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Wolfenstein: Youngblood Benchmarked: NVIDIA DLSS & Ray Tracing Tested

Wolfenstein: Youngblood Benchmarked: NVIDIA DLSS & Ray Tracing Tested

Wolfenstein: Youngblood now includes NVIDIA's DLSS and ray tracing, so we give it a benchmark run.

@anthony256
Anthony Garreffa
Published Thu, Feb 20 2020 1:00 PM CST   |   Updated Sat, Feb 22 2020 3:13 PM CST

Introduction & Graphics Cards Used

Wolfenstein: Youngblood launched in July 2019 during the most tumultuous time of my life, so I simply didn't have the time to run benchmarks over it and test out my suite of graphics cards. Well, the time has come where I finally do -- but before I have that article out I thought I'd explore the new DLSS and ray tracing update to the game for NVIDIA GeForce graphics card owners.

As you can see from NVIDIA's video above, the DLSS upgrades are a gorgeous addition to the game -- it's just a pity that Wolfenstein: Youngblood isn't that great of a game on its own. This isn't a review on the game itself so that argument to the side, I'm here to talk about the graphics and the new addition of Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) and real-time ray tracing (for shadows). Both of these upgrades are very welcomed, as they're a free upgrade for anyone that owns the game.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood is based on the id Tech 6 engine from id Software, and is powered by the Vulkan API. It has some great-looking graphics and was one of the first non-DirectX games to pack in NVIDIA's RTX real-time ray tracing technology. A recent update arrived enabling DLSS and RTX features in the game, something I thought deserves a deep dive benchmark.

Graphics Cards Used

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB GDDR6)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER (8GB GDDR6)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (8GB GDDR6)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER (8GB GDDR6)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (8GB GDDR6)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER (8GB GDDR6)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (11GB GDDR6)
  • NVIDIA TITAN RTX (24GB GDDR6)
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Graphics Settings & Drivers Used

Graphics Settings

For the purposes of this benchmark with Wolfenstein: Youngblood, I cranked up virtually all settings and only disabled anti-aliasing and motion blur. I've also disabled vertical sync, too. In my follow-up article, I'll adjust these settings to enable DLSS and ray tracing -- but all tests including the ones in this article are with the 'Mein leben!' preset which is above Uber (there's Low, Medium, High, Ultra, Uber, and Mein leben! for reference).

DLSS: Deep Learning Super Sampling

This is probably the most impressive addition to Wolfenstein: Youngblood, and is absolutely awesome in the game. It's probably the very best implementation of DLSS thus far, and something worthy of its own article -- hence, this benchmarking article that will give you a better look at the performance of our graphics cards.

The above embedded video by Digital Foundry deep dives into the ray tracing / VRS / DLSS technologies in Wolfenstein: Youngblood, where you can get a step-by-side and side-by-side change between the NVIDIA technologies being enabled and disabled. It's a great video.

You will get additional performance enabling DLSS, something that is just freaking awesome -- free performance is always the best. DLSS continues to improve thanks to the power of AI, as DLSS is constantly learning and improving -- something very visible here in Wolfenstein: Youngblood.

Not only is there additional performance up for grabs with DLSS enabled, but the visuals improve, too.

RT: Ray Traced Reflections

The ray tracing side of things sees RT-based reflections, and while it's a small touch, it's an important one. Some of the reflections like on metal railing and poles with light reflected off them add to the immersion of the world in Wolfenstein: Youngblood in a really, really big way.

Graphics Card Drivers Used

I'm using NVIDIA's latest GeForce Game Ready 442.19 WHQL drivers -- you can download those here.

