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NVIDIA Maxwell Dynamic Super Resolution feature explored

Posted on Wednesday, October 01 2014 @ 13:08:31 CEST by

One of the new features introduced by NVIDIA's Maxwell GPU is Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR), a method to provide better image quality on lower-resolution screens. These days high-end video cards are often overkill for typical screens, which have a resolution of 1920 x 1200 or lower, so this feature might become pretty popular. According to NVIDIA, it allows you to get 4K image quality on a 2K screen. The Tech Report decided to check out what DSR is all about, you can read their experience over here.

DSR is somewhat similar to supersampling, it allows you to render the game at a higher resolution than your display, lets say at 3840 x 2160 when your screen supports just 1920 x 1020. The rendered image is then scaled down to fit the target display, thereby improving the visual quality.
The benefits are the same. The extra sample info improves every pixel—not only does it smooth object edges, but it also oversamples texture info, shader effects, the works. The performance hit is the same, too. The GPU will perform like it would when rendering to a 4K display, perhaps a little slower due to the overhead caused by scaling the image down to the target resolution.

The twist with DSR is that it can scale images down from resolutions that aren't 2X or 4X the size of the target display. For example, DSR could render a game internally at 2560x1440 and scale it down to fit a 1920x1080 monitor. That's just... funky, if you're thinking in terms of supersampling. But it does seem to work.
The site concludes DSR can offer noticeable and sometimes even dramatic improvements in visual quality. The combination of 4x oversampling for every single pixel and soft scaling to reduce temporal noise delivers stunning results, but is obviously very taxing on your hardware.



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