Thursday, March 18th 2021

Confronting NVIDIA's DLSS: AMD Confirms FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) to Launch in 2021

AMD, via its CVP & GM at AMD Radeon Scott Herkelman, confirmed in video with PCWorld that the company's counterpart to NVIDIA's DLSS technology - which he defines as the most important piece of software currently in development from a graphics perspective - is coming along nicely. Launch of the technology is currently planned for later this year. Scott Herkelman further confirmed that there is still a lot of work to do on the technology before it's ready for prime time, but in the meantime, it has an official acronym: FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution). If you're unfamiliar with DLSS, it's essentially an NVIDIA-locked, proprietary upscaling algorithm that has been implemented in a number of games now, which leverages Machine Learning hardware capabilities (tensor cores) to upscale a game with minimal impact to visual quality. It's important because it allows for much higher performance in even the latest, most demanding titles - especially when they implement raytracing.

As has been the case with AMD, its standing on upscaling technologies defends a multiplatform, compatible approach that only demands implementation of open standards to run in users' systems. The idea is to achieve the broadest possible spectrum of game developers and gamers, with tight, seamless integration with the usual game development workflow. This is done mostly via taking advantage of Microsoft's DirectML implementation that's baked straight into DX 12.
One detail doesn't instill confidence in how soon we'll see this technology out in the wild; Scott Herkelman in the video says that there are multiple approaches to such an upscaling solution, and that they're being evaluated in the lab; this either means that AMD hasn't yet decided on the technologies to leverage for the upscale via Microsoft's Direct ML, or that the company is actively working on two or more different approaches to actually be able to measure their benefits, drawbacks, and ability for deployment in a large scale. All in all though, it's great to know that things are coming along nicely, as such a technology has an immense return potential not only for PC gamers (perhaps even NVIDIA-toting ones, if AMD's solution truly is hardware agnostic), but also for console players. If the performance increases we can expect from FSR are comparable to those of DLSS, we can expect an immense amount of power being unlocked in current-gen consoles. And that, in turn, benefits everyone.

Watch the full PCWorld video below:

Source: via Videocardz
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89 Comments on Confronting NVIDIA's DLSS: AMD Confirms FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) to Launch in 2021

#26
ZoneDymo
RedelZaVedno
Open source is really not the way to go imho. AMD needs to make FSR as game engine plugin as easy to implement as it gets or developers just won't bother adding it into their game codes because it's just too much work for something that affects less than 10% of PC gamers (RDNA GPU owners).
ermmm idk how your mind works here, open source means everyone can use it....soooo they are not stuck to that 10%....

also dont forget that the consoles are RDNA2 so devs will most def work to make the tech work for those and therebye easily can port that over to the PC version
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#27
londiste
Vya Domus
I guess what I am saying is that this is a significant technological struggle for an audience that doesn't care.
While they do not care about image quality, resolution is still a marketable factor. With PS5 and XSX, 60Hz has already turned out to be an eye-opening experience for many console players so high refresh rate/FPS - which in console context includes 60Hz - is also a marketable factor.
AusWolf
Agreed. Besides, I'm still hoping for acceptable raytracing performance without any nvidia or AMD-infused gimmicks.
I remember the time when you had to choose graphics cards based on the games you wanted to play, as no card supported every game with proprietary APIs (Glide, S3D, etc.). I don't want this to happen again.
Both DX12 DXR and Vulkan RT are standard APIs.
We'll have to wait and see how the situation with DLSS and FSR develops.
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#28
Vanny
Skeptical, but fingers crossed.
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#29
AusWolf
londiste
While they do not care about image quality, resolution is still a marketable factor. With PS5 and XSX, 60Hz has already turned out to be an eye-opening experience for many console players so high refresh rate/FPS - which in console context includes 60Hz - is also a marketable factor.

Both DX12 DXR and Vulkan RT are standard APIs.
We'll have to wait and see how the situation with DLSS and FSR develops.
Exactly. As for me, I want standardised APIs, no manufacturer-specific marketing BS.
Posted on Reply
#30
Caring1
xkm1948
Let’s see how they pull this off without dedicated tensor flow hardware
That's like saying they can't do Vsync without a big expensive piece of extra hardware built in like the Gsync module.

Here's a link for those wanting to read from the source.
www.amd.com/en/technologies/radeon-software-fidelityfx
Posted on Reply
#31
londiste
Caring1
xkm1948
Let’s see how they pull this off without dedicated tensor flow hardware
That's like saying they can't do Vsync without a big expensive piece of extra hardware built in like the Gsync module.
Gets off topic but they couldn't. When Freesync became a thing (or rather DP Adaptive Sync it relies on), this got included in display scalers that is the piece of extra hardware (less expensive because mass production). Getting all that to the same level as GSync took literally years.

