Metro Exodus: NVIDIA RTX Raytracing and DLSS Performance

Yesterday, we published the performance review of the PC version of Metro Exodus and although the benchmarking tool made it quite easy to analyze and compare the game’s performance at different settings, using various GPU/CPU combos, a bug prevented us from testing the much anticipated DLSS and raytracing performance. In this post, we are going to explore the RTX or raytracing performance of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 in Metro Exodus as well as the impact of DLSS on both the visua quality as well as the frame rates.

Metro Exodus: NVIDIA RTX

The raytracing setting dramatically improves the global illumination, lighting and ambient occlusion in 4A’s latest Metro title. Exodus also features a slew of NVIDIA Gameworks effects including hairworks, GPU enhanced PhysX and of course DLSS to alleviate the game’s performance after raytracing chews through it.

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In case you didn’t know, DLSS is implemented using the new Tensor Cores that the Turing cards sport (in addition to the RTCores). It uses AI and NVIDIA’s supercomputers to reconstruct the image at a higher quality by comparing super-sampled images with aliased ones. ( The neural network algorithm then develops an algorithm to create smoother, higher-resolution versions of the game which is then exported and leveraged using the Tensor cores.


  • CPU: Intel i7-7700
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080
  • Memory: Kingston HyperX DDR4 16 GB RAM @ 2400MHz
  • HDD: WD Black 4TB

Metro Exodus: NVIDIA RTX Raytracing Performance

Settings Ext Ext DLSS RTX High RTX High+DLSS RTX Ultra+DLSS RTX Ultra
1080p 58 62 57
1440p 48 46 54 51 41
2160p 33 40 26 38 35

Two things are clear right off the bat. Firstly, don’t enable the ultra-raytracing preset without DLSS. Secondly, you are probably better off without it as the difference between the two quality modes isn’t really perceivable. DLSS though is a different story altogether. It most certainly grants a healthy performance boost, but with a fairly noticeable loss in image sharpness. The gains are more apparent at 4K though, and I would especially advise using DLSS at this resolution if you have enabled raytracing as the game will be unplayable otherwise.

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Here’s a comparison of the image quality when RTX is turned on with DLSS and without DLSS.

Metro Exodus: NVIDIA RTX

Comparing the performance at 4K extreme with the DLSS enabled frame rates, we again see a gain of approximately 25%, although this is much less significant than the 40+% you gain when using DLSS with RTX enabled at 4K. Regardless, it’s only after turning DLSS on that the mighty RTX 2080 Ti manages to attain playable frame rates at 4K.

Metro Exodus: Recommended GPU for Raytracing

Settings RTX High RTX High+DLSS RTX Ultra+DLSS
1080p RTX 2070 RTX 2060 RTX 2070
1440p RTX 2080 RTX 2080
2160p RTX 2080 Ti RTX 2080 Ti

As far as the recommended settings for raytracing are concerned, here I have to completely agree with NVIDIA’s tips. The RTX 2060 is ideal for RTX high with DLSS at 1080p, while the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti are suited for 1440p and 4K resolutions, respectively (with DLSS turned on). Although there’s a notable loss in image fidelity when DLSS is turned on, you don’t really have a choice as it is still much better than the raytracing quality at lower resolutions and is a lot smoother as well. So yeah, that’s the raytracing performance of the GeForce RTX 2080 explored in Metro Exodus. All in all, although the impact of raytracing on the image quality is quite obvious, there’s still room for improvement as DLSS seems pretty raw and even the raytracing parameters can be adjusted for better visual fidelity.

Further reading:


Computer hardware enthusiast, PC gamer, and almost an engineer. Former co-founder of Techquila (2017-2019), a fairly successful tech outlet. Been working on Hardware Times since 2019, an outlet dedicated to computer hardware and its applications.

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