Test System Specs

GPU Test Rig Specs

Welcome to the latest revision of our GPU test bed, with our system being upgraded from the Intel Core i7-7700K to the Core i7-8700K. The CPU is cooled by the Corsair H115i PRO cooler, with the 8700K overclocked to 5GHz. We've stayed with GIGABYTE for our motherboard with their awesome Z370 AORUS Gaming 7.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood Benchmarked: NVIDIA DLSS & Ray Tracing Tested 1060 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 18 IMAGES

We approached our friends at HyperX for a kit of their kick ass HyperX Predator DDR4-2933MHz RAM (HX429C15PB3AK4/32), with 2 x 8GB sticks for a total of 16GB DDR4-2933. The RAM stands out through every minute of our testing as it has beautiful RGB lights giving the system a slick look while benchmarking our lives away, while the Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 motherboard joins in with its own array of RGB lighting.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood Benchmarked: NVIDIA DLSS & Ray Tracing Tested 1061 | TweakTown.com

Anthony's Test System Specifications

Additional Images

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Benchmarks - 1080p

Wolfenstein: Youngblood has a few options for DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) so I've spent hours and hours running all of my NVIDIA graphics cards (including the insane $2499 graphics card in the TITAN RTX with its equally insane 24GB of GDDR6 memory) in the Performance, Balanced, and Quality modes of DLSS.

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Wolfenstein: Youngblood Benchmarked: NVIDIA DLSS & Ray Tracing Tested 01 | TweakTown.com
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Performance Thoughts

Performance: This is where the huge fun was: seeing the edges of 200FPS average on the flagship TITAN RTX graphics card, while the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti isn't too far behind with 195FPS average. NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER isn't that far behind with 177FPS average in with DLSS set to Performance, while the GeForce RTX 2060 lags behind with just 53FPS average. DLSS chews up a hell of VRAM, which is where the RTX 2060 SUPER comes in to play with its 8GB framebuffer and 137FPS average at 1080p.

Balanced: The same dominance with DLSS set to Balanced at 1080p, with 191FPS average on the TITAN RTX and 187FPS average on the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. At the bottom of the stack of cards we have the GeForce RTX 2060 with just 44FPS average, losing by a gigantic amount to the RTX 2060 SUPER with its 137FPS average. DLSS really shows that 6GB of framebuffer simply isn't enough.

Quality: Performance doesn't change all that much with DLSS set to Quality, with the TITAN RTX and GeForce RTX 2080 Ti both pushing 180FPS and 177FPS, respectively. There's a larger 27FPS difference down to the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER, while the GeForce RTX 2060 drops to 41FPS average -- getting smashed by the GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER and its 125FPS average.

Benchmarks - 1440p

Wolfenstein: Youngblood has a few options for DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) so I've spent hours and hours running all of my NVIDIA graphics cards (including the insane $2499 graphics card in the TITAN RTX with its equally insane 24GB of GDDR6 memory) in the Performance, Balanced, and Quality modes of DLSS.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood Benchmarked: NVIDIA DLSS & Ray Tracing Tested 03 | TweakTown.com
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Performance Thoughts

Performance: 2560x1440 is an entirely new beast, but 4K is where the real test will be at -- the TITAN RTX rests easily with 161FPS average at 1440p with DLSS set to Performance while the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is just 3FPS behind with 158FPS average. The RTX 2080 SUPER lags behind with 20FPS shaved off at 138FPS average, while the RTX 2060 falls off a cliff at 30FPS average -- losing big time to the RTX 2060 SUPER and its 8GB framebuffer with 110FPS average.

Balanced: Things aren't much different with DLSS set to Balanced, with the TITAN RTX still managing 150FPS average and the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti with 147FPS average. There's another exact 20FPS drop for the RTX 2080 SUPER down to 127FPS average, while the RTX 2060 drops to just 28FPS and the RTX 2060 SUPER with 100FPS.

Quality: We have around 10FPS average shaved off the numbers with DLSS set to Quality, with the TITAN RTX still managing 140FPS average while the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is once again 3FPS below it with 137FPS average, and the RTX 2080 SUPER this time just over 20FPS (22FPS to be exact) behind with 115FPS average. The RTX 2060 manages just 26FPS here, while the RTX 2060 SUPER pushes 88FPS thanks to its 8GB framebuffer.

Benchmarks - 4K

Wolfenstein: Youngblood has a few options for DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) so I've spent hours and hours running all of my NVIDIA graphics cards (including the insane $2499 graphics card in the TITAN RTX with its equally insane 24GB of GDDR6 memory) in the Performance, Balanced, and Quality modes of DLSS.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood Benchmarked: NVIDIA DLSS & Ray Tracing Tested 06 | TweakTown.com
Wolfenstein: Youngblood Benchmarked: NVIDIA DLSS & Ray Tracing Tested 07 | TweakTown.com
Wolfenstein: Youngblood Benchmarked: NVIDIA DLSS & Ray Tracing Tested 08 | TweakTown.com

Performance Thoughts

Performance: 4K is where the real fun begins with RT and DLSS technologies turned on, where the TITAN RTX manages to nearly offer 4K 120FPS gaming with Wolfenstein: Youngblood but falls just short wiht 112FPS average. The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti isn't too far behind here with 107FPS average, while the RTX 2080 SUPER has 88FPS average.

