ray tracing is designed not only to produce ground reconstruction from low pixel count images, but also ray tracing from low pixel count images.

As Ray Reconstruction replaces the standard Super Resolution algorithm in mixed models, it will be used with Super Resolution enabled, but Nvidia believes that this will provide a higher overall image at a lower performance cost compared to traditional denoisers and only in Super Resolution. DLSS 3.5 might be a better name

In our opinion, the name DLSS 3.5 is confusing. When DLSS was first released, it referred to Nvidia’s advanced optimization technology, “Deep Learning Super Sampling.” Nvidia has changed this to refer to its AI rendering technology suite, hence what DLSS and DLSS 2.0 used to be. is DLSS high resolution. Then, with the release of the GeForce RTX 40 GPUs, they added the middle generation to the DLSS family, and we now get ray tracing.

Each of these additions resulted in new DLSS version numbers: 3.0 for Frame Gen, 3.5 for Ray Reconstruction. Are you with us so far? OK… Additionally, each DLSS technology has its own version number. So in DLSS 3.5, Nvidia added ray tracing and improved high resolution and mid-range in version 3.5. Game developers are free to choose the technology they want. For example, Cyberpunk 2077 was updated to use DLSS 3.5 but only for the ray-processing part; Super resolution is still available in version 3.1.1 and image generation is available in version 3.1.13. Similarly, some games will use DLSS 3.5 super resolution, but will not include ray tracing. Are you still with us?

To make sure that gamers definitely can’t follow all of this, DLSS 3.5 ray reconstruction works on all RTX GPUs. But not all of DLSS 3.5 works on all RTX GPUs: Frame Generation is still exclusive to RTX 40 series products.

Considering that Nvidia spent a lot of time marketing DLSS 3 as an exclusive to RTX 40 cards, it’s a bit weird to have DLSS 3.5′s main new feature working on older RTX cards.

But don’t get us wrong, it’s great that ray reconstruction is available to the vast majority of current GeForce owners, but surely there was a better way to name all of this.

We’re confident that at some point RTX 30 series owners, for example, won’t understand that their card doesn’t support DLSS 3 Frame Generation but does support DLSS 3.5 ray reconstruction.

Early limitations of ray reconstruction in Cyberpunk 2077

Moving on, having tested ray reconstruction in Cyberpunk, it’s clear that this is an early stage technology that’s effectively a preview of what is (hopefully) to come. It’s hard to draw too many overarching conclusions from seeing it in just one game, but ray reconstruction does have some immediately obvious limitations.

Ray reconstruction is only trained to be used with DLSS upscaling enabled, not DLAA (Deep Learning Anti-Aliasing), so you can’t use both simultaneously, just like you can’t use ray reconstruction without any form of DLSS Super Resolution. Nvidia says they are working on training ray reconstruction to be used with DLAA and that will eventually be supported.

But the bigger limitation is that ray reconstruction is only available when using Cyberpunk’s path tracing mode, a.k.a. RT Overdrive mode. It cannot be enabled when using the game’s regular and less taxing ray tracing effects. Nvidia told us this is an intentional restriction, at least for now. They “focused [their] efforts to make RT Overdrive look great in Cyberpunk 2077, and [are] working with CD Projekt to add support for ray reconstruction for other RT modes.”

We suspect this is because the first version of ray reconstruction has only been optimized for path traced effects and needs optimization work for regular ray tracing. We don’t know this for sure, and Nvidia does claim DLSS 3.5 has been trained on 5x more data than DLSS 3 and recognizes different RT effects.

This is a bit disappointing for most GeForce RTX GPU owners because the path traced mode in Cyberpunk is punishing on GPU hardware. Unless you have a high-end GPU like an RTX 4090 or RTX 4080, it’s hard to achieve acceptable performance using RT Overdrive even at lower resolutions like 1080p.

So while it’s nice that DLSS 3.5 does work on lower tier RTX GPUs, practically speaking, someone with something like an RTX 3060 is not going to be using it – at least for now. That’s why it would have been nice to see ray reconstruction available for use with the regular RT effects that are more playable on mid-tier GPUs.

Ray reconstruction visual analysis

So how does ray tracing affect the visual quality of Cyberpunk 2077’s quest mode? There are areas for improvement and others are the same. Watch the video below for more details.

We recorded games using an Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 4090 and a Ryzen 7 7800X3D test system, keeping image quality at 4K to ultra, path tracking enabled, DLSS quality mode and no image generation unless otherwise noted. For ray tracing on highly reflective surfaces, ray reconstruction can suppress these effects to produce higher apparent resolution. In some scenes, it produces a much higher reflection compared to the situation found without ray tracing in normal ray tracing mode. The reconstructed ray image is sharp and clear, both static and moving. It is a shame that this technology is not available in the Classic RT mode, because I think it can be useful as we see in the Drawing Path mode. It’s not a trick that makes ray hunting more interesting than practical.

