Nvidia’s Reflex technology (click here to read our introductory article to the tech in case you’re not familiar with it) has been out for a while now, so we thought it was time for an article where we speak a bit about our experiences with the technology and our thoughts on how we see the future for Nvidia Reflex. We grabbed ourselves a compatible 360Hz monitor, a compatible mouse, and got to testing.
NVIDIA Reflex Benchmarks
Nvidia’s Reflex technology (click here to read our introductory article to the tech in case you’re not familiar with it) has been out for a while now, so we thought it was time for an article where we speak a bit about our experiences with the technology.
Using nothing but the tools at our disposal that come with the aforementioned hardware (so no LDAT or anything like that) we saw some rather interesting results. We did some in-depth testing on two of the most popular shooters at this point in time, namely Valorant (which is aimed more at the hardcore competitive crowd) and Fortnite (which is also definitely a competitive game with a high skill ceiling, but it can also be argued that it draws in more casual gamers, and it has a ton of impressive graphical settings) and we’re seeing some interesting conclusions.
Valorant has been made from the ground up to run on pretty much any gaming PC, no matter how old it is. If you look at gameplay footage of this game you won’t be ‘wowed’ by any graphical masterstrokes or thoroughly impressive visuals, but that’s by design. In an effort to absolutely minimize the overall latency and improve consistency, the devs of Valorant have chosen for performance over visuals, and this can be seen in our test results.
Most notably, on our testing rig, there’s only a millisecond of difference in the overall system latency between low settings and max settings. That’s not to say that you should immediately play with everything maxed out, but it’s definitely interesting to note.
Reflex, as has been noted by others, kind of sees diminishing returns with stronger hardware. If you’re already rocking top of the line equipment and/or your equipment doesn’t have any issues running the game of your choice then Reflex, while helpful, won’t give you any massive gains, as can be seen in our test results. At 360 Hz, the difference between having Reflex on or off is much less than one millisecond, for example.
What is obvious (and this is where the Reflex Latency Analyzer comes in handy) is that there are big differences between different framerates. The higher you go, the more responsive your overall game is, though there are (as we’ve noted in our articles regarding framerates) diminishing returns here as well.
Fortnite has a wealth of graphical options to choose from, including RTX. The ability to have modern GPUs handle ray tracing in real time is exciting, but it’s also known to be a massive performance hog. Indeed, our testing shows that, if you’re even somewhat of a competitive gamer, you will want to leave RTX off. Even with Reflex enabled (and kudos to the technology, as it cuts down the overall system latency in half with RTX on) you’re getting an average system latency of 88.5 milliseconds, something that can definitely be felt when gaming.
Looking at the results, it’s quite obvious that you’re going to want to lower your settings if you’re a competitive-minded Fortnite gamer. With Reflex enabled, there’s a difference of around 16 milliseconds between playing at epic settings and playing with your settings lowered.
Again, we see that the effect that the Reflex technology has depends on how much work your GPU is doing. If you’re playing with top of the line hardware at settings that are relatively easy for your PC to handle then Reflex, while still making an impact, isn’t as impactful as it is when your hardware is struggling.
Just How Useful Is Reflex?
If you ask us, Reflex definitely isn’t some sort of gimmick or a useless piece of tech. Just the Latency Analyzer alone is an incredibly helpful tool for (competitive) gamers to finetune their game and identify potential bottlenecks in their setups. Being able to check your overall system latency in real time while you’re (for example) messing around with graphical settings is extremely handy, and it’s super cool to see that the ability to analyze things like this isn’t limited to people with state of the art technology such as an LDAT anymore. Admittedly, peripherals that are Reflex compatible pretty much exclusively belong in the ‘high tier performance gaming’ category (meaning that they will cost a pretty penny) right now, but of course that could change in the future. For performance-oriented gamers like us, technology like this is an absolute blessing.
And then there’s also the latency reducing aspect. As shown in our testing (and testing done by others) this tech definitely does work, although there are some obvious diminishing returns with better hardware. Activating the latency reducer if you’re playing on a 360Hz monitor with a beast of a PC won’t make you shoot up the ranks, but the technology definitely does what it says on the tin, and it could be a real blessing for people who are gaming on older hardware or for people who don’t want to completely turn down their graphical settings (which can make games look very ugly) in order to maximize the performance of their game.
The technology is relatively new, but we can’t wait to see what it’s going to bring in the future as more and more peripherals and games become fully compatible with Reflex. For now, if you want to get everything out of the tech, it’s something that’s almost exclusively limited to deep-pocketed competitive gamers, but hopefully the future will see more affordable and mid/low range peripherals getting Reflex compatibility. Tech like this stands of falls by the amount of compatible products and peripherals, so hopefully Nvidia (and the manufacturers of said peripherals) focus on expanding the range of compatible products in the (near) future.