Has Nvidia just become the good guy in the whole DLSS vs FSR vs XeSS debate?

Nvidia has introduced an open source framework to make it easier for developers to plug anyone’s upscaling algorithm into their game’s rendering pipelines. Intel is on board and AMD’s FSR 2.0 also looks like an excellent candidate. None of this seems like something I would expect to write today. Or never really.

Historically, Nvidia isn’t exactly known as the champion of open source. The green team is generally very fond of the proprietary scheme for its developer-facing features, often requiring developers to sign up to use specific graphical features. Whether by design or not, this would potentially lead to the exclusion of competing technology from other manufacturers, often purely by virtue of the fact that development time is limited and expensive, and sometimes you just have to pick a side and stick to get one. game on time.

With Nvidia Streamline, however, developers no longer need to figure out a way to manually insert each different upscaling SDK into their game. This has the combined benefits of reducing the time needed to add different solutions and providing more opportunities for manufacturers and players to access these features.

Streamline was designed more or less as a plug-and-play framework that exists between the game itself and the final rendering API, whether DirectX or Vulkan. Yes, we’re even talking about working with Vulkan, although it’s in beta right now. Interestingly, Streamline is not restricted to DirectX 12 either, as Nvidia knows the benefits of supersampling beyond ray tracing and is also making the framework functional for DirectX 11 games.

The open source nature of Streamline, now released in its entirety on Github, means that hardware manufacturers can create their own plugins for the framework. Intel has already made its own plugin for XeSS, so games will be ready when Arc Alchemist GPUs are finally in, and that means AMD can get in on the action too.

At the moment, however, AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) kicks in after the standard render pipeline and is therefore probably not a good choice to run with Streamline. But FSR 2.0 is a different beast – now a time-based version like DLSS and XeSS – and will really enter the graphics pipeline. Which should also make implementation even easier for developers.

(Image credit: Nvidia)

AMD, on the other hand, believes that developers will be able to implement FSR 2.0 in less than three days if they already have the game running with DLSS 2.0. But if it’s simply a matter of adding another plugin to Streamline, that would be even faster.

By providing a standard and open source way for companies to easily get their shiny super samples in front of more gamers, Nvidia is truly opening up options for gamers, not just looking to lock them into the world’s GeForce mode. Which seems contrary to the common narrative directed at the green team.

Anything that allows us to get more supersampling techniques into our games gets a big tick from me. I don’t want anyone to be in a situation where they have a company card and are excluded from a free performance boost simply because they chose the ‘wrong’ manufacturer for that game. And this seems like another step towards eradicating that possibility.

As long as AMD subscribes, I guess. However, it’s open source, so you’ll need a good reason not to. We’ve asked AMD if they’re considering a plugin and will update when we get a response.

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