We have high hopes for AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) technology, especially after testing and finding it to work quite well. One thing we noted is that it should be quite trivial for game developers to add support for FSR. Reinforcing this notion is a fan mod that injects AMD’s up-and-coming technology into Grand Theft Auto V, basically replacing the one built into the game.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yN3tfoUUyos (/ embed)
It’s a little hard to differentiate in a small YouTube window (or if viewed with a smartphone), but if you enlarge the window to full screen, the difference in image quality becomes more apparent. Through various scenes, NarutoUA compares two modes: Performance and Quality.
Surprisingly, even in performance mode, image quality looks better with FSR enabled (at least for my eyeballs). It’s not necessarily a drastic difference, but in every scene there is less blur when the FSR is activated. I would have expected there to be some month blur in performance mode, no more and no less as it focuses on delivering the highest performance.
Here's how AMD describes the four different modes (performance, balanced, quality, and ultra high quality):
Like Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology, FSR aims to improve performance by making your GPU perform a scene at a lower resolution and then scale it. This way you get the advantage of visual quality at a higher resolution at a lower rendering cost for your GPU, compared to rendering a scene natively in, say, 4K (which can be extremely recorder for hardware).
AMD’s solution is based on a more conventional space magnification technology rather than leveraging AI through machine learning, as is the case with DLSS. So AMD and Nvidia do it in very different ways, keeping in mind the same overall goal.
Based on our limited experience with FSR so far, it seems that DLSS works a little better overall. However, FSR is an open source technology and is also made available to Xbox Series X / S developers, which in theory should help drive technology adoption. It also supports a wide range of cards, including some legacy GPUs (does not require special hardware such as Tensor cores).
As for the GTA V fan modification, it is available on GitHub, if you want to give it a whirl. Please note that there are always risks when downloading unofficial software.
If you decide to do so, the instructions ask you to copy a DLL file and an INI file to the GTA V root folder and enter the Advanced Graphics Settings section of the game and set the desired frame scale mode (0.5x = performance mode, 0.677x = Balanced mode, 0.75x = quality mode and 0.883x = ultra quality mode). You can edit the gta5_fsr.ini file if you need finer grain control.
But what about the impact on performance? It’s hard to say for the most part, because even in the YouTube video there’s not a lot of stuff in the scenes. There is a bit of driving towards the end, and according to the frame counter, the performance is roughly the same when switching from native rendering to activating FSR and using Quality mode.
Another word of caution if you decide to throw your tires with this modification. If you play online, there is the risk of a ban. This shouldn’t happen, as other graphics modifications work fine (specifically, Project ENB and ReShade), but you never know.