Upscaling technologies are slowly becoming a mandatory feature for every game or GPU. They should be necessary because they allow game developers to create graphics that surpass what modern GPUs can handle. Image upscaling helps users get a smooth gaming experience even with a weaker GPU.
Nvidia’s DLSS (Deep Learning Super Scaling) was the first highly effective upscaling feature that showed in the PC world, and it was shortly followed up by AMD’s FSR. Although, DLSS was the superior solution because it relies on complex deep learning through Nvidia’s Tensor Cores.
AMD FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution) is software-based which means it isn’t as accurate in upscaling, but it is easier to implement in a game. FSR 2.0 is supposed to provide even better image quality.
However, recently AMD released another feature called Radeon Super Resolution or RSR.
So, what exactly is the difference between AMD FSR and RSR?
Well, let’s check out those differences!
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AMD FSR – FidelityFX Super Resolution
For AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution to be used, developers need to implement this feature into their game manually. However, this process is supposedly relatively easy and much more straightforward than implementing NVIDIA’s DLSS.
Another advantage FSR has over DLSS is that it can be used on various hardware. For example, it’s been proven to work on several series of NVIDIA and AMD GPUs. Supposedly, it can work with GPU that has DirectX 11 support, so it’s possible to use it even on Intel’s HD iGPUs.
FSR takes image information from the latest in-game frame and creates a higher resolution image through spatial upscaling. Of course, this isn’t perfect, as many small details can be lost through the process.
FSR 2.0, on the other hand, uses temporal upscaling, which uses considerably more frame data to deliver a higher-quality image. Unfortunately, it is still not officially released, but we have high hopes for this version of FSR.
Here’s a short video in Deathloop to give you an insight into FSR 2.0’s capabilities:
AMD RSR – Radeon Super Resolution
AMD’s Radeon Super Resolution sounds similar to FSR, but it isn’t. Alas, they definitely could have used a different name to avoid confusion.
RSR is a driver-based upscaling feature that uses the same spacial upscaling algorithm used in FSR.
The significant difference is that this in-driver feature can be enabled through AMD’s Radeon Software for any game. It doesn’t have to be implemented per game.
However, this spacial upscaling algorithm is applied to the entire image, including the HUD or other post-processing effects like anti-aliasing, ambient occlusion, bloom, motion blur, etc.
So, while it can be enabled for all games, it may not look good every time.
In this Far Cry 6 example from Gamers Nexus, the image quality is similar, but note that FSR is on the Performance option, which undoubtedly reduces quality.
Another thing to note is that RSR works only for AMD’s RX 5000 and 6000 GPUs (at the moment). It might be available for older cards once they get the appropriate driver, but NVIDIA definitely won’t get to use RSR.
AMD FSR or AMD RSR?
AMD’s FSR and RSR sound like an excellent addition to any game, but what if both are available? Which one should you use? Well, let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages.
- Game support – RSR is the clear winner here because it can be activated through Radeon Software and used in any game. FSR needs to be implemented by the game’s developer.
- Quality – the image quality is superior with FSR because, unlike RSR, it doesn’t upscale a game’s HUD, post-processing effects, etc. Also, FSR 2.0 will bring an even better upscaling solution.
- Supported hardware – FSR wins a point here since it can be used on AMD, Nvidia, and Intel GPUs (as long as they have DX11 support). RSR only works on RX 6000 and 5000 GPUs (for now).
- Performance increase – We can call this one a tie because both RSR and FSR use spacial upscaling, so performance increase should be identical. Although, FSR 2.0 could bring better performance once it releases.
Overall, AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution or FSR is always the better option if it is available. Currently, there are tons of games that support FSR, including God of War, Far Cry 6, Deathloop, Resident Evil Village, Back 4 Blood, Cyberpunk 2077, Dota 2, Borderlands 3, and many more.
However, if FSR is not available as an option in the game’s settings, consider using RSR. Keep in mind that certain games with many post-processing effects may look bad with RSR enabled.