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AMD RSR Claims Up to 70% Higher Performance, Coming Q1'2022

Screengrabs from AMD's YouTube video
(Image credit: AMD)

AMD shared some details on the upcoming features of the 2022 Radeon Software Adrenalin driver release via its official YouTube channel. Besides showcasing software solutions like AMD Link and Privacy View, perhaps the most interesting tidbit is its upcoming Radeon Super Resolution (RSR), a new upscaling technology the company teased in its January livestream. The new video also narrows down the release of RSR to the first quarter of 2022. As such, it should see the light of day before the end of March.

The video showcases the "up to" performance improvements users can expect when the technology launches. As always, "up to" refers to an ideal, maximum performance benefit scenario. Obviously, take these claims with a grain of salt when it comes to the mainstream, averaged results compared to what you'll see in real-world testing.

AMD's video showcases the popular MMO game Warframe running with a claimed 1.7x performance increase compared to native rendering. The video demonstrates this performance improvement in a scenario where the game is internally rendered at 1440p with RSR upscaling to 4K resolution. Performance improvements and image quality will surely differ according to internal render resolution settings, much like we see with AMD's FSR and Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS).

Screengrabs from AMD's YouTube video

Screengrab of AMD's RSR in action. (Image credit: AMD)

AMD's RSR is a new software upscaling solution that builds on the company's FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR). This isn't so much an evolution of FSR but rather a global way to use FSR. With RSR, AMD has created a game and developer-agnostic upscaling solution that can be enabled at the Radeon driver level for any game supporting exclusive full-screen rendering. This is done by moving the upscaling algorithm further down the graphics pipeline compared to FSR.

Screengrabs from AMD's YouTube video

End notes for the AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2022 sneak peek. (Image credit: AMD)

AMD's video finishes with a table of endnotes that confirm the technology at present is only supported on RDNA and RDNA2 graphics cards (RX 5000-series and RX 6000-series, respectively). As an exercise in pure speculation, the "as of January 2022" tidbit does leave the door open for previous AMD architectures to also receive support for the technology, and it leaves room for future improvements between now and the actual launch.

With the RSR technology being driver-based, it should help bring new levels of performance to the company's less-powerful graphics cards. That includes the upcoming Radeon RX 6500 XT and its extreme cost-cutting philosophy. Where FSR requires integration on a per-game basis, there are still relatively few games that use FSR. RSR opens the doors to using the same basic technology across all games, which is surely on AMD's mind.

There's certainly a question of overall quality. One of the advantages of DLSS and FSR being integrated on a per-game basis is that all the text and UI elements can still render at native resolution, while the often less important 3D rendered scenery still gets upscaled. Upscaling everything — especially text — will result in an overall less desirable viewing experience, but balanced against the potential performance improvements, it may still be an acceptable compromise. We're looking forward to testing the technology when it's available.

Francisco Pires
Francisco Pires

Francisco Pires is a freelance news writer for Tom's Hardware with a soft side for quantum computing.

  • twotwotwo
    Putting FSR before postprocessing and text/HUD seemed like a nice hack and nontrivial part of the win. I guess putting it in the driver reflects they expect a lot of games to not implement it still.

    Curious if they build out more-sophisticated stuff than the clamped-Lanczos-with-tweaks of FSR 1.0 (with some full-res buffers, temporal/checkerboard, whatever), though it's worth remembering folks thought 1440p->4K looked decent in 1.0, and some of the nitpicking involved magnifying still frames.
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