Tech

Nvidia turns its image scaler into an open source DLSS alternative to AMD’s FSR competitor

Big picture: Nvidia’s November 2021 update covers several questions regarding what the company is doing with its image reconstruction technology. The main story is an updated image scaling technology called Nvidia Image Scaling, which is now being offered as an alternative to DLSS and AMD FSR in the hopes of gaining broader developer support.

There has been a lot of praise for Nvidia’s DLSS – a feature that, in games that support it, makes low-res images look as good or better than high-res images, thereby improving performance. It works through a combination of AI, using information from previous frames, and tensor cores in Nvidia RTX graphics cards. Analyzes by groups such as Eurogamer’s DigtialFoundry, supported by so that users always turn it on whenever possible.

AMD FSR is also trying to improve performance by upscaling lower resolution images using techniques such as spatial scaling and sharpening. It doesn’t use AI or information from previous frames, but it works on most GPUs, be it AMD or Nvidia.

Comparing the two in games that use both noted that FSR is simpler and, in the end, less effective. However, several well-known games have recently decided to support FSR before adding DLSS or even instead of DLSS. Examples include Far Cry 6, Deathloop, Resident Evil Village, and Back 4 Blood. This is likely a result of FSR’s less stringent requirements and the fact that AMD made it open source, so anyone can potentially implement it.

In response, Nvidia seems to be announced it adds more functionality to the existing image scaling device. This is not DLSS, but rather a simple upscaler similar to FSR, which now has an improved sharpening algorithm with a six-pin filter, four-directional scaling and adaptive sharpening filters.

Nvidia Image Scaling is activated in the Nvidia Control Panel under Manage 3D Settings. Once enabled, it will add five new resolutions that can be selected through the game settings menu, depending on a percentage of your display’s native resolution, from 85 to 50 percent. Notably, the latter is not available for 1080p monitors.

As soon as the user selects one of these resolutions while playing full screen, Nvidia’s image scaling should be upscaled from that to native to the display. If the game does not support full screen mode, the user can simply use Nvidia Image Scaling to change the desktop resolution.

Nvidia Image Scaling even has an in-game overlay that should show the results in real time. This is done with GeForce Experience, which can also be used to tweak Nvidia’s image scaling. Pressing Alt + F3 during gameplay will allow you to adjust the degree of sharpness during gameplay and see the difference immediately.

Nvidia even offers extensive comparisons of its own between Nvidia Image Scaling, FSR, and DLSS. The company clearly wants developers and gamers to use DLSS, which looks best in all the pictures for comparison. On the other hand, Nvidia’s image scaling is very similar to FSR when comparing all three methods in Necromunda: Hired Gun. In other comparisons, Nvidia seems to be bundling FSR and its image scaling under the name “spatial scaling”.

Like FSR, Nvidia makes image scaling open source, so it can certainly be supported on AMD in the future and even on future Intel graphics cards.

Along with a demonstration of its new scaling technology, Nvidia also announced an update to DLSS to DLSS 2.3, which should fix some of the flaws in DLSS. Games that use DLSS are sometimes known to create a halo effect due to the way the function handles the game’s motion vectors. PC version Death stranding good example.

Nvidia claims to have fixed this with DLSS 2.3 to reduce ghosting. pointing out Cyberpunk 2077 as an example. DLSS 2.3 should also improve particle reconstruction, which Nvidia boasted in Doom Eternal.


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