AMD’s answer to Nvidia’s DLSS is coming this month

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AMD has announced that FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), the supersampling technique designed to improve performance and image quality in supported games, will be launched on June 22. The company gave a presentation at Computex Taipei today detailing the feature, although it’s still unclear how effective it will be.

Supersampling is an important differentiator between AMD’s GPUs and those of competitor Nvidia. DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling), Nvidia’s version of the technique, uses neural networks to reconstruct higher quality images from lower resolutions in real time, allowing games to run at smoother frame rates without compromising image quality. Nvidia launched DLSS in 2018 with the RTX 20 series, and it has been improving performance and support ever since. Over 50 games now work with DLSS, and Nvidia just announced it themselves Red Dead Redemption 2 and Rainbow Six Siege get the function.

AMD first said it was working on supersampling last year when it announced the RX 6000 series GPUs. The company won’t give too many technical details about the feature just yet, but says it will be open source and will support more than ten studios and engines this year.

FSR supports four scaling levels. In AMD’s own testing, running god drop on a Radeon RX 6800 XT with epic graphics settings and ray tracing, the performance mode ran at 150 fps – a huge increase over the original rendering result of 49 fps. The Balanced, Quality and Ultra Quality modes yielded results of 124 fps, 99 fps and 78 fps respectively.

Since FSR is open source, it also works on Nvidia GPUs, including 10-series models that don’t support DLSS. AMD claims 41 percent performance improvement in quality mode for god drop on a GTX 1060, for example, increasing the frame rate from 27 fps to 38 fps.

Of course, companies’ own benchmarks should never be taken for granted, and the results are not so meaningful if we can’t see the effects on image quality with our own eyes. AMD hasn’t shown much evidence of how FSR works in practice – but we won’t have long to find out, as it will be available in three weeks.