Ray reconstruction also causes temporary discomfort. The default tracking model effectively uses temporal and long-term assertion filtering. When you move and stop while looking and reflecting, it can often take a few seconds for the last thought to “fix”, and the thought appears to be moving while it is – shouldn’t be. Ray reconstruction greatly reduces this stability period and virtually eliminates this transient phenomenon.

This brings the ray-traced image closer to the response of the game without ray-tracing. Although screen shots are usually high resolution, they have a nice amount of motion, like disappearing completely.

Sometimes at night we see a combination of these adjustments and meditation, although this is not always the case. The above mode has higher projection resolution, reduced reflection ghosting, and more sensitive reflections when ray tracing is enabled. Ray’s reconstruction also makes good use of the decaying part for some expansive reflections. However, not all views are improved by ray reconstruction. In some examples, we have seen reflections in clear glass. With or without the help of ray reconstruction, the clarity of the reflection is good in both cases, so for this type of effect, the enhancement is not necessary.

But it’s not just reflection that improves ray tracing. When you check the shadow quality, the ray reconstruction creates a small moving shadow, this is a subtle effect that is not as noticeable as the improvement in reflection – and in general the shadow response to movement is much better of reflection – but the ray reconstruction appears slightly sharper. .

In addition to better noise reduction, ray reconstruction has produced more accurate car lighting, reducing flickering, ghosting and blurring. In normal trace mode, the car’s headlights have no definition in motion and appear almost like a spot of light in front of the car – sometimes the light appears in front of the actual headlight position, a childish effect time. When ray reconstruction is enabled, the light emitted by the headlight is defined and does not appear in front of its actual position, improving the accuracy of this effect. Global lighting and ambient lighting are improved through ray reconstruction. Improvements in surround locking are tricky, although different scenes help ray reconstruction.

For a better representation of image quality comparisons, check out the HUB video below:

The situation above is one of the biggest surprises we’ve seen in terms of image quality. Here, we have a light bar that makes things above and below. With all three ray tracing modes: normal RT Psycho mode, RT Overdrive without ray reconstruction and RT Overdrive with ray reconstruction; it takes a little time for the change in the color of the light to have an effect on the general light seen here. Rebuilding the beam doesn’t fix this delay, there’s still an awkward pause. However, when the color changes, without ray reconstruction, you get this horrible transition between colors that is visible especially to passers-by. It’s this weird ghosting effect that happens between each color. With ray reconstruction, some color changes occur immediately without the ghost image, such as purple to yellow or blue to purple. Other colors show ghosting but it is reduced, like yellow to green. Awesome discovery.

Unfortunately, ray tracing isn’t always good when it’s enabled. The technology strives for different types of reflection, usually when doing something that makes it shiny, shiny surface and texture. Let’s take the situation above with a marbled concrete tile floor as an example. The ray tracing mode without ray reconstruction results in much higher resolution and greater focus. And it’s such a brilliant difference, to the point where we’re sure to repeat the set. But no, we triple checked and called this one right.

When we add motion to the mix, the ray reconstructed image also exhibits worse ghosting and stability. It seems that the reconstruction algorithm is not sure if what it sees is a concept or not, and ends up using both the concept and the texture placed on the surface correctly.

And finally, here is perhaps the clearest example of the strength and weakness of this type of thinking. When you leave the surface of the glass, the reconstruction of the rays is able to create a high reflection.

When you walk towards the top, sometimes a texture gets filled with glass, it is smudged and has many scratches and such. After this time, the non-ray reconstructed image preserves this texture well and produces a complete image.

In addition, as expected, at a lower conversion resolution, not only the overall image quality worsens, but thus the sharpness and clarity of the ray results increases. Even though using DLSS our performance still gets most of the benefits of ray reconstruction, how the image quality, for example, is not worse than without using ray reconstruction, it still ends up being better though small version resolution.

DLSS 3.5 ray recovery function

There is much to be said for efficiency. In testing with the GeForce RTX 4090 across multiple resolutions and DLSS quality modes, ray tracing has little effect on frame rates, whether enabled or disabled. With the RTX 4090, triggering is faster in the area we tested, but even then we are talking about a difference of up to 4%, and a margin of error of around 1%, which is really a margin of error. Given that it usually results in higher image quality, it’s good to see that this setting has little effect on performance.

