This is how the Nvidia RTX 3090 aims to make 8K gaming a reality

This is how the Nvidia RTX 3090 aims to make 8K gaming a reality

This is how the Nvidia RTX 3090 aims to make 8K gaming a reality


Nvidia’s RTX 3090 promises to be “the world’s first to connect, play, capture and watch games in 8K HDR”.Just when you thought we got to the point of 4K in gaming Actually Feasible without some serious caveats, Nvidia is throwing 8K into it. So how does it plan to achieve this new lofty milestone?

One of the main parts of the equation is DLSS, or Deep Learning Super Sampling. This is an AI-based technique developed in-house by Nvidia to take high-resolution rendering off the GPU and throw it to tensors in the Turing (soon, Ampere (opens in a new tab)) architecture core. It does this using upgraded algorithms, temporal feedback, and GPU acceleration. And with great success, you can read about it in our DLSS 2.0 benchmark and comparison (opens in a new tab).

With the RTX 3090, Nvidia has introduced version 2.1 of the DLSS SDK, which includes DLSS 8K and a new Ultra Performance mode. It’s a brand new algorithm capable of delivering 9x super-resolution for compatible games, and importantly, it means the $1,499 Ampere graphics card delivers the performance it claims, up to 60 fps at 8K .

This means you’ll soon be able to choose the following DLSS settings in supported games: Quality, Balance, Performance, and Ultra Performance – Ultra Performance mode is capable of scaling to 8K, but is also the least accurate.

Of course, 10,496 CUDA cores also help make the 8K dream come true, which is enough to keep any PC gamer at bay.

For the first time, we can play games at 60 frames per second in 8K

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang

A key upgrade of Ampere over Turing is the ability to run graphics, ray tracing and compute workloads simultaneously. Nvidia does this with some clever timing manipulation, essentially, we’re told to complete the DLSS of the previous frame while rendering the current frame, reducing the potential frame time.

Nvidia also includes HDMI 2.1 support for single-cable 8K, and a new AV1 decode acceleration block (soon to be supported in Chrome, Youtube, Edge, VLC, and Windows 10) to ensure you can actually ingest 8K content through its chip. Likewise, it adds 8K HDR support to Shadowplay, so you can capture and share 8K content.

(Image credit: Nvidia)

So the super technology needed to reach the 8K Promised Land is almost done. All you need now is memory – and there’s a lot more.

24GB of GDDR6X memory rated at over 19Gbps ​​(opens in a new tab) should do just that, and Nvidia has hired memory maker Micron to lead the charge once again. As a result, the RTX 3090 is able to take advantage of several new developments to help it achieve maximum memory performance without encountering troubling bottlenecks, including: new algorithms, maximum transition avoidance encoding (MTA) and PAM4 signaling – you know, Dense technical jargon. The point is: it’s faster.

The memory conundrum also needs a little support to push I/O performance to keep up with the demands of 8K-ready games, and that’s where Microsoft’s DirectStorage is coming to Nvidia RTX IO (opens in a new tab) (and Xbox Series X) to the rescue. This allows for optimal streaming performance without being hindered by multi-core CPUs that can’t keep up with the load.

8K benchmark data provided by Nvidia (Image credit: Nvidia)(Opens in a new tab)

So there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes to achieve these lofty 8K performance goals, and a lot of it will require the support of game developers and TV and monitor manufacturers to use. That could mean we might have to wait a while to see the fruits of Nvidia’s efforts finally turn into a cohesive vision.

DLSS 8K will be the fastest of them all, and many, if not most games that currently support DLSS will be updated to the latest spec. These include Control, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Watch Dogs: Legion, Minecraft with RTX Beta, and Death Stranding.

RTX IO will be implemented in games once the SDK is released, which is only coming next year. However, Nvidia did mention that some games are already in development, although it didn’t specify any specific titles. I have to say, the idea of ​​cyberpunk hitting 8K TVs is something I thought impossible in early 2020.

(Image credit: LG)

There is also the issue of high refresh rate monitors capable of displaying images of this scale. The only people who currently have the technology needed to achieve 8K are a handful of TV makers, and Nvidia says it’s working with LG, Samsung and Sony to make it happen.

LG has announced that its 2020 8K OLED TVs will rise to the challenge. That means they feature 8K support, VRR (powered by Nvidia G-Sync), and the company’s own alpha (alpha) 9 Gen 3 AI processor for full 8K bandwidth.

As you’re probably aware by now, 8K gaming has a lot of moving parts, and that doesn’t sound cheap. Still, this doesn’t appear to be just an empty promise from Nvidia for 8K gaming, and if all goes well, it may only please a select few.

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Wilbert Wood
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