Cyberpunk 2077: DLSS vs. FSR Comparison Review 58

Cyberpunk 2077: DLSS vs. FSR Comparison Review



Cyberpunk 2077 recently received a next-gen update with new enhancements to the game graphics, such as an improved lighting system and ray traced local shadows. On PC, the developers also added support for AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR). With the improved lighting system and addition of ray traced local shadows on PC, the game is now even more GPU demanding than before. In order to run this game at maximum graphics settings and reasonable framerates at native resolution, quite a powerful GPU is required, which is why upscaling solutions are so important. Depending on the game, there are subtle differences in the implementation of NVIDIA's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) and AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), so we are keen to have a look at both in this game.

Below, you will find comparison screenshots at 4K, 1440p, and 1080p and in different DLSS/FSR quality modes. For those who want to see how DLSS and FSR perform in motion, watch our side-by-side comparison video. The video can help uncover issues like shimmering or temporal instability, which are not visible in the screenshots.

All tests were made using a GeForce RTX 3080 GPU at Ultra graphics settings with ray tracing enabled; motion blur, depth of field, and some elements of the HUD were disabled for better image viewing. In the 1.5 patch, the developers updated their DLSS implementation to the 2.3.4 version.


Side by Side Comparison Video


With the latest 1.5 update for Cyberpunk 2077, the developers also greatly improved their DLSS implementation. Not only have they updated the DLSS version, which is now version 2.3.4 instead of 2.1.39, but a DLSS sharpening slider in the settings menu has also been added. By default, the game sets the DLSS sharpening slider to 0.05, which we kept for our testing. The FSR implementation also uses a sharpening filter in the render path, but you can't control the level of sharpening applied by FSR, and it can't be disabled. Even though a FidelityFX sharpening toggle is visible in the menu, it is forced to enabled after you enable FSR.

Speaking of image quality and performance, compared to native resolution, the DLSS performance uplift at 4K and 1440p is an impressive improvement to the game, and image quality is more detailed and stable than the TAA/FSR solution. In order to play at these resolutions at maximum graphics settings and reasonable framerates, you just have to enable DLSS to achieve more comfortable framerates. DLSS deals with vegetation details even better than the native resolutions, including 1080p; small details in the distance are rendered more correctly and complete, and compared to native TAA, DLSS fixes shimmering on thin objects.

Speaking of FSR, the image quality with it enabled is pretty underwhelming without the ability to tweak the sharpening level, and unlike some other FSR implementations, it's heavily oversharpened even at high resolutions, and causes the game to even look darker because of it, which is especially noticeable on trees or grass. At 1080p resolution, things become even worse because of the excessive shimmering not only on thin objects, but the whole image—all of these issues are present at 1080p in FSR Ultra Quality mode. At 1440p FSR Ultra Quality mode, these issues are also present, just less noticeable. To be fair, shimmering on trees or grass with FSR enabled is technically not caused by FSR since those artifacts are also present with TAA, which is the anti-aliasing method used as the basis before the FSR render pass is made. FSR gets an image with shimmering to work on, which makes it look like FSR is the root cause even though it is not.
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Jul 3rd, 2022 17:57 EDT change timezone

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