AMD released its latest and the best Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based image enhancer, FSR 3.0, on September 29, 2023. It adds to AI technologies and drastically adds value to gaming hardware. AI has become the most fascinating thing today. Its miracles are taking over every aspect of our digital lives by revolutionizing how we interact with things around us. From cell phones in our hands to cars we drive, AI leaves no space to mesmerize us with its ever-growing effects. It has opened the possibilities that were once only imagined.
Every year, gaming enthusiasts bear a hefty burden of spending thousands of dollars to make their rigs able to run the latest Triple-A game titles. A high-end graphic card of the current year may become obsolete in the next 2-3 years, but this scenario will soon change. AI has found a way to improve this hardware limitation aspect of the gaming world with its innovative digital tools. Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) by NVIDIA and FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) by AMD are the latest additions to this battlefield.
They represent the most advanced AI-based image upscaling technologies exclusive to PC gamers. Both technologies use artificial intelligence to upscale lower-resolution images to higher resolutions while maintaining good image quality and performance.
Unlocking Gaming Performance: AMD FSR 3.0
AMD FSR 3, or FidelityFX Super Resolution 3, is AMD’s latest image upscaling technology. Luckily for gamers, FSR 3.0 is a cross-platform technology that gamers can use on AMD, Intel, and even NVIDIA GPUs. FSR 3 uses a temporal upscaling algorithm to generate new frames based on former ones.
The algorithm analyzes fps (frames per second) to identify motion and changes in the game scene. Then, the algorithm uses the information to generate new upscaled imagery of higher resolution. This results in significant performance improvements, increased fps (frames per second), and lesser game lag.
NVIDIA DLSS 3.0: Elevating Gaming Realism with AI
NVIDIA is revolutionizing gaming with its latest image-upscaling technology through its DLSS 3. Unluckily for gamers, this is exclusive to NVIDIA and that too to its high-end RTX 40 series GPUs. RTX-40 series features new dedicated hardware for AI image processing. DLSS 3 uses a combination of temporal and spatial upscaling to generate unique frames, resulting in relatively even more outstanding performance improvements over FSR 3.
Temporal upscaling generates new fps based on previous frames, while spatial upscaling generates new pixels based on neighboring pixels. DLSS 3 also uses new AI features, such as optical flow acceleration and motion vector prediction, to improve image quality and performance.
Differences Between AMD FSR 3 and NVIDIA DLSS 3
AMD FSR 3 and NVIDIA DLSS 3 are both AI-based image upscaling technologies. They are still under development, so it is possible to see further improvements in image quality and performance in the future.
1. Hardware Requirements
AMD FSR 3 and NVIDIA DLSS 3 are two of the most advanced upscaling technologies on the market, but they have different hardware requirements. AMD FSR 3 can be used on any GPU supporting DirectX 12 or Vulkan 1.2, including AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA GPUs. It makes a more accessible option for gamers, as it does not require a specific type of GPU. NVIDIA DLSS 3 requires an NVIDIA RTX 40 series GPU, as DLSS 3 requires dedicated hardware for AI image processing, which is unavailable on older GPUs.
2. Image Quality Comparison
Gamers generally prefer DLSS 3 due to its better image quality than FSR 3, especially in high-motion scenes. However, FSR 3 has improved significantly over the previous version, and the difference in image quality is only sometimes noticeable.
3. Performance Showdown
FSR 3 and DLSS 3 can significantly improve performance, but DLSS 3 can sometimes provide up to twice the performance boost.
Currently, more games support DLSS 3 than FSR 3.0, but AMD is working to enhance its compatibility with the latest gaming titles. NVIDIA released DLSS 3 in 2022, and it is now available for more than 250 games, including almost all AAA game titles. AMD released FSR 3.0 just recently and is available for a much lesser number of game titles than DLSS3.0.
Overall, AMD FSR 3 and NVIDIA DLSS 3 are excellent upscaling technologies that can improve performance and image quality. However, DLSS 3 has stricter hardware requirements and is unavailable for as many games as FSR 3.
