Nvidia just announced DLSS 3.5, a brand new version of its GPU tool that’ll shake up ray tracing in PC games. While DLSS 3 currently helps boost gaming PC performance in terms of frame rate, the next iteration aims to help all RTX graphics card produce better lighting using the power of AI. Better still, the tech is also set to arrive alongside both Alan Wake 2 and Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty this fall, giving the update a chance to strut its stuff.
Announced at Gamescom 2023, Nvidia introduced us to DLSS 3.5 by outlining a specific problem with ray tracing. We won’t bog you down with technical jargon, but the graphics card maker effectively explained how manually tuned denoisers used by developers can lead to lighting inaccuracies, which ultimately leads to less realistic effects when using a gaming PC. Simply put, lights might not bounce around like they would in real life, and that’s something that may break immersion levels if you’re really trying to trick your senses.
So, to solve this problem, Nvidia has conjured up Ray Reconstruction, a new DLSS element that replaces hand tuned denoisers using AI generated pixels. If everything goes to plan the result should be upscaled lighting effects that don’t lose any information in the process. That includes retaining color data and kicking symptoms like ghosting to the curb, meaning you’ll likely notice the difference if you regularly play the latest games with ray tracing effects switched on.
It’s worth highlighting that DLSS 3.5, or at least its Ray Construction superpowers, will work with any RTX graphics card, so you won’t necessarily need a GeForce RTX 4090 to conjure up better lighting. That said, full ray tracing is pretty demanding, and Frame Generation arguably does a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to entry level RTX 4000 GPUs. So, while you can theoretically use the new features on an RTX 2060, performance might ultimately serve as a blocker.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t still be excited about the tech, and the fact it’s coming to Alan Wake 2 could be the perfect excuse to splash out on the new GPU. Remedy Entertainment’s lead graphics programmer, Tatu Aalto, says that DLSS 3.5 “renders our fully ray-traced world more beautifully than ever before, bringing you deeper into the story of Alan Wake 2,” which should help you get excited if you’re serious about PC ray tracing.
Of course, if you’re not into Twin Peaks inspired shenanigans, you might be more interested in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty DLSS 3.5 support. Nvidia confirms that the demanding RPG will gain Ray Reconstruction this September, so if you’ve picked up an RTX 4080 or 4090 since originally playing, next month is naturally the time to jump back in.
Still not your jam? Well, the feature is also coming to Portal with RTX, and we all know everyone loves Portal. Just like DLSS 3, implementation lies on the shoulders of developers, and we’ll ultimately need to wait and see how much of your future Steam library embraces the GPU tech.