AMD’s FidelityFX game super-resolution upgrade feature will be launched today, starting with 7 games and expanding to another 12 in the near future. Fidelity FX Super Resolution (FSR) is AMD’s alternative to Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) upgrade technology. The two work in different ways, but aim to improve game performance by allowing games to be rendered at lower than native resolutions, reducing GPU pressure, and then upgrading to the required native resolution without severely affecting visual quality. This is especially important when using hardware-intensive ray tracing visual effects.

According to AMD, its FSR method is based on open standards, and it will run on a variety of hardware, including multi-generation desktop and notebook GPUs, as well as GPUs integrated into the CPU. An interesting aspect of this technology is that it is vendor-agnostic and can even run on current and previous generation hardware from rival Nvidia. Although DLSS is limited to Nvidia’s advanced GeForce RTX layer GPUs, it is said that FSR can even run on older and lower-end GeForce GTX models. This helps to extend the life of old hardware.

There are four FSR presets-super high quality, quality, balance and performance. Each preset is for a different input resolution so that the target image can be scaled between 1.3X and 2X. AMD claims that the 4K frame rate in performance mode has increased by an average of 2.4 times. Game developers can adjust how FSR affects the sharpening of each game. AMD also stated that it will continue to update and improve its algorithms.

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The native image quality in each FSR mode and the claimed compromise

The seven games that will support FSR at launch are: Godfall, Anno 1800, Terminator: Resistance, Kingshunt, 22 Racing Series, The Riftbreaker and Evil Genius 2. Upcoming games and games that will be updated to support FSR include Far Cry 6, DOTA 2, Resident Evil Village, Mysterious Island, Baldur’s Gate 3 and Sim Farm 22. In addition, there are a large number of game developers and studios involved, including EA, Ubisoft, Capcom, Warner Bros. Games, Valve, Nixxes, and Crystal Dynamics.

AMD’s platform-independent open source drive is significant because AMD’s RDNA2 GPU architecture powers current and previous generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles. It was recently announced that Samsung’s next-generation flagship Exynos SoC will also integrate RDNA2 graphics components, and Tesla’s latest in-car entertainment system will include a gaming platform powered by RDNA2. It is unclear whether or how AMD’s hardware customers will implement this new feature.

FSR is available for Windows and Linux, and supports DirectX 11 and 12 and Vulkan API. Unlike DLSS, scaling is entirely spatial rather than temporal, which means it can detect and reconstruct edges and textures, but does not require inference of data from previously generated frames. It also does not require neural network training for every game. AMD touted its developer-friendly approach and stated that they can integrate FSR into games with very little effort.

Currently, Radeon RX 6000 and 6000M series support FSR; RX 5000 and 5000M series; Radeon VII; Radeon Vega series; RX 600, RX 500, and select RX 400 models; and all desktop and mobile Ryzen APUs. In terms of green, Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 and 20 series and GTX 16 series and GTX 10 series are supported.

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AMD’s own performance data shows that Godfall runs at an average of 59fps in 4K on the Radeon RX 6800 XT GPU, increased to 87fps in super quality mode, and 145fps in performance mode. On a laptop equipped with Radeon RX 6800M GPU, the same 1440p game runs at an average speed of 66fps without FSR, and depending on the FSR mode, it jumps to between 84fps and 108fps. As for the still popular Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, Kingshunt runs at 1440p, scaling from an average 71fps without FSR to between 93fps and 131fps with this feature enabled.