The Medium: DLSS vs. FSR Comparison Review 71

The Medium: DLSS vs. FSR Comparison Review



At release, The Medium was an NVIDIA-sponsored game on PC, but over half a year later, the game surprisingly got updated to also support AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution. This game has a reputation for being poorly optimized, so additional options to boost performance are nice. Depending on the game, there are subtle differences in the implementation of NVIDIA's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) and AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), so we are keen to have a look at both in this game.

Below, you will find comparison screenshots at 4K, 1440p, 1080p and in different DLSS/FSR quality modes. For those who want to see how DLSS and FSR perform in motion, watch our side-by-side comparison video.

All tests were made using a GeForce RTX 3080 GPU at Ultra graphics settings with ray tracing enabled (RT-reflections). DLSS was manually updated to version 2.2.16 by swapping the DLL file.


Side by Side Comparison Video


Compared to the native resolution, the FSR performance uplift is a great improvement to the game even at Ultra Quality, but there are some compromises in image quality. Most gamers consider FSR for old GPUs (GTX 900/1000 and RX 400/500 series) at 1080p resolution. FSR at 1080p resolution means giving up image detail even in Ultra Quality mode, which is not to be confused with blurriness, and it is noticeable at even moderate distances.

DLSS, on the other hand, does a great job reconstructing small objects; it even results in more detail and better image quality than the native 1080p resolution. That said, DLSS also isn't perfect. The game uses heavy depth of field effects, which can't be turned off in the settings and makes some scenes look blurrier with DLSS enabled.

The FSR render path also clearly uses some heavy sharpening filters, which DLSS does not. The game does support the FidelityFX sharpening slider, but for some weird reason, this slider disappears when FSR is enabled. However, with DLSS enabled, the FidelityFX sharpening slider is available. I am not sure whether this is just a bug or intended, but the fact that you can't control the degree of FSR sharpening with FSR enabled is unfortunate.
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