Over the years, how often have you thought that you needed to upgrade your graphics card to a newer one so that you could enjoy your favorite games at their best resolution? Personally, I get this thought at least twice a year.
I wish upgrading graphics cards could be as convenient as it sounds. It may not consume a lot of time, but it sure does put a hole in your pocket. But what if I told you there was a way to enjoy your favorite games at their best without breaking the bank?
In this blog, I will be talking about AMD’s latest FidelityFX Super Resolution. I’ll be making all the stops, so hop on as we explore what FidelityFX Super Resolution is and how we can get the most out of our graphics card.
Don’t forget to read this till the end and enjoy the best gaming experience.
What Is FidelityFX Super Resolution?
FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) is an upscaling technology developed by AMD that is one of the simplest ways to improve frame rates in supported games. Once this function is activated, you won’t have to choose between rapid frame rates and high-resolution graphics.
Unlike Nvidia DLSS, FSR can easily work across both Radeon and GeForce graphics cards, including the older models such as the GTX 10 and 16 series, which have been ignored by Nvidia.
AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution was first released in June 2021 and has since found its way into some of the most popular PC games. AAA games such as Far Cry 6, God of War, and Resident Evil Village, as well as smaller independent titles, include FidelityFX Super Resolution in their options menus.
Although there haven’t been many updates to the FSR, and it hasn’t been much refined since its release, unlike its competitor, there isn’t anything stopping you from turning it on if you want to boost the performance of your gaming PC.
But in March 2022, AMD has announced that they will be releasing an updated version, AMD FSR 2.0. Deathloop is the first game that is supported by FSR 2.0, whereas more games will start adapting to this in the second or third quarter of 2022.
If you are lucky enough to own one of the latest and most advanced graphics cards available on the market, you will be able to enjoy 4K gaming at a fraction of the cost of the average frame rate.
AMD is using the “Advanced Edge Reconstruction Algorithm” in their FSR and FSR 2.0. I will be explaining these as we reach the part where I talk about their mechanisms.
Another thing that I’ll be explaining within this blog is the 4 quality levels that are being offered by AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution. I’ll explain how their scale factors and input resolutions vary for each level.
How Does It Work?
AMD FSR and its competitors fulfill the same function of upscaling the technology, but both have very different working mechanisms.
AMD FSR works as a spatial upscaler, this means that each frame is upscaled individually, while other things such as motion vector and frame history are ignored. This system is highly efficient and does not require a system with very high specifications.
But everything has its pros and cons, and while efficiency and lower system requirements tend to be the pros for AMD FSR, lower image quality, in comparison to temporal upscalers such as those found in Unreal Engine or Nvidia DLSS, are the disadvantage of AMD FSR.
Once the frame has gone through anti-aliasing and tone mapping, AMD FSR carries out an upscaling pass, and a sharpening pass before film grain and other similar effects are applied. After that, the game’s HUD is rendered.
EASU (Edge-Adaptive Spatial Upsampling) is an upscaling pass that additionally includes edge reconstruction.
The major component of the algorithm detects gradient reversals, essentially looking at how surrounding gradients differ from a group of input pixels during this pass.
The weights to apply to the reconstructed pixels at display resolution are determined by the concentration of the gradient reversals.
RCAS (Robust Contrast-Adaptive Sharpening) is a sharpening technique that extracts pixel detail in an upscaled image. FSR also includes utility methods for color space conversions, dithering, and tone mapping to make it easier to integrate it into today’s game rendering pipelines.
Upscaling and sharpening depend on the quality level that is to be achieved. In the end, the results will vary depending upon a few factors, such as the game that is being played, which mode I am using, or what graphics card I am using.
Although current AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution uses the spatial upscaling technique, this will be changed in the upcoming update of AMD FSR 2.0, which will be swapping out spatial upscaling with temporal upscaling instead.
FidelityFX Super Resolution Quality Modes
FidelityFX Super Resolution offers multiple quality modes that vary the amount of upscaling that is to be applied on different images, depending upon the required output performance.
Along with fixed scaling, AMD FSR can also be equipped with an “arbitrary scaling” mode. In this mode, any area scaling can be supported from 1x up to 4x.
Arbitrary scaling is usually used for Dynamic Resolution Scaling, where source resolution is governed by a defined performance budget to achieve a minimum frame rate.
AMD FSR offers four quality modes, which are: ultra-quality, quality, balanced, and performance.