The hardware requirements are the most significant difference between AMD FSR 3 and NVIDIA DLSS 3. FSR 3 by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) can be used on any GPU, while DLSS 3 by NVIDIA requires an NVIDIA-specific RTX 40 series GPU. This reason is that DLSS 3 uses dedicated hardware for AI image processing.
5. Image Quality
In terms of image quality, both FSR 3 and DLSS 3 offer stunning visual results. DLSS 3 generally enjoys a slight edge over FSR 3, especially in motion. Videos by AMD analyzed by tech experts reveal that a moving character shows blurry edges along its skin, and a slight stuttering effect is noticeable when a character is in motion. It is because DLSS 3 uses a combination of temporal and spatial upscaling, allowing it to preserve image details better and reduce artifacts.
FSR 3 and DLSS 3 significantly improve gaming experience and fps performance over native rendering, especially at higher resolutions. However, DLSS 3, powered by the latest high-end hardware, offers better performance than FSR 3. RTX 40 series offers dedicated tensor cores for AI image processing with an edge offer of AMD technology.
- Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077 was released in 2020 and is widely considered a poorly optimized game that challenges even high-end hardware GPUs for smooth performance. For a native 4K resolution, DLSS 3 provided a performance boost from 22 FPS to 96 FPS using a new Ray Tracing: Overdrive Mode and minimal loss of image quality. For the same game, AMD FSR 3 provided a 2x performance boost over native rendering with image quality slightly lower than DLSS 3.
- Forza Horizon 5
Forza Horizon 5, released in 2021, is a favorite game title among car racing enthusiasts. Benchmarkers and enthusiasts often use it for benchmarking gaming hardware. DLSS 3 provided up to 3x performance boost over native rendering at 4K resolution, with virtually no loss of image quality. FSR 3 provided a 2.5x performance boost over native rendering, but the image quality was slightly lower than DLSS 3.
- Competitive Games
If you plan to build and sell your Valorant, Fortnite, or Apex Legends game account, you are in for a treat. AMD FSR 3.0 already works across all game titles, and Nvidia is working extensively to make all the latest competitive game titles available. Increasing FPS while enhancing details is the central theme of DLSS and FSR 3.0. Higher resolution and detail mean better control and a competitive edge over other gamers.
Benchmarkers tested all the games with DLSS 3, DLSS 2, and native 4K resolution. In Portal, RTX with DLSS 2 enabled offers a boosted performance by 329%, but DLSS 3 took it to a new level by further up to 526% of the native fps.
AMD vs. Nvidia: Which Technology Wins the Comparison
Initial versions of DLSS worked on a pixel-by-pixel basis by combining a current frame of low resolution and a high-resolution previous frame. The advent of the RTX 40 series surpasses the reign of prior GPUs, offering dedicated tensor cores for AI image upscaling that produce entirely new frames rather than just pixels. FSR 3 and DLSS 3 offer excellent output results, but DLSS 3 generally has a slight edge regarding image quality and performance.
Based on gaming hardware and game titles, results by DLSS and FSR can vary from one user setup to another. FSR and DLSS offer more promising game experience results for game titles that are more GPU-bound than others. For example, some games may be more GPU-bound than others. The results of any upscaling technology are significantly affected by the game rendering engine, graphics driver, and CPU configuration. However, AI can fine-tune the relationship between these elements to provide an efficient gaming experience.
The upscaling solution by AMD needs to catch up to the latest DLSS version by NVIDIA. But AMD FSR offers the peculiar advantage of being an open source that can attract more and more software developers worldwide and promise a solid future advancement. FSR 3.0 provides reliable performance with reduced game latency. Being hardware-independent, anyone can enjoy the benefits of FSR 3.0. whereas DLSS 3.0 is exclusive to RTX-40 series GPUs. FSR can win gamers’ confidence if it continues to support older and competing hardware while delivering enhanced visual quality and smoother gameplay.
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