NVIDIA's lower-end GeForce RTX 2060 couldn't even run the 4K tests as it was bursting at the seams with its 6GB of VRAM, but the RTX 2060 SUPER managed to run with its 8GB of framebuffer offering 66FPS average -- not too damn bad at all considering its the slowest 'RTX SUPER' graphics card.

Balanced: With DLSS set to Balanced, the TITAN RTX is the only graphics card in the stack that is able to push 4K at over 100FPS -- the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti manages 96FPS, while the RTX 2080 SUPER is once again 20FPS lower at 79FPS average. Once again, the GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER manages 58FPS -- close to that magic 4K 60FPS number, while the non-SUPER GeForce RTX 2060 was unable to run the test.

Quality: NVIDIA's flagship $2499 graphics card in the TITAN RTX hits 87FPS average with DLSS set to Quality at 4K, while the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti spits out a still respectable 84FPS average. The GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER hits 69FPS average here, while the GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER reaches 50FPS average.

Final Thoughts

How is the state of DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) in 2020 with the newly-updated Wolfenstein: Youngblood? Great. You will need, at a minimum, a GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER because it has 8GB of framebuffer -- something that's required to drive DLSS and its higher performance, especially at higher resolutions.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood Benchmarked: NVIDIA DLSS & Ray Tracing Tested 103 | TweakTown.com

The game itself looks great with RT and DLSS technologies enabled, and thanks to receiving additional performance, I don't know why you would run it without RT and DLSS enabled. I'll have a follow-up piece in a few days that looks at Wolfenstein: Youngblood performance without RT and DLSS enabled, something where I've got a bunch of AMD Radeon graphics cards (Polaris, Vega, and Navi).

Wolfenstein: Youngblood can be run at 1080p with both RT and DLSS enabled, and DLSS set to Quality for the best-looking experience at 1080p on just a GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER at 125FPS average. You don't even need a flagship GeForce RTX 2080 Ti to enjoy 1080p 120FPS which is pretty damn good, but if you do have the RTX 2080 Ti you will enjoy a blistering 177FPS average.

At 1440p, if you wanted to maintain 120FPS average then you'll need the beefier GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER graphics card which hits 115FPS average while the flagship GeForce RTX 2080 Ti manages 137FPS average. The GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER hits 88FPS which is still a gigantic effort for the slowest RTX SUPER graphics card.

Cranking everything up to 4K leaves no prisoners, where even the $2499 graphics card in the TITAN RTX can't breach 100FPS with DLSS set to Quality, hitting 'just' 87FPS average. The flagship GeForce RTX 2080 Ti manages 84FPS average, while the slowest RTX SUPER card in the GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER scrapes by with 50FPS average.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood Benchmarked: NVIDIA DLSS & Ray Tracing Tested 104 | TweakTown.com

DLSS does some magical things at lower resolutions, providing stellar performance on cards that aren't the flagship GeForce RTX 2080 Ti -- all while looking great with RT technologies turned on, too. Hell, you can use a GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER for 4K with RT + DLSS (and at Quality) and hit 60FPS.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood looks great with the bells and whistles enabled, showcasing the id Tech 6 engine in all its glory. It makes me look forward to see what the team at id Software can pull off with id Tech 7 powering DOOM Eternal right around the corner, which will be getting some post-release RTX goodness.

For now, the state of DLSS is great in Wolfenstein: Youngblood and in a few days I'll follow-up with the non-RTX/DLSS benchmark article covering the game with Radeon graphics cards, too.

Buy at Amazon

Wolfenstein: Youngblood - Deluxe Edition

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$39.99$39.99$39.99
* Prices last scanned on 8/11/2020 at 6:30 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.
We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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