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Why NVIDIA’s old RTX GPUs won’t be getting the new DLSS 3.0 feature

GPUs are an important part of any PC and choosing the right one can be a difficult decision. If you’re looking at NVIDIA GPUs, you’re probably wondering if DLSS 3.0 is an available feature. DLSS 3.0 is the latest version of the technology and is only available on RTX 4000 series GPUs. So if you have an older NVIDIA GPU, luck isn’t really on your side.

DLSS is a technology that uses the Tensor cores found in NVIDIA GPUs to improve game performance while maintaining image quality. It’s an AI-based technology that upscales in-game images, allowing games to run at higher resolutions and frame rates.

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NVIDIA’s Ada GPUs will offer significant improvements over the company’s previous GPU generation, including a new architecture and support for NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Super Sampling 3.0 technology. However, NVIDIA has no plans to offer support for its older generation of RTX GPUs.


What is DLSS3?

A breakthrough advance in AI-powered graphics, DLSS 3 dramatically increases gameplay fluidity while maintaining excellent visual quality and responsiveness. Built on Super Resolution, DLSS includes NVIDIA Reflex Low-Latency technology for the best responsiveness and optical multi-frame generation to create entirely new frames. The fourth generation NVIDIA Ada Lovelace architecture, which also powers the GeForce RTX 40 series graphics cards, is a powerhouse for super sampling.

The Frame Generation Convolutional Autoencoder uses two consecutive frames in the game and Ada’s Optical Flow Accelerator. The optical flow field records the direction and speed of movement of the pixels between frames 1 and 2. Particles, reflections, shadows, lighting, and other pixel-level details that are not accounted for by motion vector calculations in game engines may be seen in the optical flow accelerator. Optical flow fields are calculated using two consecutive frames. The current and previous game frames and engine data such as motion vectors and depth are the four inputs.

The DLSS Frame Generation AI network chooses how to use data from sequential game frames, optical flow fields, and game engine data such as motion vectors to create intermediate frames for each pixel. DLSS 3 also uses a game engine motion vector to accurately follow the movement of geometry in the scene, as opposed to the Optical Flow Accelerator, which records pixel-level effects such as reflections. Frame generation can precisely reconstruct geometry and effects using both motor motion vectors and optical flow to track motion.


Why isn’t DLSS 3 supported in the previous generation RTX GPUs?

Because DLSS frame generation is performed as post-processing on the GPU, DLSS3 does not work on previous generation cards. The improved optical flow analyzers on the RTX 4000 series cards are light years ahead of the previous generation models. Although older generation cards support OFA, they are not as fast or effective as Ada.

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Although last-gen RTX cards could support DLSS 3, NVIDIA has decided to drop support for them, believing that the DLSS they can achieve will be laggy and of lower overall quality than what can be achieved with RTX4000 could. This decision may have contributed to a general disinterest in DLSS.



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