People have been trying to debug or analyze GPU usage when DLSS is used since the beginning. It is not just running on shaders. Tensor cores are used, whether they are doing matrix/ML stuff or FP16 shaders that they are reportedly also used for, is unknown.
AusWolf
Exactly. As for me, I want standardised APIs, no manufacturer-specific marketing BS.
Not sure if DLSS or FCR is at the same level as API.
Anyway, marketing BS goes with it regardless of whether the solution is standard or not. See, it is called FCR.

What AMD has been struggling with for a while is to come up with new usable technology or effect and get it in widespread enough adoption first. When you are second and somebody is already offering and marketing something similar, proprietary or not, it is an uphill battle. Mantle/DX12/Vulkan was probably the last limited success in that regard. Also Async shaders but the actual gain/effect from that is pretty limited - I think VRS is a good comparison to that with a similar result. Vega brought cool stuff but it largely remained unfinished, perhaps with the exception of RPM which has limited adoption even with bipartisan support by now.

SAM might be an interesting example - remember that it was supposed to be limited to Ryzen 5000 series on 500-series boards and Radeon 6000 series? After Intel made efforts to enable this on some of their platforms and Nvidia announced it will enable something similar this is set to become a very general thing.
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#32
Raevenlord
News Editor
Khonjel
@Raevenlord, I think counterpart is a better word than opposition in this regard.
Absolutely agreed, and adopted it. Thanks, man :lovetpu:
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#33
lynx29
Vya Domus
Meh, since the average consoles player is sitting in front of a TV from 2 meters away this couldn't be any less important.

Ironically though, it is true that AMD has the sort of leverage to make this more widespread through Sony and MS than Nvidia could ever do with their 978969283% market share or whatever they have right now.
It is ironic.

I disagree, I think higher refresh is welcome on all platforms, but time will tell.
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#34
RedelZaVedno
ZoneDymo
ermmm idk how your mind works here, open source means everyone can use it....soooo they are not stuck to that 10%....
It's not guaranteed that PC game will support some kind of AI super sampling just because it's ported from the SP5/XboX X to PC.

Open source usually means a source code that is made freely available for possible modification and redistribution. Nothing about how easily or hard is it is to add it to game core engine while game engine plugin usually means you only have to enable it inside the game engine. Good luck implementing DirectML API or some other type of accelerating machine learning if all rendered things on screen don't have motion vectors tied to them at all distances... You have to fix that first (A LOT OF WORK), while plugin inside base game engine "just works" (well not exactly, but we're talking about losing weeks not months to make it work right), because it's optimized for it and vice versa. We need super simple plugin solutions for all main game engines, be it from Microsoft, Intel, Nvidia or AMD in order to get them into the PC games.
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#35
bug
Being open in this case is a red herring.

The actual APIs can be as open as possible, but there's still a learning part involved in the training phase. In a completely open solution who performs the training? Who acts as a repository for the training results?

Sure, chances are we'll end up with an open API after all (even DXR was open from the beginning, even if Nvidia tacked on RTX). I'm just saying, the meat of these algorithms will remain in AMD's and Nvidia's hands.
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#36
Chomiq
nguyen
Did I mention console somewhere? pretty sure I didn't since I don't care about consoles.
Anyways does Switch counts as console? it's getting DLSS there :D
Does 77% marketshare = 77% RTX capable cards?

And don't even get me started on bs 4K DLSS enabled Switch rumors.
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#37
chodaboy19
Long term how valuable are these up-scaling technologies? In a couple of generations hardware will be able to do high resolutions for games natively, is it worth the effort to invest in these band-aids?
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#38
ZoneDymo
chodaboy19
Long term how valuable are these up-scaling technologies? In a couple of generations hardware will be able to do high resolutions for games natively, is it worth the effort to invest in these band-aids?
Well it's a never ending race right? By the time current games run full native res at a high framerate newer games will be out that will be much more taxing
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#39
noel_fs
john_
I think it is obvious that they can't create something like DLSS 2.0 that can run on their GPUs and offer good quality AND performance. They said, they will introduce it in December 2020 with 6900XT and now they only hope to have it ready before year's end.

I think they are in a process of creating an airplane without wings and the problem is that they haven't yet thought the concept of a helicopter.
most pedantic comment ive read in a while
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#40
evernessince
nguyen
Only AMD sponsored PC titles will get this FSR tech.
That's easily disprovable given that many non-AMD sponsored titles include AMD features.

Cyberpunk 2077 is an Nvidia sponsored title and it includes CAS with dynamic and static resolution from the FidelityFX suite.
xkm1948
Let’s see how they pull this off without dedicated tensor flow hardware
RDNA2 does support the acceleration of AI anyways, they just don't need separate hardware to do it.
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#41
Isaac`
I thought amd boost was a dlss clone
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#42
xcazy
YES PLEASE! cant wait :nutkick:
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#43
Mad_foxx1983
I think FX Super resolution will use different techniques for the Cards vs Consoles but from time they arrive at similar results.
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#44
ratirt
Mad_foxx1983
I think FX Super resolution will use different techniques for the Cards vs Consoles but from time they arrive at similar results.
Why would AMD use different technique? Console system vs PC system are not that far off. If anything, AMD is trying to make this simple and working across all the platforms using AMD product so different techniques for consols vs graphics cards makes no sense.
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#45
Crackong
If this works on both consoles and PC......................big win for everyone.
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#46
watzupken
nguyen
Well according to this article, the lead Engineer said it took them a weekend to intergrate DLSS into System Shock, granted only when the game use Unreal Engine 4 (which is still a big chunk of the gaming industry).

