Today is the day AMD launches its competitor to NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), the FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR). It comes with the much awaited AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.6.1 driver. AMD is looking to improve a game’s visuals using upscaling technology without demanding too much from the system utilizing ‘advanced edge reconstruction’ and sharpening. This should also help to breathe new life into AMD’s older generation GPUs.
FSR takes low-resolution visuals, say 1440p, and upscales the image to 4K using AMD’s curated algorithm. This process is broken down into two stages.
The game is initially rendered at a lower resolution, which results in a performance increase given that there are fewer pixels to deal with on-screen. After this, FSR upscales the visual to 4K using spatial upscaling. This is done in tandem with the advanced edge reconstruction algorithm and further sharpening to improve the image quality.
This gives gamers visuals with the performance demands of 1440p, but one that looks much more like a native 4K image. And before you ask, yes, the end image is very similar to true 4K!
FSR and DLSS are very similar to each other on the surface, but both employ two very different approaches to solving the problem of upscaling. As stated by both AMD and NVIDIA, the main point of difference is the absence of machine learning or AI with FidelityFX Super Resolution.
How the technology ends up performing remains to be seen but it has the initial benefit of allowing AMD to run FSR on a wide range of GPUs, including NVIDIA’s. AMD states that it has tested FSR on all Radeon GPUs from the latest 6000-series (this includes the mobile versions) all the way to the RX 480/470/460 and NVIDIA RTX 30-series GPUs all the way to the 10-series.
The company says that FSR is operable on lower-end devices, but the overhead cost of FSR to total frame cost could result in diminishing returns. It shouldn’t be too taxing on older CPUs though, as AMD has said it shouldn’t have much impact on FSR performance. But, keep in mind that other bottlenecks in your system may negate the benefits of FSR. If your CPU limits your fps, then FSR won’t do much to improve your gaming experience.
Currently, FSR is available to only a handful of games such as
- Anno 1800
- Evil Genius 2
- 22 Racing Series
- Terminator: Resistance, and
- The Riftbreaker
The ‘On/Off’ switch is available in the options menu. Players can also decide on a quality preset for FSR in this menu, which can determine if FSR maximizes frames or fidelity.
According to AMD, more games will soon be getting FSR support, so that’s good news for both gamers and developers.
About Advanced Micro Devices
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is an American multinational semiconductor company headquartered in Santa Clara, California.
AMD develops computer processors and related technologies for business and consumer markets. AMD’s main products include microprocessors, motherboard chipsets, embedded processors and graphics processors for servers, workstations, personal computers and embedded system applications.