AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) not coming anytime soon?

Posted on Thursday, Mar 18 2021 @ 13:31 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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PCWorld recently recorded a Full Nerd Special podcast with AMD Radeon general manager Scott Herkelman. One of the things they talked about was AMD's future rival for NVIDIA's DLSS technology. First introduced with the Turing architecture in late 2018, DLSS is one of the big advantages NVIDIA currently has over AMD. The first-generation of DLSS wasn't that great but the second-generation DLSS really kicks ass and makes it possible to play a lot more games at high resolutions with RTX On and with image quality settings at maximum. DLSS really makes a difference by providing a massive performance boost at a limited or even unnoticeable image quality hit.

AMD FSR coming later this year -- still a lot of work to do

First up, Herkelman revealed the official name of AMD's DLSS rival is AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR). The acronym is not FFS or FXSS, as some enthusiasts and media falsely assumed. Now the bad news is that AMD's FSR doesn't appear to be ready for a Spring introduction. There were rumors it would be one of the new features of the firm's big Radeon Software spring driver release but Herkelman's comments reveal still has a lot of work on the technology. He says it's progressing well and called it one of the biggest AMD software initiatives to date.

Despite claims about it progressing well, Herkelman's comments don't inspire a lot of confidence about the technology being ready for release anytime soon. For example, AMD is still evaluating the actual technology behind the upscaling algorithm and the firm still needs to make sure it can scale from different resolutions. Not a lot was mentioned about the implementation but it appears that unlike NVIDIA's DLSS, AMD's FSR may not be based on machine learning:
You don’t need machine learning to do it, you can do this many different ways and we are evaluating many different ways. What matters the most to us is what game developers want to use because if at the end of the day it is just for us, we force people to do it, it is not a good outcome. We would rather say: gaming community, which one of these techniques would you rather see us implement so that this way it can be immediately spread across the industry and hopefully cross-platform. -- Scott Herkelman
AMD's FSR technology is designed to be cross-platform but Herkelman confirmed the initial focus will be on the PC. Console support will follow later. Details about when it should be available were not shared -- other than a vague comment that AMD aims to release it later this year.

NVIDIA DLSS promises to double System Shock and The Fabled Woods performance

NVIDIA on the other hand announces DLSS is coming to more video games. The technology is now available as a plug-in for Unreal Engine 4.26 -- which should make it easier for game developers that use this game engine to implement DLSS support. Via a blog post, NVIDIA announces DLSS support for two more games.

Night Dive Studios has published a demo version of System Shock, a remake of the classic from 1994. The new System Shock is expected to be out this summer.
“The Unreal Engine 4 plugin makes light work of adding NVIDIA DLSS to your game, in fact we dropped it in over the weekend,” said Matthew Kenneally, Lead Engineer at Night Dive Studios. “Bringing System Shock to a new generation of gamers has been a labor of love for our team, and the impact NVIDIA DLSS will have on the player’s experience is undeniable.”
There's also DLSS support for The Fabled Woods -- a new game that will be released on March 25th. Developer CyberPunch Studios claims adding DLSS support took just a day thanks to the Unreal Engine 4 plug-in.
“Adding NVIDIA DLSS to The Fabled Woods was easy thanks to the Unreal Engine 4 plugin, and the impact it makes on performance is substantial.” Joe Bauer, Founder CyberPunch Studios. “With the Unreal Engine 4 plugin, adding DLSS to The Fabled Woods was a no-brainer; it really opens DLSS up to a whole new world of developers.”
In both games, it's possible to see a more than twofold increase in frame rates per second by switching on DLSS.

Plenty of video games use Unreal Engine 4 so it looks like DLSS is about to get a lot more widespread.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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