DLSS Just Casually Doubles System Shock’s Frame Rate

DLSS Just Casually Doubles System Shock’s Frame Rate
Image: System Shock (Night Dive Studios)

We’ve written a ton about how Nvidia’s DLSS is some form of AI-powered wizardry, but the impact it’s having on the System Shock remake is some proper voodoo doll, sacrificial shit.

Nvidia announced today that System Shock, Crysis Remastered and The Fabled Woods would all be getting support for DLSS today. Ever since the release of an official Unreal Engine 4 plugin, it’s been easier for more games to incorporate the AI-powered upscaling technique.

It doesn’t make life easier if you don’t have an RTX GPU, obviously, and it doesn’t work for AMD users. But it’s hard not to appreciate just how bonkers the improvements can be. Take System Shock: it’s already a pretty well optimised game. But there’s a difference between, “Oh, this runs nice,” and a straight up doubling of the frame rate:

nvidia dlss
Image: Nvidia

Now the obvious caveat here is that a) these are Nvidia’s own figures, so add a grain of salt times 100, and b) the figures are from the DLSS Performance mode, which hits image quality the hardest. Most people will prefer to use DLSS in Quality or Balanced modes, as that does the least damage to fine details (particularly any surfaces with thin sharp edges, text in backgrounds, and so on). The FPS improvement in those modes is never as impressive, but it’s still really good — often around 20 to 30 per cent depending on settings and the game. (Here’s the impact it has on Cyberpunk.)

So from this, Balanced and Quality modes in System Shock should give greater than normal FPS boosts. Performance mode is usually more of a gain from the 30 to 50 per cent range — or less, as seen in Cyberpunk 2077. And given that System Shock doesn’t require twitch shooter-levels of reaction speeds, it means on a practical level that a huge range of PCs should have no problem running the return of SHODAN in 4K. (Also, let’s appreciate the part where the RTX 2080 Ti is still holding its own.)

But as cool as DLSS is, it might not be the only AI-powered trick in town for long. AMD finally confirmed this morning that their alternative, FidelityFX Super Resolution, will launch this year. It’s supposedly AMD’s “highest priority” for AMD’s graphics department, although making it available on consoles is more of a “long term goal” than a short term one.

As for System Shock, you can try out the demo — and the DLSS performance — on Steam today.

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