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NVIDIA DLSS for Proton + Linux with DirectX 11 / 12 lands in September

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NVIDIA announced today an expansion of RTX and DLSS for plenty of Windows games, and for Linux users there's something exciting coming too: NVIDIA will hook up DLSS with DirectX 11 and 12 with Proton in September.

What is DLSS? NVIDIA DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) is an AI-powered rendering tech to help increase performance for NVIDIA GPUs using their dedicated Tensor Core AI processors. It helps to boost framerates by rendering frames at a lower resolution and then it's made to look much crispier using deep learning.

Currently DLSS on Linux with Proton only works with Vulkan titles but that's about to change in September. In their announcement they said:

Recently, we launched support for NVIDIA DLSS in Proton, enabling Linux gamers to play Vulkan API games with NVIDIA DLSS, including DOOM Eternal, No Man’s Sky, and Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Next month, support extends to dozens of DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 games, including Control, Cyberpunk 2077, Death Stranding, F1 2020, Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries, and Necromunda: Hired Gun.

Stay tuned for further details.

Some of the work is live now on GitHub in Pull Requests to get it all working with Proton:

  • dxvk-nvapi - "Nvapi: add new NvAPI implementation"
  • dxvk-nvapi - "Implement the required NvAPI entrypoints for D3D11 DLSS support"
  • VKD3D-Proton - "vkd3d: Add new interfaces: ID3D12DeviceExt, ID3D12GraphicsCommandListExt"
  • DXVK - "Implement DXVK pieces required for DX11 DLSS support"
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Shmerl Aug 24, 2021
Quoting: aufkrawallIt would eat upa a few per cent of the performance gains, but chances are you can gain even more by lowering render resolution and still have a similarly good looking image.

I think it's still just a race to the bottom. How high do you think monitor resolution should grow in general? Beyond certain point the pixel becomes too small to see any difference. And gradual performance improvement of GPUs will catch up to that eventually. So these tricks with upscaling will become unnecessary, since "good looking" or "not very noticeable" is still not the same as no upscaling.


Last edited by Shmerl on 24 August 2021 at 7:20 pm UTC
aufkrawall Aug 24, 2021
Quoting: ShmerlI think it's still just a race to the bottom. How high do you think monitor resolution should grow in general? Beyond certain point the pixel becomes too small to see any difference. And gradual performance improvement of GPUs will catch up to that eventually. So these tricks with upscaling will become unnecessary, since "good looking" or "not very noticeable" is still not the same as no upscaling.
GPU processing power will still be sparse when we die of age, so it will always make sense to increase render efficiency in one or the other way. TSSAA + deep learning seems to be the path to the holy grail for this. You will easily drop your scepticism once you've seen a proper implementation on your own screen, no worries. ;)
Shmerl Aug 24, 2021
I guess we'll see how useful it will become.
STiAT Aug 24, 2021
Quoting: skinnyrafBetween the work that AMD does with Valve for the Steam Deck and these Nvidia announcements, it's becoming clear that Proton/Wine/dxvk/VKD3D gain mainstream attention. I wonder if it will lead to "thinning" of the translation layer, in a way similar to what Vulkan already did: less bugs and better performance of new games run via Proton out of the box, without tweaking or game-specific changes to Proton.

Possible, but not very likely. DXVK and D9VK took out the limitations of OGL. Wine does not really have this issue, limitations wine faces are in the platform/kernel and not a single library as bottleneck (where there is work on in some parts to improve). Knowing how interconnected parts in wine are, and the reasons we actually need overrides and special configs is different use than "expected", stripping down wine rather than creating configurations is as unreasonable as creating a new translation layer in place of wine, since it would not solve the core issue: You don't change the games or engines, and you do not change the platform you run on.

Never say no, the actual benefit of DXVK really surprised me too, but the problem to solve is mostly different. And dxvk uses game specific configurations already, and that's why I think they'll go down the same route with wine.

Wine isn't actually that heavy once running as a translation layer. I think curated configurations (wine versions/overrides etc.) for the games, and supported/curated versions by game vendors is the way they'll take, since technically I don't see a lot of need to replace wine.

Even in this case Valve would have to invest a lot, which they do not at the moment. And they'll need to make the override system and general game configuration a lot more flexible than it currently is. And would have to work around game specific bugs (as DA:O alt+tab crash), and make that configurable from outside.

I think they'll go for the route of making the system more flexible to their needs trying to get those upstream and providing games with proper configurations rather than really stripping down wine and not knowing the side effects on literally .. 50-100k games and all their pitfalls?


Last edited by STiAT on 24 August 2021 at 10:57 pm UTC
STiAT Aug 24, 2021
It took me a month to figure out that I need to force full composite pipeline on nvidia cards to get less tearing and stuttering after not having had one in 10+ years. And I thought the 3070Ti probably wasn't a that good choice after all. It's doing pretty well now. And why the heck do they still require this when it's a non-issue on AMD cards?

I wonder if the same will happen with DLSS, where I don't realize I could get better performance since I expect it to just work on games where it would benefit others where I could just enable it.

And it took me 6 month to realize that Gnome actually has an issue with dual keyboard input causing stutters in games using ReDragon M508 or Razer Naga since two simulated keyboards pressing at the same time freaks gnome (and all desktops based on it) out causing micro freezes you will notice (200ms+). Plasma does not suffer this issue.

A shame, I like Budgie, but didn't find a solution to that one (yet).


Last edited by STiAT on 24 August 2021 at 10:46 pm UTC
CatKiller Aug 24, 2021
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Quoting: STiATIt took me a month to figure out that I need to force full composite pipeline on nvidia cards to get less tearing and stuttering after not having had one in 10+ years. And I thought the 3070Ti probably wasn't a that good choice after all. It's doing pretty well now. And why the heck do they still require this when it's a non-issue on AMD cards?
I've never had to turn that on.
Arten Aug 24, 2021
So... nvidia hopes, that somebody choose their GPU for deck like handheld with steamOS? Ot they planing to make one?

Good upscaling is crucial for handhald device, if you want just conect it to display and play on larger screen...
slaapliedje Aug 24, 2021
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: STiATIt took me a month to figure out that I need to force full composite pipeline on nvidia cards to get less tearing and stuttering after not having had one in 10+ years. And I thought the 3070Ti probably wasn't a that good choice after all. It's doing pretty well now. And why the heck do they still require this when it's a non-issue on AMD cards?
I've never had to turn that on.
Yeah, me neither. The few games I've ever had that issue with... well I didn't, as I turn on vsync
STiAT Aug 25, 2021
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: STiATIt took me a month to figure out that I need to force full composite pipeline on nvidia cards to get less tearing and stuttering after not having had one in 10+ years. And I thought the 3070Ti probably wasn't a that good choice after all. It's doing pretty well now. And why the heck do they still require this when it's a non-issue on AMD cards?
I've never had to turn that on.
Yeah, me neither. The few games I've ever had that issue with... well I didn't, as I turn on vsync

I often have vsync on, but even there in some games you can tell the difference. FFXIV would be one.
Shmerl Aug 25, 2021
Quoting: ArtenGood upscaling is crucial for handhald device, if you want just conect it to display and play on larger screen...

I'd say for handhelds that have relatively low resolution in general, upscaling is not so useful.
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