Although Linux support for FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) was not announced at the technology presentation , its open source nature suggested that it would take a short time to arrive, which ended up happening. This forced NVIDIA to “respond” with the announcement of DLSS support through the Proton compatibility layer , first covering games that use Vulkan natively and then those that use DirectX 11 and 12.
For those who are lost, DLSS is the artificial intelligence-supported supersampling technology created by NVIDIA, which has been demonstrating its enormous capabilities not only in breaking the limitations of native resolutions, but in doing so with good quality of image and with a substantial performance improvement . Although its main objective is to compensate for the performance loss caused by the use of ray tracing, it has also opened the door to consolidate resolutions such as 4K and 8K and has expanded to virtual reality .
And how is DLSS support for Proton going? Will NVIDIA meet deadlines or was that announcement just a toast to the sun? Well, it seems that it has taken very seriously to offer compatibility of its supersampling technology for the compatibility layer based on Wine, since the company has announced that the support will be expanded in September 2021 to games that make use of the DirectX API 11 and 12 .
In order for NVIDIA to achieve its goal, patches are being introduced to ‘ dxvk-nvapi ‘, which is an implementation of NVAPI on top of DXVK; in the version of VKD3D for Proton ( VKD3D-Proton ), which is limited to translating DirectX 12 instructions to Vulkan; in addition to the well-known DXVK , which for years has been the component responsible for translating (or rendering) DirectX 9, 10 and 11 instructions to Vulkan.
At the gaming level, within the native spectrum of Vulkan, NVIDIA has said that DOOM Eternal, No Man’s Sky and Wolfenstein: Youngblood can make use of DLSS via Proton, while in the DirectX spectrum the company has mentioned Control, Cyberpunk 2077, Death Stranding, F1 2020, Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries and Necromunda: Hired Gun.
The arrival of DLSS through Proton was an announcement that surprised more than one, because, although NVIDIA has many interests linked to Linux, these have rarely had the desktop as the protagonist . The GPU maker has always viewed Linux as a system for servers, supercomputing, and artificial intelligence , but never as a desktop that can be used in the same way as macOS and Windows.
However, no one expects this change of course to be a simple gesture of benevolence, because behind it is the pressure of the competition, both from AMD with FSR and from Intel with its future dedicated graphics and XeSS technology . While FSR is simply a rescaling technology, XeSS is a direct rival to DLSS as it is also a supersampling technology supported by artificial intelligence.
Despite everything, the arrival of DLSS to Proton is good news, especially for those users who are still tied to NVIDIA for whatever reason.