What is Nvidia Reflex Low Latency Technology?

Nvidia Reflex is the new feature they promote in the overall GeForce package and we look at the entire field of the Reflex ecosystem today. Nvidia has been working together to expand its GeForce functionality since late, but raw success isn’t the only consideration in purchasing a new GPU. Features such as DLSS and ray tracing have been heavily promoted and today we will examine whether you care about Reflex.

Reflex is divided into two related but different characteristics. One of them is called Nvidia Reflex, which is the feature you will find to increase latency in games. This is what we are talking about by firing up settings in a game and viewing the choice to enable or switch off Nvidia Reflex.

nvidia reflex system latency pipeline with reflex

The second is the reflex latency analyzer from Nvidia, it is a set of instruments for the analysis of game and machine latency. The second is the program. The aim is to provide players with latency information so that they can better adapt to their device.

We intend to discuss both in this post. We’ll first see how Reflex functions in some sponsored games such as Fortnite, Valorant, and Call of Duty, in a number of ways. Then we’ll take a peek at some of Nvidia’s Reflex Latency Analyzer software, including an overlay for the GeForce Experience and latency tools.

Latency is a tough subject, but we will break it down in the simplest possible words. The driver is based on current low latency modes, including the Nvidia Super Low Latency Mode (or NULL) and the standard low latency mode. It works by changing the frames in the GPU buffer, reducing generally the number of frames in the buffer, and by changing the queue for rendering. However, as they are based on the engine, functions such as NULL only function with old DirectX 11. The more popular DirectX 12 games have complete control of much of the tail and buffer aspects, so that driver modes are unable to work.

nvidia reflex latency pipeline with overlap

For low latency modes Reflex is the next move. This is a function integrated into the game to reduce latency further, above and beyond only altering queues and buffers. Nvidia is a little craggy on how it operates, but it can be summed up as follows: by Reflex, the Nvidia GPU informs the game engine what they are doing, and the engine responds with this information and does its job right before the GPU is able to render. This ensures that the game motor is doing just-in-time analysis, allowing you to collect the newest data from your device and supply that with the least delay to your monitor.

Only when effective contact between the GPU, CPU, and game engine is available is this latency reduction possible. That is why anything like Reflex is necessary. It can be thought of as a restaurant’s kitchen, you don’t want the steak cooked long before the chips are ready otherwise it can get cold; strong coordination in the kitchen makes you all ready for the coolest, hottest, and most tasty food simultaneously. Reflex does this, except with your playing.

This helps you to understand why Reflex needs game integration and why it’s exclusively for the GPUs and newer Nvidia’s GeForce 900 Series. It won’t work as a driver solution as it requires a deep game engine integration, and it still needs to know how the GPU works.

nvidia reflex on off system latency performance chart nvidia reflex on off high resolution gaming system latency performance chart

This knowledge is provided by the Nvidia GPU driver and seems to extend beyond standard telemetries that can be accessed by output overlays This doesn’t fit with free, AMD GPUs and needs integration at the game stage. But there are no new RTX 30GPUs needed, so you will have access to the reflex from older GeForce cards of past generations.

The LDAT or Latency Display Analysis Tool is used for reflex checking, which is basically a photodetector that can be placed on the computer in order to determine latency of the game. This is an improved version of the instruments that we used to test latency, also based on a photo-detector, and we have verified that this is really true. Later the Reflex Latency Analyzer will be explored, but for now, officials usually test complete mouse click system latency to LDAT.

The Reflex ecosystem of Nvidia is a story about two different, but connected entities. The Reflex mode is built into games on one side and the Reflex Latency Analyzer on the other. One may suggest that they are built for a little overlap between two separate types of people.

In GPU-limited cases, the reflex mode found in supported games is most useful. In these competitive games, you’ll most of the time be restricted to GPU when you either use a lower-end GPU or play on ultra-quality settings. The smaller the CPU, the faster the frame rate pushes, the less useful Reflex is for improving machine latency. This makes Reflex a valuable attribute for casual competitive players; people who choose to compete in Fortnite without compromising visual fidelity don’t want to play with 1080p or just don’t want the best hardware. Turn Reflex on, your latency is decreasing, and this increase in response will make you a little happier throughout the game.

On the other hand, Reaction for professional players is not useless. If you’re the kind of man with a latency-optimized rig now – you’re already playing strong hardware with small settings at 1080p to make sure that you get the best frame rate possible – the reflex has little advantage. This is because you are most surely confined to the CPU, and in those cases Reflex is inefficient. This is true also for mid-range GPUs like RTX 2060 in titles such as Fortnite and Valorant in low-quality games.

In certain cases, there’s no drawback to Reflex, but don’t expect to see much lower latencies while you are in a totally configured setting. It’s for casual players who don’t want to compromise 4K resolutions or ray tracing while playing but want a good and sensitive experience. And that’s all right, that’s all right.

The Reflex Latency Analyzer is also available to serious professional players who wish to do what they can to reduce machine latency. The tools that are available for tweaking hardware and game settings are clean and theoretically useful but it is not something that a novice gamer does.

If you play Fortnite, Apex Legends, or Valorant, then it’s definitely the perfect way to purchase GeForce GPU. But if you’re one of the many gamers who play a number of titles, or other competitive games, we think that it better to see this as a fun bonus option for now, like DLSS or ray tracing. Perhaps this will improve as the ecosystem is continually expanding and Reflex becomes a core feature of most competitive titles, but for now it’s too small to be a feature.