Intel has officially released a full 4K YouTube demo of XeSS running Rift Breaker on an unknown Intel Arc GPU. Intel demonstrates the direct comparison of running XeSS at 4K compared to running the game at a native 1080P resolution.
Intel has shown us demos of XeSS before, but they were recorded at 1080P despite trying to showcase a 4k XeSS demo. This is our first time seeing a 4k XeSS upscale recorded at the full 4k resolution. YouTube compression still prevents crystal clear quality, but it's far better than the original 1080P demo.
The change from native 1080P resolution to XeSS 4k is a night and day difference in the demo. When comparing the two side by side, XeSS is obviously clearer, with sharper edges and higher quality textures.
XeSS does this by using machine learning to reconstruct subpixels from neighboring pixels. This is similar to Nvidia's approach to resolution upscaling with DLSS, which also uses AI or machine learning to upscale the image on the GPU's tensor cores.
The significant difference with XeSS is that it won't require hardware-accelerated AI cores to operate. XeSS will also use open standards to ensure it can run on all GPUs, whether from Intel, Nvidia, or AMD.
Rift Breaker officially supports FSR at this time, so we tried to compare the XeSS demo to a high-quality 4k YouTube video (from Daniel Owen) of Rift Breaker with FSR for a quick comparison. However, YouTube compression really kills our ability to make out very fine details, so it makes comparing the two technologies nearly impossible.
I will say this though, from what I could tell, XeSS appears to match FSR Ultra quality or Quality modes at 4K resolution in general. But again, it's a rough estimate, and we won't know the full quality differences until we get Rift Breaker in our hands and test both upscaling technologies for ourselves.
However, if this estimation turns out to be accurate, then Intel has a true upscaling competitor that can match the likes of FSR and DLSS.
Hopefully, we'll get more details on XeSS shortly, but for now, this is the best demo we have for Intel's AI upscaling tech.