AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
In October 2020, AMD took advantage of the announcement of its Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards to indicate that it was working on the FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), a super-sampling technology whose primary purpose is to accelerate throughput in games. The technique is simple to understand: games are rendered in a lower resolution than the display definition, which mechanically results in an increase in the number of frames per second calculated by the graphics card. To avoid the degradations inherent in this downscalling, an algorithm performs a whole bunch of calculations in order to give an image as beautiful as if it had been rendered in full definition. At least, that’s the promise of this system which – you will understand – is quite simply the AMD counterpart of Nvidia’s DLSS, a technology launched in 2018 with the GeForce RTX 20.
Months have passed and AMD has communicated very little on its progress. He just left a few scraps of information, starting with the promise to deliver an open system, usable both on its Radeons and on graphics cards from other brands – Nvidia in the lead and probably Intel in the near future. An approach poles apart from that of Nvidia whose DLSS is limited to GeForce RTXs. These are thus AI-specific computing units (Tensor Cores) that apply the processing algorithm to the image, making DLSS exclusive to Nvidia graphics cards. Three years after its competitor, AMD no doubt hopes that its open approach will allow it to catch up and, above all, to meet the necessary success with video game developers.
The FSR is now seeing the end of its development. AMD stands ready to make it available on June 22, but is still careful to give all the details. The list of the first compatible games is not yet known, but the company still wanted to give some indicators on the performance to expect. The game Godfall, executed in 4K with the raytracing activated thus reaches 49 fps on a Radeon RX 6800 XT in native execution. With the FSR, the throughput can reach between 78 and 150 fps depending on the degree of aggressiveness of the processing – that is, depending on the quality of rendering desired.
The gain also reaches 41% on a GeForce GTX 1060 running the same game, but at 1440p and without the raytracing. This example is interesting because this small graphics card from Nvidia is quite widespread, but devoid of dedicated AI units. It cannot benefit from DLSS and FidelityFX Super Resolution could give it a second lease of life.
AMD announces that it works with more than 10 studios and game engines, without specifying which ones. More than 100 processors and graphics cards would be supported from the start, again without further details. And if AMD offers four rendering qualities, it will be interesting to see their real impact on the displayed image. We remember that the first version of DLSS from Nvidia had the unfortunate tendency to apply a blur effect on textures. It took 18 months and version 2.0 of the technology to obtain an image as clear as the original one. Hopefully, with almost 3 years of delay, AMD will have had the time necessary to release an alternative, admittedly open, but above all of quality.