This is FSR, AMD’s open technology that competes with NVIDIA’s DLSS (but is not exactly the same)
Although it was announced a few weeks ago, yesterday AMD’s FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution) technology finally debuted. The purpose of this proposal is the same as that of DLSS on NVIDIA– Improve the frame-per-second rate at high resolutions and even with ray tracing scenes on.
The launch of FSR is modest at the moment and it will be interesting to see how one and the other behave in the future, but the interesting thing is not only that: the key to FSR is also in its opening. While DLSS can only be used on certain NVIDIA graphics, FSR – which is Open Source – can be used on both AMD graphics and graphics from its competitor. Even in the old ones of the GTX family.
Achieve more visual quality and more FPS is possible
The launch of FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) responds to this market demand for improve the visual aspect of games when we enjoy them at high resolutions such as 1440p or 4K. This is where frame rates per second (FPS) suffer the most, and this is precisely where FSR relieves the load without losing (hardly) definition or level of detail.
AMD has started that FSR journey with seven compatible games: ‘Year 1800‘, ‘Evil Genius 2‘, ‘Godfall‘, ‘Kingshunt’, ’22 Racing Series’, ‘Terminator: Resistance‘, and’ The Riftbreaker ‘. Although it is not a particularly flashy catalog, the company has already announced that it will soon offer FSR support to more popular titles such as’DOTA 2‘, ‘Resident Evil Village‘, ‘ForSpoken‘ O ‘Far Cry 6‘, among others.
That catalog is almost the least of it right now, because for AMD the important thing is to give massive access to this technology. How to do it? Not closing itself to the users of its graphs.
FSR can be used in modern AMD graphics but also in older models such as the RX 480, 470 or 460, but the really funny thing is that it can also be used in NVIDIA graphics, both in the case of the modern RTX 3000 as well as the RTX 2000 and even the GTX 1000. Beware: these are the officially validated graphics by AMD, and it is possible that FSR will work even on even older graphics.
AMD technology can be activated in various modes ranging from the ‘Performance’ or ‘Balanced’ mode to an ‘Ultra Quality’ mode that is the most demanding but also the one that offers a visual detail closer to the native image.
Here the idea is to “play” with these modes and see which one suits us the most both in definition and visual detail as well as in that fluidity that this technology precisely provides.
De Deep Learning, nada
The key to NVIDIA’s DLSS technology is in those first two letters, DL, which stand for Deep Learning. Deep Learning is a fundamental element of this system, and precisely the requirement of NVIDIA to be able to offer DLSS support in the games in which that option exists is that those games have been “trained” by NVIDIA.
This is a complex process but it has a clear reward: for the games that support it (because we insist, they have been “trained” with NVIDIA’s deep learning algorithms), graphic quality is excellent even at high resolutions and activating ray tracing options. In fact, this option allows one to enjoy a spectacular level of detail without the frame rate dropping worryingly.
Unlike DLSS, AMD does not use deep learning systems for FidelityFX Super Resolution. Not at least for now, and although this means that the final graphic quality probably cannot be comparable, the approach is much more “open”: DLSS can only be used on RTXs, but FSR can be used on any relatively modern graphics card, be it from AMD or NVIDIA.
At AMD they describe FSR as a “spatial upscaler” that works by taking the frame with antialiasing and rescaling it to screen resolution without relying on other data such as frame history or the motion vectors that are used in other systems.
The technology detects edges from the initial image, and applies two passes: the first, called EASU (Edge-Adaptive Spatial Upsampling) where the frame is analyzed, and the second, called RCAS (Robust Contrast-Adaptive Sharpening) where the detail of the pixels in the rescaled image is extracted.
Although it is a simpler technique than DLSS and according to AMD itself does not need to be “trained” in games, FSR does need developers to integrate that support into each of their games, something important for this rescaling of all visual elements to occur properly.
The first analysis of media such as TechSpot O Gamers Nexus make it clear that FSR is not a direct competitor of DLSS as such, because they are two proposals that approach their goal from very different perspectives.
There is always going to be data loss with the technique used by AMD, but things seem work very well in ‘Quality’ and ‘Ultra Quality’ modes, especially when enjoying 1440p and 4K titles. Things get worse at 1080p resolutions even when trying to take advantage of the highest quality modes, and there this first implementation sacrifices visual level at the expense of FPS.
Even so, the first benchmarks show that it is possible to hardly lose visual quality in 4K in ‘Ultra Quality’ and ‘Quality’ modes and achieve frame rates of 40% higher and 65% respectively, a truly amazing increase that will undoubtedly add much more fluidity to the gaming experience.
Opening not only on all types of graphics cards, but also on consoles
We insist: user is in control, and you can activate one or the other mode (or deactivate the root option) and decide which option you like best. The important thing here is that AMD offers that option without us being blocked by our graphics.
There is one more detail that is interesting: the opening of FSR will allow this technology is also potentially supported on Xbox and PlayStation, and in fact a Microsoft spokesperson already commented and IGN how soon they will share details about that support for their consoles.
Now It remains to be seen if the developers end up embracing this proposal from AMD and they offer more and more support to be able to use it in their games. Here it seems clear that the competition with DLSS will be important, but of course the approach of AMD – which will soon publish the code of FSR 1.0 – seems remarkable.