Home

 › 

Vs.

 › 

DLAA vs. DLSS: Which Should You Use and When?

Gaming Monitors 2022

DLAA vs. DLSS: Which Should You Use and When?

DLAA vs. DLSS: which should you use? When it comes to coaxing out performance and visual fidelity with your NVIDIA GPU, there are plenty of options to choose from. The proprietary tech featured in both DLAA and DLSS has been a massive boon for gamers, enabling fantastic visuals and stunningly fast performance. Today’s comparison will take a closer look at how these implementations work.

Along with analyzing how the tech works, we’ll also be taking a deeper look at the settings that fit some of today’s hottest games. Titles like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 have been lauded for their extreme visual fidelity. Using DLAA or DLSS you can further accentuate the visual fidelity while gaining an edge in terms of performance.

DLAA vs. DLSS: Side-by-Side Comparison

FeatureDLAADLSS
Full NameDeep Learning Anti-AliasingDeep Learning Super Sampling
Best UseIncreasing overall visual fidelity at native resolution for your monitor.Increasing overall performance and framerates while turning on features like ray tracing.
PerformanceDLAA isn’t particularly performance-focused and requires a powerful GPU to fully utilize.DLSS is very focused on performance, with specific modes available for supported games.
VisualsDLAA provides the best visual clarity and fidelity, making for stunning visuals if you have a flagship GPU.DLSS can increase visual fidelity depending on a game’s settings, but it will depend on how the game implements it.
Latest Version3.53.5
GPUs SupportedAll NVIDIA RTX GPUs, starting with the Turing architectureAll NVIDIA RTX GPUs, beginning with Turing.
High Efficiency
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090
$2,194.99
  • Has 16,384 NVIDIA CUDA Cores
  • Supports 4K 120Hz HDR, 8K 60Hz HDR
  • Up to 2x performance and power efficiency
  • Fourth-Gen Tensor Cores that offer 2x AI performance
  • Third-Gen RT Cores
  • AI-Accelerated Performance: NVIDIA DLSS 3
  • NVIDIA Reflex low-latency platform
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 08:12 pm GMT

DLAA vs. DLSS: What’s the Difference? Which Settings Work Best for Each Game?

With some of the broader particulars out of the way, it is time to take a look at what settings work best for each game covered in today’s comparison. Every game is different, and performance can vary wildly from game to game, as you’ll see. There are some general rules of thumb to keep in mind as we cover the selected games, however.

General Use

For most games on the market, I would honestly run DLSS when given the chance. I generally prefer performance over visual fidelity. As such, I tinker with settings to get a good mix of visual clarity and framerates of 60 or higher.

I have an RTX 2060 Super, so I’m not leaning too much on the side of DLAA. However, if you’re running a flagship GPU like an RTX 4090, I would run DLAA. You’re presumably going to be running most games at 4K resolution with an RTX 4090, so the increased fidelity from DLAA is going to come in handy for increasing overall visual fidelity.

Modern Warfare 3

Modern Warfare 2 and 3 are running on the same engine, so these tips can be applied to both. During my testing of gameplay, I couldn’t notice much of a difference in general visual quality when toggling on DLSS and DLAA. However, I did not an increase in overall performance with DLSS enabled. Modern Warfare 3 is a multiplayer-focused game, so framerates and latency are king.

As such, I would heavily recommend targeting overall performance with DLSS rather than trying to pump up the visuals with DLAA. Maybe it’s down to the lack of power on my GPU’s part, but I’d rather have a stable 60 frames per second or higher rather than have top visual fidelity but have trouble spotting enemies during gameplay.

Cyberpunk 2077

dlaa vs. dlss
CDProjekt RED’s Cyberpunk 2077 is the gold standard when it comes to visual fidelity.

Cyberpunk 2077 is a visually stunning game and is easily one of the best benchmarks of new hardware on the market currently. At launch, Cyberpunk 2077 didn’t run well for anyone, regardless of your GPU. However, the intervening years since its release have seen notable improvements in overall performance. As such, it is one of the most visually stunning games you can run.

If you’ve got a higher-end GPU, I wholeheartedly suggest running DLAA and ray tracing if you can muster the framerate. This makes the game look stunning, and Night City comes alive with the increase in visual clarity. Users with lower to mid-range GPUs should go with DLSS, which greatly increases performance at lower resolution. You’ve still got stunning visuals, but it isn’t nearly as taxing.

Cyberpunk 2077 is an interesting case, operating similarly to 2007’s Crysis. Crysis served as the defacto benchmark for years when it came to overall performance for PC hardware. If you want to flex the full power of an RTX 4090, DLAA and ray tracing are going to look sublime.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition

It is hard to believe it has been more than a decade since the launch of Skyrim. However, as with all Elder Scrolls games, you have a vibrant and active modding community constantly tinkering with the visuals. Now, in its default state, I would say you could run either DLAA or DLSS and have a fine time.

