Nvidia Adds DSR Support For Older GPUs In New Driver

When the GTX 980 and GTX 970 launched, they came with a new feature called DSR, better known as Dynamic Super Resolution. At the time, it was only available on those two Maxwell-based GPUs, but now it’s available on all Kepler- and Fermi-based graphics cards as well, via the 344.48 WHQL driver, which has now been listed for download on Nvidia’s website.

Dynamic Super Resolution is an anti-aliasing method that essentially renders the game you’re playing at a higher resolution than your display and then downsamples the result to make it fit on your screen. It is basically SSAA (Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing), but it’s programmed into the graphics driver.

The reason for DSR’s existence is that lots of game developers have opted not to include SSAA into the game engine or setting choices because it is very demanding. There are more efficient Anti-Aliasing techniques, but SSAA (or in this case DSR) is without a doubt the best looking, assuming you can take the performance hit.

Additionally, the driver also brings support for Lords of the Fallen, Civilization: Beyond Earth, and Elite: Dangerous.

You can find the 64-bit desktop driver on Nvidia’s website here, or you can download it through Nvidia’s GeForce Experience desktop software, which may already have notified you.

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Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • dovah-chan
    Wouldn't rendering at a higer resolution and then downsampling result in visual anomalies similar to interpolation? Also does this method include transparency antialiasing as well? I remember reading about it but I forgot the details already.

    To be honest 16X FXAA or 2X MSAA usually does the job for me and I'm fine with them. Always nice to hear that companies are still trying to find the most optimized ways of antialiasing.

    Reply
  • npyrhone
    To be honest 16X FXAA or 2X MSAA usually does the job for me and I'm fine with them.

    I dont see how you can compare FXAA and MSAA. FXAA is the reason why people hate post processing AA solutions. It looks absolutely horrible, smearing everything, especially all the text. If FXAA is the only option for AA, I am much happier without any kind of AA at all.

    This is why I am very happy with DSR that Nvidia is now offering. Although for many, the performance hit DSR entails might just be too big. 2-4 X MSAA is, in my opinion, a perfect compromise between quality and performance hit.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    AWESOME!!! Even though I only have a GT 540M, this new DSR will come in handy with battlezone 1.5 which doesn't have anti aliasing.
    Reply
  • LePhuronn
    Interesting. Let's see what my Titan does with this.
    Reply
  • warezme
    I'm just hoping this driver fixes vision surround. I had to downgrade from the last driver because vision surround was unable to be enabled on 3 1920x1080 Alienware monitors at 5760x1080. The prior driver had no issues. Nvidia tech support only said they could not replicate the problem and that was it.
    Reply
  • haftarun8
    @dovah-chan, the visual anomalies or interpolation issues you may be thinking of are typically issues when UPsampling not downsampling. Furthermore, DSR has an adjustable gaussian scaling filter built in, so it offers superior downsample filtering vs. typical SSAA settings in games which just use linear interpolation. Any remaining artifacts that would still be there can easily be eliminated by just using a direct multiple of the native resolution (i.e. using DSR to downsample from 3840x2160 to 1920x1080 or a 2x2 : 1x1 ratio).

    If you use a non-even multiplier and downsample some scaling artifacts may still be present, but a combination of also using in-game FXAA or better yet inject SMAA via SweetFX and DSR's built-in gaussian interpolation filter will almost completely eliminate any issues even then.

    Alpha coverage? This is a full screen brute force AA technique. It effectively anti-aliases the entire image, so every pixel you see on screen regardless of what it is has been effectively supersampled and gaussian filter interpolated.

    This is ONLY a good thing.
    Reply
  • SkyBill40
    I've not yet updated to the most current driver, but I will say I'm interested to see how beautimus it is even on my lowly 660Ti OC 2GB Power Edition. Given what I've read and seen in the videos from Nvidia, it does look like a very promising tech. I'll get to take full advantage once I get a chance to grab a nice 970 card.
    Reply
  • Mike Dawson
    @dovah-chan: By you stating that any form of post-processing AA is fine for you, that makes it clear that SSAA is in no way meant for you.

    Don't take that the wrong way, as you can get away with much less GPU load and still be happy
    Reply
  • haftarun8
    14436410 said:
    @dovah-chan: By you stating that any form of post-processing AA is fine for you, that makes it clear that SSAA is in no way meant for you.

    Don't take that the wrong way, as you can get away with much less GPU load and still be happy

    What I'd also like to try out is a hybrid approach that involves combining some of the better FXAA and SMAA implementations out there with less than 2x2 DSR; say maybe 1.5x1.5 or even just 2560x1440 vs native 1920x1080. It won't be as good as true 2x2+ DSR on its own, but it may provide better overall image quality vs. crappy post solutions on their own for those that have good mid-range or slightly older gpus like myself (GTX 670 OC'ed)

    One problem I DO forsee with this DSR solution is that the HUDs in most older games (pre 2013 or so) are fixed sizes, so they'll shrink relative your monitor as you go higher in overall res, instead of a dynamically scaling, resolution independent UI that always adheres to your native display resolution. Newer games are doing this in the wake of 1440p and 4K monitors becoming popular, but I doubt older games will be patched to fix this :(.
    Reply
  • TerryFawkes
    To be honest 16X FXAA or 2X MSAA usually does the job for me and I'm fine with them.

    No such this as 16x FXAA
    Reply