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In brief: Team green is releasing more information about its new Ada Lovelace graphics cards in the days since unveiling them. A new Cyberpunk 2077 demo reel showcases the potential of the RTX 4090 along with the benefits of DLSS 3, which includes more than just higher framerates.
Nvidia sent RTX 4090 review samples to some publications, bundled with a demo video showing Cyberpunk 2077 running on the GPU. Metrics in the demo show the press just how well Nvidia's new flagship handles the game. It also demonstrates DLSS 3's effects on performance, heat, and energy consumption.
At native 1440p without DLSS, the RTX 4090 runs Cyberpunk at just about 60fps with every ray tracing setting at maximum. In DLSS 3 quality mode, which upscales from an internal resolution of 1080p, almost tripled the framerate to 171fps. Nvidia claims DLSS 3 can quadruple framerates compared to native resolution, and perhaps performance mode, which on a 1440p monitor would upscale from 720p, could deliver on that promise.
What's also impressive is that the 4090's boost clock reaches 2.8GHz at stock settings — slightly above the GPU's official boost clock of 2.52GHz. Nvidia's earlier claim that the 4090 hit 3.0GHz in lab tests was somewhat bold, but the Cyberpunk demo indicates that speed could be within reach with smart overclocking.
It's theoretically possible that with additional research and engineering that we could get this technology working on other cards, although it wouldn't provide as much benefit. The current version only works on 4000-series cards.— Bryan Catanzaro (@ctnzr) September 20, 2022
Another promising metric for overclocking is that DLSS 3 kept the 4090's temperature below 53C during the demo. The 35 games currently planned to support the feature — like Cyberpunk, A Plague Gale: Requiem, Microsoft Flight Simulator, or Spider-Man Remastered — could boost overclocking potential by keeping the Lovelace GPUs relatively cool.
Furthermore, DLSS 3 appears to lower wattage by as much as 25 percent. Early rumors caused users to fear the 4090 could eat up to 600W before Nvidia's unveiling confirmed it just needs 450W. However, the Cyberpunk demo shows DLSS 3 slicing 110W off that number.
The new feature appears to improve performance-per-watt, which is good news for those in regions with spiking energy costs. Unfortunately, DLSS 3 is only available on RTX 4000 GPUs. Nvidia researcher Bryan Catanzaro admitted that DLSS 3 could theoretically come to the earlier RTX 3000 and 2000 cards. However, he doesn't think they would benefit as much from it since the technology currently relies on the Optical Flow Accelerators Nvidia introduced with Lovelace.