Does DLSS 3 Work On RTX 3000 Series Cards?

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Does DLSS 3 Work On RTX 3000 Series Cards?
Credit: NVIDIA

NVIDIA announced DLSS 3 on September 20, 2022, and some people are wondering whether DLSS 3 work on RTX 3000 series cards.

DLSS (deep learning super sampling) is a rendering technology introduced by NVIDIA in 2019 that uses AI to boost framerates. The latest iteration of DLSS, DLSS 3, is said to accelerate performance by up to 4X and increase responsiveness by 2X while maintaining great image quality.

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DLSS 3 looks great, but can RTX 3000 series card owners expect to benefit from DLSS 3? Read on to find out whether DLSS 3 works on RTX 3000 series cards!

Does DLSS 3 Work On RTX 3000 Series Cards?

Unfortunately, DLSS 3 technology is exclusive to the GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs (Ada Lovelace GPUs).

Nvidia’s Vice President of Applied Deep Learning Research, Bryan Catanzaro confirmed in a tweet that "the current version [of DLSS 3] only works on 4000-series cards."

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However, he added that "it’s theoretically possible that with additional research and engineering that we could get this technology working on other cards, although it wouldn’t provide as much benefit."

So it is unlikely that the tech might be added to older RTX GPUs in the future. The good news is that DLSS 3 games are backwards compatible with DLSS 2 technology so you will be able to play them on your RTX 2000 or 3000 Series GPU.

Why DLSS 3 Doesn't Work On RTX 3000 and 2000 Series Cards?

The reason why older GPUs don't support DLSS 3 is that the new technology relies on the hardware capabilities of the GeForce RTX 4000 Series GPUs which are based on the NVIDIA Ada Lovelace architecture.

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NVIDIA DLSS 3’s Frame Generation technology is powered by Ada’s new Optical Flow Accelerator, which feeds pixel motion data from subsequent frames to the DLSS neural network, generating new frames on the GPU, ensuring performance accelerates even in CPU-bound scenarios.

Although Optical Flow Accelerator has existed in GPUs since Turing, it has been significantly improved in Ada over its predecessors - it’s both faster and higher quality. The optical Flow Accelerator in older GPUs isn't powerful enough to process the large amounts of data required by DLSS 3.

As Bryan Catanzaro said, it is theoretically possible to make DLSS 3 work on older GPUs but users would feel that DLSS 3 is laggy, has bad image quality and doesn’t boost FPS.