AMD has launched the second version of its FidelityFX Super Resolution image upscaling technology. FSR 2.0 is designed to increase rendering speed without losing image quality. The first game to receive support was Deathloop, which shows results very close to Nvidia's counterpart.
FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.0 technology was developed from the ground up and is the result of years of research by AMD. It has been designed to provide superior image quality compared to FSR 1.0. FSR 2.0 will also be open source.
Differences with the first version
Also in version 2.0, there are no techniques of image enhancement through the use of machine learning, but while FSR 1.0 was a simple spatial upscaler (which means that the data used for upscaling a frame could only come from the frame itself), FSR 2.0 uses a temporal upscaling technique similar to that of DLSS . This allows to draw data from previous frames as well, producing a sharper, higher quality image.
In terms of available options, FSR 2.0 offers settings very similar to those of FSR 1.0 and DLSS. Three modes are available: performance, balanced and quality. Using 4K as the final resolution, the performance and quality modes use the same internal resolution as DLSS: 1080p and 1440p, respectively.
While FSR 1.0 worked well on less powerful hardware, the recommendations for FSR 2.0 are stricter. At 4K resolution, AMD recommends hardware from the RX 5700 XT and RX 6700 XT range. At 1080p, on the other hand, a 6500 XT is sufficient, as well as any Nvidia GTX 16 series card. However, FSR 2.0 is obviously optimized for AMD RDNA2 hardware, taking advantage of the features of the shader pipeline and the Infinity Cache.
Performance in Deathloop
FSR 2.0 is similar to DLSS 2.3 in that it can actually result in a better appearance of images than native resolution rendering in some scenarios: in particular, a 4K output with quality mode (internal resolution: 1440p) generally looks very sharp. The more challenging scenarios, however, tend to reveal more artifacts than the Nvidia equivalent. It is very likely that over time and with a more mature platform it will be possible to improve these scenarios even more.
Overall the FSR 2.0 performance in Deathloop is very close to the DLSS counterpart, but it's important to point out that it's just a sample of a game, so it's hard to draw any important conclusions. Surely to say if DLSS or FSR 2.0 are better or how close they come you need to look at a greater number of games, which will hopefully be possible soon, but at least in Deathloop, FSR 2.0 can be competitive with Nvidia's technology.
From the first tests it was found to be able to produce better image quality than the native one at times and can do so by providing a decent increase in performance similar to DLSS. It works just as well on Nvidia hardware as it does on AMD's GPUs, so there are no special optimizations based on the hardware for now.
Of course FSR 2.0 also has another advantage: compatibility with a greater range of video cards and not only RTX as in the case of DLSS. Approaching DLSS AI-based upscaling without the use of AI or dedicated hardware is significant and opens the door to high-quality upscaling on all types of GPUs.
If games will start integrating FSR 2.0, this could extend the life of older video cards, including the ever-popular RX 580, RX 570, and so on, at a time when GPU prices are rising dramatically and updates are less accessible than ever.
Many people still use GPUs that don't support DLSS, including those from Nvidia, and 7 of the 10 most used GPUs in Steam's hardware survey don't support DLSS, so it makes sense to integrate FSR 2.0 to support these players.
AMD says 12 more games will add FSR 2.0 in the coming months, including:
- Eve Online
- Farming Simulator 22
- Microsoft Flight Simulator
- Perfect World Remake
- Swordsman Remake
- Unknown 9: Awakening
In addition to coming to other PC titles, FSR 2.0 will also be included in the Xbox Series X/S development kit, to facilitate its implementation in games on these consoles.
For more information you can watch the benchmarks performed by Hardware Unboxed: