The PC version of Red Dead Redemption 2 now supports Nvidia DLSS. ComputerBase took a closer look at intelligent AI upsampling. The test shows that in many situations it produces a better image than the native resolution, but also struggles with problems.
Table of contents
- 1 The image quality of DLSS in RDR 2
- The image sharpness is significantly better with DLSS
- The better sharpness has its price
- DLSS is preferable to the native resolution – with restrictions
- The performance advantages with DLSS
- The performance has generally got worse
- With DLSS there are to see clearly more details
In November 2019, the western epic Red Dead Redemption 2 was released on the PC and was able to score with spectacular graphics. A few days ago it was revealed that the game will also receive support from Nvidia's intelligent AI upsampling DLSS with the next update “Blood Money” for Red Dead Online. And that is what has appeared in the meantime. ComputerBase tests how well DLSS works in Red Dead Redemption 2.
The image quality of DLSS in RDR 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 comes with DLSS in version 126.96.36.199, which reports in the graphics menu with the usual quality options “Quality”, “Balanced”, “Performance” and “Ultra Performance”. During testing, however, two errors that had nothing to do with the quality of DLSS were noticed fairly quickly. The game tends to crash when switching back and forth between the DLSS modes. In addition, it can happen that suddenly extreme graphics errors occur after activating the feature. These then no longer go away, even if DLSS is switched off. In this case, the only thing that helps is to quit the game and restart it.
The image sharpness is significantly better with DLSS
The anti-aliasing used by Red Dead Redemption 2 has a problem. Because the TAA with its temporal component muddles the picture massively. The effect is still limited when the camera is stationary, but the image is automatically very blurred when moving. Many graphic details literally blur into one another and become unrecognizable. And that also applies in combination with high resolutions such as 3,840 × 2,160 – in lower resolutions the effect is even more extreme.
Since DLSS replaces the game's anti-aliasing, Nvidia's intelligent AI upsampling has a pretty big leverage and uses it. The image with DLSS is not only much sharper than with the native resolution, fine graphic details are also clearly easier to see, which with the TAA blur at the latest when moving. Be it on posters, houses, the vegetation or the player character himself, the effect can be seen on almost all objects. Screenshots already show the improvement quite well. How great the advantages of DLSS really are in this regard, however, only becomes clear in motion – accordingly, the editorial team recommends a look at the two recorded videos. Since YouTube still compresses the videos heavily in 4K, it is advisable to download the original video for an optimal comparison. This is where the differences can best be seen.
In addition, DLSS in RDR 2 can boast a good temporal construction that can display fine details such as thin lines better than TAA. There aren't too many such scenarios in the game, but DLSS can score points in the few that are available.
Better sharpness has its price
The TAA destroys a lot of details in Red Dead Redemption 2, but the anti-aliasing works really well in terms of image stability. And that is exactly the weakness when using DLSS, because the feature has surprisingly big problems in the game. Even with DLSS on “Quality”, the optics flicker significantly more even in Ultra HD. And there isn't a special object that flickers either, because a large part of the image is affected. More aggressive DLSS modes or lower resolutions increase the unrest accordingly.
In addition, when using DLSS there are apparently a few problems with the LOD in RDR 2. At least with some objects, even at a medium distance, suddenly significantly fewer details are displayed. So they don't just look worse, but mostly disappear entirely. This only affects some objects, but happens every now and then.