dlss 3 msi katana 15

Why DLSS 3 benefits gaming laptops like the MSI Katana 15

MSI’s Katana gaming laptops sit in a popular sweet spot of features, design, value and power. The latest iterations feature Intel’s 12th and 13th-gen processors plus Nvidia’s 40-series GPUs. The new, 2023 range has variants spread across two sizes, 15-inches and 17-inches but, in a crowded market, what should you look out for when choosing your next gaming laptop? One of the gaming laptop features that often gets overlooked, is DLSS 3 and MSI has commissioned High Performance Laptops to focus on that – along with the MSI Katana 15 – in this article.

What does DLSS stand for?

Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) is a techie-term for one of Nvidia’s generative-AI technologies that’s used to improve the performance and visuals of video games on PCs and gaming laptops.  

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What does DLSS 3 do?

DLSS 3 technology, which resides within Nvidia’s 40-series GeGorce RTX graphics cards and gaming laptops’ GPUs, takes a low-resolution 3D scene and automatically upscales it to a higher resolution, using Artificial Intelligence.

The technology is powered by Nvidia’s Tensor cores which are particularly efficient at processing tasks that suit AI (they’re actually powering much of the world’s AI that you see in the news right now). The goal is to generate upscaled images that are hard to distinguish from images that are natively generated by beefier, more-expensive, power-thirsty GPUs (graphics processing units ).

By not having to process an entire scene, at native resolution, the freed-up processing headroom can then be used to boost both framerate performance and enable the application of additional, enhanced, eye-candy effects, like real-time ray tracing. The latter calculates the visual effect of direct light and reflected light, on objects’ lustre and shadows in a scene, in real time, which makes games look much more realistic and immersive.

The first iteration of DLSS was announced in 2018 and heralded Nvidia’s push into a global AI leadership role that’s becoming increasingly visible, throughout society, today. Version three comes embedded in Nvidia’s current generation of GeForce RTX graphics processors: the 4050, 4060, 4070, 4080 and 4090. The first two are available on the MSI Katana gaming laptop.

Which is the best gaming laptop to use with DLSS 3?

Premium gaming laptops can make use of DLSS 3 by pushing resolutions and framerates into super-high, UHD territory while maximising framerates to sync with pro-spec, fast, gaming screens and enabling every form of enhanced graphical detail setting. We saw the full range of new MSI gaming laptops announced earlier this year.

However, gaming laptops with RTX 4050 and RTX 4060 GPUs arguably benefit the most from DLSS 3’s performance boosts. On its own, it can make unplayable games playable, transform disappointing, basic, blocky graphical depictions into immersive gameplay and help prevent plunges in framerates in competitive games, when things get hectic on screen.

dlss 3 msi katana 15 benchmarks
Benchmarks show that DLSS 3 on both a 4050 and 4060 GPU can push a gaming laptop far ahead of a model with a 3060.

According to MSI’s benchmarks, DLSS 3 can double the performance of games like Cyberpunk 2077, when using a 4060-wielding gaming laptop compared to one with a previous-gen, 3060 GPU using DLSS 2.

Even a gaming laptop with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 can see huge gains thanks to DLSS 3. In a benchmark running Cyberpunk 2077 in a Full HD resolution at the Ultra graphics preset, DLSS 3 helped a 4050 gaming laptop manage 89fps – a 78 per cent boost in performance over an equivalent 3060 which scored 50fps.

Why does the MSI Katana 15 gaming laptop with DLSS 3 make sense?

As the benchmark shows, choosing a gaming laptop with a fast, Full HD gaming screen and a GPU with DLSS 3 can represent an attractive entry point into the market. In these regards, the MSI Katana 15 makes a perfect choice.

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The MSI Katana 15 is more stylish and has better build quality than some other budget gaming laptops.

The 15-inch, Katana 15 B13V is available in multiple configurations including 13th-Gen, Core i7 processors (with six Performance cores and four Efficiency cores) that operate up to 4.9GHz and Core i5 processors (with four Performance cores and four Efficiency cores) that operate up to 4.6GHz.

All are available with either Nvidia’s DLSS-3-enabled GeForce RTX 4050 and 4060 GPUs plus a choice of speedy NVMe, PCIe 4, hard drives with 1TB or 512GB capacities (there’s room to add more).

All variants come with 16GB of fast, DDR5-5200 RAM and importantly, a fast, 144Hz, Full HD, IPS gaming laptop screen.

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The four-zone RGB keyboard is attractive and all the multi-function media keys are very useful.

Cooling comes via MSI’s Cooler Boost 5 technology which exclusively adorned MSI’s super-premium gaming laptops until recently. It utilises a shared heat pipe design for more efficient, simultaneous cooling of the CPU and GPU while using enhanced, dual-fan and exhaust technology to keep everything as cool and quiet as possible.

Other features include a four-zone, RGB gaming keyboard with highlighted WASD keys, full-sized arrow keys (yay!) and even a number pad. There are also dual, 2-Watt speakers with Nahimic 3 Audio Enhancement plus an HD webcam and a Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2) for enhanced security.

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The styling of the MSI Katana 15 should see it turn heads at a LAN but also fit discreetly into an office when the lights are off.

There’s an comprehensive complement of connectivity that includes Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 wireless connections; USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 with DisplayPort; and three USB-A ports for all your gaming peripherals (like an RGB headset and gaming mouse). There’s even a Gigabit Ethernet network port for lag-free LANing and an HDMI 2.1 port for connecting to fast, external UHD displays.

A 53.5Wh battery provides a modicum more battery life than a UPS and helps keep the weight down to a mobile-gamer friendly 2.25KG.

Software includes MSI Center which makes it simple to switch into Gaming Mode from work or quiet equivalents. You can also easily use the software-based MUX switch to turn off the GPU and DLSS 3 when it’s not required – ideal for when you want to boost battery life by utilising the low-power GPU that’s integrated into the Intel processor instead of the powerful, discreet, Nvidia chip.

Prices of the DLSS 3-compatible MSI Katana 15 are as low as $1,799 for a Core i7-12650H variant with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU, a 512GB hard drive and 16GB of RAM. They’re a popular choice for budget gaming laptops so, find your favourite variant, here.

Follow MSI on social media

You can keep tabs on MSI’s gaming laptops and any sales that are happening by following the following social media accounts:

MSI Gaming on Facebook

MSI Gaming on Instagram

FAQ

Is DLSS 3 available now?

Yes, DLSS 3 is available on all of Nvidia’s 40-series GeForce RTX GPUs: the 4050, 4060, 4070, 4080 and 4090. These, in turn, can be found on PC graphics cards and inside gaming laptops.

Is DLSS 3 available on laptops?

Yes, DLSS 3 technology is available on gaming and Creator laptops which use Nvidia processors with Ada Lovelace architecture. It’s part of Nvidia’s 40-series GeForce RTX GPU range but not its 30-series range.

Does RTX 3060 laptop support DLSS 3?

No, an RTX 3060 laptop will not support DLSS 3. Nvidia’s 30-series GPUs utilise DLSS 2 instead. Only laptops with Nvidia 40-series GPUs currently support DLSS 3.

Related: Check out our latest MSI Katana 15 review

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