AMD is ‘evaluating’ whether to enable Radeon Super Resolution on older GPUs

AMD said it will “evaluate” whether its RX 580 deserves Radeon Super Resolution (RSR). But it won’t do that until you get the new performance boost feature to work well with your Ryzen 6000 series APUs (those with RDNA iGPUs) and then with Radeon-powered gaming laptops.

So you’re a little lower on the priority list, but at least it’s not a hard “no” for the RSR to hit older AMD graphics silicon. Gotta take the good points where you can find them now, huh?

AMD Just Released Radeon Super Resolution, a software-based upscaler that is powered by FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), but does not require developers to pre-build support in their games. This means that almost all games will benefit from higher frame rates if you run RSR and your games at a lower resolution than the native screen.

It is effectively the same solution that Valve put in the steam deck to enable upscaling to a 1080p-coupled display without sacrificing 800p performance.

The problem now is that RSR is only available in drivers for Radeon RX 5000 series GPUs and above. That means anyone who has an older GCN-based GPU like the popular RX 400 or 500 series – or even the ill-fated Radeon VII – is out of luck.

This is a shame as the most powerful progenitor of RSR, FSR, is fully supported on all these graphics cards as long as the game has it. But that doesn’t mean RSR will never make it to older GPUs, it’s just that it’s at the end of the queue.

(Image credit: AMD)

Speaking at the new Radeon software press conference, Glen Matthews, director of software management at AMD, said that:

“Our next step is with the Ryzen 6000 RDNA products, so we’ll add that feature, which will be in Q2. And after that there will be support for hybrid solutions, so wherever you have Ryzen 6000 with a Radeon product added in… a discrete solution on your laptop.

“We’re evaluating other solutions after that. The reason we’ve adopted this process is a combination of what we see from our users in terms of the screens they use and also where we see the most value for our users. And we prioritize in that order.”

The question, however, is whether AMD will actually see value in adding support for people with an RX 570 connected to a 1080p display. Will he decide that upscaling RSR from 720p to 1080p will result in an image too blurry to be worth it? There is certainly something in this wording to intimate a relationship between screens and RSR’s value proposition.

Our next step is with Ryzen 6000 RDNA products, so we’ll add that feature.

Glen Matthews, AMD

Valve obviously does, because that’s exactly what the Steam Deck does. In fact, it can go further – I’ve had Elden Ring running at its highest settings rendering a horrible 16:10 resolution and upscaling it to 800p using its RSR implementation. I mean it doesn’t seem Goodbut it sure works fine.

This is also how Valve envisions docked games going forward, with Deck players running at 720p, or native 800 res, and upscaling to 1080p on a connected monitor.

Deck is running an RDNA-based GPU in its Aerith APU, however it doesn’t have to rely on AMD to decide if this is a valid use of its new software feature. While AMD likely helped Valve with the implementation in the first place, it will be aware of its usefulness, especially on lower-spec hardware.

AMD Radeon super resolution images

(Image credit: AMD)

That combination of AMD graphics and a Linux-based OS means that if you’re using a GCN-based GPU, there’s a chance of RSR support now. Some users are reporting that by simply using the latest RADV drivers (the ones used in Steam Deck) and running Gamescope/Proton, you actually get a very good experience using Radeon Super Resolution with a Graphics Core Next graphics card.

It must be said, however, that I haven’t tried this combo, so I can’t speak to how well it works. Or how easy it is to implement. But hey, you can make the switch if you’re really desperate to run RSR on your RX Vega 64 (🤭). Or maybe wait until SteamOS 3.0 is fully released.

But whatever the Linux situation, fingers crossed, it’s only a matter of time before AMD proudly proclaims support for its old Radeon graphics card in a future update on the Windows side. It just won’t be anytime before summer, that’s for sure.

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