Nvidia’s new open source upscaling SDK could benefit AMD gamers as much as its own

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Nvidia’s image scaling and sharpening feature, Nvidia Image Scaling, has been updated today to improve performance and image quality. There’s more interest here for gamers though, even those with AMD. This upscaling feature is also being made open-source and cross-platform, which means it may soon play nicely with AMD and Intel GPUs.

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Nvidia Image Scaling is a feature that has been baked into Nvidia’s graphics drivers for a few years now. You can enable it through the Nvidia Control Panel, and it provides an alternative to Nvidia’s DLSS feature for gamers without an RTX card and for games that don’t offer DLSS support. While it’s not quite a match for DLSS, this baked-in solution doesn’t require specific game support, and thus will work on any game.

What’s new with this update is that Nvidia image scaling from within the Control Panel and GeForce Experience is being improved. An improved algorithm (version 2.0) is just for starters, as there is now also an option to control the sharpness of the overall image using a slider in the menu.

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In addition, Nvidia is also announcing a new Nvidia Image Scaling SDK, which does It requires in-game support from developers for this to work, but it will work on AMD and even Intel GPUs.

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“The cross platform factor became a lot more important for many game developers,” says Nvidia’s Lars Wienand, adding that they like to implement DLSS, but what about those who don’t have it. “And we now offer a complete solution with DLSS and a special scaling solution for those who cannot run DLSS.”

This SDK enables Nvidia image sharpening to be brought directly into the in-game menu, just like you’d expect to see an Nvidia DLSS or AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution option.

Yes, about that last one. Obviously there are some obvious similarities between Nvidia’s new open-source upscaling SDK and AMD’s open-source upscaling SDK. Both aim to improve your game without the need for any fancy Tensor Cores or AI gubbins, and we’re not the only ones drawing parallels here.

Nvidia tells me that it expects “image quality similar to FSR” on the whole, and in the case of Necromunda Rental Gun, a game we weren’t particularly keen on, it made a “little bit in the matter.” Brisk walking” also showed his uplift. That said, there’s sure to be a lot of variation for the game.

Nvidia Image Scaling and FidelityFX Super Resolution appear to be comparable in performance, although there are notable differences in the final output image between the two if you pay attention. (image credits: nvidia)

Nvidia image scaling is done in a single pass, which means that both scaling and sharpening are combined into a single shader operation. Nvidia tells me that performance differences on GPUs from different vendors are not expected, as most should send this pass the same way and return the same result.

And let’s not forget that Intel plans to release its cross platform upscaling feature to XESS next year, along with its first Alchemist discrete GPU. All three major GPU designers will have, or will have, some sort of upscaling functionality available cross platform, potentially within a few months.

The contest is doing its best to provide the best user experience possible, and today’s announcement is as much a win for AMD graphics card owners as it is for Nvidia ones. More game support for the Cross Platform Upscaling SDK will only create better frame rates and image quality in-game, and potentially on older, lower-end cards that need it the most.

It must be said though, that there are no games planned with the Nvidia Image Scaling SDK yet, so in the short term it’s really only Nvidia GPU owners who can get the most out of that new and improved algorithm. The SDK is available from GitHub for developers today, should they so choose, and Nvidia is working on the UE4 plugin and other engine branches that are on the way soon.

To ease any comparisons between advanced features, Nvidia has also rolled out a new tool called ICAT. It will be made publicly available starting today, and allows you to cross-examine videos and pictures without editing software. So give it a try if you’re curious what it really means for your favorite sports.

Here’s the ghosting problem that appeared in Cyberpunk 2077, which should now be fixed with DLSS version 2.3, coming in-game starting today. (image credits: nvidia)

For Nvidia, however, it is still DLSS that reigns supreme, and believes that Nvidia Image Scaling is “no match for DLSS, even”. [with DLSS] In performance mode.” With today’s announcement Cyberpunk 2033 also released DLSS version 2.3.

I’m told that DLSS version 2.3 is loosely based on the White Collie experimental build that we tried out last month, and should likewise fix the undesirable ghosts in-game with previous DLSS versions.

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