Metro Exodus: RTX and DLSS Analysis

Metro Exodus is out now and all the platform exclusivity debacle aside, the game itself is great and looks visually stunning. The game also comes with RTX and DLSS and we’ve been waiting to see more of this so let’s discuss how it affects performance and visuals in this title.

Let’s discuss the implementation of RTX in this title. RTX is only used for Global Illumination which means only the light from the sun is ray traced and not reflections or any other light sources like in Battlefield V. This was done mainly because changing how local light sources worked would change the stealth mechanics for those who were not using RTX so they decided to only go for Global Illumination.

This means that while outdoor scenes will look much more realistic, you won’t see much of a difference in indoor scenes because of the reasons mentioned above ,however, that doesn’t mean you’ll see non-RTX like performance.

On an RTX 2080 Ti, you’ll see the average frame per second drop from around 87 fps to 53 fps when using the High RTX preset(which is the lowest setting) and the game preset on Ultra at 4K resolution.

That’s a drop of around 35 fps for something that will only be visible outdoors. While it does look more realistic and cinematic, having that drop even in areas with no visible change isn’t great. Plus, the cards like the RTX 2060 and RTX 2070 are good for 1080p Ultra with RTX on High.

Moving up to 1440p on the RTX 2060 and the RTX 2070 will see you get a framerate between 35-54fps and 42-60fps respectively at Ultra. Dropping down the settings from Ultra to High could net you more frames but unless you drop to Medium on the RTX 2060, it will be pretty hard to get a consistent 60 fps experience with RTX on.

There’s another way to gain more frames though and that’s with DLSS. Deep Learning Super Sampling or DLSS uses AI to upscale an image to a targeted resolution without losing image quality. Sadly, we feel DLSS needs a bit more time before it can be used in place of using a Native Resolution.

DLSS in Metro Exodus makes the image less sharp and lacks detail. There’s also visible artifacting and the image doesn’t look too clean. It seems to lose a lot of detail and actually feels like a little more blurry as if you were using an AA like FXAA which would make the screen a little blurry but get rid of Aliasing.

DLSS is being constantly improved as Nvidia’s supercomputer is continually learning and will improve over time.

So, is Ray tracing and DLSS worth using in Metro Exodus if you have an RTX card? Well, it really depends on your personal preference. You could easily play the game on Ultra at 1440p with RTX on High using an RTX 2060 and 2070 but with the framerate capped at 30fps.

However, since Metro Exodus is a shooter, I personally wouldn’t do that. You could also try out DLSS and if you think it looks good then, by all means, use it and enjoy the extra frames to bump up the graphical settings.

Personally, the game is visually breathtaking even without Ray Tracing and I’d prefer a Higher Resolution like 1440p with a solid 60fps framerate rather than dropping resolution for a bit of eye candy.

If you really do want to play with RTX on at 1440p with an RTX 2060 then you should drop down the graphical quality preset from Ultra to maybe High or even Medium and try out DLSS and see if that looks good to you.

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