Why Nvidia DLSS Could Solve Laptop's Main Problem

Why Nvidia DLSS Could Solve Laptop’s Main Problem

If you have a laptop to play with, do the following: Disconnect it from the network and start a game. You can’t play. Laptop manufacturers voluntarily limit the performance of their machines with battery power to avoid showing ridiculous battery life. This is where DLSS comes in.

Cyberpunk to Razer Blade 17

The problem with graphics cards is not just hardware, it’s software. The ongoing battle between Nvidia and AMD, but also Intel, is also fascinating to follow. Nvidia is the forerunner of consumer super sampling technologies with Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), AMD offers FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution), as Intel says. XSS (Xe Super Sampling).

Current laptops lose performance when disconnected. An issue that Apple likes to point out in its conferences, as its MacBooks under ARM are saved. Technologies like DLSS could help manufacturers solve this problem.

What is supersampling technology?

It’s called super-sampling technology, but it can also be called a space-scale engine. This type of technology has been around for a long time, most Full HD and 4K TVs have it. The idea of ​​super-sampling technology is to reduce the voltage of your GPU by rendering the original image at a lower definition and then using artificial intelligence to increase that image to give the illusion that it is has created with a higher definition.

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Imagine playing a visually stunning AAA title with the maximum settings on a 4K screen, but the game actually runs in Full HD and then scaled from AI to 4K with this technology. Then the images will be more detailed and this also means that the game can run faster and smoother, which will allow you to gain significant gains in terms of the number of images displayed, without the graphic effects suffering. . The artificial intelligence used by this technology basically adds the extra pixels.

Apparently, this is a big challenge, as you have to generate hundreds of frames per second without the players realizing this treatment. But it would be a mistake to mix technologies in the market, the solutions of Nvidia, AMD and Intel are very different.

The technologies turn out to be different

There are as many recipes as there are software editors to try to erase the flaws and in particular the scaling effect that occurs with this practice or any inconsistency in the image. In case you need a brief explanation, space scaling techniques, such as AMD FSR 1.0, run every video frame of your game one at a time using an algorithm, and do not require a special GPU to work.

Nvidia DLSS, on the other hand, is a time-scale technique that compares multiple frames and takes into account how things move in a video game scene and processes it using a neural network that runs exclusively on Tensor cores that can only be found on an Nvidia RTX GPU. In other words: DLSS requires dedicated hardware acceleration while FSR 1.0 aims for wider compatibility. AMD’s FSR 2.0 and Intel’s XeSS work on the same principle as DLSS.

Is the DLSS ecological?

The idea here is not to show that DLSS allows you to increase the number of frames per second displayed on the screen or the quality of the renderings … Sometimes DLSS offers a better image than the native rendering, Nvidia has created its own tool elsewhere. to compare representations. ICAT is a (obviously) children’s Windows program that helps you see a stack of screenshots, games, and even videos recorded side by side. Automatically align images and make sure you can move each scene smoothly, zoom in and out of all images or videos at once.

Frames per second or image quality are not the only metrics for measuring Nvidia’s technology performance. Efficiency, or hardware performance given power, is another way to value laptop hardware.

Since the resources of laptops are shared and everything is simultaneously influenced by both the GPU and the CPU, we can add their power consumption to get the total power of the processor (TPP). To calculate efficiency, simply divide the number of frames per second by the total power of the processor.

This is a very interesting analysis, because in a laptop, efficiency is a particularly perceptible issue to better understand global warming and consumption. The less power your laptop needs to perform its tasks, the less it will heat up and the less energy it will consume. We did the experiment with the Razer Blade 17 (Intel Core i7-12800H, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and 32GB of RAM) mainly around the Cyberpunk 2077 game.

Keep in mind that we could do the same exercise in other AAA games, such as Doom Eternal, Gof Of War, Call Of Duty: Vanguard … as long as the game is DLSS compatible.

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Here are the test settings

DLSS offers four levels of detail: quality, balanced, performance and ultra performance. We did our testing by disabling DLSS and then setting it to a balanced and ultra performance. Of course, this has a slight impact on the quality of the graphics. While in mode ” Quality“, often there is no difference with the native definition at a glance, small losses of graphic quality can be observed in balanced mode and slightly larger losses in performance mode. In most cases, however, the differences can only be seen if you look closely at certain areas of the screen.

Fashion Definition Average FPS CPU + GPU (W) Efficiency (FPS / W)
DLSS disabled 1440p 24 183 0.13
Balanced DLSS 1440p 56 188 0.29
DLSS Ultra Performance 1440p 75 192 0.39
DLSS Ultra Performance with limited FPS 1440p 40 (limited) 142 0.29

What we see here is that the laptop consumes a little more power for significantly higher performance. If you have fun limiting the number of FPS shown, total consumption decreases … so performance is better!

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We measure everything in real time

DLSS is good for battery life

In other words, if you don’t need extreme FPS, because you don’t have a screen that reads hundreds of hertz, you can at least save some power with DLSS. This means that this type of technology is environmentally efficient.

Subsequently, DLSS could be a valuable weapon for creating mobile, high-performance, stand-alone machines. Obviously we think of the Nintendo Switch that uses an Nvidia chip. But we also think about laptops. Today, their performance is hampered when disconnected from the mains. Thus, we tested, under the same conditions, disconnecting the Razer laptop with the default settings and despite the DLSS enabled: the number of FPS drops to 8, the game is unplayable. Therefore, work is still needed to optimize battery performance using DLSS. We also think Steam Deck whose criticisms abound about its battery-powered performance.

So we hope that DLSS will make it possible, in the future, to play and work on the move without sacrificing the performance of our machines. Then, why not, also do it better than the efficiency of Apple’s ARM chips.

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