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As we move forward in the gaming industry, each game has graphical improvements looking more realistic or beautiful depending on the game. But even if the new graphical improvements look more appealing to people, these may require quite a high-end system to run at the maximum graphics settings, which is quite troublesome for the people who own old hardware. Some have to sacrifice graphic settings or resolution for more fps. While the lowest graphic settings for most of the games are not bad, lowering resolution will make the game very unclear to see. For this, AMD has at last unveiled the curtain to introduce you to AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution.
What is AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution?
As a competition to Nvidia’s DLSS, AMD launched FidelityFX Super Resolution, an upscaling technology for GPUs. This DLSS-like feature promises up to two and a half times the performance at 4K in games like Godfall, and it’s set to release on June 22. Like DLSS, it reconstructs the image, making it look like it is rendering at a higher resolution than it really is. If we run a game at 1080p, FSR reconstructs the image filling in the pixel gaps making the 1080p output look like a 1440p output.
“AMD FidelityFX is our open-source image quality toolkit comprising of eight different solutions available for developers to implement into their games that are optimized for AMD RDNA™ and RDNA™ 2 architectures. FidelityFX helps deliver ultimate visual quality with a minimal performance overhead, freeing up your graphics card to power the incredible gaming experiences you demand.“
AMD showed the power of FRS with Godfall with an RX 6800 XT. With the 4K Epic preset with ray tracing turned on, AMD measured an average of 49 fps at native resolution without FRS meddling in. When kicking in FRS with Ultra Quality, a drastic fps change from 49fps to 78fps— a 59% increase. Other modes showed greater performance increases, with the Performance Mode increasing to 150fps, surpassing some of the best performing DLSS titles.
Unlike Nvidia, AMD has more open support for GPUs with RX 6000, RX 5000, RX 500, and newer GPUs. Ryzen processors with Radeon Vega graphics are supported, too. While the FRS supports Radeon GPUs, they have also added Nvidia’s GPU GTX 10-series and newer GPUs. This resurrects the old GTX 10-series being a boon for the Owners as Nvidia DLSS only supports the RTX series.
There were performance gains — a 41% increase in Godfall at 1440p with the Epic preset — with a GTX 1060 on quality mode.
FSR offers four quality modes: Ultra, Quality, Balanced, and Performance. Ultra quality retains. Further down, each performance mode offers a higher frame rate at the cost of image quality.
How Does it Work?
In May, AMD published a patent for “Gaming Super Resolution” that explained how the technology works.
“A processing device is provided, which includes memory and a processor. The processor is configured to receive an input image having the first resolution, generate linear down-sampled versions of the input image by down-sampling the input image via a linear upscaling network, and generate non-linear down-sampled versions of the input image by down-sampling the input image via a non-linear upscaling network. The processor is also configured to convert the down-sampled versions of the input image into pixels of an output image having a second resolution higher than the first resolution and provide the output image for display.“
The patent explains that linear techniques using a neural network do not consider non-linear information, which generally causes a blur and corrupted images. AMD also cited “deep learning approaches” in the patent, claiming they lead to “loss of color and detail information” because they don’t incorporate important aspects of the original image. So, AMD is using both.
“The combination of the linear and non-linear upscaling facilitates both the preservation color and larger-scale features of the image from linear upscaling as well as the preservation of finer features of the image from non-linear upscaling.”
The reconstructed image has to go through two paths. The original low-res image will transit through a linear and a non-linear upscaling network, pulling distinct bits of information from each path. FSR then stitches these photos together to form a pixel grid, expanding for a higher-resolution image. You now have your reassembled image after some frame cleaning.
Super Resolution will function on various devices, according to the patent. It can be used on “a computer, a gaming device, a handheld device, a set-top box, a television, a mobile phone, or a tablet computer,” according to the patent.
When is AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution releasing?
FSR was announced during AMD’s Computex 2021 presentation and released on June 22. You may access the setting in-game for approved titles, just like the rest of the FidelityFX suite, as long as you have a supporting graphics card. The function is now only accessible on PC, but AMD is expected to bring it to the RDNA 2-based Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 at some point in the future. FSR will become a key element of the game production pipeline when and if it arrives on consoles.
What games are supported right now?
AMD demonstrated FSR with Godfall at its Computex 2021 presentation, claiming a 59 percent gain in 4K with Ultra resolution. AMD has stated that the first batch of FSR games would be available in late June. In 2021, more than ten game developers aim to include FSR in their games and engines.
If you do not see your game on the list, you can request it through the AMD FSR wishlist. AMD may be working with game developers to get FSR into their games, but it is still up to the game developers to incorporate the functionality. We expect the list of FSR titles to increase soon as more titles support at least one FidelityFX function — mainly Contrast Adaptive Sharpening.
FSR has the potential to make AMD GPUs a far more attractive option. Despite the new 6000-series GPUs’ excellent rasterized performance, Nvidia maintains its advantage owing to ray tracing and DLSS speed. If FSR performs and DLSS, AMD will be a viable option for playing the latest AAA games with all of the visual frills turned on without sacrificing frame rate.