Nvidia: Linux gamers who use Valve’s Proton compatibility tool to run Windows games will receive a performance upgrade in the future. Nvidia announced that it is working with Valve to provide FPS boosts using the DLSS technology found in RTX cards.
DLSS, or Deep Learning Super Sampling, is a technology that allows gamers to get more performance without sacrificing too much image quality. It does this by running the game at a lower resolution than the native resolution (for example, displaying the game at 1080p while your monitor is 4K), but then upscaling the image to native resolution using some impressive algorithms.
This technology will of course be exciting for people with Linux gaming PCs, but it’s also interesting given the rumors that Valve is working on a portable gaming device. We can say that DLSS could push the next-gen Switch well above its weight class, and the same would likely be true for a handheld computer running Linux that doesn’t have a lot of graphics power.
While Nvidia hasn’t released a list of which Proton-powered games will receive DLSS, it’s worth mentioning that there are a surprising number of candidates. Looking at Nvidia’s list of games that support DLSS through ProtonDB, a site that allows users to report how well games run when using Proton, we see that the majority of DLSS-enabled games are already running on Linux. This corresponds to about 30 games within a little over 50 games.
However, there is an interesting question that Nvidia’s DLSS listing brings with it. A few of the games in it actually have native Linux ports, but they seem to have not yet received support for the technology. An Nvidia spokesperson told The Verge that the announcement only concerns Windows games that run with Proton, which could lead to an oddity that gamers could potentially get better performance by running the Windows version through an emulation layer instead of the native version.
Nvidia didn’t mention a timeframe for when DLSS will come to Proton. However, he mentioned that Vulkan support will come this month and DirectX support will come in the fall. It would be nice to see the Linux gaming experience level up with the Windows experience.