DLSS 3.5 performance

This is also true when looking at the settings of many GPUs: here we have four models tested at 1440p using DLSS Quality mode. Although the RTX 4090 is slightly faster without ray tracing, all other models are faster with ray tracing.

In the best case, we saw a 7% win for rebuilding the issue with the RTX 4070. By the time we got to the RTX 3070, the card wasn’t quite fast enough to track at 1440p, so performance was the same either way.

At 1080p again, most of these low-end cards can’t find a way, even though ray-processing models are usually faster. This isn’t an earth-shattering limit, we’ll usually call it a tie, which is a good result for better image quality overall.

What We Learned

In general, we are reasonably impressed with this first look at DLSS 3.5 ray tracing in Cyberpunk 2077. Without affecting performance, ray reconstruction in general has better image quality for ray tracing effects in many ways: high fidelity heart reflections and shadows, less noise moving images, more responsive images and a shorter stabilization time for effects, reduced ghosting and improved lighting, which translates to better image definition. Basically, this solves many of the problems we’ve had with ray tracing over the years. In many games, when you make the effect of ray tracing, we can see more interesting views, which are more accurate and work better in other situations. But this often results in low resolution, grainy images, other artifacts, and poor timing.

Sometimes the ray tracing effect bubbles, crackle, and move even though there is no real movement on the screen, this is through very ray numbers and weak denoisers. There are times when we don’t want to make mistakes in ray tracing because these words are very annoying and really don’t support the great performance of failure.

Ray reconstruction is a step towards solving these types of problems, making ray tracing easier to use. We are more likely to let you get a ray in a game when the image quality is really impressive, when there aren’t many artifacts or glitches, and when it’s done visually. This technology seems to be a suitable way to reduce the materials used and improve the quality of the ray without the need to increase the number of rays and increase the efficiency.

We also hope that ray tracing will encourage developers to use more powerful ray tracing effects, because the resulting behavior will really pay off. It is clear that some developers are careful with ray tracing to the point that the visible difference is rare when it is enabled, all because they do not want to compromise performance.

Ray reconstruction does not reduce the efficiency of making the RT effect high, but it makes it easier to support because the final image is more responsive than it would be. However, ray tracing clearly still has some issues and Nvidia still has a long way to go before this feature becomes a winning feature for improving ray tracing. In many places, we found that ray tracing was detrimental to image quality, as it seemed to fight with reflections on the surface of the text.

This isn’t something you’ll see all the time, it depends on the altitude, light, location, time of day, etc., but it’s been evident at times during many hours of Cyberpunk exploration. If we were to put some numbers, we would say that ray reconstruction improves the image about 60% of the time, about 20% of the time it has no effect, and about 20% of time we see a comeback.

If we were to put some numbers, we would say that ray reconstruction improves the image about 60% of the time, about 20% of the time it has no effect, and about 20% of time we see a comeback. However, Nvidia has a proven track record of improving DLSS quality over time with updates – we’ve seen this with high resolution and mid-generation.

Nvidia also admits that there are some situations where ray tracing would benefit from additional AI training, so we’ll be looking for improvements over time. Which also leads us to believe that this is the beginning, perhaps even an early implementation, and that is why the ray reconstruction is not available for the classic type of radiation pursuit, since they will clearly benefit from a high resolution and quality better image.

Running it with the most demanding path tracking mode is fine, but most RTX owners don’t have the GPU power for path tracking. This is not easy with RTX 4070 or RTX 3080, the latter does not even have Frame Generation restrictions. Once you get to the $500 or less GeForce model (or the entire Turing generation), you’ll be well used to normal tracing, which isn’t compatible with ray tracing at the moment. Nvidia and CDPR should make the feature work with regular ray tracing, so that more GeForce owners can benefit from it, and so that DLSS 3.5 can live up to its claims of compatibility with RTX GPUs. all, because now, this is the only case. – book support. Also, supporting DLAA would be nice, even though DLAA has poor pathfinding even with the RTX 4090.

Again, this is a first look at the technology based on testing the same game. . It is possible that games with good denoisers will benefit less from ray reconstruction, while those with useless or poor implementations will benefit more. Over time, we’ll have a better idea of ​​the effects of all the games, although this first look is great and we haven’t seen many (or any) examples of games that have effects.

Better than DLSS 3.5. giving. Currently, ray design is not a selling point for buying GeForce GPUs. Game support, even with upcoming titles, is very limited and Nvidia still has a lot of work to do to improve this feature. But AMD and Intel need to work on competing technologies right away, because no one wants to fall into the search for graphics in time if the ray design catches most games. AMD in particular should not want to be a brand where ray tracing not only works worse in its products, but also worse.

 

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