THE OMG chose this Tuesday (22) to officially announce the FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), a standard that promises to improve the performance of video cards when running games and that, to some extent, comes to match Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology.
How FSR works
FSR is a spatial upscaling technique. It works like this: the graphics card lowers the resolution of the rendering graphics to, therefore, increase the frame rate per second (fps); then specific algorithms reconstruct the image at a higher resolution. This entire process is intended to optimize game performance, but without sacrificing graphics quality.
In the reconstruction step, the FSR inserts the missing pixels so that the image is complete at the resized resolution. This step can cause some loss of visual quality, especially in terms of definition, but complementary techniques significantly mitigate the problem, such as Contrast Adaptive Sharpening (CAS), which improves the application of contrast.
The balance between fps boost and graphics quality depends, among other factors, on the mode chosen for FidelityFX Super Resolution. There are four:
- Ultra Quality: prioritizes graphic quality, leaving the image within a standard very close to the native one (no FSR application);
- quality: still prioritizes graphics quality, but gives more room for performance;
- balanced: is the mode that effectively tries to balance graphics quality with performance;
- Performance: prioritizes increasing fps; here, the performance gain can be up to 2.4 times greater compared to native resolution in certain games running at 4K, according to AMD.
It’s not just 4K. FSR can also optimize titles in 1440p or 1080p, for example. The effectiveness of the technique should vary from game to game, however.
According to AMD, the technology was developed to optimize the user experience with new or released games, which is why it supports the DirectX 11, DirectX 12 and Vulkan APIs. However, it is up to the developer to implement FSR support in the game.
FSR compatible games
As FSR has just been officially released, the number of games supported by the technology is still small. For now, the list has only seven games:
- The Riftbreaker
- Terminator: Resistance
- Evil Genius 2: World Domination
- 22 Racing Series
- Year 1800
Titles like Endowment 2, Far Cry 6, Resident Evil Village and 22 Racing Series will have support soon. The number of compatible games is expected to increase further in the coming months.
In mid-July, interested developers will be able to find detailed FSR implementation information on the GPUOpen website, AMD’s open source community that provides APIs, tools and documentation for GPU-based projects.
Compatible video cards (includes Nvidia)
Not surprisingly, FidelityFX Super Resolution will only work on compatible graphics cards. The good news is that several AMD models support the technology, including simpler or slightly older models:
- Radeon 6000/6000M Series
- Radeon 5000/5000M Series
- Radeon 600 Series
- Radeon 500 Series
- Radeon RX 500 Series
- Radeon RX Vega Series
- Radeon RX 480/470/460 Graphics
- AMD Ryzen Processors for Desktops and Notebooks with Integrated Radeon GPU
For those who have any of these cards, installing current drivers is enough for compatibility with the technology to be enabled.
It doesn’t end there. The latest graphics cards from rival Nvidia are also FSR-compatible:
- GeForce RTX 30 Series
- GeForce RTX 20 Series
- GeForce 16 Series
- GeForce 10 Series
DLSS and FSR are not the same
Although DLSS and FSR match upscaling standards, they don’t both work the same. The first is based on Nvidia’s proprietary artificial intelligence technology and only works with RTX cards.
In turn, FSR is an open source spatial upscaling standard designed to be compatible with a wide variety of GPUs, including not-too-recent models, as has already become clear. Because of this, there is even an expectation that the novelty can, at some point, be used in the optimization of games for consoles.