One of the Steam Deck’s best features just landed on an AMD GPU near you

Valve’s Steam Deck has a lot of cool tricks up its sleeves, but one of them wasn’t exclusive to the gaming laptop for long. You know how the Steam Deck can enable FidelityFX Super Resolution scaling for any game you want, no need for the game developers to officially offer support? As promised, AMD has just brought the same driver-level version of Frame Rate Boost technology to all Radeon RX 5000 or newer graphics cards under the name “Radeon Super Resolution”.

Picture: AMD

Today you’ll be able to download the new AMD Adrenalin drivers, enable in-game overlay with Alt+R, and lower your game’s render resolution to theoretically get a big frame rate boost in most games, at the expense of some quality. , of cours. (It makes a lot more sense when your GPU isn’t powerful enough on its own, which is why the Steam Deck is such a good example.)

My own close up of Ring Elden, with and without RSR, upscaled to 1440p on the Steam Deck.

But even if your GPU is very powerful, AMD might have something to grab your attention; the company is today teasing a new version of FSR that could actually trade blows with Nvidia. FSR 2.0 now uses time scaling (like Nvidia’s superior DLSS) to deliver more quality at higher frame rates than ever before – and the surprise is that contrary to Nvidia DLSS, AMD doesn’t need a new chip with dedicated machine learning cores to make it work.

AMD claims that FSR 2.0 will even work on competitors’ graphics chips.

Picture: AMD

The company does not say exactly How? ‘Or’ What it’s still possible, but here’s a statement from AMD’s director of software product management, Glen Matthews, at The edge:

Although machine learning (ML) is a way to solve a number of problems, it is not essential to achieve good quality scaling and FSR 2.0 does not use ML. Therefore, FSR 2.0 does not require dedicated ML hardware, so more players can benefit from it.

FSR 2.0’s time-scaling uses color, depth, and motion vectors from the previous frame in the render pipeline to create ultra-high quality scaled output with optimized anti-aliasing on all image quality presets and output resolutions.

“More details will be available on 3/23,” AMD adds, hinting that you might want to watch the company’s session on “next-gen image scaling for gaming” during Game Developers Conference 2022 to learn more.

I’m skeptical of FSR 2.0 for two reasons. First, because AMD – like Nvidia – claims it can deliver better than native 4K image quality at the same time it offers a higher frame rate, and even Nvidia’s highest quality DLSS settings didn’t convince me of that. Second, because AMD only provided one still scene (not even video) to compare today, and motion is one place where these techniques can break down.

You can try to blast this, but I recommend downloading the original images from my links below.
Picture: AMD

But AMD’s claims sound impressive – according to the company Death Loop can run at almost twice the frame rate at maximum settings, 101 fps versus 53 fps – and the same goes for actual stills from Death Loop that AMD provided today. They are seriously worth a look. (Download them here, here, here, here, and here, then try pixel-perfect viewing with Nvidia’s excellent ICAT tool.)

In these stills, the FSR 2.0 looks like a world of difference from the original FSR – and I could definitely see some people preferring the improved sharpness of the FSR 2.0 mode over a native image. But we won’t know until we see plenty of games in motion. Additionally, AMD hints that it will require game developers to incorporate FSR 2.0 instead of being a blanket feature.

At a time when you can’t easily buy a new GPU, it’s great to see AMD pushing hard to get the most out of older, weaker ones. Speaking of which: AMD says it’s working to bring the lower but all-encompassing Radeon Super Resolution upscaling technique to its APUs with integrated graphics too – with Ryzen 6000-series CPUs adding support in the second quarter of this year.

Update, 9:35 a.m. ET: AMD now provides a small piece of FSR 2.0 in action in a video here.