AMD marketshare in the PC is so small now that it just doesn't incentivize developers to utilize their tech vs DLSS (well unless AMD paid them to)

:roll:
It took them a weekend to integrate DLSS into the game yes, but you need to consider that the plugin only works with a certain version of the Unreal Engine 4 if I am not mistaken. And you are also forgetting the fact that it took them a long time since DLSS 2.0 was released before it was available as a plugin for ease of integration, which implies that it is not a cheap first time investment. When games starts moving to a newer Unreal Engine, same amount of effort to integrate DLSS with the game engine is there again.

You are also missing the point that AMD pretty much cornered the console market (less Nintendo) at this point. A good upscale algo that is easy to implement is great for game makers to utilize for consoles, because instead of trying very hard to squeeze performance out by means of optimizing the codes, they can reinvest that time and utilize upscaling to gain performance. For example, if you look at Cyberpunk on older hardware, if you can upscale the game from 720p to 1080p with no severe degrade in quality, it will make the game from unplayable to playable. Not sure if this works on older AMD hardware, but just quoting an example.
ratirt
Why would AMD use different technique? Console system vs PC system are not that far off. If anything, AMD is trying to make this simple and working across all the platforms using AMD product so different techniques for consols vs graphics cards makes no sense.
Technique should be the same, but tweaks required depending on the OS. XBox is pretty much running Windows Lite, so should not have a lot of rework. But if we look at PS5, then I suspect there should be quite a fair bit of rework in terms of coding. I don't think they will want to leave Sony out in the cold.
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#47
nguyen
watzupken
It took them a weekend to integrate DLSS into the game yes, but you need to consider that the plugin only works with a certain version of the Unreal Engine 4 if I am not mistaken. And you are also forgetting the fact that it took them a long time since DLSS 2.0 was released before it was available as a plugin for ease of integration, which implies that it is not a cheap first time investment. When games starts moving to a newer Unreal Engine, same amount of effort to integrate DLSS with the game engine is there again.

You are also missing the point that AMD pretty much cornered the console market (less Nintendo) at this point. A good upscale algo that is easy to implement is great for game makers to utilize for consoles, because instead of trying very hard to squeeze performance out by means of optimizing the codes, they can reinvest that time and utilize upscaling to gain performance. For example, if you look at Cyberpunk on older hardware, if you can upscale the game from 720p to 1080p with no severe degrade in quality, it will make the game from unplayable to playable. Not sure if this works on older AMD hardware, but just quoting an example.
First DLSS 2.0 is becoming industry standard now after 3 years and FSR still hasn't been born yet, most game developers out there still have no idea what FSR is (except the ones AMD is working closely with to integrate FSR). New PC games with FSR are most certainly AMD sponsored titles.

Secondly although PS5 and XBSX use semi custom RDNA2 SOC, there are some design differences between PS5, XBSX, RX5000 and RX6000 regarding low-precision operations that are used for AI image enhancing. Redgamingtech provide some information here

With XBSX SOC share the most common with RX6000 GPU, yeah sure maybe XB ported games will include FSR that is optimized only for RX6000 GPU. PS ported games however would probably go DLSS, as many of them already did such as Death Stranding, Monster Hunter World, FF XV, Nioh 2, etc....For independent PC developers, I don't see any incentive for them to ignore DLSS which has a much bigger user base and go for FSR which has almost non-existant user base atm.

Cyberpunk 2077? I wouldn't play that game without at least an RTX2060, which trashes the 1080Ti when using DLSS (and DLSS looks miles ahead of the FidelityFX option)
Posted on Reply
#48
Isaac`
So
nguyen
Cyberpunk 2077? I wouldn't play that game without at least an RTX2060, which trashes the 1080Ti when using DLSS (and DLSS looks miles ahead of the FidelityFX option)
you refuse to play a game at lower then ultra graphics
this game can run on a 1060 if you TURN THE GRAPHICS DOWN
Posted on Reply
#49
nguyen
Isaac`
So

you refuse to play a game at lower then ultra graphics
this game can run on a 1060 if you TURN THE GRAPHICS DOWN
uh...40fps with 1080p Low settings? nah that's not playable, kind of a waste of money if you have a 1060 and then buy AAA games at full price. I'm sure almost all PS4/XBX owners would agree with me there :D
Posted on Reply
#50
Isaac`
nguyen
uh...40fps with 1080p Low settings? nah that's not playable, kind of a waste of money if you have a 1060 and then buy AAA games at full price. I'm sure almost all PS4/XBX owners would agree with me there :D
50 fps is perfectly playable we are not pcmr are we?
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