Ray tracing is great and all, but the real benefit to having one of those newfangled RTX video cards is DLSS. Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling for some stupendously high resolutions and graphics settings with minimal losses in frames-per-second. DLSS is what makes 4K gaming possible, and pretty soon, it'll be available to all in Skyrim.
The news comes courtesy of YouTuber Mern (via PCGamesN) who tells us that modder PureDark is working on a DLSS mod for Skyrim. The mod is apparently made possible by Skyrim's support for dynamic resolutions, allowing the implementation of DLSS as well as AMD's FSR 2.0 and Intel's XeSS, which are all generally similar.
For those who haven't tried it, DLSS is Nvidia's AI-powered super sampling software that boosts game performance without actually requiring better hardware. You'll still need one of Nvidia's newer graphics cards, and DLSS 3.0 isn't available to anyone without one of the newest RTX 40-series cards, but even DLSS 2.0 can provide massive performance gains for any game that supports it.
What DLSS is similar to how an AI can improve the resolution of a super old and grainy photograph, but it does it in real-time as your game is being played. Through black magic known only to those with a deep knowledge of computers, DLSS uses fewer system resources blowing up these images to higher resolutions than it would playing games at 4K natively.
It's not perfect, mind you. Some DLSS settings can blow out textures or make things appear a little blurry, but in general, it's a game changer. And pretty soon, it'll be in Skyrim.
PureDark says they're working on giving DLSS support to Skyrim VR before releasing the mod into the wild. That's a good idea since VR typically benefits the most from DLSS due to not just requiring higher resolutions but also displaying two images of the same game at the same time.
Skyrim still doesn't have a mod for ray tracing, although Nvidia recently released some software that would make it far easier to mod ray tracing into older games. In the meantime, the Lux-Via mod is probably the closest Skyrim has to ray tracing at the moment.
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