NVIDIA 40 Series Features Breakdown

This discussion has a more recent version.
edited December 2023 in Computer Hardware

Written by Sean Mekinda

With last week’s launch of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070, it’s clear that the 40 Series of GPUs is going strong. And while you might know that the 40 Series offers incredible performance and outstanding ray tracing capabilities, did you also know that they offer browser-based 4K video upscaling? Or that a number of top esports titles offer improved response times with NVIDIA GPUs? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. These features are available in every 40 Series GPU, so let’s break that all down – with a little help from our Micro Center Champions.

Next-Generation Architecture

Let’s start with the most obvious update: the Ada Lovelace architecture. Ada Lovelace is new to the 40 Series of GPUs and is the main reason for the greatly increased performance over previous generations. While there are some smaller updates, the two biggest changes are the new Fourth-Gen Tensor Cores and Third-Gen RT Cores.

Tensor cores are primarily used for AI, namely DLSS 3, which we’ll explain in more detail a bit further down. There is a lot that goes into Tensor Cores, but all the average NVIDIA user really needs to know is that they’ve come a long way, with the fourth generation delivering 60x the peak performance of GPUs over older, pre-Tensor-Core models. What that means for you is better-looking games with higher framerates and faster loads.

The Third-Gen RT Cores have a much more readily apparent impact, greatly improving the quality and speed of ray tracing, doubling the RT-TFLOP performance. They also introduce a new Opacity Micromap and Displaced Micro-Mesh to further increase ray tracing capabilities in areas with a high density of opening for light, like foliage or fence slats. But what exactly is ray tracing? Well…

Ray Tracing by @tbarggs

Ray tracing is a revolutionary lighting feature that has been greatly improved in the 40 series NVIDIA graphics cards. Ray tracing allows for realistic lighting and shadows in video games and other applications. Instead of relying on pre-determined lighting effects, ray tracing simulates the way that light interacts with objects in the environment. This allows for a much more realistic and immersive experience, as shadows and reflections behave in a way that is true to life.

Ray tracing works by tracing the path of light as it bounces off objects in the environment. As the light bounces off surfaces, it can create reflections, refractions, and shadows, which all contribute to the overall lighting in the scene. By simulating these interactions, ray tracing allows for a much more dynamic and realistic lighting experience in video games and other applications.

The upgraded ray tracing potential in the 40 series NVIDIA graphics cards represent a major leap forward in the world of computer graphics. By simulating the way that light behaves in the real world, NVIDIA brings games and applications one step closer to their real-world equivalents. Whether you're a gamer, a content creator, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of cutting-edge technology, the 40 series GPUs are definitely worth checking out.

DLSS 3 by @Lesaol

NVIDIA’s DLSS 3.0 is an amazing feature that enables NVIDIA’s 40 Series video cards to generate completely new frames in game through the new Optical Flow Accelerator. While past iterations of DLSS simply upscaled images through pixel generation, the Optical Flow Accelerator uses AI technology to create and add frames, boosting frame rates beyond DLSS 2.

While DLSS 3 can generate frames, that doesn’t mean it’s the only way it can be used. Thanks to DLSS presets available in games, you can choose whether you want your game to have a higher quality image but a more average framerate or a higher framerate with a more standard image quality. Games like Cyberpunk 2077, HITMAN 3, and many more utilize DLSS to provide gamers with the tools to play competitive, triple A titles while also getting high frame rates, even with older NVIDIA cards! Although DLSS 3.0 is only fully unlocked with a 40 Series GPU, DLSS 2.0 does help the 30 Series with performance in games as well. Enabling DLSS for your compatible GPU’s is basically free FPS and high resolutions with the click of a button, so definitely try it out!


When it comes to gaming, every millisecond matters. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of latency inherent to any PC system, as it takes precious milliseconds for components to “talk” to one another, meaning that slick flickshot may miss through no fault of your own. Thankfully, there’s NVIDIA Reflex, which can shave tens of milliseconds off your response time.

Reflex works by cutting out the CPU render queue so that your CPU and GPU “talk” directly to one another. This takes those milliseconds of latency created by the render queue and removes them completely, allowing for quicker faster responses and more accurate visuals being shown. No more “I swear I clicked on that guy! Why did I miss?” caused by visual data lagging beyond what is actually happening in game. If you’re looking for a competitive edge, NVIDIA Reflex is it.

RTX Video Super Resolution

The newest addition to the 40 Series’ immense list of capabilities, RTX Video Super Resolution allows for streaming video upscaling in your web browser. Specifically, if you use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, Video Super Resolution can utilize AI technology to bring low-resolution video up to 4K quality.

RTX Video Super Resolution takes the visual artifacts generated by compression, server issues, or even the content delivery system itself and, similar to DLSS, uses a deep learning network to improve picture quality with just a single pass. This includes upscaling and compression artifact reduction, leaving you with a cleaner, crisper picture before you even realize anything has changed.

As a final note, this is also available for the 30 Series GPUs, the 40 Series will make the most out of it.

And More!

There is so much more that we can talk about with the 40 Series of GPUs. The creative utility of the 40 Series is enough for its own article – and almost certainly will be one shortly! But if you’re hungry for more 40 Series information, we have benchmarks for all cards released so far, from the 4090 to the 4070 and everything in between. Or, if you’re ready to get your hands on the raw power offered by the 40 Series, stop by your local Micro Center today!

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Benchmarks

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Benchmarks

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Benchmarks

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Benchmarks

More from the Micro Center Community:

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