This mode produces the highest quality of rendering, which is virtually indistinguishable from the original rendering. It offers a scaling factor of 1.3x in each dimension and 1.69x area scaling, with a 77% screen resolution.
The Quality mode of AMD FSR produces high-quality images with similar quality as native rendering, which also gives a sizeable performance gain. It offers a scaling factor of 1.5x in each dimension and 2.25x area scaling, with a 67% screen resolution.
In balanced mode, high-quality images are produced with quality approximately similar to the native rendering, with a major performance gain achieved compared to the native. It offers a scaling factor of 1.3x in each dimension and 1.69x area scaling, with a 59% screen resolution.
Performance mode significantly affects the image quality and should only be used if additional performance is necessary. It offers a scaling factor of 2x in each dimension and 4x area scaling, with a 50% screen resolution.
These performance and quality modes will also be affected by the choice of our GPU.
I am also attaching a comparison between input and output resolutions for different modes for your better understanding.
|MODE||INPUT RESOLUTION||OUTPUT RESOLUTION|
|Ultra-Quality||1477 x 831|
1970 x 1108
2646 x 1108
2954 x 1662
|1920 x 1080|
2560 x 1440
3440 x 1440
3840 x 2160
|Quality||1280 x 720|
1706 x 960
2293 x 960
2560 x 1440
|1920 x 1080|
2560 x 1440
3440 x 1440
3840 x 2160
|Balanced||1129 x 635|
1506 x 847
2024 x 847
2259 x 1270
|1920 x 1080|
2560 x 1440
3440 x 1440
3840 x 2160
|Performance||960 x 540|
1280 x 720
1720 x 720
1920 x 1080
|1920 x 1080|
2560 x 1440
3440 x 1440
3840 x 2160
AMD FSR Compatible Games
Although in the beginning, there weren’t many games that supported FSR, in recent times, the list of games that support FSR has been increasing exponentially.
In fact, FSR is being adopted 10 times faster than its competitors. This high rate of adaptation is due to the ease of integration for the developers.
I am listing some of the major games that support the AMD FSR below:
- Back 4 Blood
- Call of Duty: Vanguard
- Century: Age of Ashes
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Dota 2
- Evil Genius 2: World Domination
- F1 2021
- Far Cry 6
- God of War
- Hot Wheels Unleashed
- Lego Builder’s Journey
- Marvel’s Avengers
- Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
- Myth of Empires
- No Man’s Sky
- Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis
- Quake II RTX
Other than these, there are a number of games that also support AMD FSR.
AMD FSR And Supported GPUs
AMD FSR is not only limited to the latest generation of GPUs, but it also supports older generations of GPUs that have previously been ignored by the green team.
Since FSR is an open-source software, it is not only limited to AMD GPUs, but it can also support Nvidia graphics cards, starting from the 10 and 16 series and all the way up to the latest RTX-30 series.
For the sake of a simple overview, I’m listing a few major GPUs that FSR will be supporting:
- Radeon RX 6000/ 6000M Series
- Radeon RX 5000/ 5000M Series
- Radeon RX Vega Series
- Radeon RX 500 Series
- Radeon RX 480/ 470/ 460
- Nvidia GTX 10/ 16 Series
- Nvidia RTX 20 Series
- Nvidia RTX 30 Series
- Ryzen 2000 Series CPUs with Radeon GPUs
According to the most recent news, FSR is expected to make its way into gaming consoles as well, beginning with the PS5.
FidelityFX Super Resolution Performance And Results
FSR gives 2.5 times the performance on average in 4K in performance mode with AMD GPUs that support FidelityFX Super Resolution. Its wide range of compatibility makes it the perfect choice to get both the highest level of performance and picture quality.
In a 4K setting, Godfall requires a tremendous amount of memory bandwidth. While using an older or smaller GPU, this can be a major problem, resulting in lower quality pictures and reduced fluidity within the game.
Counterplay Games, the studio that produced Godfall, partnered with AMD to apply some of the latest technologies to their gaming environment, which namely includes the integration of FSR to provide smooth and seamless gameplay to its users.
The Unreal Engine is a studio that takes pride in the long-range of games that are available on the market. Among those widely played games, Terminator: Resistance is also a crown jewel of the Unreal Engine.
Like many other top-rated interactive environment games, Terminator also takes up a lot of memory. For gamers with lighter PCs and GPU setups, enjoying such games can be a major issue.
AMD FSR provides crisp display and images as well as improves game performance for such small-scale gamers, ensuring everyone can have a similar experience.
