AMD Officially Unveils FidelityFX Super Resolution: Open Source Game Scaling
In addition to announcing its new Radeon RX 6000M notebook GPUs, AMD is also using Computex tonight to officially unveil its FidelityFX Super Resolution technology. Gaming scaling tech has garnered a lot of interest since AMD first announced last year that it was working on the tech, today AMD finally lifts the lid on the tech, at least for a brief moment. Overall, today is more of a teaser of what’s to come on June 22.nd, as AMD plans to reveal more info about the tech, but for now, this is the biggest tech info release since AMD’s initial announcement.
To quickly recap, AMD announced FidelityFX Super Resolution last year as part of the launch of the Radeon RX 6000 series. The technology under development was intended as AMD’s response to the increasingly popular Deep technology. NVIDIA Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), an advanced image scaling technique introduced by NVIDIA to enable their GPUs to render games at lower resolution (and therefore higher performance) without the severe impairment of image quality. Research on DLSS and similar smart scaling techniques has become increasingly intense as scaling offers a tantalizing way to improve game performance via what is a post effect. – relatively inexpensive processing.
While NVIDIA seems to have finally hit its mark with DLSS 2.0, the downside for anyone outside of NVIDIA is that it is NVIDIA-only technology. Which for AMD, means this is another NVIDIA value-added software feature that NVIDIA can use to outsmart AMD. And while it’s not strictly necessary for AMD to match NVIDIA on a one-to-one software feature base, DLSS is clearly the start of a bigger change in the gaming rendering landscape, so it’s a area in which AMD will try to catch up. , both to negate an NVIDIA advantage and to give PC game developers another tool in their arsenal for better performance.
And that’s how FidelityFX Super Resolution was born. While today is more of a teaser than a detailed tech breakdown, AMD is confirming some major facts about their take on smart game upscaling.
First of all, FSR, as AMD likes to call it, will be another of AMD’s GPUOpen technologies, meaning it will be released as open source and free to developers. And not only will developers be able to use it on AMD GPUs, they will also be able to use it on NVIDIA GPUs.
AMD doesn’t go into the specific technical underpinnings of the runtime model here – I’m assuming it’s implemented as a shader – but they confirm that it doesn’t require any kind of tensor or other deep learning material. As a result, the technology can be used not only on recent AMD Radeon RX 6000 series cards, but also on the RX 5000, RX 500 and Vega series. Meanwhile, while not officially supported to the same extent on NVIDIA cards, according to AMD FSR will work (on day one) on NVIDIA cards dating back as far as the Pascal-based GTX 10 series (which precedes DLSS. Support). In fact, the only modern graphics hardware not supported at this point are the current generation game consoles; AMD might get there one day, but for now they’re focusing on the PC side.
At this point, AMD is not revealing which games will support the technology, but the current message is that developers will need to take an active role in implementing the technology. That is, it doesn’t seem like it could be simply applied in a fully post-processing fashion on existing games like AMD’s Adaptive Contrast Sharpening technology.
Following its June 22nd launch, AMD will release FSR on GPUOpen. Overall, the company says more than 10 “game studios and engines” in 2021 will implement FSR, with more details coming on the 22nd.nd. Expect to see Godfall among these games, as AMD is using him as a sample game for today’s announcement.
Moving on, AMD also reveals that FSR will have four quality modes. Similar to DLSS, I would expect these modes to be all based on the scaling factor used, and the smaller the scaling factor used (the closer you are to native resolution). ), the higher the quality mode. Formally, these modes are Ultra Quality, Quality, Balanced and Performance modes.
For today’s Computex presentation, AMD is releasing the performance numbers for Godfall, running on a 6800XT. This card gets 49 fps when running at 4K with the “epic” picture quality preset and ray tracing. This drops to 78 fps with FST in ultra quality mode, 99 fps in quality mode, 124 fps in balanced mode, and 150 fps in performance mode. The exact advantage will depend on the card and game used, of course, but overall AMD touts the technology’s performance mode as improving game performance by more than 2x compared to native 4K rendering.
However, the million dollar question – and the question AMD won’t really answer until the 22ndnd – is what the resulting image quality of FSR will look like. Like other scaling techniques, the FSR will live or die by the sharpness of an image it produces. Scaling techniques go for “good enough” results here, so it doesn’t need to match native quality, but it should be enough to produce a reasonably sharp image without spatial or temporal artifacts. serious.
And, to switch to editorial mode, this is where AMD worries me a bit. During our pre-briefing with AMD, the company confirmed that FSR is going to be purely spatial scaling technology; it will work frame by frame, without taking into account the motion data (motion vectors) of the game itself.
For GPU junkies, many of you will recognize this as a strategy similar to how NVIDIA designed DLSS 1.0, which was all about spatial scaling using pre-trained neural network models. and game-specific. DLSS 1.0 ultimately failed – it couldn’t consistently produce acceptable results, and time artifacts were all too common. It wasn’t until NVIDIA introduced DLSS 2.0, a dramatically expanded version of the technology that incorporated motion vector data (essentially creating Temporal AA on steroids), that they finally got DLSS as we know it in. working condition.
Considering NVIDIA’s experience with spatial scaling only, I’m concerned that AMD is repeating NVIDIA’s early mistakes. Spatial is much easier to do on the backend – and requires a lot less developer work – but the lack of motion vector data presents some challenges. In particular, motion vectors are the traditional solution to countering temporal artifacts in TAA / DLSS, which ensures that there are no frame-to-frame quirks or other rendering errors of moving objects. That’s not to say that spatial-only scaling can’t work, just that if the image quality is competitive with DLSS, that would be a big first for AMD.
Unfortunately, AMD is doing itself a disservice in this regard with today’s presentation. In their slide, there is a single split image with seemingly FSR enabled, which they use for a performance comparison of the GTX 1060. I went ahead and extracted the raw image from the slide set. released to the press and uploaded it here, to try to preserve as much image quality as possible. (Be sure to click on it to see the photo in full resolution)
Taking a shot at NVIDIA by comparing the GTX 1060 running at native 1440p versus FSR in quality mode, the demo slideshow shows performance is significantly improved, taking the GTX 1060 from 27 fps to 38 fps. Unfortunately, the picture quality issue is quite noticeable here. The building and bridge here are more blurry than the native resolution example, and the tree in the background – which is made up of lots of fine detail – easily gives up on the fact that it’s running at a lower resolution.
Having said that, since I haven’t seen the technology in person in motion yet, I’m not able to argue how good it all looks in action. But at least for static screenshots, it raises an eyebrow. Although I applaud AMD here for posting a (seemingly honest) screenshot like this, rather than picking something that oversells FSR.
Either way, there’s a lot more technical information about FSR that we haven’t seen yet, and that AMD will present on June 22.nd. And, given the open source nature of FSR, AMD has little incentive or ability to dwell on technical information for too long. The questions raised today with their brief teaser will therefore be a good source of discussion for the actual launch of FSR.
Finally, ahead of the FSR launch, AMD is soliciting feedback on which games users would like to see supported by the technology. AMD is likely going to use it to guide its developer relationship priorities, so if you want to provide feedback, be sure to stop by. AMD FSR survey site.
All in all, it goes without saying that a lot of people are eager to see what AMD can do with upscale gaming technology, both to level the playing field with NVIDIA and to bring it up to speed. a wider range of materials and games. It’s an ambitious project from AMD, and it will no doubt be interesting to see how it all falls into place when AMD launches the technology on June 22.nd. So be sure to stay tuned for it!