Pax Dei and Still Wakes The Deep need DLSS 3 to hit 4K 60FPS on the GeForce RTX 4090

Are technologies like upscaling and frame generation a crutch? Shouldn't the RTX 4090 have no issues running any game at 4K 60 FPS?

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A couple of visually impressive games have launched on PC this week, and both are pushing the GeForce RTX 4090 to its limits. The highly anticipated MMO sandbox Pax Dei has launched into Early Access, and its mix of realistic visuals with supernatural elements is fantastic - though when playing in native 4K with max settings, the GeForce RTX 4090 only manages an average performance of 51.7 FPS, followed by the GeForce RTX 4080 SUPER with 38.6 FPS.

These numbers come directly from NVIDIA. The second half of the story is Pax Dei launching with full DLSS 3 and NVIDIA Reflex support. Turn on Super Resolution and Frame Generation, with Reflex to lower system latency, and the performance increases by a massive factor of 3X to hit 145.6 FPS on the RTX 4090 and 118 FPS on the RTX 4080 SUPER. Even the mid-range RTX 4070 hits 72.1 FPS at 4K.

This brings up an interesting topic (discussed in this week's episode of The TT Show): are technologies like upscaling and frame generation a crutch? Shouldn't the RTX 4090 have no issues running any game at a native 4K 60 FPS if it's properly optimized?

Pax Dei 4K gaming performance benchmarks on GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs with and without DLSS 3, image credit: NVIDIA.

Pax Dei 4K gaming performance benchmarks on GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs with and without DLSS 3, image credit: NVIDIA.

This leads us to the second title featured in this week's DLSS roundup from NVIDIA: the indie first-person horror Still Wakes The Deep. Set aboard an offshore oil rig in 1975, this macabre tale's impressive visuals, lighting, and environmental detail rivals any AAA release.

However, like Pax Dei, the GeForce RTX 4090 needs DLSS Super Resolution, Frame Generation, and Reflex to hit an impressive 138.3 FPS in 4K with mx settings. Switch to native, and that number drops to 56.8 FPS. As we saw with Pax Dei, the GeForce RTX 4070 can also comfortably play Still Wakes The Deep in 4K, thanks to DLSS 3.

Still Wakes The Deep 4K gaming performance benchmarks on GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs with and without DLSS 3, image credit: NVIDIA.

Still Wakes The Deep 4K gaming performance benchmarks on GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs with and without DLSS 3, image credit: NVIDIA.

Optimizing a game for PC will always be a concern, and if the last couple of years are anything to go by, we expect to see many more poorly optimized releases in the months ahead.

However, this is not the case with Pax Dei or Still Wakes The Deep - what we're seeing here is the developers pushing 'Max Settings' image fidelity with technology like DLSS in mind. DLSS and Ray-Tracing go hand-in-hand on PC, and with the arrival of tech like Unreal Engine 5, the quality of upscaling technologies is now being factored into how a game should perform.

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NEWS SOURCE:nvidia.com

Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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