The Riftbreaker is a game developed at the Exor Studios. Exor Studios has also partnered with AMD to develop gaming environments for The Riftbreaker, which can support AMD FSR.
To get the best experience from the game, Exor Studios recommends that we use AMD Ryzen processors along with an AMD Radeon RX 570 8 GB graphics card or better, along with AMD FSR to experience the full potential of the game.
Additional Features of FidelityFX Super Resolution
AMD FSR is GPU-agnostic, which means that it can work with GPUs from different brands, unlike Nvidia DLSS, which can only be used with Nvidia GPUs.
AMD FSR is an open-source software, which will result in quicker, easier, and more rapid adaptability. Unlike DLSS, FSR does not require any additional specialized graphics hardware and thus is not computation heavy.
Another benefit that FSR offers over its competitors is that, while its competitors fail to accommodate lower frame rates at a higher level, FSR was able to do the task successfully. The picture quality was affected, but the higher frame rate was easily achieved.
AMD FSR has been seen significantly increasing the picture quality and increasing the performance in different games that support FSR. On an average, an increase of 2–2.5 times can be observed.
Apart from improvising performances on GPUs, AMD is now moving towards the console lineups. Arcadegeddon’s developers have confirmed that the game’s PS5 version will support FSR.
Microsoft has also confirmed that Xbox developer kits will come equipped with AMD FSR libraries so that developers can easily apply and use FSR and experience the highest quality of gaming.
Although the list of console games that will be supporting FSR in the beginning is quite small, in the start, just like for PC games, with time, more and more games will be incorporating this technology into their console games.
After seeing all of the specifications, functions, and improvements that FidelityFX Super Resolution offers to its users, I, personally, have become a huge fan of this. For a small-scale gamer like myself, it is hard to enjoy most games due to a limited gaming setup.
With technologies like FSR coming into the mainstream gaming industry and companies making them compatible with such technologies, it ensures that anyone with an average gaming setup can enjoy high-quality games without having to burn a hole in their pockets.
Although hardware specifications will still play an important role in every person’s gaming experience, that major gap can be filled to an extent with such technologies.
At the moment, the list of games supporting this technology is small, but in the future, more and more games will be adapting to this technology.
Personally, I would 10/10 recommend using it.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1 – Is Fidelity FX ray traced?
As an example, Godfall on maximum settings with ray tracing turned on can give up to 100 more fps depending on the GPU.
#2 – How do I turn on AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution?
In previous virtual resolution systems made by AMD, you would have to use the AMD Radeon app to turn it on, but with FSR, you can simply turn it on or off from the graphics settings of any game that supports AMD FSR. The process is as simple as checking a box.
#3 – Does AMD FidelityFX increase FPS?
Yes, AMD FSR does increase the FPS rating. FSR offers four different settings, from which you can choose depending upon your requirements.
These four settings are, namely, ultra-quality, quality, balanced, and performance.
Each quality level toggles between increasing FPS or performance gain. These outputs are also dependent upon the hardware that is being used for gaming.
#4 – Does Warzone support FSR?
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but currently, Warzone does not support FSR. Although it is likely that in the future, Warzone may start supporting FSR, at the moment, unfortunately, it does not.
But on the positive side, the latest Call of Duty: Vanguard does support FSR, and we can hope that Warzone supports FSR as well in the future.
#5 – How to Enable FidelityFX CAS in Vanguard?
Enabling FSR CAS in Vanguard is simple and can be done the same way as in any other game.
Simply follow these four steps, and your CAS will turn on. Open the settings menu, click on the graphics tab, scroll down to find the FidelityFX CAS settings option, and click on it to turn it on.
#6 – Is AMD’s FidelityFX worth it?
The million-dollar question is, is it worth it? I’d say yes, and that is the only right answer to this question.
Not only does the FSR ultra quality mode produce high and close-to-native results, but its performance mode is also sharper at scaling from 1080p all the way up to 4K.
#7 – What does FidelityFX CAS do?
CAS stands for Contrast Adaptive Sharpening. CAS is a software-based tool. This enables sharpening and scaling images, both at the same time.
Theoretically, the algorithm used in this technology changes the amount of sharpening per pixel to achieve a uniform level of sharpness throughout the image.
#8 – What is adaptive FX quality?
Adaptive FX quality means that the graphics of the game are automatically adjusted in case the frame rate is dropped or increased at some point.
This ensures that there is fluidity in the game and that graphics can be as smooth as possible throughout the gaming experience.