If you have new RTX graphics, it's a good time to revisit Night City. That's because CD Projekt has added DLSS 3 to Cyberpunk 2077, so you can see how the game's performance has improved.
If you have new RTX graphics, it's a good time to revisit Night City. That's because CD Projekt has added DLSS 3 to Cyberpunk 2077, so you can see how the game's performance has improved. Although this update is still just an intermediate step to a big graphics improvement. In fact, the new Overdrive Ray tracing settings haven't arrived yet, and we might see them only with the new expansion. So the visuals don't change now, just the performance itself.
Since we have the RTX 4080, we'll take a look at the game straight on it. Finally, if you want to see DLSS 3 in action, you'll need an RTX 40 card, as this feature doesn't work on the old cards.
For these new cards, the game has added a setting to turn on Frame Generation, and at the same time, for all RTX cards, RTX Reflex has been added under the graphics setting. This will automatically turn on when Frame Generation is enabled, without it you can turn it on to standard or boost.
Straight on the benchmark video we see a comparison of DLSS 2 and DLSS 3, so practically DLSS function without and with the frame generation function. The difference in framerate is big and the quality is practically unchanged.
Native - 29 fps
DLSS2 - 74 fps
DLSS3 - 112 fps
It's all with an i5 12600k processor and specifically Gainward Phantom graphics, which is in base clock.
Let's take a look at the differences between the native image, DLSS2 and DLSS 3+frame generation in framerate, response and power consumption:
In the desert region, it looked like this:
4K - 38 fps, 51ms - 320w
4K DLSS 2 Quality + RTX Reflex - 68 fps, 34ms - 306w
4K DLSS 3 Quality - 92 fps, 50ms lag - 304w
Don't notice the CPU load in the pictures, Nvidia has some bug there, realistic is around 20%-50% on this i5 processor. Load here also depends on framerate, so in native resolution it is lower around 22%, when it needs to recalculate more frames it is higher, there DLSS2 and DLSS3 had around 44%. The load doesn't change much between them, since in DLSS3 the graphics and not the processor is already taking care of generating the next frame.
Here we see right away a few important data points, namely the differences in framerate, where we see similar differences as in the benchmark. Although here the native framerate is higher at 38 fps, since there is not as much ray tracing in the desert and so 4K goes higher with framerate, DLSS 2 gives 68 fps and DLSS 3 also with frame generation at 92 fps. The differences here are smaller than in the benchmark, but still with DLSS 3 it will offer double the framerate compared to the native resolution. Here we see that the more raytracing there is in the base scene the more DLSS 2 and 3 add.
Then there we see the change in response time, where 50ms is the base response time. Quite high by the way, but also related to the lower framerate. With DLSS2 it drops nicely to a more dynamic 32-34ms, but even with RTX Reflex on, without it it's around 70ms. Here we see that with DLSS3 it practically rises back to around the original response value. It's standard. That is to say, with DLSS 3 the response drops slightly as one frame is generated and then the control response from the game is not taken. However, RTX Reflex has been added to reduce this response, which is an automatic part of DLSS 3.
This is the setting in Quality mode of DLSS. At 4K resolution, you don't have to worry and you can switch even Performance with minimal impact on quality. Eventually Ultra Performance. For the record, Ultra Performance will again reduce the response time to 32ms.
Graphic card power consumption
Along with this, the comparison also shows us the change in consumption. That is to say, the highest load is at native resolution, where the graphics have to recalculate the most. In this scene, it is 320W. At DLSS 2, there is a slight load shedding as the rendered resolution is lower and then some upscaling is done for a while. It drops to 308W. With DLSS3, surprisingly it dropped even further to 304W despite the fact that it generates an additional frem on top of the upscaling.
For the record, if you wanted to conserve power and have an even higher framerate, Ultra performance mode pulls 158 fps, at 32ms response time and 267W power consumption.
With PC it's not so much about power consumption, but if you have a laptop for example and you're playing on battery, it's worth turning DLSS on as high as possible to get the lowest power consumption. Ideally also lock the framerate to say 60 fps or even 30 fps so that the graphics don't needlessly overcompute if you want to save.
Other RTX 40 cards
If you would like to know how framerate and response will go on different RTX 40 cards. With the RTX4080 they got similar results to us, and while they had the i9, they had even higher response. Although they do show that with the RTX4090 the response is lower due to the higher power.
As well, Nvidia also showed what the power consumption is on each card and how the game goes at 1440p and 4K.
Let's also take a closer look at how Reflex affects game response. This is automatically turned on with DLSS3, but with DLSS2 and no DLSS you have the choice of Reflex off, Reflex on and Reflex Boost. The two on options are very similar but behave according to CPU performance, somewhere Boost will help, somewhere it won't.
The first image shows Reflex off where the response is 70ms, the second is standard Reflex where the response has dropped to 34ms, the third is Boost. Boost in this case helped to reduce the response even further to 31ms.
And what about the generated frames?
Of course, DLSS frame generation just always generates fremes between frames and the AI via motion vectors calculates the displacement of objects between two frames and more or less it works nicely and realistically you have no chance to see it and it's hard to even capture it in screenshots. Because the generated frem is just a frem hidden between two standard frem.
When moving through the world normally, the card handles the generation with virtually no problems, and it's hard to find and capture minor imperfections. But if you are moving the mouse quickly, then you are giving the frem generation as much work as possible, and the card may not know exactly where the object has gone. On the other hand, if motion blur is on, it has a harder time calculating, since motion blur just makes the screen look like chaos, but since it's chaos, even if it can't accurately adjust it, it doesn't get in the way.
A few shots show what errors the generation can make. The first shot is a quick rotation without motion blur, the others with motion blur:
There is no impact on the Reflex processor, and in all three cases the CPU load in this scene was around 29%.
Overall, DLSS 3 does a nice upgrade on framerate and the game is already getting smooth and dynamic even at the highest resolutions and highest settings. Too bad CD Projekt didn't release higher ray tracing settings straight away, let the new graphics sweat. And when CD Projekt does add it, it wouldn't be a bad thing to see the response. The latter is high, though it seems to be just some kind of bug, as the game once threw me the standard 15-19ms response time as well for some reason.