For the longest time, Linux was the ugly duckling of the gaming world with very few games made for the platform and even fewer games being ported. Thankfully, that changed with Proton, a Linux compatibility tool built by Valve that essentially emulates Windows to run Windows games.
As with all emulation software, it's not perfect, and the ProtonDB website helps give potential Linux users a qualitative score for how well Proton gets things to run. However, Valve is about to give Proton an extremely powerful tool that might make Linux gaming way more viable.
Nvidia and Valve are teaming up to bring DLSS support to Proton. This means games that support Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling already could potentially use that technology to see massive performance gains on Linux.
As we've discussed before, DLSS is truly the secret sauce of Nvidia's next-gen gaming revolution. It allows games that support DLSS to run at much higher resolution at much lower resource costs to the system, allowing for up to 75% increased performance. It basically means the difference between running a game at 1440p and running it at 4K.
DLSS can also be extremely helpful for getting advanced visual tech like ray tracing to run without totally tanking your framerate.
As reported by The Verge, Proton already supports a wide array of games that also support DLSS, such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, No Man's Sky, Cyberpunk 2077, Death Stranding, and more, so getting DLSS on Proton could potentially unlock huge performance gains a long list of games on Linux. Bizarrely, DLSS might even allow Proton to emulate games better than those natively ported to Linux.
Nvidia didn’t provide a timeline for when Proton will support DLSS, but it might be pretty soon. Valve will be at E3 this year for the first time ever, and announcing a larger partnership with Nvidia might be just the thing for a keynote address. Well, that and a rumored handheld device to play PC games on the go.
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