AMD’s new Fidelity FX Super Resolution (FSR) technology was released today and was initially offered in several games. Similar to Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology, AMD FSR support aims to improve low-resolution gaming to deliver smoother frame rates without significantly impacting image quality. FSR was released today in seven games: Anno 1800, Evil Genius 2, Godfall, Kingshunt, 22 Racing Series, Terminator: Resistance, and The Riftbreaker. It’s not an impressive series as Nvidia’s DLSS support is included in some of the best games, but the company promises support for DOTA 2, Resident Evil Village, Far Cry 6, and more.
More important is the current operation of FSR. AMD is enabling FSR on various GPUs, including its latest 6000 series, up to its RX 480, 470, and 460 cards. FSR even supports rival Nvidia GPUs, including the latest 30 series all the way to the 10 series. AMD provides a variety of modes for FSR. The quality and super quality are closer to the native image, and the balanced performance provides a higher frame rate, but the image quality is significantly reduced. TechSpot found that “FSR maintains very well when using Ultra quality or 4K quality mode”, but “balanced” and “performance” modes “have significantly reduced quality” and ambiguity.
While the high quality and 4K ultra-high-definition modes are impressive, testers found that the inclusion of FSR in 1440p, especially 1080p, was even more impressive. KitGuru sees very smooth 1080p images when the FSR quality mode is enabled. Turning on the balance makes the work smoother. However, KitGuru found that the Ultra 4K FSR quality mode was better than the original 1440p image, delivering significant performance gains.
PCGamer also reported that it did not find any errors or image artifacts in the tested games. However, due to the limited number of games available for side-by-side comparison, reviewers cannot fully test FSR against DLSS. Nevertheless, PCGamer concluded that FSR is inferior to DLSS, but this is a promising start.
While DLSS and FSR serve the same purpose, they should not be confused with equivalent technologies. Since FSR was announced earlier this month, AMD’s response to DLSS has been dubbed a “DLSS killer” or “DLSS competitor” when the reality is much more complicated. Nvidia’s DLSS technology uses a unique AI-based timeline. It only works with the company’s RTX series GPUs. AMD uses space expansion technology that works with modern and legendary Nvidia devices, as well as a wide range of GPUs.
Unlike Nvidia, AMD has not yet used AI for FSR. This makes it easier for game developers to add content to their games, but it means that the quality of the resulting image may not always be as good as the native or DLSS resolution. Nvidia’s technology uses multi-frame data, and a dedicated core in the GPU helps to reconstruct it into an image that gamers can see.
While we’ve seen impressive results with DLSS 2.0 over the past few months, these early AMD results indicate that FSR can be a useful tool that works well across a wide range of games and platforms. AMD is not saying exactly what FSR means for games running on PS5 and Xbox Series X, but it does provide game developers with another way to boost frame rates and maintain image quality.