When running more visually intensive mods as a whole, you’re going to need that boost in performance. Skyrim is built on old tech, and as such can require several workarounds to function correctly with a long load list of mods. I would suggest DLSS, regardless of what sort of GPU you might have. That is going to give you the best overall performance for texture enhancement and any shader adjustments.

Baldur’s Gate 3

Larian came out of left field with arguably the best RPG released in the last decade. While Baldur’s Gate 3 calls back to yesteryear in terms of overall mechanics, the visuals are top-notch. As such, you’ll have to make some adjustments depending on your current GPU. RTX 4080 and 4090 users can readily get away with running DLAA, and the increase in visual fidelity looks stunning in the game.

However, if you’re running a mid-range card, I’d shoot for DLSS once again. The increase in overall performance is only going to help you with progressing through the game. Certain areas like the whole of Act 3 are notorious for performance drops, so every little bit helps while the game is still being actively patched by the developers.

Starfield

dlaa vs. dlss
DLAA and DLSS support for Starfield is iffy, but hopefully, future patches make either option viable.

Starfield doesn’t run particularly well on most machines, but performance has been steadily improving. As such, if you’re just looking to maintain playable framerates until the modding SDK fixes performance, DLSS is the way to go. As with other Bethesda games, future mods can handle most of the visual fidelity woes. The name of the game with Starfield is just accounting for the iffy performance.

To this end, DLSS is your best bet, even if Bethesda doesn’t have the best implementation for their engine. DLAA has been bringing GPUs like the RTX 4090 to a crawl, which is frankly appalling given the overall visual fidelity of the game.

Alan Wake 2

Alan Wake 2 is awe-inspiring in motion. The moody follow-up to Remedy’s horror franchise is one of the best-looking games on the market today. However, this might just be a quirk or a bug, but DLAA doesn’t work as intended currently. I haven’t noticed a particular boost in visual fidelity, despite the framerate dip. Instead, DLSS 3.5 is going to be your best bet.

DLSS 3.5 set to quality mode makes the game look stunning. I’m running mostly medium settings and it is simply phenomenal how the game looks. I imagine users with a beefier GPU than mine will note a marked improvement in terms of performance and overall visual fidelity.

Superior
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080
$1,399.99
  • 16 GB of GDDR6X VRAM
  • 2.51 GHz GPU clock speed
  • PCI Express 4.0 support
  • Great for AI work
  • 9,728 NVIDIA CUDA Cores
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/11/2024 08:32 am GMT

DLAA vs. DLSS: 5 Must-Know Facts

  • DLAA works best at native resolutions, especially for increasing visual fidelity.
  • DLAA is best suited for powerful GPUs from the NVIDIA product line.
  • DLSS can be set towards performance or quality settings.
  • DLSS enables the use of ray tracing for lower-end GPUs, thanks to boosting the frame rate.
  • DLSS is a good general option to run on supported games.

DLAA vs. DLSS: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Choose?

So, which of these options is the clear winner? In all honesty, I find it hard to not recommend DLSS for most use. I run it on every supported game that has it, from Modern Warfare 3 to Baldur’s Gate 3. I love the option as it enables greater visual fidelity across the board while keeping framerates smooth and consistent.

As such, if you’re only going to stick with one, DLSS is the way to go. However, I do urge you to tinker with your game settings per game. You might find DLAA increases the overall look while maintaining stable enough framerates to be enjoyable.

  1. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090
    $2,194.99
    • Has 16,384 NVIDIA CUDA Cores
    • Supports 4K 120Hz HDR, 8K 60Hz HDR
    • Up to 2x performance and power efficiency
    • Fourth-Gen Tensor Cores that offer 2x AI performance
    • Third-Gen RT Cores
    • AI-Accelerated Performance: NVIDIA DLSS 3
    • NVIDIA Reflex low-latency platform
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/10/2024 08:12 pm GMT
  2. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080
    $1,399.99
    • 16 GB of GDDR6X VRAM
    • 2.51 GHz GPU clock speed
    • PCI Express 4.0 support
    • Great for AI work
    • 9,728 NVIDIA CUDA Cores
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/11/2024 08:32 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Do AMD GPUs support DLSS or DLAA?

No, DLSS and DLAA are exclusive to NVIDIA GPUs.

Do all games support DLAA and DLSS?

No, and it is going to depend on whether a game is built with NVIDIA or AMD in mind. Some like Modern Warfare 3 can accept proprietary tech from both, however.

Is DLSS the best choice?

For the vast majority of my usage, yes. However, if you’ve got a more powerful GPU, then DLAA makes for absolutely stunning visuals.

How do DLSS and DLAA work?

Both technologies leverage deep learning to supersample or apply anti-aliasing to an image dynamically.

Does every game have a decent implementation of DLSS and DLAA?

Not at all, and your enjoyment of a game might be greatly hindered by a shoddy implementation of DLSS and DLAA.

To top