Nvidia’s DLSS isn’t foolproof, but when it works the performance benefits of AI-powered upscaling can be astounding. Because of this, fans have been pushing AMD for almost a full year to create its own AI-based solution, and today AMD finally announced it. Even better, it works on any GPU hardware.
This story originally appeared on Kotaku Australia.
The technology known as FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) is basically AMD’s answer to Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS). But as consumers saw when DLSS was introduced, AMD technology won’t be widespread in the first place. This year only 10 games and game engines will support AMD’s FSR, although AMD hopes their open source approach will lead to faster adoption in the long run.
And AMD might be right, especially since AMD’s FSR not only works on AMD hardware, but also supports Nvidia cards. In an embargoed briefing, AMD showed a Godfall performance slide claiming a Geforce GTX 1060 – the most popular GPU according to the latest Steam hardware surveys – went from 27 FPS to 38 FPS at 1440p on Epic settings.
It’s a bit of a strange test, and AMD’s footnotes added that the test machine was a Ryzen 5950X CPU that ran the Windows 10 October 2020 update – but not the May 2020 update that AMD did for another benchmark -Slide used to compare FSR performance in different modes. You wouldn’t play a game like Godfall
Journalists asked during the briefing if FSR had any resolution restrictions, as was the case with Nvidia’s DLSS technology when it was first implemented. AMD said they would provide more details on June 22nd or June 23rd Australian time, when the FSR is scheduled to go live.
Then we also get the full list of games and engines that support FSR from within the game. If Godfall is a clue, there is a lot to look forward to. The very good one 6800XT, According to AMD tests, Godfall only runs at 49 FPS when ray tracing and all settings are at their maximum.
But with activated FSR this frame rate jumps at the lowest upscaling setting (quality) to 78 FPS and at best to 150 FPS (with activated performance).
AMD was pushing the rendering resolution for each of the settings. Nvidia’s DLSS can generally render up to four times the internal resolution, so a 4K game running in performance mode would use AI to upscale the image from 1080p. (Some titles like Cyberpunk 2077, have an Ultra Performance mode that upscales the images by a factor of 8. But it’s not really worth it – You are better off playing at 4K as the picture quality and frame rate are compromised.) However, AMD added that more details would be announced on June 22nd
IIt will be interesting to see how difficult FSR is to implement when AMD releases more details in a few weeks’ time. We’ve seen DLSS uptake speed up a lot lately Nvidia has released an Unreal Engine plug-in to make it easier for developers. If AMD can integrate its technology seamlessly enough with big engines like Unreal, Unity, and some of the bespoke offerings like Frostbite, AMD’s AI-powered upscaling could make a difference much sooner than many had hoped.