NVIDIA Updates Low-Latency Mode, Adds Reshade Filter Support & Image Sharpening Becomes a Driver Feature

While not a feature specifically limited to or being introduced particularly introduced for the GeForce GTX 1660 Super series, with their driver shipping out today (441.07), NVIDIA is also releasing some new driver features for all of their recent cards, which should be of interest to gamers interested in controlling latency as well as those interested in post-process filtering.

First off, NVIDIA is updating their ultra-low latency mode to better support G-Sync. This feature was first introduced into the NVIDIA driver stack earlier this year, and at the time it wasn’t designed to take into account variable refresh displays. Specifically, it left G-Sync users stock between taking tearing with V-sync off, or taking higher latencies with V-sync on. So, starting with NVIDIA’s newest drivers, it can be better combined with G-Sync, allowing the variable refresh aspects of G-Sync to be used in low latency mode to still keep latency to a minimum, all the while v-sync is kept on to avoid tearing.

The numbers being distributed by NVIDIA show that the latency with G-Sync + ULL + V-Sync on are comparable to that of V-sync off without G-Sync or ULL turned on, so this essentially allows variable refresh and v-sync to be turned on with no latency penalty, or cutting it down significantly from where it was before.

Meanwhile, NVIDIA is also making a couple of image post-processing filter-related changes for their new drivers. Their image sharpening post-process filter, which was introduced a few months ago as part of the Freestyle filter system, has now been promoted to a driver feature. This means that the image sharpening filter no longer requires Freestyle/GeForce experience to use, and, according to NVIDIA, it now works with all DirectX 9, 11, and 12 games, with plans to add OpenGL and Vulkan support soon.

Overall, the control panel-based version of the filter is very similar to the freestyle version of the filter, with adjustments for how strong the sharpening effect is. New to the driver version is the option to allow GPU-upscaling – with the driver upscaling any sub-native resolution to the display’s native resolution – with NVIDIA stating that Turing GPUs will also get a 5-tap filter on top of the usual bilinear upscaling. NVIDIA reports that this new version is also faster than the Freestyle version, though they haven’t listed any specific numbers.

Finally, for even more post-processing options with Freestyle (and Ansel), NVIDIA is adding support for 3rd party ReShade filters. Originally developed as an injector system for adding post-process filters to games – essentially another form of graphics modding – ReShade has been around for several years now. With similar goals as NVIDIA’s own Freestyle system, the company has decided to build in support for ReShader filters to Freestyle, allowing users to enable the filters at a driver level rather than injecting them into running games.

It should be noted, however, that while the basics of ReShade are easy to grasp, the fine print on conditional support is rather extensive. In short, NVIDIA is limiting support for ReShade filters on certain “competitive” games, presumably for cheating/fairness reasons. In the case of those games, only certain official ReShade filters (~30 in all) can be used, and custom filters cannot be used at all. Otherwise, all official and custom filters can be used in non-competitive games.

The Test

As is usually the case for launches without reference hardware, we’ve had to dial down our EVGA card slightly to meet NVIDIA’s reference specifications. So, along with testing it in its as-shipped configuration, it has also been tested with the GPU underclocked by 45MHz, bringing the clockspeeds in line with the reference specs. It’s these values we’re using for our generic GTX 1660 Super results as well as overall performance commentary.

Meanwhile on the driver front, we’re using the latest drivers from both NVIDIA and AMD for their cards. For NVIDIA cards, this is 441.07, and for AMD cards it’s AMD’s Radeon Software 19.10.2.

CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.0GHz
Motherboard: ASRock Z390 Taichi
Power Supply: Corsair AX1200i
Hard Disk: Phison E12 PCIe NVMe SSD (960GB)
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB DDR4-3600 2 x 16GB (17-18-18-38)
Case: NZXT Phantom 630 Windowed Edition
Monitor: Asus PQ321
Video Cards: AMD Radeon RX 5700
AMD Radeon RX 590
AMD Radeon RX 580
AMD Radeon R9 380
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Super SC Ultra
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
Video Drivers: NVIDIA Release 441.07
AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.10.2
OS: Windows 10 Pro (1903)
Meet The EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Super SC Ultra Shadow of the Tomb Raider
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  • Holliday75 - Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - link

    I picked up the same Aced Predator during that Prime deal. It outperforms my expectations. I went on a whim without much research because I wanted a basic gaming laptop while traveling for business. It runs my higher end games better than I expected. Reply
  • Shlong - Thursday, October 31, 2019 - link

    Yes, it is quite fast. I also put in an extra 1TB SSD in there and undervolted the CPU even more. I can run all the games on high/ultra. The 144hz IPS panel looks great too with little backlight bleeding. Reply
  • limitedaccess - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    Have you considered doing tear downs when looking at AiB cards?

    For instance another reviewer (Tom's) also had this 1660 Super model and because they did a tear down it was found that it had no heatsink contact of any type over the VRMs, which is likely why a higher fan speed (and therefore noise) is required for this model even with relatively lower GPU temperatures as you are completely relying on the air to cool the VRMs.

    While EVGAs warranty service (at least in US/Canada) is lauded their actual designs seem to always have rather questionable elements.
    Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    Agree on this making the 1660 Ti a bad deal. A way for NVIDIA to keep the Ti attractive would be to give the Ti 8 GB of GDDR6 RAM, at the same speed or higher as the 1660 Super. Any rumors? Reply
  • maroon1 - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    It has better performance per dollar than GTX 1660 Ti and even slightly better than GTX 1660

    Not bad card
    Reply
  • Showtime - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    Super cards with 90%+ of the performance of the next level cards for the same price? Just shows that whole line could have come in at a much lower price point, and been profitable. NVIDIA has been getting away with murder since they saw what miners drove pricing to on the last gen graphics cards. Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - link

    "NVIDIA has been getting away with murder since they saw what miners drove pricing to on the last gen graphics cards."

    And so has AMD. Did you have a point?
    Reply
  • AshlayW - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    RX 590 still holding its own, in Exodus; the only game on your suite that I actually play, it manages to match this card. And has 2GB more vram for $30 less.

    I know this is a bit off topic, but I recently upgraded my 590 to a 5700, and this review actually makes me laugh just how much faster the 5700 is to the 2060, for the same or less money. I don't even know why 2060 is selling, because its RT credentials are questionable, too.
    Reply
  • Alistair - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    The RX 5700 and 5700 XT are fantastically powerful for the money, basically a 1080 + 10 percent for $350 or a 1080 Ti - 10 percent for $400. Now that partner models are out, you can get a Gigabyte 5700 XT that maxes at 61 degrees at 2000rpm, the coldest GPU I've ever had.

    Problem: it crashes randomly once every 2 hours in Chrome, so was returned. Sorry AMD, it has been 3 months since release already. Gotta do better with software. RTX has been out for a year already and is mostly bug free by now.
    Reply
  • Alistair - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    btw doesn't mean i'm going to go out and waste money on an RTX card's terrible perf/dollar, but it does mean I'll just sit and wait for something new or 2 more driver releases before trying to buy a 5700 XT again. Not going to waste $200 more CAD to get the RTX version that is the same speed. Reply

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