NVIDIA RTX 4090 up to 17% Faster than the AMD RX 7900 XTX After DLSS 3 Update

Starfield’s latest beta supports NVIDIA DLSS 2 and 3 (Frame Generation), improving the performance of GeForce RTX GPUs across all settings and resolutions. We retested the RTX 4090 and the Radeon RX 7900 XTX across the three most popular resolutions and got some promising results. Both AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards are faster than before, with the RTX 4090 taking a much-expected lead over the RX 7900 XTX.

At 4K native (without DLSS/FSR), the GeForce RTX 4090 was 12% faster, while the Radeon RX 7900 XTX was 5% faster than at launch. This grants the Ada flagship a slim 4.4% lead over its AMD rival. With DLSS 2/FSR 2 enabled, the RTX 4090 averaged 162 FPS, leading the 7900 XTX by 13%. In terms of lows, the 4090 maintained a lead of 17% over the XTX.

DLSS 3 isn’t quite working as it should. We see a nominal gain upon enabling Frame Generation at 4K, while the 1080p performance remains CPU bottlenecked. This is most unexpected as Frame Generation reduces the load on the CPU and GPU, increasing performance by 2x in most cases.

Update: It turns out that the game has a 165 FPS FPS cap.

At 1440p, the Radeon and GeForce flagships remain CPU bottlenecked, but unlike before, the RTX 4090 delivers equal performance. Same result at 1080p: The GPUs remained limited to 163-164 FPS despite using upscalers. Interestingly, DLSS 3 “Frame Generation” does little to alleviate this.

Generally, reducing the load off the CPU by 50% tends to offer a notable performance benefit, but that isn’t the case here. We’ll have to wait for the final release version to see if it’s fixed. Here’s a look at the GPU-busy charts. The two GPUs produce identical charts, so we’ll go with the faster one. First, the 4K graphs (click to expand):

Enabling DLSS 3’s Frame Generation is doing something. However, instead of alleviating the load off the CPU and the GPU, only the latter is getting more leeway. Consequently, the GPU-Busy deviation jumps from -5% to -20% with FG enabled.

1080p produces even more erratic graphs with Frame Generation. At native FHD, the game is already CPU-bound. Enabling DLSS 3 increases the GPU deviation from –35% to -55%. The GPU busy times are all over the place, constantly fluctuating between 0.5ms and 5ms throughout the benchmark.

Areej Syed

Processors, PC gaming, and the past. I have written about computer hardware for over seven years with over 5000 published articles. I started during engineering college and haven't stopped since. On the side, I play RPGs like Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Divinity, and Fallout. Contact:
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