Sunday, February 25, 2024

I doubled my Rainbow Six Extraction frame rate with 1 setting


Rainbow Six Extraction turns the formula established by Rainbow Six Siege on its head, pitting you and and group of teammates against a horde of zombie-like enemies instead of against another team. The game comes with Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) built-in, but even with a supported graphics card, I’ve been using the in-engine dynamic resolution setting.

With this setting, I was able to double my frame rate, all with a surprisingly low impact on image quality. Those with the best graphics cards can use DLSS; for the rest of us, Rainbow Six Extraction‘s dynamic resolution is a dream come true.

Extraction’s dynamic resolution is great

To boost your Rainbow Six Extraction frame rate on any graphics card, turn on the dynamic resolution option. You’ll find this in the graphics menu with multiple different settings. Turn the dynamic resolution to Dynamic 25%-100% and set your target frame rate to whatever your monitor’s refresh rate is.

Rainbow Six Extraction is far from the only game with a dynamic resolution setting — the recently released Halo Infinite has one too — but it’s not like the others you’ve probably encountered. The dynamic resolution in Rainbow Six Extraction is excellent. Not only does it more than double my frame rate, but it also looks great.

On my personal rig with an RTX 3090 and an Intel Core i9-10900K, I managed an average of 100 frames per second (fps) at 4K with the highest quality preset. That’s great, but Extraction is built on the same engine as Rainbow Six Siege. That’s a game that demands a competitively high frame rate, and Extraction is no different. My minimum frame rate also dropped below 60 fps, causing some minor stuttering in areas dense with Sprawl.

With the dynamic resolution setting on, I doubled my frame rate — technically, more than doubled, to an average of 203 fps. Dynamic resolution options in games like New World don’t usually offer that large of a performance improvement. In most cases, this type of setting is best to push you over a frame rate target.

That’s not the case with Rainbow Six Extraction. In the image below, you can see native resolution on the left and the dynamic resolution on the right. There’s some lost detail on the poster, but it’s hard to notice while playing.

I never noticed the softer dynamic resolution in action, even when it was pushed to the limit. The dynamic resolution setting won’t let you push a 1080p graphics card to 4K, but it can help Rainbow Six Extraction reach the competitive frame rates that are necessary for Siege. 

But how is DLSS?

Rainbow Six Extraction includes DLSS. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s an upscaling feature from Nvidia that uses machine learning to make the image look closer to native resolution, and in many cases, it’s an essential feature if you have an RTX 30-series or 20-series graphics card.

That’s the problem: It’s really tough to find an RTX 30-series or 20-series graphics card right now. The good news is that DLSS doesn’t offer any major performance benefits over the built-in dynamic resolution option. And to my eye, at least, it looks slightly worse.


In the image above, you can see native resolution on the left, the dynamic resolution in the middle, and DLSS on the right. Look at the computer screen and the poster on the wall. The dynamic resolution option maintains a lot more detail in these areas, while DLSS is a little blurry. On the small screen in the lower left, DLSS actually ignores the white text box while the other two options render it.

To its credit, DLSS produces a much cleaner image. Around the chair and the computer under the desk, you can see a lot of smudging on the dynamic resolution option that isn’t present with DLSS. In practice, both options look great. There are some specific things that each do better, but you’ll never notice those differences while playing.

What’s interesting about DLSS is that it offered the exact same performance as the dynamic resolution option. Well, technically, it was worse. With DLSS set to Auto mode (where it scales resolution dynamically), I managed a 202 fps average — just one frame below the dynamic resolution option.

The main improvement DLSS brought was a higher minimum frame rate, boosting the 141 fps minimum with the dynamic resolution option to 174 fps. That’s smoother on paper, but a minimum of 141 fps is still high enough that you won’t notice stuttering.

If you can use DLSS, you should — it has better frame render times, and it produces a cleaner (if slightly blurrier) image. But the built-in dynamic resolution option, which works with any graphics card, is remarkably close. Even with a DLSS-enabled GPU, you could use the dynamic resolution option without giving up much.

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