Ray Tracing and DLSS Performance

Out of the eight games we used in this review, half of them support Ray Tracing and DLSS. We are going to use what we can and compare what we can. We are enabling the highest in-game settings and Ray Tracing and with or without DLSS. In this way you can see how DLSS improves performance. In some games we have several comparisons to look at so we will have multiple graphs per game.

Cyberpunk 2077

GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC Cyberpunk 2077 1440p Performance Graph with Ray Tracing and DLSS

In this first test, we are running at 1440p. For the quality setting, we are using the Graphics Preset of “Ray Tracing Ultra.” By default, this sets DLSS on “Auto” on NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs. However, because the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT does not have DLSS, it’s just off and not supported. That means for all video cards, Ray Tracing is on “Ultra” quality, but for the NVIDIA GPUs DLSS is on “Auto” and for the Radeon RX 6800 XT there is no DLSS.

The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC provides 83FPS average at 1440p with this Graphics Preset option. Overclocking it doesn’t add much, but this performance is 6% faster than the GeForce RTX 3080. At 83FPS this game is more than playable, and so 1440p with Ultra Ray Tracing and Auto DLSS is very playable. Compared to the Radeon RX 6800 XT the GIGABYTE RTX 3090 is 225% faster thanks to DLSS.

GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC Cyberpunk 2077 4K Performance Graph with Ray Tracing and DLSS

In this graph we are doing the same thing as above, but now running at 4K instead of 1440p. You can see that even at 4K when the Graphics Preset is set to “Ray Tracing Ultra” and the DLSS is on Auto by default, the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC is very playable at 61FPS. This is 11% faster than the GeForce RTX 3080 FE. Overclocking improves performance by 6%. The GIGABYTE RTX 3090 is 371% faster than the Radeon RX 6800 XT thanks to its better Ray Tracing performance and DLSS.

GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC Cyberpunk 2077 1440p Performance Graph with Ray Tracing

Now in this graph we are back at 1440p, but we have turned DLSS OFF and just running Ray Tracing at “Ultra.” This shows how much more powerful Ray Tracing alone is compared to the Radeon RX 6800 XT. The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC is 12% faster than the GeForce RTX 3080 FE and 86% faster than the Radeon RX 6800 XT. Overclocking the RTX 3090 improves performance by 6%.

GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC Cyberpunk 2077 1440p Performance Graph with Ray Tracing and Quality DLSS

Finally, in this graph we are still at 1440p, but have now enabled Quality DLSS with Ray Tracing at “Ultra.” You can see how the game is now very playable at 75FPS on the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC. It’s 9% faster than the GeForce RTX 3080. Overclocking it improves performance by 5%.

Dirt 5

GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC Dirt 5 1440p Performance Graph with Ray Tracing

With patch 4.00 in Dirt 5 it now supports Ray Tracing. It uses Ray Tracing on car shadows. With Ray Tracing turned on the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC is very playable at 113FPS at 1440p. It’s 10% faster than the RTX 3080 and overclocking it improves performance by 6%.

GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC Dirt 5 4K Performance Graph with Ray Tracing

The game is still very playable at 4K with Ray Tracing turned on with the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC. It provides 78FPS and is 12% faster than the RTX 3080 FE and 9% faster than the Radeon RX 6800 XT. Overclocking it improves performance by 5%.

Watch Dogs Legion

GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC Watch Dogs Legion 1440p Performance Graph with Ray Tracing and Quality DLSS

Watch Dogs Legion is another game that is very demanding with Ray Tracing turned on, so we wanted to also include Quality DLSS to show you how much that improves performance. Firstly, the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC at 1440p does provide playable performance at 62FPS with Ray Tracing enabled. However, turn on Quality DLSS and that performance shoots up 40% to 87FPS. When overclocked that DLSS performance is at 91FPS an increase of 38% without DLSS. This makes the game very playable at 1440p with max settings and max Ray Tracing. The Radeon RX 6800 XT just can’t compete. GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC with Quality DLSS is 123% faster than the Radeon RX 6800 XT.

GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC Watch Dogs Legion 4K Performance Graph with Ray Tracing and Quality DLSS

At 4K this game is very demanding with Ray Tracing. Even the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC cannot provide a playable experience, at only 35FPS. Overclocked it’s 37FPS, but not playable. That is of course, until you enable Quality DLSS. Then performance shoots up to 57FPS and overclocked we hit the almighty 60FPS at 4K with Ray Tracing. It is amazing how DLSS really changes the nature of gameplay at 4K.

Wolfenstein Youngblood

GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC Wolfenstein Youngblood 1440p Performance Graph with Ray Tracing and Quality DLSS

Wolfenstein Youngblood is another good example of how good DLSS helps performance with Ray Tracing enabled. The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC is at 179FPS without DLSS, but turn it on and performance increases 27% and is well over 200FPS. Overclocking helps even more and DLSS brings it up to 239FPS.

GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC Wolfenstein Youngblood 4K Performance Graph with Ray Tracing and Quality DLSS

DLSS greatly helps 4K performance with Ray Tracing turned on, and gives us that over 120FPS range on the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC.

Brent Justice

Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components for 20+ years, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer oriented...

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2 Comments

  1. Seven months to review a GPU that is essentially impossible to buy in retail, seems about right.
    The review is well done as usual.
    The availability is disheartening.
  2. Thanks @Brent_Justice for the great review. I’m not a fan of the block-styled design of these cards but its good to know they’re up to par. After all, most don’t buy cards to look at them.
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